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Author Topic: How important is loco haulage to you?  (Read 1705 times)

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Offline silly moo

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How important is loco haulage to you?
« on: August 14, 2019, 07:33:42 AM »
I recently purchased a second hand version of the latest Farish Castle and remembered that there were reports of some locos not being able to pull a prototypical load up an incline. There have been similar doubts that the new Wainwright Class C might struggle with long trains.

I must admit that prototypical haulage (within reason) has never been a factor for me when choosing a loco, mainly because I have always had smallish layouts and I don’t run completely prototypical trains. I do generally get the type of wagons or coaches right  though. Even if I had a vast layout and an underperforming loco I’d probably just shorten the train.

It’s never been a factor that’s bothered me and I certainly wouldn’t resort to Bullfrog Snot or not buying a particular loco because it couldn’t emulate the full sized version.

I suppose it’s just a matter of ‘to each his own’

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Offline PLD

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Re: How important is loco haulage to you?
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2019, 07:53:02 AM »
Realistically, the locos that do match the prototype haulage capacity are going to be the exceptions.

A Steam Loco is a very heavy piece of machinery - a while back in a similar thread, someone worked out that if the weight was scaled down in relation to the volume, a typical British Pacific type should be in the region of 3kg in N gauge!

Add to that that we expect them to perform on unrealistically steep grades and around unrealistically tight curves, I don't think most types do too badly...

Offline RailGooner

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Re: How important is loco haulage to you?
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2019, 07:56:27 AM »
Highly desirable, but not a deal breaker. Accuracy and detail fidelity are my first priority. :beers:
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Online njee20

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Re: How important is loco haulage to you?
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2019, 07:59:48 AM »
Prototypical doesn’t bother me, but I want locos to be able to haul the trains I intend for them. For freight locos that’s still almost always shorter than the real thing.

The Dapol 68 and 66 consistently fall short on this front.

Doesn’t stop me buying necessarily (I still have a 68), but it’s a factor - I nearly always buy Farish 66s instead now.

Online Bealman

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Re: How important is loco haulage to you?
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2019, 08:20:15 AM »
It's something I've read a lot about on the forum over the years.

It doesn't figure at all in my reasoning. If I decide I like a particular model, I'll get it, regardless of haulage capacity.

I have a fairly long and torturous gradient on my layout (completely hidden, too), and I've never had a problem with any of my locos.

My Poole Farish Scotsman had a bit of wheelslip near the end of this video, but that's the only problem I can recall!

https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=38783.msg465242#msg465242
« Last Edit: August 14, 2019, 08:25:32 AM by Bealman »
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Offline Steven B

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Re: How important is loco haulage to you?
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2019, 08:49:05 AM »
A Steam Loco is a very heavy piece of machinery - a while back in a similar thread, someone worked out that if the weight was scaled down in relation to the volume, a typical British Pacific type should be in the region of 3kg in N gauge!

Someone was out by a factor of 148. An LNER A4 is 374300lb in full working order - 169780kg. Divide by 148 three times (once per dimension as mass is related to volume not area) and you get 52g (2-3oz).

Personally I like my locos to haul prototypical trains. Fortunately there are plenty of examples of most locos pulling very short trains for those that don't life up to expectations.

RM Web has a couple of threads with short trains and big locos:
Large-locos-on-short-trains
freight-superpower-or-overkil

Steven B.

Online ntpntpntp

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Re: How important is loco haulage to you?
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2019, 08:53:42 AM »
For me, a model has to be able to haul a reasonable train for it's size.  Not necessarily a full prototypical length but satisfying-looking.  My layout is not huge by any means.

I'd rather a loco runs smoothly and reliably than be absolutely true to fidelity, after all from normal viewing distances all the tiny little details aren't really noticeable as a train runs by.

If a loco is a poor hauler then of course that is a disappointment. The worst examples for haulage that I've experienced (and I do own probably a couple of hundred locos and multiple units) are definitely the old Minitrix 2-6-0 tender locos (both the British Ivatt and the German class 24). None of these have lived long in the fleet, and are mostly in bits in my boxes of spares. I think there's one complete example somewhere but it never surfaces nowadays.  I seem to recall my Farish 4-4-0 compound wasn't particularly strong either. I think in all those cases, over-stiff tender pickups were a large factor in haulage reduction.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2019, 08:57:23 AM by ntpntpntp »
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Offline silly moo

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Re: How important is loco haulage to you?
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2019, 09:06:31 AM »
I had one of those Minitrix Ivatts which I bought new, apart from not being able to pull much mine ran really badly. I’d bought it at a show and it was tested on a layout but I couldn’t hear how noisy it was in the exhibition hall. It languished in a box for years before I gave it away. I would say it was the most disappointing loco purchase I’ve ever made. I would have been happy if it had run well light engine but it never did.

Offline kirky

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Re: How important is loco haulage to you?
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2019, 09:15:06 AM »
For me, this has become a significant factor - probably the most significant factor above detailing and accuracy, although I want my trains to be as realistic as possible.
This is because we run our trains in exhibition conditions with 2/3 prototypical loads. We have some slight inclines on the layout - about 50mm over 6 feet. But still, as Nick says, the Dapols often struggle. And remember we are running in the main hefty co-cos which should easily be able to cope. I think we would really struggle with steamers up the inclines. One of our team runs his CJM 66s and 50s and they run with problems, they just dont have lights!

cheers
kirky
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Offline Paul-H

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Re: How important is loco haulage to you?
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2019, 09:23:18 AM »
Two extreams of this

My Dapol 9F can only pull about 8 loaded wagons

My Old Farish Railcar can pull every coach and wagon I own and it's quite a few.

Lack of haulage wouldn't stop me buying a loco though, as long as it had some haulage capacity.

Paul
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Online Bealman

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Re: How important is loco haulage to you?
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2019, 09:39:25 AM »
I had one of those Minitrix Ivatts which I bought new, apart from not being able to pull much mine ran really badly. I’d bought it at a show and it was tested on a layout but I couldn’t hear how noisy it was in the exhibition hall. It languished in a box for years before I gave it away. I would say it was the most disappointing loco purchase I’ve ever made. I would have been happy if it had run well light engine but it never did.

Actually, you've just reminded me.

I've got one too, and it's exactly the same.  :(
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Online njee20

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Re: How important is loco haulage to you?
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2019, 09:44:41 AM »
I can't speak for kettles, but with modern diesels It's partially a function of our demand for more features: working lights, DCC, cab interiors, sound ready etc etc. It all means taking out mass from the chassis.

I await the Revolution 92 with interest in this respect; given Rapido have been staunch defenders of making their wagons to NMRA standard weights, meaning a lot of other locos struggle with even comparatively modest rakes. I'm hopeful that the 92 will achieve the holy grail of sound-friendly but still with adequate mass to haul a proper train.

The much vaunted CJM models, which do have stunning haulage, obviously forego lights and (easy) DCC compatibility, Kato make DCC an afterthought, and so on.

Offline NeMo

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Re: How important is loco haulage to you?
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2019, 09:56:48 AM »
I must admit that prototypical haulage (within reason) has never been a factor for me when choosing a loco, mainly because I have always had smallish layouts and I don’t run completely prototypical trains.

I think this is crucial. Few people run realistic length trains. But then again, performance is measured in multiple ways. My ranking would be something like this:
  • Quietness: nothing is more off-putting than a loco that sounds like gravel chucked into a paper shredder.
  • Handle gaps in electrical contact well: locos should have an adequate span of electrical contacts that allows them to move slowly over insulated sections without stopping.
  • Sensitivity to slow speed running: it matters more to me how well the loco moves slowly (though not necessarily crawling) for semi-realistic shunting movements, rather than if it can hare around the track at 125 mph!
  • Gradients: even if the loco doesn't need to haul massive trains, it should be able to handle a reasonable load up a "train set" gradient without slipping.
  • Durability: I don't mean that the loco should have to survive a drop into the carpet (though that'd be nice) but rather than fundamental components have a realistic expectation to endure a reasonable period of use -- I'm kind of resigned to the fact Dapol lights last maybe a couple hours actual running before they die, having experienced that so often it's no longer a surprise when it happens.

Cheers, NeMo
« Last Edit: August 14, 2019, 11:16:59 AM by NeMo »
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Online chrism

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Re: How important is loco haulage to you?
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2019, 10:38:35 AM »
The worst examples for haulage that I've experienced (and I do own probably a couple of hundred locos and multiple units) are definitely the old Minitrix 2-6-0 tender locos (both the British Ivatt

A friend has one of those - it's pulling power is appalling, as in it can't even pull itself very well. The traction tyres are present, but do look a tad "polished". We had to get a very strong magnifying glass out to ascertain that they were there.

I have a Farish one and it's perfectly acceptable. I also have a Dapol Ivatt tank but I can't really tell how good the pulling power is because it has an annoying habit of popping the front truck off the rails at the slightest opportunity. Must see if I can add some weight or springing to the truck sometime.

My Farish Fowler 4F isn't too good, their 3F Jinty will pull better despite being smaller and lighter. If I want to pull a long train, then  the Union Mills 3F or 2F Cauliflower come out - they'll pull every bit of stock I possess around the most tortuous route I can set without complaining at all.



Online Chris Morris

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Re: How important is loco haulage to you?
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2019, 10:56:28 AM »
A loco is no use whatsoever if it can't pull a reasonable load for its size. All of my diesels are adequate, both Dapol and Farish. Dapol 9F is hopeless for a heavy freight loco and the new Farish Castle is perculiar in that it is fine on the flat but not good enough on inclines. I've added weight to it and it is now just about usable. All my other steam outline are fine with special praise for the Dapol 28xx which pulls well on inclines so long as both traction tyres are in place.
I've recently found that the gears on the Dapol HST may not be up to hauling a full length train up gradients . They seem to wear down very quickly. Has anyone else has this problem?
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