• Adding weights to my N-scale rolling stock:

    I thought I'd make a separate thread to show off my new weights. First, I read several lengthy threads at MRH regarding opposing views on over-weighting rolling stock and decided slightly over-weighting my rolling stock will likely suit my layout/operating style best. MRH's Joe Fugate makes the operational and fun-factor argument for over-weight cars and I tend to agree.

    I generally followed NMRA's 20.1 recommended practices, which is 0.5 oz. + 0.15 oz. for each inch in length, and slightly over-weighted my cars by rounding-up when my 1/4-oz. weight-increments exceeded the spec. For easy reference:

    NMRA 20.1
    TrainSpotted.com weight-calculator.

    I've weighted a few Railbox cars so far and I really like how they run. I purchased zinc-coated iron automotive tire-balancing weights off eBay: 9-pound box for $20 including shipping. Seller states measurements are: 0.622" x 0.744" which equals approximately 15.8mm x 18.9mm. As you can see, they fit both my boxcars and my gondolas, but just barely:

    Boxcars: 1/4-oz. zinc-coated iron automotive tire-balancing weights (eBay).





    Containers/trash-container loads:

    Quoting from the other thread, bicknell recommended these narrower, 12mm-wide motorcycle weights:

    Quote Originally Posted by bicknell View Post
    The secret to the wheel weights is to search for "motorcycle wheel weights". For instance https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07QWW7KZC/ are about 19mm x 12mm, and the 12mm makes them easy to fit into narrower spaces.
    Quite a bit pricer, and fewer suppliers to choose from, but these could possibly be a good fit for my trash-container loads and of course better for smaller rolling stock.

    Tank cars:

    For tank cars, I found that tungsten putty is most commonly recommended; though, I'm not quite ready to remove all the delicate ladders on my 25+ Athearn tank cars just yet.
    Comments 11 Comments
    1. mosslake's Avatar
      mosslake -
      I have some Intermountain's USRA gons and MT GS gons that badly need weight. @Allen H. uses this product, and I've sourced it locally and think it'll solve much of my problem and be out of sight.
      But your idea of car weights is ideal for most other types of cars.
    1. MetroRedLn's Avatar
      MetroRedLn -
      I use cut-up old bass guitar strings (the low B and E strings) and use adhesive caulk to glue them to the floors of cars/containers/etc.
    1. NSNYSWFAN74's Avatar
      NSNYSWFAN74 -
      Just a suggestion...visit a local mechanic who mounts & balances tires. All the old weight must be removed. Normally they are thrown out. Might convince the owner to let you have as many as you want. Although the glue will be gone, double sided tape will work. Could also make good scrap yard material.
    1. wanabeengineer's Avatar
      wanabeengineer -
      Those wheel weights are the low profile style. There are 1/4 ounce weights that are half the width but slightly taller. I would know cuz I was the guy for years mounting and balancing tires. I second NSNYWFAN74. The local shop will likely give you all that you want for free. You may also find the shop saying "take one and your taking them all!" Another option would be to find the old weights and sifting through for the lead style. Getting harder to find but still out there. Wouldn't be hard to melt some down and pour them into molds that fit whatever car your trying to add weight to
    1. jfarr1's Avatar
      jfarr1 -
      You might need some new motive power to pull all that weight around the track!
    1. bshire284's Avatar
      bshire284 -
      I use fishing sinkers and set them with a small amount of epoxy. You can cut them or smash them down to shape.
    1. Siliconcameraguy's Avatar
      Siliconcameraguy -
      I use neodymium magnets.
      I get them via eBay near 500 Count for $20.
      They are easily stacked and or experimented with.

      I don't use standard NMRA sources for specifications but rather test on my own.
      Other factors...
      DCC with BEMF
      Height of Grade
      Radius of curves.
      Length of train...
      and often what the indifvidual car is next to or between.
      Body Mounted Couplers
      Metal Wheels.
      I also run a files along the inside of my track top edge and sometimes file down the inside curve rail.
    1. tillerman's Avatar
      tillerman -
      For my HOn30 cars I use tungsten, which is 50% denser than lead. Sometimes I use pinewood derby weights but mostly I use 1/16" diameter welding electrodes cut to length with a cut-off disk in a dremel. I haven't used them for N scale but might be worth exploring.
    1. sid's Avatar
      sid -
      Quote Originally Posted by Siliconcameraguy View Post
      I also run a files along the inside of my track top edge and sometimes file down the inside curve rail.
      curious as to why you file down the inside rail.? i can see why on the out side rail to give it a sorta pointy edge.
    1. mchilson's Avatar
      mchilson -
      Thanks! Great post just when I needed it. Working on weighing my rolling stock now.
    1. GGNInNScale's Avatar
      GGNInNScale -
      I do the same thing with 1/4 oz (7gram) tire weights. I used this method on HO scale in the "old" days. Works great, self-adhesive backs. You can usually bring up the weight with 1 piece. Sometimes I cut them with a Dremel tool and a carbide disc. I also trim up with BBs and caulk if I get fussy. I can run a 10 car train on a 2% grade without much slippage. Passenger cars are easy to weight- just pop the top, and find a good spot near one or both truck bolsters, and mount. Cannot be seen (a few exceptions of course), but this is N scale, and beyond 3 feet you can't see much detail...