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Thread: A good Loco for a tight turns layout?

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    Default A good Loco for a tight turns layout?

    Hello all, here is my layout
    http://www.kaechler.org/2012/07/retu...ing-plank.html

    I have been spending more time sending my trains round and round than I have actually improving my layout! But that is the point of the thing anyway.....

    I am looking to get a pair of better quality locomotives to pull my mixed freight line up that mountain, but I am concerned about the tight radii on some of my turns. The tightest ones are 9 3/4 radius, but I have tried to make easments in and out of those corners. I have been quietly drooling over a pair of Kato EMD F3A+B engines in Western Pacific dress. Will those F3's be ok in the tight corners? They seem to be on the short side, and are 4-axle units. Having been so impressed with the unitrack I got for the outer loop and the double crossovers I will shortly be ordering enough to replace all the flextrack and snaptrack remaining on the layout. After that, (and after budget recovery) I will be getting new engines.
    Someday over the rainbow I also hope to find some passenger cars that will run good on these tight corners.

    In the pictures on my blog post, you will see my current motivators. A pair of bachman gp50's that were super cheap. They got me up and running when I needed them, but now its time to look for something better. And something that is upgradeable to DCC as well. The bachmans are slow and not very reliable.

    So, EMD F3's? or is there something better?
    Nutcase - in - Chief of the Flying Plank RR (est. 2012)
    out of scale, out of money, out of my mind
    www.kaechler.org

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    take a look at this site: http://www.visi.com/~spookshow/locos.html
    it may answer your questions.
    Yours,

    Gene

    Turtle Creek Industrial RR

    Link to my Flickr account: https://www.flickr.com/photos/epumph/

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    The F3's will give you reliable service and track very well. In my opinion from experience the four axles units on tight turns is also a good choice. Your grades may require multiple units though. My F3 AB unit pulls quite well up my 2% grade.
    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by epumph View Post
    take a look at this site: http://www.visi.com/~spookshow/locos.html
    it may answer your questions.
    That was quite informative. I guess there isnt any question about F3's and tight corners. That website describes them as being able to pull 24 cars on a flat run. How does that translate to ability to pull cars up an incline? Is there an equation I can use to estimate capacity? I followed some instructions found on a post here at nscale.net for weighting my cars to nmra standards.
    Nutcase - in - Chief of the Flying Plank RR (est. 2012)
    out of scale, out of money, out of my mind
    www.kaechler.org

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    Quote Originally Posted by jkaechler View Post
    Is there an equation I can use to estimate capacity?
    not that I'm aware of...
    Yours,

    Gene

    Turtle Creek Industrial RR

    Link to my Flickr account: https://www.flickr.com/photos/epumph/

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    F3s should be able to handle tight turns. Mine (which are not Kato made but still the same size) can do 11" R with no problem and I am quite sure they could handle 9" if I threw it at them. The other F-unit varieties should also be able to handle it, since they are all basically built on the same dimensions (FT, F7, etc).

    Atlas makes some GP7s and GP9s in their 'Master' line that should be markedly superior to the Bachmann cheapies you got to get started. http://www.modeltrainstuff.com/N-Sca...ves-s/1691.htm

    If you want something more like a road switcher, I can personally vouch for both the Walthers RS-2 (http://www.modeltrainstuff.com/N-Sca...ves-s/1924.htm) and the Atlas RS-3 (which I think is out of production). Those both track quite well, and I have never had any issues with them. Again my tightest turn is 11", but I have no doubt they could handle tighter than that. They're only about 1/2" longer than the F units and have a similar wheel base.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jkaechler View Post
    That was quite informative. I guess there isnt any question about F3's and tight corners. That website describes them as being able to pull 24 cars on a flat run. How does that translate to ability to pull cars up an incline? Is there an equation I can use to estimate capacity? I followed some instructions found on a post here at nscale.net for weighting my cars to nmra standards.
    There actually is a set of equations for determining capacity up a grade. There was an article in Nscale Magazine in the 90's (I think in the first year of publication) that described the issues and presented several equations. If you are interested I can try to dig it out from my mag library and provide the magazine reference. The equations were involved (not quantum physics, but engineer level.)

    Cheers,
    Craig

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    I have a spreadsheet that will calculate train capacity based on grade curve weight and number of cars and loco drawbar pull. I'm away from my computer though. Somebody PM me a reminder and ill post a link tomorrow. Or put it up in the downloads area.
    Never mistake a guy who talks a lot for a guy who has something to say...

    CH&FR Site and Blog: http://www.chfrrailroad.net and http://blog.chfrrailroad.net
    Appalachian Railroad Technology: http://www.apprailtech.com


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    Quote Originally Posted by Chessack View Post
    F3s should be able to handle tight turns. Mine (which are not Kato made but still the same size) can do 11" R with no problem and I am quite sure they could handle 9" if I threw it at them. The other F-unit varieties should also be able to handle it, since they are all basically built on the same dimensions (FT, F7, etc).

    Atlas makes some GP7s and GP9s in their 'Master' line that should be markedly superior to the Bachmann cheapies you got to get started. http://www.modeltrainstuff.com/N-Sca...ves-s/1691.htm

    If you want something more like a road switcher, I can personally vouch for both the Walthers RS-2 (http://www.modeltrainstuff.com/N-Sca...ves-s/1924.htm) and the Atlas RS-3 (which I think is out of production). Those both track quite well, and I have never had any issues with them. Again my tightest turn is 11", but I have no doubt they could handle tighter than that. They're only about 1/2" longer than the F units and have a similar wheel base.
    The F units will pull more then what the GP or RS units will pull just from the sheer weight difference. The GP/RS are about 2.5 oz where the f units are around 4 oz.

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    Those curves won't pose any problem. Most Katos are tested to an eight inch radius. The exception are the steam locos especially the ones with lots of driving wheels and the Centennials. Now a curve on n incline may reduce the number of cars the loco can pull. But nine and three quarters is what the world standardized on in N scale. To be realistic no curve should have a radius less than 396 inches.

    One thing you have to be careful when you buy the passenger cars is side overhang. Make sure that a NMRA gauge clears your vertical walls on the curve. An autorack will have the same problems. You could also make a inspection car to check clearances.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoNW View Post
    Those curves won't pose any problem. Most Katos are tested to an eight inch radius. The exception are the steam locos especially the ones with lots of driving wheels and the Centennials. Now a curve on n incline may reduce the number of cars the loco can pull. But nine and three quarters is what the world standardized on in N scale. To be realistic no curve should have a radius less than 396 inches.

    One thing you have to be careful when you buy the passenger cars is side overhang. Make sure that a NMRA gauge clears your vertical walls on the curve. An autorack will have the same problems. You could also make a inspection car to check clearances.
    In the interests of space saving, I had to maintain the steep grade through the turns even though it's not super realistic. I have definitely found that the train slows as it pulls through the turn. That is with 17 cars and the 2 bachmann engines. My grade is 4%.(I know, too steep!)

    If I take an old car and put a stick of balsa through it to test the clearance to the sides, how wide should it be? Some of the internal structure under the mountain could also pose a problem. Better to find out now with a test car than rake the side of a nice new passenger liner.
    Nutcase - in - Chief of the Flying Plank RR (est. 2012)
    out of scale, out of money, out of my mind
    www.kaechler.org

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    My issue has never been my engines, but the stock hah. I'm sure most Kato SD70s or smaller would operate just fine on your layout, but with that grade you will at least need 3 engines to get a longer train or two with traction tires. Big steamers would be a bad call on your layout unfortunately
    :P42171L::SUP2T::SUP2C::SUP2L:

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    invest in an NMRA gauge that will do all sorts of things as well as clearances. they are around $12
    Yours,

    Gene

    Turtle Creek Industrial RR

    Link to my Flickr account: https://www.flickr.com/photos/epumph/

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    I have tight curves on a 2% graded. I cannot get any passenger cars to run on this particular line, but FWI worth the Kato RDC4 will run on this line successfully, but not the RDC2. As far as pulling power goes, my simple test is - one loco, one carriage, one loco, two carriages etc, until you get to the point where the loco won't pull the wagons up the grade. You will need to test from both ends of the grade, as I have found that while a loco may pull say 8 wagons up my grade from one direction, the same may not apply from the opposite direction. Insofar as locos go handling grades and tight curves, Kato SD70Macs, SD40s and the F locos should be OK. But if you want longer trains, then consisting would be the way to go.

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    Here's a clearance car you can knock together…

    You could even paint the sides different colors to help keep wiring straight.
    Use what you know about the world to model…
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    Thank you ChicagoNW! I can throw that together on an old chassis and push it down the line. Now is a good time for it too, since my wife has made suggestions for changes to my scenery and I am going to go for it. Anything that can improve the spousal acceptance factor is a good thing right? =)
    Nutcase - in - Chief of the Flying Plank RR (est. 2012)
    out of scale, out of money, out of my mind
    www.kaechler.org

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    I have a Kato F3. My layout has 4 % grade on the straights going up and about 1 to 1.5 % on the curves (13.5, 12.75 and 9.75"). The coal hoppers are about 1 Oz each in weight. The Kato can pull easily 6 coal hoppers on all the curves. With a motorized A&B set, it should not be an issue to pull more cars without any issues at all on all radii.

    Here is a video: http://youtu.be/IDJjLN7wFBE
    Ganesh

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