A tale of two branchliners.....(a bit of additional weight does make all the difference)

 
  Roachie Chief Commissioner

Location: Kadina SA (formerly NSW)
Okay, so I finally got off my donkey and stole the wife's digital kitchen scales, took them to the layout shed and took a couple of measurements.

The subject of my probing was Trainorama's 48 and 49 class locos. I should have included the 47 class, but didn't get-a-round-toit.

Weighed 48 class (226 grams) and the 49 (265 grams). Note: both locos are fitted with a Tsunami 1000 decoder and factory speaker, but no other modifications aside from some rudimentary weathering.

Until the arrival of the 48 class locos recently, I had been using the 47s and a 49 as my shunters. One of the jobs required at one particular location, is to push a rake of 10 rail tank cars up a gradient of about 1 in 40. These wagons are a combination of SDS and SRM.

The 49 is able to do this job without any slipping (as far as I can tell). However, when I substituted the new 48 class, it was unable to do the job. So, I started using the 0-5-0 shunter to remove one wagon at a time until the little Alco could manage the task. A total of 5 wagons had to be removed before it was able to master the hill.

There is a small amount of space available in the roof cavity of the short hood, so I might try to squeeze-in some extra lead. Overall however, I doubt these 48s will be able to do the same job as the 49 and probably the 47.

Please don't get me wrong....I am NOT complaining about the Alco's lack of traction....just making a comment. I love these little Alcos and the fact they don't haul a lot just gives me more of an excuse (as if I needed one) to run them in MU.

Interestingly though, my brother was over here recently (from Narrandera, NSW). He is a Union Pacific modeller and brought a couple of models over to run and for me to do some work on. One such loco was this massive Gas Turbine from MTH. These things make our locos look like toys!!! It has 4 bogies, each of 4 wheels. However, only the 2 inboard bogies are powered and I thought it was quite comical when this giant loco failed on one of my gradients with a modest length train. We uncoupled the Gas Turbine and I brought a diminutive Trainorama 47 class out of loco and placed it on the front of the same train......whereupon it marched up the hill without fanfare!!! hahahaha

I subsequently removed the springs from above the outer bogies, which improved the traction somewhat, but still not as good as the 47 class. It's got me buggared why these manufacturers don't build these sorts of models "properly". I can't imagine that anybody buys one of these models with a view to hauling a 6 wagon train....!!!

Roachie

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  FirstStopCentral Chief Train Controller

Weight isn't everything (most, but not everything).

The material used for the wheel tyres, the texture (polished or plated) and whether it's new or run-in, will make a difference.

Most locos will improve as the 'shine' wears off the wheels.

Paul
  Roachie Chief Commissioner

Location: Kadina SA (formerly NSW)
Weight isn't everything (most, but not everything).

The material used for the wheel tyres, the texture (polished or plated) and whether it's new or run-in, will make a difference.

Most locos will improve as the 'shine' wears off the wheels.

Paul
FirstStopCentral
Very true Paul.

I should have added that I have already run this particular 48 class a certain amount (so the "shine" would be gone), but not enough to wear the tyres down to the point that those of the 49 class is at (where I can see a definite discoloration from the plated "new" appearance).

As far as type of material is concerned, I can only assume (always a dangerous thing to do, I know) that the Chinese have continued to use the same type of metal for the wheels as they have in the past.
  John_Bushell Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
Bill, I have noticed my 48s are a bit light on their feet.  Normally operate with another 48 or a 45.  Double headed they will pull any reasonable train.  If single I would only load them with a branch line mixed.

Thanks for weighing, and comparison with 47s & 49s.  I don't have any of those.  Might put a bit of lead in the 48s if I ever have the time.

Best regards,
John
  alltrainzfan Chief Commissioner

Location: Here
My 48 hauls less than the TrainOrama 47 and 49, but hauls more than the Auscision 45. And that's what worries me because the 45 is a mainline loco and can't haul more than my branchliners!

But I love all my Alcos!
  NSWGR1855 Deputy Commissioner

Okay, so I finally got off my donkey and stole the wife's digital kitchen scales, took them to the layout shed and took a couple of measurements.

The subject of my probing was Trainorama's 48 and 49 class locos. I should have included the 47 class, but didn't get-a-round-toit.

Weighed 48 class (226 grams) and the 49 (265 grams). Note: both locos are fitted with a Tsunami 1000 decoder and factory speaker, but no other modifications aside from some rudimentary weathering.

Until the arrival of the 48 class locos recently, I had been using the 47s and a 49 as my shunters. One of the jobs required at one particular location, is to push a rake of 10 rail tank cars up a gradient of about 1 in 40. These wagons are a combination of SDS and SRM.

The 49 is able to do this job without any slipping (as far as I can tell). However, when I substituted the new 48 class, it was unable to do the job. So, I started using the 0-5-0 shunter to remove one wagon at a time until the little Alco could manage the task. A total of 5 wagons had to be removed before it was able to master the hill.


Roachie
Roachie

Have a look at Ray Pilgrims blog at  http://bylong.blogspot.com.au/2014/01/prototypical-train-load-determination.html

His spread sheet suggests 10 loaded oil tank cars is overload for a 48 on a 1 in 40 grade.

Cheers,

Terry Flynn.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
The material of choice for wheels has been nickel-silver for a very long time, however NS has become very hard to get in Australia, you have to buy around 5 tonnes of it in a minimum shipment.

As a result, the company that makes wheels for Steam Era Models and Hollywood Foundry has now run out of NS and switched instead to stainless steel as an alternate material.

In the past, SS was not used because it was harder to machine, but now that is the least of the problems, because it is at least available, whereas NS is not. SS does not oxidise or corrode, is still very good from the point of view of electrical conductivity, but the real bonus is that it is not as slippery as NS.

The upshot of this is that I am now finding that the bogies I fit with the SS wheels seem to be getting a better grip on the track, given the same adhesive weight. David at SEM will also be fitting these SS wheels to his Black Beetles as stocks of NS wheels run out, so both of our products should benefit from increased traction.

I should also mention that this principle has been known for a long time, David had SS tyres made for his range of kit locomotives going back a long time.
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The Blacksmith,

Will this affect rail production as most rail is nickel-silver.......

Regards,
David Head
  John_Bushell Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
The Blacksmith,

Will this affect rail production as most rail is nickel-silver.......

Regards,
David Head
dthead
Not a lot of rail produced in Oz though David. Smile   As I understand the Blacksmith it is only in Oz that manufacturers are faced with buying in 5t lots.

Best regards,
John
  AdelaideHills Station Staff

Location: Southwestern Germany
The material of choice for wheels has been nickel-silver for a very long time, however NS has become very hard to get in Australia, you have to buy around 5 tonnes of it in a minimum shipment.

As a result, the company that makes wheels for Steam Era Models and Hollywood Foundry has now run out of NS and switched instead to stainless steel as an alternate material.

In the past, SS was not used because it was harder to machine, but now that is the least of the problems, because it is at least available, whereas NS is not. SS does not oxidise or corrode, is still very good from the point of view of electrical conductivity, but the real bonus is that it is not as slippery as NS.

The upshot of this is that I am now finding that the bogies I fit with the SS wheels seem to be getting a better grip on the track, given the same adhesive weight. David at SEM will also be fitting these SS wheels to his Black Beetles as stocks of NS wheels run out, so both of our products should benefit from increased traction.

I should also mention that this principle has been known for a long time, David had SS tyres made for his range of kit locomotives going back a long time.
TheBlacksmith
G'day,

I would expect that the wheel tyres are in most cases turned brass and then they are chemically treated with nickel silver or blackened. If required then they get isolation rings or spokes in a plastic molding injection process which means that each single wheel tyre must be laid into the injection tool by hand.

Another material option is to take more expensive steel wheels tyres or - what Maerklin often does with spoke wheels or when gearwheels are on the back side - make diecast molds and then do the same chemical treatment at the end.  

Rails are often made of nickel silver, that's right.

Best regards

Thomas
  AdelaideHills Station Staff

Location: Southwestern Germany
Bill, I have noticed my 48s are a bit light on their feet.  Normally operate with another 48 or a 45.  Double headed they will pull any reasonable train.  If single I would only load them with a branch line mixed.

Thanks for weighing, and comparison with 47s & 49s.  I don't have any of those.  Might put a bit of lead in the 48s if I ever have the time.

Best regards,
John
John_Bushell
Weight is important for the tractive effort but it also counts where it is located. Many manufacturers enable their locos for sound which means a hugh speaker pocket is included. If this is located in the tank box between the bogies the centre of mass will be higher and the loco cannot pull as much. That's one negative effect of DCC + sound because this all needs a lot of space in the loco and thus less weight. Some add the speaker under the roof but then you need some etched grids or similar open areas so that the sound can get out and is not trapped in the loco body.
So if there is an empty speaker pocket in the tank it will make sense to add some lead or any other heavy material there in case that the loco must not "roar"...  

Thomas
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
Not a lot of rail produced in Oz though David. Smile   As I understand the Blacksmith it is only in Oz that manufacturers are faced with buying in 5t lots.

Best regards,
John
John_Bushell
No, the same minimum order applies to all countries, but Australia used to have metal traders who imported the various metals and stocked them for selling onto the manufacturing industry here in Australia - Do you see where this is going?

Yep, buggar all manufacturing in Australia now, metal traders have closed shop and vanished, so the machine shops now have to purchase on the overseas markets and the particular machinists that David and I use do not make a lot of products for clients in nickel-silver, so they are not prepared to purchase a 5 ton consignment of NS.

Other countries, such as the UK, still have viable manufacturing industries so are able to purchase smaller amounts of materials.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
G'day,

I would expect that the wheel tyres are in most cases turned brass and then they are chemically treated with nickel silver or blackened. If required then they get isolation rings or spokes in a plastic molding injection process which means that each single wheel tyre must be laid into the injection tool by hand.

Another material option is to take more expensive steel wheels tyres or - what Maerklin often does with spoke wheels or when gearwheels are on the back side - make diecast molds and then do the same chemical treatment at the end.  

Rails are often made of nickel silver, that's right.

Best regards

Thomas
AdelaideHills
You can use plated brass for rolling stock wheels where there is no expected slip between the wheels and rails, and indeed nickel plated brass is often used for this particular purpose.

But wheels for locomotives are best made from solid material, and plated brass is not particularly good for driving wheels as it wears the plating off quite quickly leaving the brass to tarnish.

Mind you, that does not stop many of the El-Cheapo Chinese factories from using plated brass, and this is why 'better class' manufacturers or importers stress that they only use solid nickel-silver wheels.

Making the wheel centres out of diecast is OK and often done, but no-one should make wheels with diecast tyres.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
The Blacksmith,

Will this affect rail production as most rail is nickel-silver.......

Regards,
David Head
dthead
Not really, most rail is made in other parts of the world and it is a different material, usually in the form of a wire alloyed to make a form of nickel-silver that is suited to drawing into rail.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Nickel silver rail in general isn't even nickel silver, it's just called nickel silver, I presume based on colour.
  FirstStopCentral Chief Train Controller

Nickel silver rail in general isn't even nickel silver, it's just called nickel silver, I presume based on colour.
Aaron
Um, then what is it made of, oh Great One?


Paul

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