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....!!!