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Weight and heavy cars.

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  • railwayeng
    I have several brass cabooses and they traditionally go at the end of the train. Most of my cars are wood or plastic with NO ADDED WEIGHT. I push them I pull
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 3, 2002
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      I have several brass cabooses and they traditionally go
      at the end of the train. Most of my cars are wood or plastic
      with NO ADDED WEIGHT.
      I push them I pull them I double head I put helpers on the
      rear I have heavy grades I run 25 cars.........
      I do all these things and my cars stay on. On 18 inch radius
      curves no less.
      Why can I do it and others have trouble??? Because I bolster
      my cars properly. That's it.....that's the secret.
      You can argue all you want that that's not how you do it
      or that you have trouble on curves or that they push over
      or what have you. BUT THEY AREN"T BOLSTERED RIGHT if that happens.
      This is not open for debate. Physics laws are physics laws.
      They do what they do.
      If the cars are bolstered right, then the wheels stay on the
      rail. If the wheels stay on the rail then the flanges can keep
      the cars on the track. Weight has NOTHING to do with it.

      As I said before, weight them if you want to...... I have no
      objection.....it's your Railroad....but.

      I have studied rail and flanged wheel dynamics for 50 years.
      I have built well over 100,000 turnouts in my life.
      I have tested 100's of different ideas. Bolsters are the
      main culprit. Fix them and you fix your problems.
      The best bolstering is a three point.....easy to do....on the
      HOn3 web page. If you need more info, please let me know...I'm
      happy to help.

      -Stephen Hatch...AMRFE(Absolute Master of Rail and Flange Engineering)
    • Rick & Katy Blanchard
      Steve, You mention it obliquely but the other necessity for good running cars without excess weight is good trackwork. If you have kinks, binds, bumps and the
      Message 2 of 5 , Apr 3, 2002
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        Steve,

        You mention it obliquely but the other necessity for good running
        cars without excess weight is good trackwork. If you have kinks,
        binds, bumps and the like in curves and/or vertical curves you may be
        adding weight to make up for these sins. Check your trackwork with
        gauges, check the wheelsets for gauge and fix the bolsters to the
        3-point suspension and weight is the last thing you'll need to alter.

        Cheers,
        Rick

        > I have studied rail and flanged wheel dynamics for 50 years.
        >I have built well over 100,000 turnouts in my life.
        > I have tested 100's of different ideas. Bolsters are the
        >main culprit. Fix them and you fix your problems.
        > The best bolstering is a three point....
        --
        Rick Blanchard -=-=-=- rick@...
        'da Trains!' -- http://www.urbaneagle.com/datrains/
        SLIM RAILS -- http://www.urbaneagle.com/slim/
      • John Stutz
        ... I would add that the trucks themselves also need to be right: wheels in gauge, all wheels on the rail, axles parallel, with wheels set squarely so the
        Message 3 of 5 , Apr 3, 2002
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          > From: "railwayeng" <hatch@...>
          >
          > If the cars are bolstered right, then the wheels stay on the
          > rail. If the wheels stay on the rail then the flanges can keep
          > the cars on the track. Weight has NOTHING to do with it.

          I would add that the trucks themselves also need to be right: wheels in gauge,
          all wheels on the rail, axles parallel, with wheels set squarely so the axles
          are perpendicular to the track when the truck is rolling freely. With the
          NMRA standard code 88 flanges such a truck should be able to get over any
          track irregularities that are not obvious to the eye. Most commercial trucks,
          properly assembled, will meet these criteria, but you MUST check. This is
          where the single piece truck frame designs are real winners.

          With finer wheel profiles it may help to have equalized trucks. These can be
          hard to keep square. I partially correct this problem by making one side
          rigid and allowing the other to pivot. Sprung trucks can be problematic: the
          springing is usually so strong that they are essentially rigid, and rarely
          properly aligned. Soft springs from the Kadee line may help here, as may
          making one side rigid.

          Having assured yourself that the trucks are good, it is essential to allow
          them to follow the track. This is the essence of Steve's "bolstered right".
          Both trucks must be free to rock fore & aft, and at least one free to rock
          sideways. The easiest way to achieve this, without allowing car bodies to
          wobble freely, is to use a very light spring on the truck screw. I use the
          larger Kadee springs made for O and G scale draft gear, cutting them in half,
          and expanding the diameter as needed on a tapered screwdriver shank. This
          approach presupposes enough weight in the car that the trucks can deflect
          under the spring loading. Spring loading can be adjusted somewhat by how much
          you screw in the truck screw.

          For very light cars, a better approach is build up side bearings on ONE
          bolster, so that the truck cannot rock sideways. Most HOn3 trucks now have
          side bearing pads on the truck bolsters that will give an appropriate spacing.
          For plane bolster trucks, bearing pads a scale foot either side of the screw
          will do. The bolster pads should be just high enough to lift the truck center
          off of the bolster center. The truck must still be free to rock fore & aft.

          Canted truck screws have been problem for me. I cannot drill holes square by
          eye, and now always use a machinists square to sight against when drilling by
          hand. If the truck screws are not square to the body, they can limit the
          trucks ability to rock freely. This is not a problem with the old stamped
          strap bolsters, but definatly needs to be checked with the deep prototypical
          bolsters that are now common. Even with square screws, such bolsters may
          limit for & aft rocking. I often find myself reducing screw head diameters,
          or using long screws set with the heads clear of the bolster.

          Naturally, car body clearences must allow the trucks to pivot freely.

          About the only remaining problem is is due to limited coupler side swing.
          Which on abrupt curve transitions may allow cars of very different length, or
          locomotives with large front end overhangs, to lever other cars off of the
          track. On long cars and locomotives, long shank couplers with overly
          prototypical side swing in the buffing block will help. Witness the Uintah's
          approach for 14" (HO) curves. But easements between curves, particularly
          reverse curves, is the best solution here.

          John Stutz
        • jbatson@mmimail.com
          All of my cars are set up three point, and all of them track good, but I have seen cars lifted off of the track, where the wheels are not toching the rails on
          Message 4 of 5 , Apr 5, 2002
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            All of my cars are set up three point, and all of them track good, but I
            have seen cars lifted off of the track, where the wheels are not toching
            the rails on either truck suspended between the couplers of the two ajcent
            cars. Maybe I'm just not as good of modeler as some of you are. If you
            don't add weight, and it works for you, and I do add some weight, and it
            works for me, so be it. I'm going to do what has worked for me for many
            years and I'm sure you will continue doing what works for you. Does this
            make you right, or does this make me right. I really don't care who is
            right or who is wrong, I'm doing what works for me to allow me to have fun,
            and isn't that what it is all about.
            Joe




            John Stutz <stutz@...> on 04/03/2002 01:17:30 PM

            Please respond to HOn3@yahoogroups.com

            To: HOn3@yahoogroups.com
            cc:

            Subject: Re: [HOn3] Weight and heavy cars.

            > From: "railwayeng" <hatch@...>
            >
            > If the cars are bolstered right, then the wheels stay on the
            > rail. If the wheels stay on the rail then the flanges can keep
            > the cars on the track. Weight has NOTHING to do with it.

            I would add that the trucks themselves also need to be right: wheels in
            gauge,
            all wheels on the rail, axles parallel, with wheels set squarely so the
            axles
            are perpendicular to the track when the truck is rolling freely. With the
            NMRA standard code 88 flanges such a truck should be able to get over any
            track irregularities that are not obvious to the eye. Most commercial
            trucks,
            properly assembled, will meet these criteria, but you MUST check. This is
            where the single piece truck frame designs are real winners.

            With finer wheel profiles it may help to have equalized trucks. These can
            be
            hard to keep square. I partially correct this problem by making one side
            rigid and allowing the other to pivot. Sprung trucks can be problematic:
            the
            springing is usually so strong that they are essentially rigid, and rarely
            properly aligned. Soft springs from the Kadee line may help here, as may
            making one side rigid.

            Having assured yourself that the trucks are good, it is essential to allow
            them to follow the track. This is the essence of Steve's "bolstered
            right".
            Both trucks must be free to rock fore & aft, and at least one free to rock
            sideways. The easiest way to achieve this, without allowing car bodies to
            wobble freely, is to use a very light spring on the truck screw. I use the
            larger Kadee springs made for O and G scale draft gear, cutting them in
            half,
            and expanding the diameter as needed on a tapered screwdriver shank. This
            approach presupposes enough weight in the car that the trucks can deflect
            under the spring loading. Spring loading can be adjusted somewhat by how
            much
            you screw in the truck screw.

            For very light cars, a better approach is build up side bearings on ONE
            bolster, so that the truck cannot rock sideways. Most HOn3 trucks now have
            side bearing pads on the truck bolsters that will give an appropriate
            spacing.
            For plane bolster trucks, bearing pads a scale foot either side of the
            screw
            will do. The bolster pads should be just high enough to lift the truck
            center
            off of the bolster center. The truck must still be free to rock fore &
            aft.

            Canted truck screws have been problem for me. I cannot drill holes square
            by
            eye, and now always use a machinists square to sight against when drilling
            by
            hand. If the truck screws are not square to the body, they can limit the
            trucks ability to rock freely. This is not a problem with the old stamped
            strap bolsters, but definatly needs to be checked with the deep
            prototypical
            bolsters that are now common. Even with square screws, such bolsters may
            limit for & aft rocking. I often find myself reducing screw head
            diameters,
            or using long screws set with the heads clear of the bolster.

            Naturally, car body clearences must allow the trucks to pivot freely.

            About the only remaining problem is is due to limited coupler side swing.
            Which on abrupt curve transitions may allow cars of very different length,
            or
            locomotives with large front end overhangs, to lever other cars off of the
            track. On long cars and locomotives, long shank couplers with overly
            prototypical side swing in the buffing block will help. Witness the
            Uintah's
            approach for 14" (HO) curves. But easements between curves, particularly
            reverse curves, is the best solution here.

            John Stutz


            HOn3 list web pages are:
            http://www.railway-eng.com/hon3/
            http://groups.yahoo.com/archive/Hon3/
            http://groups.yahoo.com/files/HOn3/


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          • John Stutz
            ... I had not considered that there might be a question of right or wrong. I only attempted to share my experience, by describing some of the problems I have
            Message 5 of 5 , Apr 5, 2002
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              > From: jbatson@...
              >
              >
              > ...Maybe I'm just not as good of modeler as some of you are. If you
              > don't add weight, and it works for you, and I do add some weight, and it
              > works for me, so be it. I'm going to do what has worked for me for many
              > years and I'm sure you will continue doing what works for you. Does this
              > make you right, or does this make me right. I really don't care who is
              > right or who is wrong, I'm doing what works for me to allow me to have fun,
              > and isn't that what it is all about.
              > Joe


              I had not considered that there might be a question of right or wrong. I only
              attempted to share my experience, by describing some of the problems I have
              encountered, and outlining some options for fixing them. There is certainly
              no ONE TRUE WAY of doing this. If my tone came off as offensively imperative,
              I apologize for that. I do not apologize for the content of my posting, which
              I hope will be of use to others who lack your experience.

              John Stutz
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