Weight and heavy cars.

Expand Messages
• 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
I have several brass cabooses and they traditionally go
at the end of the train. Most of my cars are wood or plastic
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

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
happy to help.

-Stephen Hatch...AMRFE(Absolute Master of Rail and Flange Engineering)
• 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
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/
• ... 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
> 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
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
• 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
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

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
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/

Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
• ... 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
> 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
Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.