Light or heavy? I have both. The heavy out pulls the light as it has a
cast metal boiler Vs the plastic boiler on the light. However, I add weight
to all my steam and remove all springs from above leading and trailing
I think that's somewhat road dependent. On the GER, the light 4-8-2s are
mainly passenger locos and are tarted up as such with white wall tires and
running board edges while the heavies are freight engines and are basic
Home of the Great Eastern Railway
Simple. Improve traction.
The springs, by their very nature of being springs, exert a force, in this
case, a downward force.
Physics dictates that the downward force also exerts an equal and opposite
force in the upward direction.
In other words, that spring will also lift the locomotive. At the front for
a pilot truck, at the rear for a trailing truck. On a loco with both pilots
and trailing trucks this force is applied to both ends of the locomotive.
Thus lifting also lifts the wheels, thus reducing traction.
The trucks themselves, on reasonably well laid track, do not need any
additional force to keep their wheels on the railhead. Their weight alone
is more than enough.
So, leaving the springs in place applies a slight lift to the loco and its
driving wheels therefore, removing the springs permits the entire weight of
the loco to rest on the driving wheels. This must and does improve
Before I removed the spring from the pilot truck on my low driver Spectrum
4-6-0s, they could barely pull five cars plus van up my steepest grade.
After removing the pilot truck spring, they could quite easily pull 8 cars
plus van up the same grade.
If you don't believe me, try loading a loco with the maximum number of cars
it can pull up a grade, then remove the leading (and trailing if it has
one) truck springs. Repeat test loading loco until wheels spin. You'll be
amazed at the improvement.
Home of the Great Eastern Railway
Roger is 100% correct. As long as your trackwork is decent the trucks do not
need springs to keep them on the rails. I have not had to removed the
springs from either of my Spectrum 4-6-0's as they pull OK for me. But I
have no grades at all where Roger has quite a few so that is probably why I
don't have any pulling issues. I did remove the springs from an old brass
locomotive that would not pull well and it made a big difference. Bruce
I agree with Roger. The Bachmann Mountains are super engines. The
4-8-2 is normally listed as a general purpose locomotive. The C&O ran
them as pure passenger engines until the last days of steam. But others
ueed them as both freight and passenger. I'm guessing that freight
service would ordinarily be fast freight -- reefers, stock, timed, as
opposed to coal or crude oil.
Roger T. wrote:
I have a Spectrum Heavy 4-8-2. It's a very nice model, runs smooth as
silk, looks great, and has some real heft to it. I don't know how much it
will pull as I don't have enough HO rolling stock to see what it can do. I
think it will pull a very respectable train. Mine is lettered for the SP
with a Vanderbuilt tender. This is not an exact SP 4-8-2 model but similar
in size.The tender seems to ride a bit high on the trucks compaired to
pictures I've seen but it's not objectionable. Mine will eventually pull a
passenger train, as most locomotives with a 4 wheel pony truck arangement
were intended. However I'm sure you will find situations where the 4-8-2's
hauled freight as well. Bruce
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