Hello. I have an Atlas diesel (N scale) that runs very fast alone, however it is unable to pull a couple of cars. I have other engines that don't run so fast like this one when runing alone, however seem to pull 8 or 10 cars with no problem. What do you think? Is there some kind of mechanical problem with this Atlas engine? Thanks in anticipation!
You may be right, however it does not look that it is missing a weight. This engine has rear traction only, and the weight is given by the internal iron body (don't know the correct name) that is heavier in the back part. It looks like they wanted the engine was heavier on the traction part. It is an Atlas made in Italy diesel type, marked "Pennsylvania", and it is much longer than my other engines. Thanks
What does "specific engine" means? (sorry, total newbie here!). I don't have a way to explain it better: it says "ATLAS, MADE IN ITALY' on bottom. It is brown color, and it is marked PENNSYLVANIA 5887. I have several other assorted engines that are all about same lenght, but this one is the longest measuring approx 5 1/2 inches long. No, it does not stall: I hear the motor running very fast. Wheels may be sliping but I can't say for sure. Without any load it runs very fast but if I add cars it runs very slow first and then stops, but the motor is working 100%. So I guess it slips. Thanks.
Those old 1960s Atlas/Rivarossi models were not very well engineered. I'm amazed that the motor still operates. If you clean the wheels and find replacement traction tires, it might solve your problem.
Bill Bill's Railroad Empire N Scale Model Railroad:
BTW, what you have is an Atlas E8A (A-1-A, A-1-A) imported in 1967. Several mechanical variations were offered. Only one truck was powered. Recent models of these were imported by Rivarossi with a much improved mechanism.
You might want to consider upgrading to a Life-Like E8A (These should easily pull 12-20 cars on straight, level track):
my guess is that it isn't properly weighted. even real locomotives have ballast weight added to help them obtain traction. when your loco is running light it moves ok, because it's not trying to pull anything, but put a string of cars behind it and it spins wheels because there's not enough internal weight in the engine to push the wheels down to the rail.
Engine looks exactly like the ones in pictures! Well, I can't see any "rubberized" wheels. I know what you mean since I own one cheap Bachman locomotive that use that on a couple of wheels. Regarding weight, the only problem is there is no room to add it except in front (where no traction exists). Any trick to "rubberize"? This might work. Or do you believe adding weight in front could help? Wonderful responses. I love this place! Some weeks into this hobby and I'm learning a lot here. Thanks!
Sounds like you have an E8/9 from about 1970. Those engines weren't much good for anything other than paperweights when they were new (I bought one too). If you like the looks of that particular engine, they have also been done been done by Lifelike and Kato. Both are far superior to what you have and can be bought for reasonable money on 'the auction site'.
That engine should have at least 1 traction tire axle. Check with your fingernail to see if there is a 'ridge' on the outside of a wheel. If there is, that is where the traction tire is missing. Check the Walther's catalog for them.
well, just to test the weight theory, you could put some kind of weight on top of the loco (if it will stay...perhaps held on with masking tape or something that won't damage the finish), and if it pulls better then you'll know this is the problem.
It's almost certainly a model made by Rivarossi for Atlas in the 1970s or 80s. (silver round can motor, probably mounted vertically as the driving bogie pivot) Unfortunately, while it looks nice the mechanisim is absolute rubbish. The motors were quite variable in manufacture and normally burn out within a few years. Yours is an oddity in having lasted so long. Unfortunately that doesn't make it valuable. Just possibly it might be a Lima (Italy) product. In those whe motor is of the "drum" type; black plastic enclosure including the bogie (truck) with the armature mounted across the loco and spur gears driving down to the end axles. These mechanisims are even worse quality than the Rivarossi ones, but a higher percentage (2% vs 1% :-) survive.
If you _really_ like the model then it would be possible to transfer the body to a more modern and better quality mechanisim from another manufacturer with some fine modelling work. Unfortunately, the earlier N gauge locomotives were of poor quality mechanically and I think even today you get what you pay for.
Nooo... Atlas is a US firm that makes trackwork etc and gets models made by outside firms.
Rivarossi made models under it's own name in addition to the Atlas name, usually leaders in appearance/detailing but often with suspect mechanisims. Their early N gauge motors (like yours) were absolute cr.p. They bought out the US N gauge models of a firm called Roewa in about
1972 - superb models of a Berkshire 2-8-4 and a Mallet 2-8-8-2(?) They probably modified the mechanisims at some stage to conform ...
Atlas also bought from Roco (Austria) with much better results. I think they bought from Mehano (Yugoslavia) who tried to do as well as Rivarossi but failed. =8^O I think they also bought from Kato (Japan) more recently. Those should be good. I guess they're now buying from Chinese manufacturers. The Chinese can supply whatever quality the importer asks for, so ...
You'd have to ask N gauge fans about present day products as my experience (commercial repairs) ended a decade ago. A problem with N gauge motors is that they have a very small mass to absorb excess heat from short term overloading and therefore burn out very easily. Manufacturers have got better at making robust motors but the problem is always there waiting to bite you.