Highest Quality HO Trains

Greg Procter skriver:


I guess that you dont use your material much.
We do...
Klaus
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"Klaus D. Mikkelsen" wrote:

The VT858 is something of an oddity prototypically - it shuttles back and forth between a fiddle yard and an industrial yard (circa 2m) while I'm talking to viewers at exhibitions. I'd guess it's run about 1000m in the time I've owned it. Probably not a fair test on which to base an opinion of Trix products. OTOH my Trix steam locos have run much greater distances, other than the BR96 which is a Trix branded Ma product.
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Greg Procter skriver:

That's not much. We have over 1000 meter of tracks.....

Yes, I know that one - a "coffe grinder" We have it as "Mrklin - Hamo", shitty product.
We allso have the Trix "Cargo sprinter", that is not a Mrklin product, but is mounted with metal worm gear on the shaft of the motor pulling a metal cogwheel in a bogie that turns. There is som play between them, but guess, what wears down quickly.....
Klaus
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"Klaus D. Mikkelsen" wrote:

Well, I do have a bigger layout as well, but the railcar is really a branch-line unit.

Nice looking though - I also have the Rivarossi model. That runs nicer but it's lightweight and fragile.

I read about that on the Maerklin ng when they were new - it sounds like a badly engineered model. Can you fit a "Spud unit" or a "Black Beetle" motor bogie to it? It sounds like the Trix/Ma power unit isn't worth perservering with.
Regards, Greg.P.
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Greg Procter skriver:

Very nice - I agree

We allso have one of the Rivarossi models. But an very old model, it runs with the same stabillity as the Mrklin.

Yea - unfortunallyy

A what ? Those names i haven't heard before.

Correct.....
Klaus
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"Klaus D. Mikkelsen" wrote:

I think the Spud unit comes from Sagami and the Black Beetle from Mashima, both producers of good quality can motors for model railway applications. Both are available in a variety of wheelbases and wheel diameters. They are both motor units with integral gears and are contained within the outline of the motor bogie under the floor. Operation is excellent but the price is high, although probably a lot less than Ma/Trix replacement parts =8^)

In that case a Spud unit will be an excellent replacement.

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Greg Procter wrote:

SPUDs used to be marketed by Tenshodo, but I believe these days they are sold under the Hanozono name. I've only seen them advertised lately in Japanese publications.
Black Beetles are made in Australia by Steam Era Models.
http://home.waterfront.net.au/~sem/bbeetle.htm
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Mark Newton skriver:

Thanks.
I'll take a close look into the Beetles....
Klaus
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Perhaps that is a quality issue also. I've noticed that some of my locos seem to favor running fast. The Bachmann Smoky Mountain Express has trouble even getting going until a lot of power is applied, and seems to stutter quite a bit unless it is running fast. The War Baby runs beautifully even at low speeds.
The Lionel Polar Express can't even get going (even when not pulling anything) until at least 40%-50% power is applied. I've heard that Lionel's higher end items have lower starting speeds.
BTW, thanks for the scale MPH ratings. I'll make a note of those for future reference.
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On Tue, 16 Jan 2007 09:06:43 GMT, Spender wrote:

As you may have gathered from Wolf's reply, quality locomotives are judged on how SLOW they will run smoothly. Toy quality trains are often geared to go way too fast, perhaps to please the toy buyer. There are even aftermarket re-gearing kits to enable some locomotives to be geared lower, for a lower top speed and smoother performance at 1 or 2 scale MPH or less.
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Steve Caple wrote:

SC:
And this criterion has existed for longer than many in the (amnesiac) hobby press would say. I used to have an RMC from 1967, containing an article on realistic operation which stated that a model locomotive must be able to crawl at no more than 1 SMPH to be considered realistic.
Cordially yours: Gerard P.
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snipped-for-privacy@gannon.edu wrote:

The prototypes never could crawl at 1 mph, but we like our models to acelerate smoothly from zero. Cheap models tend to go directly to high speed which spoils the effect of great mass being accelerated which is the way real trains operate.
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The new prototype *AC Traction* locomotives appearently can crawl at really low speeds. AC traction motors don't have the overheating issues (and thus minimum operating speeds) of DC traction motors. Maybe not 1 mph, but less then the 7 or so mph the DC traction motors required (minimum speed, short term). The big RRs are using these high HP AC traction locomotives to haul unit coal trains and are running with *single* units at slow speeds.

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wrote:

I have tested this with the two Bachmann locos I have (The 0-4-0 Smoky Mountain Express, and 4-8-4 Southern Pacific War Baby.) Nothing much seems to happen until at least 25% of power is applied (RailPower 1370 power supply.) But from there they both make at least a reasonable progression in speed.
This is opposed to the Lionel Polar Express which does nothing until about 40% of power is applied, and then jerks alive. There really is no slow going with that train. 50% power is about the lowest at which the train will actually make it around the track.
But as I understand it, that is a known "feature" of Lionel's lower end units. The latest I've read from Lionel says they are working on trains that have slower and slower starting speeds. Of course these are being designed for larger and larger wallets...
I am enjoying the living room carpet layouts with lower end stuff I have bought so far, but I'd like to get some higher end TMCC locos eventually. But with another child on the way (coming in August), that will have to wait.
For a carpet layout, I've bought an awful lot of stuff already while remaining debt free. I better not push my luck.
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Greg Procter wrote:

Utter bullshit Greg, of course prototype locos can crawl at 1 mph. Where's your proof that they can't?
Mark.
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Mark Newton wrote:

Check the power/speed curves of Diesel electric locos - they tend to fall off the bottom at around walking speed.
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wrote:

I do appreciate the realism. Though it is fun, albeit extremely unrealistic, to have a loco roaring around the layout. I think, for me, it is the noise factor and laying on the carpet watching the loco come straight at me.
Of course now that I have a radioactive waste flatcar and rocket fuel tank car, it's horrible to imagine the result of a real train running at those speeds. What a mess for whatever unfortunate town. A vast pool of radioactive waste, burning rocket fuel, Dixie honey, Gold Medal milk, and God only knows what it in that Great Northern tank car. The only saving grace would be the tank car full of Comet Cleanser. With any luck, the Chessie Hi-Cube box cars are full of Handi-Wipes and HazMat suits.
But seriously, when I finish planning a permanent layout running three, or maybe four trains, I will reduce the speeds to increase realism and reduce distraction. Though I will make a GarGraves 0-138 outer loop for the purpose of running a train flat out just for fun if I want to.
I'm still thinking of what passenger line I want. I have my eye on a vintage Lionel Blue Comet set with five Madison cars. However, wanting to use TMCC at some point leans me towards the Green Bullet. But those are old fashioned.
What about the Amtrak Acela? That would seem to be realistic at very high speeds since it is a bullet train.
I don't mind mixing eras. I'll already be mixing O and HO gauges, so the era hardly matters.
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Spender wrote:

Quality can mean different things to different folk. Ideally the quality model would never derail, never uncouple accidentally, be a faithful replica of its prototype in all dimensions, be completely detailed right down to the undercarriage, have even the tiniest details in three dimensions, no cast on detail, have all windows glazed, be weighted up the NMRA recommendations, have constant intensity lights, have full interior detailing, last forever, and cost next to nothing. Few commercial models are quite this good.
I have three personal classifications of quality 1. Really great stuff 2. Good dependable stuff 3. Stuff I won't buy unless the price is really right
The Really Great Stuff Atlas Kadee Brass steamers (if they are good runners or can be retrofitted to run well)
The Good Dependable Stuff Athearn Proto 2K Accurail Bachman Spectrum steamers MDC Bowser IHC steamers Mantua steamers
Stuff I won't buy unless the price is really right
Tyco Bachmann NON spectrum anything and most Bachmann diesels

Pulling power of locomotives, both model and prototype, is limited by the onset of wheel spin. The motors all have enough omph to spin the wheels. Tractive effort can be computed by multiplying weight on drivers by the coefficient of friction of nickel silver on nickel silver (or steel on steel). The coefficient of friction is in the order of 0.25 for either case, so in round numbers a locomotive's drawbar pull is about one quarter of the locomotive's weight. On the prototype sand is used to increase the coefficient of friction when needed. Some models use rubber traction tires for the same purpose. Adding weight to locomotives improves their pulling power. Most plastic steamers are light, and pull somewhat less than we owners would like. The older cast metal boiler steam will pull more. Model diesels pull more than model steamers, to the dismay of us lovers of steam.

Derailment is the limiting factor on train speed, again this works on both model and prototype. Most model locomotives will run plenty fast enough to derail on a curve. Many models top speed is in the order of 200 scale miles per hour, which is way fast. All model power supplies, even the cheapest trainset pack, will furnish all the current one locomotive wants at rated output voltage (12VDC for HO, maybe a tad more AC volts for Lionel). The power pack makers take care never to exceed the rated voltage at full throttle, lest bad things happen to customers trains, like lamps blowing out. For HO, 12 volts is the limit, and all power packs will produce 12 volts and no more than 12 volts at full throttle, give or take some manufacturing tolerances. For Lionel the same considerations apply, although I can no longer remember exactly what Lionel full throttle voltage is supposed to be. Might be 12 VAC, might be 16 VAC, might be something else. So, for a single locomotive, any power pack will make the train go as fast it's gonna go. For say a ABBA diesel lashup with all four units powered (no dummy units) you may need a bit more current than the bottom of the line power packs can furnish. The size of your layout doesn't make much, if any difference in the amount of current your power pack needs to furnish. One locomotive draws the same amount of current on a small oval around the Christmas tree as it does on a layout the fills a two car garage. Of course, larger layouts have room for more locomotives so in that sense larger layouts have larger power supplies.
David Starr
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David Starr spake thus:

Shouldn't the top of that category be "Any Overland brass model (which, of course, you can't afford)"? That's the stuff we all drool over, right?
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

Yes. I suppose I should mention that I rarely can afford the really great stuff.
David Starr
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