Pulling Power - Hornby Live Steam A4

Hi all
Here's a question. Hopefully someone will be able to answer it from experience rather than repeating something unsubstantiated from elsewhere.
What's the hauling capacity of a Hornby Live Steamer? I.E. How many coaches?
I have been asked this question by someone who is thinking of putting a line down in their garden to run one.
Many thanks
Elliott
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On Thu, 11 Oct 2007 13:45:19 GMT, "Elliott Cowton"

My A3 on an absolutely level track manages to start a train of 14 coaches and haul them at a reasonable speed for 30 minutes or so. There is a bit of slippage on starting. Not a runaway spinning but a slip for a partial revolution or so. looks quite prototypical. 10 of these coaches are the current Hornby Gresleys,2 are Hornby Pullmans which are the illuminated version so may have little friction from the pickups and the remaining two are Bachman Bulleids. it may haul more but that is all I have at the moment. It was quite a small circuit of about 8ft by 10ft with 21" inch radius corners. put together mainly as test track as it is my intention to take it outdoors next year. Introducing a 1 in 40 gradient dropped the haulage down a bit. This was not consistent. sometimes it managed 13 coaches other times 11 or 12. also the gradient was less than a complete train length. The loco stalled rather than loose traction. What is very important with these things is adequate power feeds to all parts of the circuit both to handle the relatively high current draw for the heater and also to enable the control signals to get through. otherwise they tend to be a bit unmanageable. On a long garden railway that is going to mean some fairly substantial cabling to avoid voltage drop.
If you don't mind looking at U tube some owners have put their locos on there.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_1YDW7JBfI
shows one going well on an outdoor layout
G.Harman
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Thanks for that, further question if I may:
How did the bulbs (and plastic lamp mouldings) stand up to the extra voltage?
Not owning one of the current Pullman coaches I haven't taken one apart to see how the bulbs are rated, but I would imagine that they may run rather hotter than when they are on an ordinary 12V supply.
Thanks
Elliott
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On Thu, 11 Oct 2007 21:56:49 GMT, "Elliott Cowton"

They seem to have suffered no ill effects.To be honest I never gave it a moments thought. Not sure if they are individual lamps or some sort of light pipe system, or are they LED s? Many must now be running on DCC powered layouts by now. Isn't the voltage on those 14 or 15v? The nature of a DCC layout may mean a rake of illuminated coaches could be sat lit in the sidings for several hours. I have not heard anybody mention in the press that this has caused any problems with the Hornby Pullmans. I could see some problems with older grain of wheat bulbs but cannot think what if any stock uses them. G.Harman
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