I have finally managed to buy an affordable Princess Coronation
(albeit with superficial damage). It looks good and runs smoothly
but! It has exactly the same low adhesion as the Kings, WC's , Black
5's and other 5 pole can motor models. My 5 pole Ringfield loco
driven Castles are way ahead in pulling power. I compare only Hornby
because all Bachmanns are light footed.
I sometimes wonder just what you're expecting your locos to haul and note
your comments about Bachmann models.
I've had 60+ (modern, metal-wheeled) wagons behind Bachmann 9F 2-10-0 and WD
2-8-0 models and both would have taken more. Virtually all Bachmann & (the
can motor-powered) Hornby diesel models will also walk away with similar
loads as a minmimum.
I don't have many of the recent Hornby (loco drive) steam locos (A4, 8F &
2P), but was hugely disappointed with a couple of Black 5s which wouldn't
pull more than 30 wagons and were quickly eliminated from my loco stud. The
8F is adequate, but somewhat inferior to the Bachmann WD in both quality of
detail and haulage capabilities.
On Wed, 8 Oct 2008 17:51:16 +0100, "John Turner"
And I've hauled 50 wagons uphill round a 36" radius curve with the
Hornby 8F, with no artificial additives. The tender-drive A3 needs
extra weight over the drivers, mind.
It is not a case of great expectations - merely a direct comparison
using identical trains. I do have hills ( prototypical at 1:35/40)
and my curves are 1 metre radius so that is what I ask a loco to
negotiate pulling 6 Hornby/Lima MK1's (or similar) or 8 Mainline/
Airfix Centenaries. The Hornby slippery souls are those fitted for
DCC without the same ballasting as the Ringfield models ( the R2662
Hogwarts example which needed a reversion to tyres is a good example).
Running on a horizontal track does not show up the problem. I
have yet to see a R/B MN or WC/BB, 9F, 8F , Brittania or WD that
I can afford. At the moment my project is making a Star from a Saint
body and Castle chassis (a combination of a pretty old and brand new
pair of components!).
( My Black 5 is more feeble that me!)
They are if you're modelling the Maurienne line, which has ten miles or more
at 1:35. Mainline trains normally have two locos pulling, and another two
banking, however, rather than a single steam loco.
It happens. I got a Duchess of Sutherland off eBay a couple of months
back. Seemed cheap, and was in fantastic condition.
It turned out to be a tender drive, and for some reason, it can only
just about push itself along the track. It has now been relegated to
being a static display.
Mmm, but then rack (or, indeed, rope-haulage) are a bit different, though
IIRC one of the German firms does a rack engine and suitable track in
HO which would do perfectly well for a uk-prototype system (given
that the Snowdon engines are of Swiss design).
1:14 is, I think, the steepest bank to be worked by adhesion only
on public railways in Britain (Hopton incline on the Cromford &
High Peak). Industrial lines went a bit steeper - I think there
were banks as steep as 1:12 worked by adhesion only.
For main lines, the Lickey is usually reckoned as the steepest
bank: 1:38, or just a tad steeper - though there's a bit of 1:27
by Faringdon on the Thameslink line (which surely qualifies as
main-line). Either way, I'd say that while 1:30 to 1:40 isn't
common on UK main lines, it's not unknown either - so the OP
wasn't wrong to claim it as "prototypical". I'd question whether
any non-industrial routes in UK combined such steep gradients with
such sharp curvature, mind..
using identical trains. I do have hills ( prototypical at 1:35/40)
The railway between Grosmont & Goathland on the NYMR is graded at 1:49 and
this is regarded as exceptionally steel for an adhesion operated railway.
Shap and Beattock and the Long Drag (Settle & Carlisle) have a ruling grades
around 1:100 and provided steam locos with real problems most of the time.
The inclines on the Cromford & High Peak were steeper (1:18?) than that on
the NYMR but would in some instance need two locos to move a handful of
I'd suggest that 1:35 - 1:40 is far too steep for normal operations.
"Andy Hewitt" wrote
Strip and clean the entire tender drive unit including the commutator face
on the motor armature, also the associated brushes and tension the brush
springs. Clean & remove tender drive wheels, clean any oil from the axles,
then clean out the axle slots (I blow WD40 through these) before
re-assembling. That will hopefully solve your problems unless the armature
You may also have to clean the (non-powered) loco driving wheels, and maybe
their axles too. At one time Hornby used 3-in-1 oil to lubricate locos and
it goes 'thick' with age, losing its lubricating properties and becomes a
good insulator, stopping reliable current collection.
Cheers John, it doesn't seem like a motor problem, it turns the wheels
OK, it just doesn't have any traction at all, I just get the thing
sitting there spinning the driving wheels. I had thought about weighting
it down with some lead, but I can't see there being enough room to add
enough to help much.
I had already checked the non-driven wheels, and they rotate very freely
My Hornby Schools and D49 were like this after a long period of storage
(17 years). The traction tyres looked OK, but they were slipping on the
wheels. With new tyres they now both pull anything I put behind them.
1:49 and lots of curvature - the latter, I gather, being more of a problem.
Shap has four miles of 1:75. Beattock has a worst-bit of 1:69, and the Highland
main line seems to have gradients of typically around 1:70. /However/, the
Lickey is a bit steeper than 1:38, there's the gradient of 1:37 between
Exeter Central and St. David's (just the kind of inter-station bank that a
Freezereque model railway might include) and there's a bank of 1:27 near
Faringdon on Thameslink (again, just the sort of thing that a C.J. Freezer-
type plan might include).
Hopton was 1:14.
Aside from the Lickey and the others mentioned above, it occurs that there
were some pretty serious banks on the GW (ex-SD) main line in Devon: aha, yes -
Hemerdon bank, mostly at 1:42, with a bit of 1:41 at the bottom. There will be
other examples (off the main line, the Portpatrick harbour branch was about
1:30) - so the Birmingham and Gloucester, the London and South Western, the
South Devon and the Metropolitan railways seem to have had a different opinion
Granted, bankers were needed for many/all of these steep banks - but then
that's going to add interest to model operation, rather than being a damned
inconvenience, as it is in 12":1' scale.
"Andrew Robert Breen" wrote
Bankers are not an insurmountable problem with analogue operation, but the
differing speeds (at the same voltage) of more than one loco can cause
problems to the loco(s) (overheating of motors for example) and can also
cause derailments. Isolated sections are necessary to allow the addition
and removal of the pilot or banker.
It's less of an issue with digital operation where motor speeds can be
adjusted (with some effort) to be compatible, and where isolated sections
are not necessary, but the whole operation is still not quite straight
forward and involves switching control to facilitate consisting or multiple
operation of more than one loco.
The apparent need for this on Peter's (sailor) layout just shows that even
models suffer similar problems to the prototype and that over-steep
gradients will and do cause issues.
"Gerald H" wrote
It could also be the spur gear on the end of the armature shaft which is
slipping and not gripping the shaft. If it's made of steel rather than
brass I'll guarantee that's the problem.
The bank to Upton Scudamore from Westbury is 1:47 if remember right for a
stretch - banker required for average freight trains (circa 1980). A 31
with 5 on would struggle (mind, a 31 struggles to move itself!). Witham
to to the top of the bank on the Merehead branch is something similar.