Around how many freight cars can a GP7 realistically pull?
#1
Hi everyone. Smile I'm glad to be back.

I'd like to know how many freight cars can a single GP7 realistically pull?

Also, do you have advice for me who's having trouble with the tender of a Bachmann 4-8-4 from the Overland Limited derailing on a turnout? Smile
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Michael Balcos
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#2
Hi Michael. I don't have an answer to either question, unfortunately, but welcome back.

I don't run steam, but what brand of turnout are we talking about?
Three Foot Rule In Effect At All Times
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#3
michael_balcos Wrote:Hi everyone. Smile I'm glad to be back.

I'd like to know how many freight cars can a single GP7 realistically pull?

Also, do you have advice for me who's having trouble with the tender of a Bachmann 4-8-4 from the Overland Limited derailing on a turnout? Smile


depends on the grade on the GP7 , check the wheels on the tender with a NMRA gage.
jim
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#4
on level ground I have seen early geeps pull quite a bit. But on a 3% grade, much fewer. The grand canyon railway has a GP-7 that they use for ballast and work train service. My brother once told me that a few of their ballast cars rarely get used because the GP can only pull about 4-5 loaded cars up a 3% grade. The remaining cars are stuck at the end of a siding and never get out.
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#5
I have a P2K GP9 that will pull 16-17 cars up a 2 % grade around a 24" curve. All cars are factory weighted with tuned trucks and IM metal wheelsets.

Tom
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#6
Hi Michael,

Welcome back!

For help with derailments, try these two informative threads:

Russ' "My Train Derails At..."
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and David's helpful addendum:
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These cover all the usual suspects, plus some things you might not think of. Very well written and easy to follow.

Good luck!

Andrew
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#7
Thanks everyone. Smile

I'm using Atlas code 100 tracks. My turn-outs are all Atlas Snap switches. Also, I don't have any grades, so my layout is basically flat. Smile

I think I'm about to give up on that 4-8-4. These steam engines are giving me a pain. hehe. The 0-6-0 works fine, though. Smile
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Michael Balcos
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#8
I think I'm going for 5 freight cars being towed by a single GP7 on a flat layout. Would that seem "believable" in terms of what the real GP7 can pull? Smile
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Michael Balcos
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#9
I'm certain a GP7 could pull five freight cars.

As for your atlas turn-outs/derailment issues, don't know if this is the problem but it is something good to know. I use Atlas Code 83 Customline so this may be different than yours, but I think the construction is the same. I've noticed that the nubs under the throwbar which holds the points are not big enough and sometimes slip out of the holes in the flat metal pieces that hold the points in place. This allows the points to slide over against the throwbar plastic which can cause a wheel flange to ride up over the rail. This doesn't derail every car, just some. For example, I had a turnout that would derail only my GP60 and nothing else. It is probably a combination of the wheel gauge and turnout problem. Here are photos for a better explanation.

Notice the point on the right has a gap between the point and the plastic of the throwbar. Now, on the left, there is no gap. A wheel flange can certainly contact the plastic and ride up and over the rail, especially if the turnout is part of an s-curve or crossover.
[Image: image.php?album_id=125&image_id=2516]

Here is the culprit: The nubs are not big enough to hold the metal piece in place. Too bad Atlas hasn't corrected this. Bigger nubs!!! Now, the solution is to delicately trim the plastic on the throwbar at an angle to allow the wheel flange to ride past the plastic... in other words, make the gap bigger. You don't neccesarily have to cut off the end of the throwbar, just file it at an angle. Hope this makes sense. Again, this may not be your issue at all, but doesn't hurt to check it out.
[Image: image.php?album_id=125&image_id=2517]
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#10
Another problem with all Atlas turnouts is the guard rails are so far from the track that they are only for "show." The "guard rails" are those short rails to the inside of both diverging tracks opposite from the frog. They should be close enough to grab the inside of the wheel flange on the opposite end of the axle from the frog and keep the wheels from going down the wrong route. If you have an NMRA gauge, it has a nub on it that should just fit between the guard rail and the outside rail. I think the fix is a .010" shim made of styrene and glued to the inside of the guard rail. It may be .015", I don't remember off hand and I don't have Atlas turnouts because they are just to much trouble to make work.
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#11
michael_balcos Wrote:I think I'm going for 5 freight cars being towed by a single GP7 on a flat layout. Would that seem "believable" in terms of what the real GP7 can pull? Smile

Gary S Wrote:I'm certain a GP7 could pull five freight cars.

Definitely. I'd venture to say that, under the right conditions (dry, clean rail, etc), a GP7 would be good for 50+ cars on a level surface.
-Dave
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#12
As far as a GP7..The GP7 was equipped with a 567B prime mover rated at 1500 hp and had a 65,000 lbs of starting tractive effort and continuous TE of 40,000 lbs which means a GP7 could tote 30-40 cars on the level (as in yard switching)..Now due to the ruling grades the GP7 would have variable TE ratings..However, the C&O used 3-4 GP7s on 200 car coal train between Columbus and Toledo.I seen 70 car trains on the PRR pulled by 2 GP7s.

Modeling I would say 12 cars should look about right-less for roller coster layouts..For terminal work I would pulled no more then 15 cars since 15 cars looks like a long train on most home layouts.
Larry
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#13
Brakie Wrote:Modeling I would say 12 cars should look about right-less for roller coster layouts..For terminal work I would pulled no more then 15 cars since 15 cars looks like a long train on most home layouts.

That's a good point. Few of us have home layouts large enough to handle more than 12-15 cars, which should be well within the range of a GP-7. I've never worried about my locomotives out pulling their prototype, because I have never had a layout large enough to have such long trains Icon_lol
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