Train direction question (again)

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by RobertInOntario, Mar 10, 2007.

  1. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

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    All of my modern engines have can motors, the gears are in the trucks. Looking at them closely and the only wear that direction would affect is not gear wear, it would be wear on the wheels were they make contact with the track and the frame to truck pivot point.

    There is no side stress put on the gears in that arrangement and I'm pretty sure that the manufactures would include information about changing directions if that were an issue in the instructions for break in and operation of a new engine.

    Someone is going to have to explain this in detail for me to believe it. It still sounds to me like something I might have started as a joke had I thought of it first.

    Rick
  2. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

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    How about this for a solution. Run an A-A consist with one engine pointed in each direction. Run it in whatever direction you want for awhile, then turn the engines around 180* and run them in the same direction until it is time to turn them around again. :D
    You'll have no discomfort running trains in a strange direction and you get even wear. You might have to add a lap counter though. sign1 sign1
  3. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

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  4. Torpedo

    Torpedo Member

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    All steam engines can reverse.

    Steam yard switchers worked backwards and forwards all day long, as just one example. If you think about it, it would be impossible to run almost any railroad, if its engines could not operate in reverse.
  5. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

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    Driving does reflect the type of driving. If you know what you are looking at you can tell if a driver likes to corner fast (oldest son), jack rabbit starts and hard braking (#3 son).

    The real reason for rotating tires is that the front tires on a car or truck have a bit of toe-in and caster and camber because they steer. All of these will cause extra wear and uneven wear. The rear tires can go from Zero caster and camber and toe-in to very slight. Because they run straight as such they don't get anywhere near the wear the front tires do. You rotate tires to balance out the wear and extend the life of the tire.

    The wear issue on a train as mentioned by several posters is from side stress placed on the wheel and track as a train (even a model train) goes through a curve. With the massive weight of an engine or loaded car there has to be a certain amount of wear which can be seen in flat car loads and truck flat bed trailers loaded with train wheels.

    I agree with those who wrote that you would have to run a model train many many hours at high speeds to even begin to notice that kind of wear. Sure the track and wheels are softer on a model train but you are talking about spreading the weight of ounces over however many wheels are on an engine or car, not thousands of pounds like on the real thing.

    Rick

    Rick
  6. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

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    I was thinking hard about it and most- rather all- maneuvers require the loco to reverse!

    Coupleing to a train, running around, shunting- what a headache that would be, if they couldn't reverse!!
  7. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

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    The wear issue on a train as mentioned by several posters is from side stress placed on the wheel and track as a train (even a model train) goes through a curve. With the massive weight of an engine or loaded car there has to be a certain amount of wear which can be seen in flat car loads and truck flat bed trailers loaded with train wheels.

    I agree with those who wrote that you would have to run a model train many many hours at high speeds to even begin to notice that kind of wear. Sure the track and wheels are softer on a model train but you are talking about spreading the weight of ounces over however many wheels are on an engine or car, not thousands of pounds like on the real thing.[/quote]

    That's also why they "embank" the curves- or in more appropriate railway terms "superelivate". Besides helping with wear and tear, it reduces the friction that the loco has to pull. In S. Africa we have "lubricators" befor most curves too, they grease the flange to help it through a curve.

    Did you know that an additional way to reduce wear is to make the gauge of the rails slightly wider on curvers?
  8. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

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    you typed what i was thinking ....lol

    if one wants to even it out by reversing the engine, and you double head them anyway, run the 2nd one backwards on the train, then after so long stick the front engine in the back of the other running backwards,

    then you can run the gears even but still be running the direction you always have on the layout.




  9. pooka2hot4u

    pooka2hot4u Member

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    yea i guess i never really thought of it that way =P
    but a steamer would still look weird running backwards on a mainline, thats what i was trying to say mostly
  10. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    Yes, based on this a good balance of running the trains forward and in reverse is probably good. I'm not 100% sure about North American practice but I'm pretty sure that British steamers often ran backwards -- at least they do on the heritage lines today.

    Rob
  11. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    In Britain, tank engines (think Thomas) were considered bi-directional. Many of the suburban (commuter) trains were powered by tankies and they would run boiler first out to the country and bunker first back to the city. (or vice versa) It was generally considered unpleasant to run a tender engine backwards at speed as all the dust would blow out of the coal space. The mechanism of a steam locomotive was bidirectional and usually worked equally well both ways.
    There was one branch in the south of England (I think) which had a small turntable at the end. The table was too small for tender engines so there was the odd sight of all the tender engines running tender-first back to the city while the tank engines ran boiler first in both directions!
    Beyer-Garratts were considered tank engines. They had a one mechanism running forward while the other ran in reverse.
  12. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

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    Steam switchers of course ran both directions but were not particularly good at very high speeds since they had no pilot wheels. The larger freight and passengers steamers were capable of backing at slow speeds when necessary. There were smaller designs 2-6-2's and 2-8-2's that could run both directions. the Shays, Heislers and Climaxes ran both directions as a normal course of events. Visibility on most mainline steam was a big concern when backing a train.
  13. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

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  14. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    The other problems with backing a locomotive was that the engineer was on the wrong side for spotting signals and landmarks. Also there would be no forward windows to look out of -- had to lean out the side.
    Getting away from conventional steamers, steam turbine locos were often built with a smaller size turbine for reverse and might have problems backing a train into the station.
  15. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

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    On many of the shortlines and industrial lines in China that still use steam or did until recently, running tender-first was/is common. Some lines are operated almost entirely tender-first. I've seen at least one photo of a double-headed train with two steamers tender-to-tender. Back-to-back pairing is normal for diesels, but not for steam. Only in China...

    At least in the declining days of steam in India (the 80s and early 90s) tender-first operation was not uncommon.
  16. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

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    3 billion Chineese and 2 billion Indians can't be wrong. sign1