Sign in to follow this  
SD100

Adding weight to Locomotives

Recommended Posts

I was wondering if anyone has experimented with adding extra weight to locomotives beyond a boat weight or two. I'm debating loading up a couple of my locos with a bunch of fishing or pinewood derby weights or something for some extra pulling power, I'd like to make them as heavy as I can without sacrificing the performance of the motors.

I'm all out of boat weights currently or I'd be experimenting myself.

SD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm looking at adding weights too for traction.  Boat weights and battery boxes are bulky.  Model railroaders use lead shots, fish weights, automobile wheel stick on balance weights, etc.   Maybe lead sheets might work for tight spaces.  I have a dead car battery, I wonder if the lead plates inside are useable after neutralizing the sulfuric acid?  Seems kind of sketchy...  :pir-classic:

 

weighted.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had some recent positive experience with adding weight in a couple of different ways to some steam locomotives. On my Daylight 4-8-4, I used some tungsten putty to weight the pilot truck which was having a hard time dealing with the combined curves and grades on my layout. On a recent build of a 4-6-6-4 using an L motor in the locomotive and two train motors in the tender, I was having traction troubles on the lead truck of the tender (the batteries are in the rear) so I added some lead bars cut from sticks of plumbers lead my wife's grandfather gave me 50 years ago. Both have been successful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yea, my two steam engines have horrific traction and I'd like to improve it. I think I may try cutting some steel up into small bars that will fit in a 1 or two brick cavity. The Lego boat weights only give you 1.85oz for all the space they take up so I just want to beat that.

Lead would be easy but my kids play with the trains so I'm not sure how comfortable I am with that. I think Tungsten weights would be the most effective. As expensive as they are, I think I'm going to pick some of those up, they sell 3-4oz sets for derby cars, that would be a big improvement in weight without having to fit a 6x2x2 in there somewhere.

SD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

A cheap source of weight that has worked for me is to cut open a shotgun shell and pour out the pellets. I was using a 9v motor under a lightweight tender to push a locomotive. The added weight made a significant improvement in traction. Most 12 gauge shells will yield well over an ounce of shot. The only downside is that the train wagon to which you are adding weight needs an enclosed space, or you'll have tiny lead pellets all over the floor!

Edit: Shells with tungsten shot meant for waterfowl are non-toxic, but much more expensive.

Edited by Pdaitabird

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could even just seal that in there with a plate, unfortunately it looks like it's $20 for 0.7oz where I can find it. A friend of mine almost has me convinced to cast and then epoxy some lead weights, if that turns out alright it could be a viable option.

SD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use balancing weights (normally used for balancing car wheels); they are made from steel and mine are exactly two studs long. You get like two 5g weights in the space of a 1x2 brick. They are galvanized in black so they even look o.k. and don't corrode. And they are very cheap and not toxic. The density of lead is only 50% higher than iron which imho is not worth the toxicity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is quite a bit of void space inside bricks especiallywhen added up across a model. You can add whatever dense putty you have into the bricks, so long as they still stack. I wouldn't do it on expensive or rare parts, but cheap 1x4s or whatever are cheap enough to modify. It also has the advantage that you can add weight where it is needed to keep good balance rather than putting it where is convenient. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, SD100 said:

adding extra weight to locomotives

Yep,
I have locomotive 4551 and I filled both "noses" with lead balls (buckshot) cause the thing was impossible.
Runs great since then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about a bunch of pennies?

 

15 hours ago, dr_spock said:

weighted.jpg

The EN looks good in gray, kind of like the early days of the A1 Tornado.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

This topic intrigued me enough to look up metal toxicity on the net, and in all honesty I would not be entirely happy with the thought of children accidentally swallowing any pelleted metal. 

Cast bricks too large to swallow would be a safer option, and bismuth looks like a good candidate as it is considered very low toxicity, has a density that approaches lead (greater than iron and zinc) and a relatively low melting point. It's fairly expensive, more so than tungsten, but nowhere near approaching silver.

Edited by Tube Map Central
Inevitable typo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/22/2021 at 9:01 AM, Black Knight said:

I use balancing weights (normally used for balancing car wheels); they are made from steel and mine are exactly two studs long. You get like two 5g weights in the space of a 1x2 brick. They are galvanized in black so they even look o.k. and don't corrode. And they are very cheap and not toxic. The density of lead is only 50% higher than iron which imho is not worth the toxicity.

I also recommend tire weights: cheap and versatile!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I needed more weight over my drive wheels and only had 2 boat weights, which were not enough. We bought BB's (for a BB gun) and put them in a small bag - this added to the boat weights worked out perfectly for my needs.

All of this, plus the battery box and IR receiver are in a MOC tender that hides the drive wheels. It pushes a customized Emerald Knight steam engine and pulls 6 passenger cars. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I sometimes used inox bolts and nuts , some of them can really fit in a small space and give a decent amount of extra weight.

I once  used 2x1x2 panels to replicate the same shape of the 12v train weights  (6x2x2). You can fit some nuts between the panels. The good thing is that you can make these "weights" longer, larger...or even smaller. A small plastic bag could help to keep the nuts in place.

 

Edited by Paperinik77pk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm starting to use copper-coated steel bb's that are normally for bb guns. I also experimented with gluing them into a block that could be inserted into 4x4 cylinder pieces...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.