Author Topic: Is it time for new/updated rolling stock weight 'standards'?  (Read 2412 times)

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wcfn100

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  Something that pops in my head from time to time is the NMRA weight standards for N scale rolling stock.  RP20.1 is now 20 years old from the revised date.

  One can see why a decent amount of weight was needed 'back in the day' with the high riding cars, poorly performing wheelsets and truck mounted couplers.  Much of the pulling force would go into tipping the cars.  But in the new age of body mounted couplers, free rolling wheelsets and lower centers of gravity using lower riding cars and metal wheelsets, it would seem to me that we could set new, lighter standards for N scale rolling stock.  I would also think that the extra weight per length could be nearly eliminated.

  The point, of course, is to be able to run longer trains with the current state of locomotives.

  One of the reasons this came up is because of the Athearn airslide hopper, which is probably one of the heaviest cars I own.  The size of the weight in this thing is ridiculous.



  I can imagine being able to reduce the weight to the point where we could get another third worth of cars into a train i.e. go from 30 cars to 40.

  Anyone ever give this any thought?  I'm concerned that manufacturers are now actually starting to follow the NMRA standards, and I think it's going to hurt in the long run because of the unnecessary weight.


Jason

bbussey

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Re: Is it time for new/updated rolling stock weight 'standards'?
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2010, 05:29:41 PM »
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Well, the ESM G26 is light by NMRA but tracks well due to the low center of gravity.  The XIH is weighed similar to the FVM Milwaukee ribbed boxcar, so it's on par with other current 40' boxcar models.  While sitting at the correct height over the rails, it doesn't have the same low center of gravity that the G26 does since the floor/underframe component is plastic and not diecast.

But your thoughts are interesting ones.  In theory, a car with body-mounted couplers that stands at a prototypical height, has a low center of gravity and less added weight should operate without issue.
Bryan Busséy
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BN1970

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Re: Is it time for new/updated rolling stock weight 'standards'?
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2010, 05:58:43 PM »
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Out of curiosity? What is the weight of your Athearn airslide hopper and its body length?  Where I am going with this is just because it comes from a manufacture does not mean that a car follows the NMRA's Recommended Practice for weight.

Brian

daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: Is it time for new/updated rolling stock weight 'standards'?
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2010, 06:20:05 PM »
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Since there are only about a dozen cars on the market at most with body mounted couplers, I would say this is a bit premature. I would like to see a new standard cover body mounted (or mountable) couplers, center of gravity, metal wheelsets, and wheel profiles. I think these would help move the scale forward than weight.
'In my great and unmatched wisdom'

wcfn100

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Re: Is it time for new/updated rolling stock weight 'standards'?
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2010, 07:16:55 PM »
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Since there are only about a dozen cars on the market at most with body mounted couplers, I would say this is a bit premature. I would like to see a new standard cover body mounted (or mountable) couplers, center of gravity, metal wheelsets, and wheel profiles. I think these would help move the scale forward than weight.

Well you left one of the most important factors, degree of curvature of the track. And I'm all for breaking it down if you think most modelers can figure out the center of gravity of their cars.

I don't know about it being premature.  It would seem to me that 'standards' should be in place before a car is manufactured, no?  Otherwise, what are you building to?  This would be a perfect time to create some new science since we are just starting to see a change in designs.


Jason


BN1970

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Re: Is it time for new/updated rolling stock weight 'standards'?
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2010, 07:46:06 PM »
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My guess would be if you weighted N-Scale freight cars you would find that a lot of them, if not most of them do not follow the NMRA's weight standard.  Would I be right in saying that?

Brian

FrankCampagna

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Re: Is it time for new/updated rolling stock weight 'standards'?
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2010, 07:50:25 PM »
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I know a lot do not come properly weighted from the manufacturer. I doubt that even half the model railroaders weigh their cars.

Frank
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MichaelWinicki

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Re: Is it time for new/updated rolling stock weight 'standards'?
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2010, 09:15:59 PM »
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Interesting thread...

I do not or have not needed to add weight to most of my MT cars, except for the auto-racks.  I needed to add a 1/4 oz to each end.

Virtually all of my Atlas cars... old & new needed additional weight.  1/4 oz in most instances.  1/2 oz for some problem cars.  The Trainman line cars seem to be pretty light.

CoalPorter

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Re: Is it time for new/updated rolling stock weight 'standards'?
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2010, 11:44:47 PM »
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I rather see the manufactures work on locomotives that can pull something instead of the flyweight junk they have been producing for the last 10 years or so. Find some super heavy metal to make the  frame and quite worring about the DCC crowd.
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daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: Is it time for new/updated rolling stock weight 'standards'?
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2010, 02:29:10 AM »
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This is what I was getting at. No one follows the recommended weight to begin with, why not focus on other items.

Some other standards I would like to see:
Standardized coupler pockets (we almost have that with the 1015, but I would like to see an underslug standard).
Standardized kingpins
Standardized bolster height (wasn't a problem until BLMA, but imagine if EVERY manufacturer had different heights)
Standardized axle lengths

In a perfect world:
Standardized door mounting so we could swap manufacturer's doors on boxcars.
'In my great and unmatched wisdom'

Chris333

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Re: Is it time for new/updated rolling stock weight 'standards'?
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2010, 02:32:25 AM »
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Quote
I rather see the manufactures work on locomotives that can pull something instead of the flyweight junk they have been producing for the last 10 years or so. Find some super heavy metal to make the  frame and quite worring about the DCC crowd.
I agree.  :)

FrankCampagna

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Re: Is it time for new/updated rolling stock weight 'standards'?
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2010, 08:06:13 AM »
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Find some super heavy metal to make the  frame and quite worring about the DCC crowd.

I believe you should expect to hear from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Model Railroaders.  ;D ;D ;D

Frank

 
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up1950s

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Re: Is it time for new/updated rolling stock weight 'standards'?
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2010, 09:50:16 AM »
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Quote
Find some super heavy metal to make the  frame and quite worring about the DCC crowd.

I believe you should expect to hear from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Model Railroaders.  ;D ;D ;D

Frank

 

Maybe heavier transisters on the DCC board would be the cure ?

bbussey

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Re: Is it time for new/updated rolling stock weight 'standards'?
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2010, 10:34:28 AM »
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... Standardized bolster height (wasn't a problem until BLMA, but imagine if EVERY manufacturer had different heights) ...

Actually, it was a problem prior to that.  MTL and some Atlas bolsters are not exactly the same height, which is why you can't put the prototypically-proper Atlas-made friction-bearing caboose trucks on MTL pre-roller-bearing-era cabooses.

Also, BLMA wasn't the first to have lower bolsters.  The Atlas Andrews trucks used exclusively on the three USRA boxcar models also have a lower bolster, which is how those models were made to sit at the correct height and still be able to have truck-mounted couplers.
Bryan Busséy
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Mark5

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Re: Is it time for new/updated rolling stock weight 'standards'?
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2010, 10:49:28 AM »
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... Standardized bolster height (wasn't a problem until BLMA, but imagine if EVERY manufacturer had different heights) ...

Actually, it was a problem prior to that.  MTL and some Atlas bolsters are not exactly the same height,


Very true, as in the thread I posted about Atlas 100 Ton hoppers - I found the MT trucks raised the car slightly when compared to the Atlas RB truck.