Bachmann Message Board

Discussion Boards => Large => Topic started by: ORIONRA on November 26, 2013, 07:25:56 AM

Title: Tender on C-19 Large Scale
Post by: ORIONRA on November 26, 2013, 07:25:56 AM
Does anyone know why the tender on the C-19 is soo heavy?
It really reduces the pulling power tremedously.
Has anyone tried to take some weight out of the tender and does it still run ok?
I have 3% gradients and it only pulls 3-4 wagons. 
Looking forward to hear. 

Title: Re: Tender on C-19 Large Scale
Post by: Chuck N on November 26, 2013, 09:54:44 AM
Have you opened it up to see what is in there?  I don't have one, so I can't answer your question directly.  

Is your grade on curves?  Curves on grades, especially small diameter curves, significantly adds to drag.

A suggestion weigh your engine, without tender.  I have measured the pulling power of some of my engines and have found that the pulling power, tractive effort, of most engines averages about 1/3 the weight of the engine.  

If you are a fisherman or know someone who is, borrow a scale used for weighing fish.  Hook it to your cars and pull them up the grade.  Note the maximum weight on the scale.  With that and the weight of the engine you will know the size of train your engine can pull up the grade.

If you get a scale you can also measure the tractive effort of the engine on the grade and on the level.

Lubricating the journals on the cars or adding ball bearing wheels will also help.


Here is a link to a discussion similar to your problem on MY LARGE SCALE.

Reading through the posts in the link above, there is a metal weight in the tender.  The only reason for it to be there is to help keep the tender on the track.  The tender may be to too light to go through switches and tight curves without derailing if it doesn't have the additional weight..

Title: Re: Tender on C-19 Large Scale
Post by: Kevin Strong on November 26, 2013, 02:02:09 PM
Something sounds a bit off-kilter with either the grades, the loco, the power supply, or the cars you're pulling. Your results do not match what I've seen with my loco. My ruling grade is 2.5%, and my C-19 will walk right up with an 8 car train with power to spare. That's with the stock weight in the tender, plus added batteries (not that they're very heavy). My drawbar pull measures at around 2 pounds--which is on the middle-high end of the drawbar pull spectrum. (That's generally equivalent of upwards of 20 - 26 free-rolling cars on the flat.) So when you say yours is having trouble with 3 - 4 cars up a 3% grade, I'm thinking there's a larger issue that needs to be addressed. There's not that much of a difference between 2.5% and 3% to where I'd expect my train length to be cut by more than a half. (That, and I've run locos with half the drawbar pull of my C-19 up 4% grades with 6-car trains in tow.) So something is definitely out of whack.

A few things I'd check before doing anything to the locomotive or tender. Since you don't give much in the way of the specifics beyond grade and only pulling 3 - 4 cars, I'm just going down the list:

First, what kind of power or power supply are you using? The loco will draw more current going up a grade with a train in tow, and if your power supply is on the weak end of the spectrum (a starter-set pack to anything under 5 amps), it's possible the loco is taxing the power supply, so your voltage is dropping. If the loco is just bogging down and slowing to a stop, this is where I'd look first.

If the wheels are slipping, I'd first check to make sure the sprung suspension is not jammed somewhere and that all the wheels are in contact with the rails and free to move up and down. Also make sure the front pilot truck isn't lifting the front drivers off the rails. (Unlikely, as the springs Bachmann uses in its pilot truck suspensions are fairly weak.)

Next, make sure the loco itself has the stock factory weights inside. It's highly unlikely that something like that would have been left out during the assembly process, but since your loco seems to be behaving atypically, it's something to look at.

What kind of cars are you pulling? How freely do they roll? For instance, if you're pulling a lighted Accucraft car (caboose or passenger car), their electrical pick-ups are notorious for causing drag. I've set their passenger car on a 4% grade and had it not roll downhill; that's how much drag those pick-ups can have. So--yeah--if you're pulling 3 - 4 Accucraft J&S coaches, it's gonna bog down on a 3% grade no question.

Is the grade on a curve? Even a moderate curve will compound the effects of a grade when it comes to pulling power of a locomotive. I've got a 5' radius (10' diameter) reverse loop on my railroad. Even though it's level, the train bogs down going around it just due to the drag of the train going around the curve. The tighter the radius, the higher the "multiplier effect" of adding to the grade. I don't think anyone's ever sat down to figure out if there's a mathematical correlation, but it's a widely-observed phenomenon.

And, while I don't want to come across as sounding condescending, I want to make sure you're measuring the grade correctly (3% grade = 3" rise over 100" run) as opposed to measuring the grade as degrees above level. I've seen people measure their grades using a digital level, and then confuse what they're reading on the level with the grade as a percentage. Percentage grade = tan(degree). So, for a 3-degree rise from level, that equates to a 5.2% grade--nearly twice the grade one would have thought they had if they confused the two. While I still don't think even a 5% grade would give the C-19 much pause, it's something to double-check.

Beyond that, I'm at a loss to explain your locomotive's light-footedness. Mine's an absolute workhorse; one of my top performers.

I don't think you're going to hurt anything by pulling the weights from the tender, but I doubt you're going to gain much, either. Weight in the tender is important, especially if you're pulling heavy trains. If the train is heavy and the tender light, you increase the risk of the tender derailing.



Title: Re: Tender on C-19 Large Scale
Post by: Chuck N on November 26, 2013, 02:38:28 PM
A couple of questions that might help us help you.

1, are there curves on the grade, if so what is the radius/diameter?

2, do the wheels slip on the engine or does the power supply blow a breaker on the power supply?

3,  what cars are you trying to pull?

4, do you have other engines that pull the grade with more cars?  If so what kind and how many cars?

5,  have you checked to see if all the wheels on the cars are free wheeling?  I have had times when an axle has come out of the journal box and the wheel doesn't spin.

6, have you used any conductive lubricant on the track, such as Rail Zip?  

Thanks Kevin for some input on what it should be pulling.


7, where do you live?  Perhaps someone on the forum lives nearby and can offer some one on one advice.

Title: Re: Tender on C-19 Large Scale
Post by: ORIONRA on December 06, 2013, 11:30:01 AM
Thanks Chuck and Kevin for your detailed replies. This helped me.
I live in Switzerland and we do not have the luxury of such vast land allotments like you have in North America. Therefore, yes my layout has a lot of curves but I have flattend them out as much as I could in order to reduce the drag and also to be able to pull longer trains without derailment. My radius is approx. R3 (LGB) and I can drive the Aristo Dash 9 engines as well as the Mallet from Aristocraft. And they have no problem to pull consists of heavy goods trains of 12-14 wagons up my hills.
My calculation for the 3% incline is based on going up 3 Centimeters on a distance of 1 Meter.
What I have noticed is that on the C-19 engine the two inner axles without the wheel flanges are not always in contact with the rail underneath. Also, I understand that this engine only has one motor and the traction power works from the rear axle over the rods. Is this any good?
The consist I am trying to pull up the hill are 4  wagons of the LGB type 35800 and they are all equipped with ball bearing axles. The all roll very very easely.
My power supply is a Massoth unit with 12 AMPS output with several feed ins with thick wiring. 

Anyway I will have to check out all the other recommendations which you have made once the snow has melted. And this will be Spring 2014. Therefore, at the moment there is not much I can do. Thanks a million!
Best regards and merry X-mas. Rolf   

Title: Re: Tender on C-19 Large Scale
Post by: Kevin Strong on December 06, 2013, 04:39:48 PM
An LGB R3 curve is on the tight end of the spectrum for this loco. Technically, it's tighter than the stated minimum radius (4') by a few inches, though I've heard anecdotal evidence of this loco going around tighter curves. Is it spinning its wheels or bogging down? If the curves are tight enough to where the blind drivers drop off the railhead, they could be rubbing against the side of the rail, which is going to cause binding and stop the locomotive. I've had this happen on other locos with blind drivers, soft springs on the bearing blocks, and tight curves. You could try stiffening the springs on the #1 and #4 axles/bearing blocks or put a spacer block of some kind on the #2 and #3 axles/blocks to prevent them from dropping below the railhead.

With ball-bearing-equipped passenger cars as you describe (presuming no added weight), there should be little difference between how it runs pulling 4 cars vs. the loco running light. Does it also bog down running light?

The drive of the loco shouldn't be an issue. While only one axle is powered from the motor, the connecting rods transfer power to the other drivers just as the prototype does. There's no disadvantage to not having a motor drive each axle unless there's binding in the drive rods, which would present itself in uneven running no matter what the grade or curve.

Those are my best guesses at least, based on what you've told us. Removing the weights from the tender isn't going to help much, but given that the cars it's pulling have ball-bearing wheels and little rolling resistance, you can do so without needing to worry about it derailing due to a heavy train in tow.



Title: Re: Tender on C-19 Large Scale
Post by: Chuck N on December 06, 2013, 08:02:18 PM

There are engines and engines.  Two motor locomotives have a lot more pulling power than one motor engines.

My Aristo Mallet will pull stumps, but my LGB moguls will not pull too many cars.  

I have easily pulled 34 cars with out BB wheels with the Mallet.  I have never been able to stop it.  Six cars and the wheels on the Mogul start slipping.

The Mallet's large train is a 32 car iron ore train with a battery car and a caboose.  The engine doesn't hesitate on a 0.6% grade.  One that taxes some live steamers with smaller trains.

Here is a picture, I hope, of the Mallet pulling part of the iron ore train.

I think that the blind drivers on axles 2 and 3 are not supposed to contact the track, at least on the models.  In real life the blind drivers were wider so that they didn't drop inside the curves and always stayed on the track.  Our models run on curves that the manufacturer can't predict, so they are designed to look good and not touch the rails, they hope.


I have measured the tractive effort of some of my engines.  Here are the results of three that might help.

LGB Mogul, 2-6-0 with traction tires:

Weight: 7 pounds
Tractive effort: 1.5 pounds
Tractive effort as percent of weight: 21

Aristo Mallet, 2-8-8-2 no traction tires
Weight: 14 pounds
Tractive effort: 5 pounds
Tractive effort as percent of weight: 36

Bachmann Connie 2-8-0
Weight: 10.1 pounds
Tractive effort: 3.25 pounds
Tractive effort as percent of weight: 32

As I said earlier I do not have a Bachmann C-19.  My overall experience is that weight of the engine is more important, over all, than the wheels on the track.  

Title: Re: Tender on C-19 Large Scale
Post by: ORIONRA on December 09, 2013, 06:13:56 AM
Thank you Kevin and Chuck, 

This is fantastic the detailed information which you are providing me with. This makes my day and I feel I am not left alone with my problem.
Well, when I look at the Mallet picture that really makes me enviouis of the space you guys have over there.

I will re-try next spring and keep all aour advises until then.

I think that it is probably the tightness of my curves that reduces the pulling power on this engine.

With the LGB Mogul I have made the same experience and I have added weight into the engine which increased the pulling power significantly. I may do the same with the C-19 and see where it goes.
Thanks again and have a wonderful Christmas.
P.S. Kevin, are you also a retail shop? I always enjoy your articles in the Garden Railways magazine, great!

Rolf - Switzerland 

Title: Re: Tender on C-19 Large Scale
Post by: Chuck N on December 09, 2013, 08:19:46 AM

The mallet picture was taken at a friends layout, Jim Stapleton (Dr. Rivet).  If you go to and scroll through the live steam forum you will see pictures and videos of his layout.  It is about 200 meters long, live steam and battery only.

I would advise not adding weight to the LGB Mogul.  I did that for a while, but soon I was replacing the idler gears in the motor block on a regular basis.  No gear problems since removing the weights.


Title: Re: Tender on C-19 Large Scale
Post by: Loco Bill Canelos on December 09, 2013, 11:59:22 AM

The LGB Mogul is not very robust and I have to agree completely with Chuck.  Do not add weight! My son's layout has heavy grades and he used to have two LGB moguls which failed trying to pull even the shortest of consists up those grades.  After making repairs to them several times he finally got rid of them.  Since we live several states apart I have not been able to run my C-19 on his grades yet, but his K-27 does extremely well on the heavy grades.  He has much wider curves than you do.  My layout is relatively level and I use Aritso wide radius track and switches, the C-19 does well, but I would love to have even wider radius curves.

Please let us know how things go when you add weight to the C-19 next spring.

Thanks Bill

Title: Re: Tender on C-19 Large Scale
Post by: Kevin Strong on December 09, 2013, 03:37:07 PM
With regards to added weight in the mogul, replacing the idler gears isn't that difficult of a task. I added weight to my dad's mogul shortly after we first got it (mid 80s), and I've only had to replace the idler gears once in that time (about 6 years ago). I don't know how much he runs that one compared to the moguls Bill and Chuck mentioned, but if you need the weight, at least you can fix the part that wears out.

I'm not a retail shop. I occasionally do custom kitbashes or R/C installs for people (usually when I'm in the mood for a new loco or control system myself), but by and large, I find it ill-advised to turn one's hobby into a business.

Bill, if you come out to your son's with your C-19, let me know. I'll bring mine up and we can double-head them!



Title: Re: Tender on C-19 Large Scale
Post by: Chuck N on December 09, 2013, 04:13:19 PM

Kevin is correct, it isn't that hard to replace the gears, but if I want a longer train I will use a different engine.

I don't know what part of Switzerland you call home, but unless you are in the Alps, where the snow really piles up, you should be able to run in the winter.

I lived in Denver, Colorado for many years.  I have shoveled snow there, 9 months of the year.  Usually it comes and goes.  I ran my trains all year.  I have been in Virginia for 20 years and run in the snow here when I can.

Use a plastic shovel to remove snow from the track, metal ones may damage the track and things buried near the track.  When conditions were correct I could bring out my plows and move the snow with the engines.

LGB train in Virginia


Bachmann K-27 with Flanger (Virginia)

Rotary in action (Colorado)


LGB Cog in snow (Colorado), getting power from the overhead wire


Here are some other pictures of the Mallet in action.

Full ore train at Stapleton's


Mallet with shorter ore train on my layout.


Bachmann K with 11 brass and 3 plastic cars at Stapleton's, a very heavy train



Title: Re: Tender on C-19 Large Scale
Post by: Loco Bill Canelos on December 09, 2013, 10:55:40 PM
Chuck, Wow, nice pics!!  Thanks

Kevin, I will be flying out for Christmas, but due to other logistical issues will not be bringing the C-19 :'(  It will be a quick trip due to having to return quickly due to my Dad's failing health. Hopefully next summer, we can get together and run all the 1:20.3 locos and cars.  Double heading would be really fun. 


Title: Re: Tender on C-19 Large Scale
Post by: Chuck N on December 10, 2013, 09:06:07 PM
Thanks Bill, it has taken me several years to figure out how to post pictures.  Recently I realized that I could link pictures back to my MLS photo files.