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pulling Power

Started by mudhen, June 09, 2018, 12:07:54 PM

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I Have a stable of 1- C-19, 2-K-27s, and 1-K-28.
Can anyone tell me how many cars each should pull and on what type of grades.
The C-19 AND K-27S are battery powered..
I find the number very low unless double heading a train.
I am gouging to have to get to ball bearings in the side frames soon I think.
Thanks in advance


Are we discussing prototype or model? Generally speaking the model will pull far more than the prototype will. I have both a C-19 and a K27. The K27 is AirWire R/C, battery, with an additional gear reduction and additional weight in the smokebox. On flat level track I can pull 11 AMS/Bachman Spectrum cars, or 17 Bachman Big Hauler cars. Both are above what a prototype K27 can handle.

The C-19 will handle the same on flat level track. These numbers exceed the prototype worse than the K27 as the C-19 is a smaller loco.

Not sure on the C-19, but you can search the Narrow Gauge Discussion Forum and find prototype info on the K27.

Hope this helps.


On the SJR&P eastbound (uphill) is a near constant 2% to 2.5% for about 1200 ft.

We limit the K-27 to 9 loads (cars) plus caboose and the C-19 for 8 loads plus caboose. 

These ratings are conservative to ensure that the train will not bog down.  If additional cars need to be moved in a train extra locomotives are required.



I would dare to say that the Bachmann !:20,3, D&RGW locomotives are very much prototypical on tonnage pulling.


Not really. Depends on the cars you are pulling. My previous post is based on AMS and Bachmann Spectrum cars weighing in at the 3-4 pound per car level. My K27 is modified to add additional weight and additional gear reduction from Bachmann stock. When I first purchased the loco stock out of the box, I was able to pull in the neighborhood of 35 (can't remember the exact number) of mixed LGB/Big Hauler/USAT/Aristo cars. Models will almost always out perform their prototypical counter parts.

I have started a thread on the Narrow Gauge Discussion Forum requesting Tonnage charts for the K series of locos. You can follow along here:,350928
as I am also interested in the proto info.

Kevin Strong

What are your grades and curves? My K-27 will pull 12 cars with room to spare on mild grades (1 - 2%). My C-19 pulls 8 cars on my 2.5% grades without breaking a sweat. Both locos slow down on my 5' radius curves (as do all my locos) with even short trains in tow (4 cars or so), so tight curves definitely introduce noticeable drag.

With respect to the prototype, steep grades really impacted how much a loco could pull. For example, a loco that could pull 20 cars on the flat would find that train cut in half on something as mild as 1% grade. A 2% grade would cut that to four or five cars if that. Grades on the D&RGW routinely hit between 3% and 4%. Looking at the chart linked above, a K-27 has a limit of 183 tons on the line from Chama to Cumbres, which has 4% grades. A single car might weigh between 30 - 40 tons. That's 4 to 6 cars for a single loco. A C-19 has a pulling capacity of 92 tons on that same stretch, which is 3 cars. Easy to see why trains were frequently double- and triple-headed.

See? If you were looking for an excuse to add more locos to your roster, there you go!

(Bach-man, you can thank me later.  ;D )




Accotding to a folio sheet I have on the 1500 series high side gons it lists light weight as 19700lbs.  Maximum permissible lading of 55000 lbs.  
I take maximum lading as msx load you can put in.
Thus a fully load high side gon weighs in at 10 tons and can carry a bit over 27 tons a total of 37 tons so right near that 40 ton quoted above.
I know that a C-21 locomotive over the 4% grade up to Cerro Summit was limited to 3 fully laden high side gons and a caboose (long).  A c-19 subtract a car.  Track was too light for a K-27 between black canyon and Cerro Summit
Also note condition of the track made a difference as well.  Worn rail and poor track conditions would call for reduced loading.
One thing I found interesting is a class C-18 (nee 72) was rated higher than a C-19 (nee 70), though once on steep trackage actual car load pulling was for all purposes identical.