Whats your longest train?

CNW 1518 Sep 3, 2010

  1. Ike the BN Freak

    Ike the BN Freak TrainBoard Member

    Longest I've done was on an N-Trak layout, and was around 165 Atlas "90" ton hoppers and caboose. Locos were a combo of Kato and Atlas 6 axle units, believe it was 2 SD60s, 2 SD40-2s and a C30-7. Ran most of the day, being we don't have any yard tracks long enough to store the train...no real issues except for the occasional person touching cars causing them to derail, but can't really control that too much.

    (edit) Just to add, the locos were all DC, just I used address 00 on DCC to control them, otherwise I'd overload our club DC throttles before I got one loop finished.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2010
  2. porkypine52

    porkypine52 TrainBoard Member

    Long Trains on NTRAK

    While I was a member of KSONS, and a few years ago, another member and myself used to run long trains when we had the time to set the things up. Average was about 150+ cars. Since we weren't running DCC (hadn't even been thought of yet!), we were only limited by how much power we could draw from the throttle supply. Typical 150 car train had 5 engines on the head end, 2 or 3 engines just a little way over 1/2 way back, usually about 80 cars back. And 2 rear end pushers. Since our track work was pretty good, we didn't have much trouble with derails. Our biggest problem/time consumer was just getting the engines and cars on the track. Once we had everything together, we'd let the train run for an hour or two. If the throttle or engine started getting HOT(not just WARM!) we would cut the size of the train down. The secret of a multi-engined long train is to NEVER have the head end power pulling against the mid-train engines, and NEVER have the mid-train engines pulling against the pushers. ALWAYS have the mid-train power and pushers pushing 5-10 in front of them.

    On the past INDIANA Railway we used to run a 55 coal train up the 1.75% River Hill. Fun to do. Two 2-8-2's up front, with a 2-8-2 on the rear. The 2-8-2 pusher would cut off on the fly at the top of the grade, as the train kept on moving. If we were making 10 mph going past the Nelson Store Crossing, we would make the hill without stalling. This was with DCC control. Three engines, three cabooses and 55+ coal cars. Each engine was controlled by it's own engine crew (you can't multi-unit lash up steam). Radio communication between crews, but with DCC with sound now, whistle signals will be the norm soon. DCC is going to make the Railroad run more like a real Railroad soon enough.
  3. OC Engineer JD

    OC Engineer JD Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I'm with Jeff....around 40-50 cars. I did run a 78 car train once, but was a nervous wreak as it made its way around the layout. LOL
  4. nssd70m2

    nssd70m2 TrainBoard Member

    189 car coal train on the southampton roads ntrak layout with 3 Athearn Norfolk Southern SD70M's pulling last september at the tidewater division show
  5. dbrent

    dbrent TrainBoard Member

    This past weekend on our club layout I had 3-SD40s and 2-SD40-2s (all Santa Fe) pulling a 75 car train and it looked sooooo cool!

    I have quite a bit of coupler conversion work to do to make it a reliable train but the intitial test was promising.

  6. jnevis

    jnevis TrainBoard Supporter

    I can only get about 25-30 cars behind any particular engine before the engine is almost coupled with the last car. The whole layout is only 2x4 ft. Need to get off my behind and build an NTRAK module and run bigger stuff until the oldest moves out in a few years, or I get a bigger house.
  7. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

    But my *norm* is a pair of 4 or 6 axle locos bookend style with about 12 to 15 cars. That, (and shorter), is what is proportionately best on my eight foot oval.
  8. seanm

    seanm TrainBoard Member

    Best I have done on my layout so far is 55. My normal trains are set to be about 22-25 cars. I have some 1.8% grades and 18" radius curves. I use really long trains to troubleshoot my track work.

    Here is the 55 car test. 3 kato SD90/43's up front. Lots of power and no slipping.
  9. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

    It's been a long time since I ran a looooonnnnngggg train. The longest one I can recall was about 14 years ago (1996) when our club expanded the N scale layout with an 8' long x 4' wide section... which gave us a 20' long x 8' wide layout that had 4 independent lines. The longest line had about a 60' loop of track... so I set-up 4 ConCor PA diesels to pull a 65 car freight which was about 20' long. Of course, there were no siding which could accomadate such a consist... so it was just for fun. I got it to go around once... but for some reason... as it started the second time around... it string-lined a bunch of cars on one of the turns. That was the end of the 'fun' experiment. Most 'typical' home layouts only have 3' to 6' sidings which could accomodate up to a 20 car consist plus a couple of locos. I'll have to figure a way to get 8' sidings to accomodate a 25 car consist.

    At home... I have about 25' of track set-up. It is not a completed loop so all I can do is run a train up a 2% grade... then back it down that same grade. Here's a picture of a 40 car consist on the grade being pulled by 3 LifeLike C-Liners. The benchwork for the layout has been expanded considerably since this photo was taken... but still only has 25' of operating track. :tb-embarrassed:

    This consist went up the hill just fine... but the backing-up cost me three cars [those SP over-nites] which were shoved off the layout... onto the floor below. Hence... no more trains with more than about 25 cars have been run up and down that incline. :tb-hissyfit:
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2010
  10. LOU D

    LOU D TrainBoard Member

    I'm usually in the area of 65-85 cars on my mainline freights.I model 1972,so they're a mix of everything from 34 foot hoppers to 89 foot auto parts boxcars.
  11. dualgauge

    dualgauge TrainBoard Member

    Have run several 100 to 135 car trains on N-Trak layout with 4 Life Like FA-1's most of the time. Would run fine for hours, then break apart severqal times then run fine for hours. Now usually 60 to 80 just a lot more reliable.
  12. Ghengis Kong

    Ghengis Kong TrainBoard Member

    Longest I've run was 24 Kato passenger car UP combined COLA, but before the set was released from Kato. It was behind 5 Kato UP E8s!
  13. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

    Currently my small layout typically handles trains about 16-17 cars long with two locos. Not that great but whadayado... When I belonged to a club, I used to run 80-90 car coal drags though at train shows. That was a lot of fun...people always want to count them!

    I hope someday that my "dream home layout" will handle something like 32-36 car coal trains in passing sidings.
  14. norco44

    norco44 TrainBoard Member

    Long trains...
    I am a member of the Hills Model Railway Society located in Sydney, Australia. The club has a portable N scale layout that we keep at our club rooms and also take to exhibitions several times each year.
    One night some of the guys were wondering how many cars they could put into one train. It started of with some Kato GE's and some Kato coal porters. It quickly grew to 100 plus cars and three locos. I might add that there was a full moon that night which may have some influence on the results.
    Guys started unpacking their large collection of coal porters and shoving them into one train with 5 Kato GE's spread out through the train.
    Well the total got to be 320 cars. The lead loco was very close to the last car. The gap varied depending on the grade and curves of the layout. It is a folded dog-bone configuration and the end curves are about 15" radius. The length of run on the mainline is about 67 feet.
    It made about three circuits before the inevitable "string line" derailment.
    We were all amazed that 5 Kato units would pull 320 cars. Will have to find some photos and post them for enjoyment.
  15. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

    About 60 cars. Beyond that couplers broke on the grades, or the train straightlined on one curved grade. Two heavies (i.e., FA-1) were all I needed, although it usually took four lights to make the grade. I eventually settled on a train of about 47 cars, which was long enough to attract interest without causing problems. With mid-train helpers, I did get a 103-car train around, so that's the longest, up a 2.7% grade, with a minimum radius of 19" with little grade, and 26" with maximum grade.
  16. mcjaco

    mcjaco TrainBoard Member

    Longest is my Amtrak Empire Builder. It's based off the typical consist in the mid 90's.

    P42, P42 (or B32BWH), Baggage, Step Up Coach.......nine Superliners, and three Roadrailers.
  17. MRL

    MRL TrainBoard Member

    18' by 6' N-Trak layout with 2' corners so the biggest curve is about 14". 110 car train but it was a stretch.

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