Everything on model trains, model railroads, model railways, locomotives, model train layouts, scenery, wiring, DCC and more. Enjoy the world's best hobby... model railroading!

If You Want Truly Photo-Realistic Plans – You Won’t Find Better!

Adding Hidden Pulling Power To A Train

ghan train australia

Ghan Train Australia

Purna asks readers the following:

“Can I make my HO scale train more powerful by adding more locos which are “hidden” in the skin of carriages? Will it be effective? And can all such locos be synchronized well (without derailing etc.) Is DCC good for that? My real objective is to make a GHAN train with two visible locos (even though the rest of the powering locos are hidden) with a number of carriages about 50 in my model layout… Have any of you tried doing this? Will the power of the train drop if the track is too steep or with lot of bends”

The Ghan’s 2,979km (1850 mile) journey takes 48 hours and has been operating from the through central Australia since 1878. The train runs from the far south up through the middle of Australia to the far north. The Ghan was originally called the Afghan Express. The Ghan name is from 19th century Afghan camel drivers who ventured to Australia to help to explore the country’s remote largely arid interior.

6 Responses to Adding Hidden Pulling Power To A Train

  • Geoffsays:

    I just got back from a train show where they had a single HO engine pulling 25 cars. No grades, and the curves were maybe 5 foot radius. So I would think two locos would be enough power as long as you had wide curves. Not sure about grades though. The problem is likely to be the couplings not taking the strain. You might solve that with a “hidden” engine in the middle.

  • Gerald R Hyinksays:

    DCC is the way to go with your proposed layout. You can sync 2 or more engines with DCC, It is very hard to get2 engines running together without DCC. 2 engines leading should be able to pull your train without hiding any engines. However with DCC you can have 2 leading and 1 pushing or in the middle and all will run together. Not being familiar with Ghan I don’t know if you will have any large grades to climb. I believe it is fairly flat.

  • David Stokessays:

    It is certainly feasible to dress up a piece of rolling stock with hidden power. Unless you use 2 axle power sets normal loco power sets might give away your cunning ruse. The modern loco models of Ghan power is more than capable of towing a prototypical Ghan. DCC is recommended.

  • Kevin Chingsays:

    Hi Purna
    You could try what a mate of mine did and lay some stainless steel under the track on the grades and put those little high power magnets under the loco and as the magnetic field pulls down on the track this will increase the pulling power of the loco

    • Bobsays:

      Stainless steel is not attracted by a magnet. It doesn’t rust because it contains no iron.

  • Billsays:

    Puma;
    DCC is the way to go if you want the locos to work together properly. 50 cars shouldn’t be a problem for 2 modern diesels to pull. Grade and curvature are both items that will reduce the pulling power of your locos. If the two are not enough you could look at traction tires. These will increase by a fair amount the pulling power of the two locos and easier than trying to hide a loco in a box car.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Add a photo or image related to your comment (JPEG only)

Download Your Free Catalog

Use Tiny Railroad Micro Controllers

Model Railroad Building House Plans

rail yard buildings

Model Train DCC HELP

N Scale Track Plans

Watch Video

Model Train Help Ebook

Watch These Club Videos

Club members access helpful new resources each month: diagrams, video tutorials, articles, track plans and more. Watch the tour videos here.

Scenery Techniques Explained

NEW TO MODEL TRAINS?

SUBMIT YOUR QUESTION

Submit Your Model Railroading Questions!

Before you submit your model railroading question please add some feedback, answers or comments to other postings on this model train blog. What goes around comes around... so if you can help others in the hobby, someone else may help you.

Important - Please add plenty of supporting details to any question you submit (eg. scale, solutions you have already tried etc.) , as the clearest and best questions usually get the best answers. Also, please check your spelling and punctuation as all questions need to be approved by the blog moderator prior to publication. Approved questions are normally published within a week (if not sooner).

Submit your model train questions here.

Scenery & Layout Ideas

Submit Your Article

Would you like to write an article and have it published?

Preference will be given to articles that help others progress in the hobby, maybe suggesting an idea for their layout, a quick tip or two... or perhaps a little bit of good advice based on your model railroading experiences.

We are all in this hobby together, so the more we can do to share ideas and help each other, the better.

Submit Your Article Here

Model Railroading Blog Archive

Reader Poll

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.