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Adding Weight To Tank and Passenger Cars

Online Model Train Club Member Larry has this question:

“I saw somewhere something a while ago about the weight of HO cars and I can’t remember if they said they need extra weight added? That’s okay for flat cars or box cars because you can add a load and disguise the weights. I wondered how to weigh down a tank or passenger car? How much weight would I need to add?”

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4 Responses to Adding Weight To Tank and Passenger Cars

  • W Rusty Lanesays:

    The amount of weight to add would be depending on how much the car or carriage already weighs. NMRA has published the weight standards for passenger cars and other rolling stock. You should search the internet for these standards. I cannot remember what they are for each type of rolling stock but they are available from doing a search. Most passenger car weights can be added to the inside of the car in an inconspicuous place usually a weight over each one of the pair of axles over the trucks.

  • Peter Jonessays:

    I should imagine it would have a lot to do with the power of the traction unit, the weightier the load, the less it will pull. You may also have traction problems pulling a heavy train.

    • Johnsays:

      True Peter, but an underweight car in the middle of a train going around a tight curve (and most model railroads have tight curves) can derail because of its light weight. NMRA standards are designed with all these factors in mind. If Larry is having no problems with derailments, I guess his equipment is adequately weighted for his needs.

  • Henry Robbinssays:

    The NMRA standard that I use is that the total weight of each car should be 1 once basic weight plus 1/2 ounce for each inch of car length. It works for me.

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