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Running Quality of Locomotives

Hans writes:

“Is there any technical or other explanation for my observation that DC controlled HO diesel locomotives run so much smoother than steam locomotives, particularly when I want the steamer to run very slowly such as when switching cars. I’m talking about technically modern models.”

4 Responses to Running Quality of Locomotives

  • Dale says:

    Maybe. Assuming that the motors are of equal quality, one possible reason might be that the side rods and linkages, although they are really just decorative, have binding points that keep then from moving freely. Engineers of prototype steam locomotives take considerable time lubricating all moving and binding points. You might want to use a very small drop of light oil on the side rods and see if it makes a difference.

    • Joe Graffi says:

      I use synthetic automatic transmission fluid for all my lubrication except where a grease would do a better job (Synthetic “ATF” is incredibly slippery and does NO harm to plastic) I use a toothpick for application to all the moving parts of the side rod linkages as it is real easy to apply too much.
      All of my HO scale DC (DCC ready) steam engines run very smoothly at low speeds.

  • David Stokes says:

    Sadly your observation is true.
    Diesel models because of their engineering do run smother than Steam outliners.

  • Morgan Bilbo says:

    Just look at all the moving parts on a steamer. That alone should give you the clue. Also, lubing your locos is always a good idea.

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