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Some time ago I read an article about weighting goods wagons, trouble now is I cannot remember where! Anybody out there ever worked out the best weight for a wagon in grams. I have some Hornby Milk Tankers that definitely need some ballast as you could blow them over with a light breath. It is intended to use a fine beach sand fed in through the slot at the end of the tank and then injecting a 50/50 PVA mixture inside to keep it in place. Any help gratefully accepted.

Analogue Anorak
 

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The National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) of north America has a recommended practice for weighting stock here's a link.

I've used this for weighting some Parkside kits I've built. I used "liquid lead" for ballast, secured in place with a PVA / water mix. I made the mistake of not allowing room for the lead to expand / did not seal the lead to stop it oxidising, and the subsequent expansion has popped a few seams and caused some bulges
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Sticking to the RP exactly gives some quite heavy vehicles, perhaps too heavy for the pinpoint axle bearings in Parkside kits? The train itself runs well but only my Bachmann 9F has the grunt to haul especially when it comes to gradients.

One of the key points of the NMRA RP is that vehicles weigh a similar amount. This stops one light vehicle becoming a weak link in the chain when going round a tight curve.

I will be interested to see what others have to say.

David
 

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As with so much in life, to a large extent it depends what you want. Worth doing your own tests to determine exactly what is necessary for your situation.

My main requirement is full size trains, and for 9' to 12' wb four wheel wagons anything from 25g to 40g is fine ( the lower end of the weight range for an empty conflat or open, the top end for a loaded or covered vehicle) and all run reliably together. The coupler used is Bachmann's miniature tension lock, positioned so that the wagons buffer up when pushed, and the coupler latches reliably at this weight range. The running line curves are at least 3' radius, ruling gradient is 1 in 80; subject to gentle and progressive acceleration complete running reliability is achieved, pulling or pushing. Longer 4W and bogie freight vehicles need to be heavier, anything up to 120g, determined by experiment.

The NMRA standard is oriented to bogie vehicles, knuckle couplers, pretty tight curves, ample freight power. Applying the HO standard to OO it would indicate 2.5 to 3 oz for a 4W wagon = 70 - 85g. On my 1 in 80 gradients I don't have a steam model capable of a restart with a 60 wagon load of at least 4.2 kg, and the 8F types would slip to a stand going uphill. The lighter vehicle weights I use deliver operational reliability on the layout, and an 8F or 9F model can restart the worst case 60 wagon 2.4kg load on the gradient.
 

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I must say I wasn't aware of these facts either and would like to say a big thank you to you both for that very informative information.

Kind regards

Paul
 
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