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Is it tough on electric model locos to double head?

I was considering getting 2 locos of the exact same model. But then I was thinking even this may be tough on the locos as when grades start one loco is going uphill say while the other is still level. I know this is only for a short time but was still wondering if over time this would be tough on the locos? And then the problem would be exacerbated by having one in front of a train and the other pushing from behind?

Am I putting more into the thought process than needed? What are your experiences on double heading similar engines?
 

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i used to worry about that and wonder, 13 years later I'd say no, as long as they are the same company in the lash ups. I run 3 unit lash ups all the time. with or w/o a load.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Marty! Follow up question. Do you only double or triple head? Or do you have one loco at the head and one pushing from behind?
 

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My experience is that USA trains locos behave very well together (same model), but my Aristos are less forgiving (same model, more variability in performance). The faster loco gets the lead position - seems to be easier on the couplers. The difference between them is not great but it is a factor. I regularly run 3 u-boats together. Mind you I haven't run them for 13 years either - ask me later :)
 

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It is not hard on the engines at all. I have two SD-45's two SD 40-2's and three NW-2's Plus a F unit A&B.

I have never mixed manufactures so I cant say what the differents is.

One test I do is to put two units on the track. ( like a SD-45 and a SD40-2 which are made by differt manufactures)

Space them about 4 inces apart. Turn on the power ( Make sure they are going the same direction.) If they are compatable the 4 inch space you put between them should remain pretty close the same. If one pulls away from the other or one runs into the other depending on orientation. Then you might have trouble.

Or course then there is the guy who went to Marty's last year and put his A & B units on the track with the B unit facing the wrong direction. Not only did his A unit pull all the Passenger cars but it also pulled the B unit which was trying to go the other direction.
Of course this individual could not figure out why after two laps around Mary's layout he had to change batteries. Or course we are mot mentioning any names of course. It might have a derogatory impact on my reputation.
 

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I mix them up all the time. But,I use Airwire with individual receivers in each loco so if I have two locos that are not reasonably matched I just make a change to CV 6 to more closely speed match. I love that flexibility. I have been running a new Aristo GP40 with a USA GP30 and GP38-2.
 

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One thing to note, if you are using track power, is that any interruption of power to the locos themselves will induce excessive strain on the drive system.

Say you're running SD-45's. Lead loco (at 16 pounds) hits a dead spot, and now the trailing loco has an immediate extra 16 pound load to push (as well as pull the rest of the train). After the trailing loco shoves the lead unit through the dead spot, the lead engine now goes immediately to its previous power setting (thing of 0-40 MPH in 1/2 inch), and simultaniously gets an additional 16 pound dead weight load thrown on it, as the trailing loco hits the dead spot.

You're not likely to notice this happening unless the dead spots are longer than the length of two locos...

Not a good thing...
 

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What I'd really like to see is Paul B. bring his two Macs and try one at each end taking the coal train up the high line.
Airwire is the only RC I think I would trust to do that.
My powered units are always up front.
 

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If you tie the locos together electrically, dead spots will not matter, matter of fact they disappear as you have more power pick up points for the locos.
I always run 2 locos with the wires between them and have had no problem as long as they were matched (from the same MFG.)
Aristocraft sells the MU cable to te the locos together.
I run my LGB Stainz 2 locos and a powered tender together.
I have passenger trains with some having wheels with power pickups and tie these to the engine, no flickering lights!!!:D:D
 

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like to see is Paul B. bring his two Macs



That sounds cool.

At Ric's operating session last fall, I took some cars down to southern division with my Mallet, and Ric wanted to try it. He coupled his Uninta Mallet to the front. "Ok, on the count of 3," but he'd forgotten to tell his loco to go forward. The result of those two strong locos pushing on the train were .. er.. amusing.
 

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Double-heading works best when the 2 locos are reasonably matched in speed:) ; if running DCC for control, a pair of identical or similar locos can be "consisted" to respond simultaneously/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/blush.gif to the same throttle commands.
Here's a couple of examples-
(1)My USA Trains Alco PA's on a passenger train...:cool:

(2)One of my Bachmann Shay's & a Bachmann Heisler double-heading for snowplow duty
:rolleyes:; the Heisler in this video has a Phoenix 2K2 sound board installed, the Shay (not yet sound-equipped) will eventually get a P5 board...

(3)Finally, this is TRUE double-heading/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/w00t.gif - my Accucraft live steam Shay (RC-controlled) with my Bachmann 3-Truck Shay (running on DCC). I say TRUE double-heading because this involved simultaneously juggling 2 separate wireless remote controls/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/wow.gif (note that the live-steam Shay starts a fraction of second earlier/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/blush.gif, slipping it's drivers briefly until the 3-truck Shay adds it's effort)...

- So go ahead & as the old chewing gum commercial used to say, "Double your pleasure, double your FUN!"
/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/hehe.gif Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Tom, I get a message that the videos are no longer available?
 

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I always run a minimum of 2 locos together. I do this with track power mostly but do it also with battery. I try to run the same manufacturers together but have violated that at times. I have been doing this for years with no problems.
 
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