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John,

Thanks again for another physically exhaustive operating session.

For me, the highlight was to observe Dave Hottman’s impressive K-27 performance. Unfortunately at events that utilize near perfect elevated tracks, it is not possible to observe the true mechanical potential of locomotives run. Observing an engine perform on the ground under high loads with real track conditions is a totally different story

Dave’s modifications to this engine are too exhaustive for me to remember. What really impressed me is that Dave was able to reliably pull very long consists at slow speed with no throttle adjustments over the minor grades. Although we have on occasion previously pulled similar length trains, we were always limited by operational reliability associated with the couplers remaining connected.

Dave’s K-27 was so smooth, I did not observe a single case where a coupler unconnected by progressively uncoupling through vertical separation under high load. I thought this was an upper load limitation of the standard unmodified Accucraft couplers and did not realize that this condition was being caused by less than perfect running locomotives.

Had the weather conditions been more favorable, I really would have liked to have seen everything pulled out of the barn to determine the new upper load limit being pulled by the extreme Hottman K-27. I would not have been surprised if Dave could have actually pulled 30 standard Accucraft freight cars in a garden environment. I believe you actually own enough equipment that we probably would have found a true operational limit.

On the other hand, when Dave completes his modifications on his cab forward, I don’t think any garden railroad exists in the south with enough 1:32 rolling stock and track to determine the true operational potential of this engine. Anybody out there have 150-200 1:32 cars, +1000’ of super wide radius mainline track with 1-2 percent grades?

Tom Burns
 
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