After heading home following Liverpool on Saturday 3 of us called in to a fellow modellers home on the Central Coast, he has a large U.S styled layout and does a lot of DCC/sound installs. One of us had a Womby 30T with some problem and was fixed in a few minutes.
On the layout. the 30T was given a few tests, firstly with a long train on a dead level section of track of around 6 metres, all the wagons around 15 of them were larger U.S bogie types, and the 30T had no issues pulling that, it was then stopped at another spot where the U.S long train load was taken off and a consist of 13 heavy 4 wheel U.S ore cars was attached to take on a 1:60 grade that was straight before going onto a right hand curve of 30 inch radius his smallest on the layout.
As there was little momentum to get up the hill from the standing start, with the full train not surprisingly slipped to a stand. Progressively wagons were removed until we got down to 9 wagons where some effort was made for the model to lift that number, another one was taken off and the 30T started to move the load but kept slipping, before detaching any more of the hoppers, I put my figure fairly lightly on the rear of the dome with a slight downward pressure, with that the train slowly picked up and then went up the remaining 3metre rise without any trouble.
That same model was taken by the owner and he has a set of Casula CR, EHO and 2 HG vans which were able to pull without problems on hie 30inch radius 1:90 grade, which it should have anyway when all is said and done.
I got my prepaid model of Wombat at Liverpool and as yet to take it out of the box, but based on what I saw, I would be looking at how all the wheels sit on the track, also the distribution of the weight is therefore critical. The finger pressure I put on the dome was very minimal but enough to start the model on the grade without any real effort was credible, that is the exact same situation as was happening with the Austrains 36cl on both runs.
The 30T's dome is primarily over the leading driving wheel and that light touch allowed the model to move off, when mine is unpacked and put to work I will be looking at adding weight inside the dome (For starters) even if I have to drill it out. I had issues with the 36cl, removing the bogie spring on them helped especially the first run models as I could put lead on the top of the bogies to keep on the rails without pressure from the spring, even half length springs, also I got the smokebox door off and cut a round piece of lead flashing and stuck inside that.
The second run 36's came out with a different chassis and was more prototypically correct around the front bogie, so while the chassis was a bit heavier overall it still had the sliping problems, and the lead flashing on top of the bogie would not work owing to the more correct frame cut out for wheel spaces,
The other difference though is that the 36's dome is more above the second driving wheel and not as per the 30T, meaning to me at least is to work on getting the weight correct and especially where its positioned. Other aspect I would believe is that the snotty nosed versions with short smokebox would be lighter than the super versions based on the size of the smokebox, which will bring in some other areas to be checked when mine is finally up and running, I have a drumhead model.
Based on what I saw on Saturday, and the two different trains the 30T pulled, the long load on the flat, remembering that the models were U.S freight vehicles and being heavier is a fair load for the 30T. In saying that I remember and have a slide I took of saturated 3088 on the Rankins Springs branch with a full bogie empty wheat hopper train, consisting of 27 BWH/WH-BV and two bogie water gins and that was a big load, and very very rare really. A superheated engine would do that work easier than the snotty.
It then seems different when it comes to grades though, and depending on the layouts grade, track conditions and the curves its unlikely to pull what would be a prototypical load on grades as the get steeper.
When at Enfield we had 3009 and 3016, both superheated ex Cowra engines that had their 6 wheel tenders swapped off and 3650 gal tenders substituted and worked a morning Pax train to Richmond and back to Clyde sidings, it consisted of 8 cowboy cars and ran the TT no problems, these two engines replaced 32cl on that job.
What a model is intended for on a layout may well determine how good they perform. The intention for me is that my 30t will be the primary yard shunter with trip working to the nearby abattoirs, with perhaps the occasional short run elsewhere and on the school train. It should handle those duties when its up and running without issues especially as I do weight tests on it.