Enhancing Locomotive Performance

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Duration: 3:29

In this video, Mark Vinski, a CSX engineer describes to Allen Keller the various mechanisms of his model locomotives which make them so reliable and keep them performing at the top of their potential.

Smooth motor operation is just one key factor in locomotive performance. The micro motor that Vinski uses works in conjunction with a chain drive. Instead of standard gears that work with the motor, Vinski uses chain drives which consist of small sprockets and chain to product less noise. These chain drives efficiently transfer power from the motor shaft down to the trucks. The sprockets are mounted on the shaft and gear head of the truck.

Vinski uses nickel plated wheels over brass wheels for better wheel profile, and better pickup of electrical current from the track. Vinski has also developed track wipers which slide on the rail to enhance pickup. These wipers are made from halved BB’s and bronze spring material that will not catch on track joints. Vinski details an efficient method for cutting BB’s in half which is demonstrated in the video.

Paired with the computer motor featuring a built-in gear head, the mechanism is so free running, that turning the motor in one locomotive is powerful enough to power adjacent units. Vinski shows that customization in your units can greatly enhance the power and performance of your locomotives.