So how does it work?
Since cars are not the same length, it was impossible to conceive a track that could fit all cars without having the wheels of the other freight being on the weight unless all cars are of the same length. So, the weigh station I built, accommodates all cars if they are unhooked and push individually like they use to do in yards. In an industry since all cars are the same length, they can stay hooked up. Once the car is on the scale, I press a button and the weight is revealed. I then move the next car and press the button again for the weight of the next car.
What type of preparation needs to be done?
Since most of you adjust couplers, change wheel sets, weather your cars and had weight, well adding weight will become very important. In one of the pictures, you’ll see a spread sheet of my freight. I not only weighed all my cars, but measured them, wrote down the empty load and full load. I also included the NMRA suggested weight.
First let me tell you that I disagree with those numbers. Probably those suggested weight were for tight radius, cheap wheels, cheap couplers, but today, the material used is much better and people are going with bigger radius. Another point is having light and heavy cars on the same run could cause derailment. Again, I disagree because if you’ve match your good couplers and change the wheel sets and have bigger radius with good track laying, you shouldn’t have derailment. I’m not saying to have a great weight difference, but enough to match the weight written on the cars.
My cars will vary between 100 and 400 grams or 3.5 and 14 ounces. I decided on grams because I’m Canadian, just kidding, I went with grams so that I can have a more accurate weight with the specs written on the cars.
Some cars already come with extra weights, so I will need to shave off some weights for the empty car specs or add for those that come under specs. As for loaded freight, I will need to add more weights.
During operations, I would make sure that the weight of the cars is similar or as close as possible for all cars on a train haul. My fleet of freight cars will be 50% empty and 50% loaded. The loaded cars don’t need to be weighed at its full capacity.
I’ll finish assembling the whole project, make a few more adjustments and make a video.