makinsmoke wrote:The reality is that one would want a balanced brake system that would effectively apply brakes from the engine all the way back to the caboose, as in the real thing.
The reality of running 3/4" scale freight trains is not the same as 1-1/2" scale or full-size. The engines are underweight. The lead flat car is overweight thanks to the out-of-scale engineer (mmmmmmm… burgers… )
and the rest of the train is seriously underweight.
The average freight car weighs between 5 to 30 lbs. More than that and you can forget a long train because the loco doesn't have enough weight on its drivers to get a grip.
This is why IF you run brakes, and many do not due to the lack of long down grades, it is a skid plate under the head end car. I have that on my car and almost never use it except as a parking brake or to make the engine work harder than required. Waushakum's drop out of the big covered bridge is the only exception but unless someone is stopped at the bottom, we roll right on downhill with the throttle almost closed and ride her out.
That said, I totally agree with Steve that it is very neat to see working brakes on an engine but having run several with them, their use as intended is limited. So are the tiny bells, small ladders, hand rails and such but we still put them on our engines. And Jack B. does this better than most.
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