I ran some trains this afternoon!!
I wired in the feeders for the grade (which I had tidied loads of boxes in front of!) and clipped it in to the power and tried out the grade to the upper level. The Bachmann electric got down ok on its own so I used it to pull a cleaning train down a couple of times but it wouldn’t go up. It’s quite nerve wracking watching it disappear and hoping it will appear again – and it does take some time!
I got the P2k 0-8-0 out and that pulled up no problem so I tried one box car – bear in mind this is 3% but with curves too! One box car – ok, two box cars and it stalled in the least accessible spot so I ran it down and then did the cleaning train again. Two box cars – now ok and then three and four. Five was the limit though – the wheels just spin and it can’t cope. Four box cars is a little low as I would like 6 for the branch line train to the upper level.
Not to be put off, I ran a double headed DL109 set and it creamed up with no problem at all – five box cars! I thought I’d stop whilst ahead!
I do have problems with the main line grade from the storage yards too as I can’t run as many coaches as I’d like (or own!) in one train. I’ve therefore got a tester pot of bullfrog snot off ebay. One drop is supposed to be magic but it isn’t conductive. As all my stock is off, I’ve the opportunity to clean every wheel and snot up any poor performers before anything goes back on. Hopefully this will make the difference. I don’t want to run massive trains as it is quite a small layout but I would like to run 6-8 box cars on a freight and 6 coaches and head end on the main (or longer perhaps as a special).