How much impact velocity can locomotive withstand?

ModelRailroadForums.com is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.


Smudge617

Well-Known Member
That is a good suggestion.

In the few days I have been planning this, I have considered the proposition of using aluminum foil in the construction of the cars. Ultimately, I am at a point where I am probably not going to use much aluminum foil simply because the cars are being painted... I am thinking that a limited application of aluminum foil, such as 1 inch-wide strips on all the corners of the box car, might clash with the wood that they're made of to give away an appearance of fakeness. When thinking of aluminum foil wrapped on the whole car, that seemed like a bad idea because it adds too much strength to the cars, and would prevent the fantastic explosion that is expected with the brittle wood construction. But maybe really thin aluminum corner strips that are 1/3 inch wide could wrap around these holey corners and that would give a real impression like you see on box cars.

I don't know. I have been doing this slowly, just working on them an hour or two per day, and evolving the crash plan. I could still choose to use aluminum foil perhaps, and I will decide by Sunday, when the crash is planned. Right now, here is a picture of what the cars are like right at this point. I am still sanding and buffering them before their paint job.

Other changes I have made in my plan for this crash is that now instead of relying on my oval layout and its 45 inch per second speed limit, I am going to assemble a 25 foot-long straight shot of railway. Then, I can get the 4 6 4 that is going to crash... up to speeds of 55 to 60 inches per second! This locomotive has an insanely fast motor and it will not even run at speeds under 15 to 20 inches per second (40 to 55 scale miles per hour). The difference between 45 and 55 inches per second is about a 40 per cent increase in kinetic energy in the crash because speed increases the energy exponentially. This is also actually why they say going 10 miles per hour above the speed limit in real life is actually a really bad idea, and can mean the difference between moderate injury and death in a crash.

My mom pointed out it is a shame that I made these just to destroy them. It did give me an idea of making wooden box cars and perhaps selling them? I have schizoeffective disorder and it causes a symptom called Avolition that makes working more than 15 or 20 hours per week impossible as the experience causes my mental health to worsen, and then I wind up just not being able to go in the end. I have not been able to complete college for basically the same reason I am pretty poor. As such, while I get ready for Disability benefits, I am considering possible future ideas where I could do my own work, my own business, and thrive that way because if it is something that I am savant about like this, I could probably work more than I can at low skill, shitty, awful jobs which are all I have had access to. So maybe I would want to make more cars to NOT destroy, put craftsmanship into them, and sell them.

View attachment 144734
I like your idea of making instead of crashing your own box cars, that sound like a really good idea that would allow you the freedom you need, you may may also think about making various loads that can be used in open freight wagons that you could also sell.
 

ChinaHaun19

Active Member
UPDATE: After adding corner strips with aluminum foil, and painting the home-built box cars I made, I crash-tested one of the cars with the setup I envisioned. A 25 foot length of Realtrax was laid, One wooden box car was fitted with trucks and attached to the back of a dispensible locomotive of moderate weight. The short answer is, this failed. It turns out that indeed, the Elmer's school glue used to bond the wood was VERY strong. I knew I might be in for trouble after later reading that this famous glue was reformulated for strength. The totality of all the glue used in various spots throughout the wooden box car had greatly strengthened the overall structure of the box car. Worse still, The 4 6 4 used to accellerate into the box car got going good at first but then failed to reach speeds anywhere near what I have seen it do when running on a loop. The locomotive barely reached 30 inches per second because the lack of a loop of track reduced the electricity intensity further down the track which, while speedy overall, is simply not gonna cut it for this stronger-than-hoped box car. I crashed it three times in different positions and it never managed to even bust it open. Some bits of wood came off the outer structure of the box car.


After the test, and after careful consideration and examination of the box cars that were made for this, the crash was cancelled.

The 4 6 4 used in the crash test is a tank and it is highly unlikely this type of crash setup could damage it, however I have also taken the comments of other members of this forum into account and have decided that from here on out, I will generally not crash my locomotives with the exception of the disposable one I have, the 4 4 2 that came with the Lionel Starter set can be used for crashes but I don't have anything in mind yet.
 
Last edited:




Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)


ModelRailroadForums.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

RailroadBookstore.com - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section.

ModelRailroadBookstore.com - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

Top