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Model Railroads/running multiple engines


I am getting back into the hobby of HO model trains and have always wondered how you are able to run multiple engines together on the same track...similar to how the real trains have more than one engine pulling the railcars.

I have looked for a combo pack which would feature one power- train engine attached to a dummy engine...but these can't be found.  Therefore, can you attached multiple engines and run them on the same track?

Hello Rex,

Yes you can run multiple units at the same time. However, there's two conditions to do this. The first one is the size
and wattage of your transformer. You will need at least, an MRC model 2500 or larger power transformer for it to run
powered unit of no more than 2-3 engines hooked up. The second condition will be the engines are "speed-checked".
Which means they run at the same speed as the other engine or engines. If they don't match speed, then one or two of
the engines will compete against each other and either cause a derailment or a power short.

One way to avoid this, is to purchase matching engines from the same manufacturer. For example, buy two or three Atlas
diesels or Athearn, etc. The gearing in each engine can work for you or against you. Trial testing will be the best method.
On my test oval, I can run an Athearn SW-1500 with and F-7 with effortless results. They run in tandem. I hope this answers
your question.


John Schaub

Model Railroads

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John Schaub


I can answer the following questions: Almost anything about the hobby, except complex electrical questions. Anything about table construction, model kit building, layout scenery, weathering and painting, adding lighting to structures and scenery. I cannot answer questions about the value or appraisal of an item through an e-mail question. The only true method to valuation is having the item in front of me. I will not answer any questions about complex wiring for signals, DCC, or switch motor installations.


Model railroader since childhood. And that's quite a few years ago. My experience includes: Planning, Design, Benchwork Construction, Trackwork, Conceptualizing the placement of the basic scenic shell and future structure placement. Developing a "vision" of what the layout' them will be. Historical research. Model builder. Painter, Detailer and Weathering. Scenery Artisan, Model train room decorator. Freight car builder. Engine detailer. Turned my passion for model railroading to a full time career in 1998. I now design, build and construct model railroads. Focusing my skills on planning and design, model kit building services, scenery and structure installations, painting, weathering and detailing.

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Classic Toy Trains, January 2013

Self-taught Model Railroader turned professional consultant New York Institute of Technology, Communication Arts Degree C.W. Post College, Computer Graphics-Desktop Publishing Certificate Program Molloy College, MacIntosh Computer Studies-Certificate Program

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