It’s been a couple of quiet weeks here from a railroading perspective. We have had a ton of meetings with the community association that have kept me very busy. Still, I have managed to scrape out a few minutes here and there to tackle the weights for #10.
I think I’m pretty much there, although time will tell when I go to power it up and I find out how much I can pull out of the station. The engine has gone from “surprisingly light” to “surprisingly heavy” although I’ve only actually increased the weight by a little over a third from 110g to 150g.
The secret is tungsten. Tungsten and A-Line moldable lead weight. The tungsten comes from the unlikely source of Woodland Scenics via Amazon. Note that if you buy it from amazon.ca, the two-ounce packs sell for $45, but if you get it from amazon.com, they’re $16.38. Even with the Canadian dollar where it is, that’s outrageous, and so, I had a friend pick them up in Point Roberts.
I started by pulling the decoder out of the smokebox, and rewiring the engine to be fully driven by the sound decoder in the tender. Then I replaced the decoder with a ring of moldable lead, and the largest tungsten cylinder that would fit. This, together with a little tungsten plate in the engine truck, gave me 20g (0.7 oz) in the front.
Then I had to do something with the rear end. I cut a piece of lead to fit into the roof overhang. The roof itself is already full of tungsten plates. Perhaps I should have used tungsten in the overhang too, but the stuff is very difficult to work with! There was a little room for lead on the seats too, and that was next.
With that little bit of lead, the engine was still nose-heavy, and so, I dropped a tungsten cylinder on the cab floor. Bingo! It doesn’t look spectacular, but perhaps the addition of an engine crew will draw your eyes from it. That will be a project for another day.