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Author Previous Topic: HO Locomotive Decorated Bodies - Update 11/24/09 Topic Next Topic: Caution - Another Athearn Rant  


Posted - 2010 February 19 :  09:05:32 AM  Show Profile
Hello, I'm new to this forum, so please excuse me if this is an old thread.
My LHS has DCC-ready Pennsy K4s by Bachmann at a good price.

Does anyone have experience with these as far as:
installing DCC or DCC + sound
pulling power [Walthers passenger cars]
Also does anyone have running any experience with new ConCor P54 passenger cars?

I could be satisfied with 5 cars behind the K4.
My track plan is flat [20 x 14] but I may add a 1-1.5% grade in an area.

I guess a last question, the shop also has the Bachmann C&O K4 Kanawha [Berkshire] -same question about pulling power, though in this case, I'd like to pull between 15 and 25 40' cars.

Many thanks!
Alan J3A

Country: USA | Posts: 320


Posted - 2010 February 20 :  07:58:31 AM  Show Profile
I have a Bachmann K4 with Tsunami sound and I love it..that said, I have a few steeper than normal grades and 4 cars is all it will pull on those 1.5% I don't know..6-8 maybe?
To be fair, none of my steamers does well up my hills unless they have traction tires..the diesals all pull like goats and that's all I was running when I built the layout, I added the grade section to extend the running and knew it might be a problem.

What's a good price at the LHS? Wholesale trains has them with sound under 200 and I got mine on sale from them for less than that last year.


Country: USA | Posts: 525 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 2010 February 20 :  09:28:04 AM  Show Profile
I have two of these K4s and have really enjoyed them. Though I operate in DC only, they are great runners and double-head really well. Like the whole Spectrum steam line, they are smooth pullers and great models, especially on a good price!

My consist is a combination of Walthers head-end and pullman cars with Bachmann P70 coaches. Might be about six cars, maybe seven. I'm no expert on PRR history, but I don't think the K4s pulled many of the P54 coaches. I'm sure someone with more knowledge on this could correct me if I'm wrong. But I'd bet the Bachmann model would pull a very nice consist of them.

Country: USA | Posts: 15 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 2010 February 20 :  11:48:28 AM  Show Profile
The Con-Cor Mp54 coaches have electrical lighting pickups that do not add any drag to the rolling qualities of the car. They are very free rolling and track well. I'm sure a Spectrum K4s would pull a nice string of these cars, even though they most likely would be more at home behind a G5 or E6 (if they were available. With the Pennsy though, anything is possible. I have seen a photo of a passenger local of P70's being pulled by an H6 freight engine in the Pittsburgh area.

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Posted - 2010 February 20 :  5:27:32 PM  Show Profile
Thanks for the messages and input.

I'll look to get one of K4s soon, or maybe a post- war and a pre-war.
I'd add a sound decoder, but I can get them for $99 DCC ready.

As far as the P-54s, this NYC fan does realize 4-6-0s [G5s] were the ideal commuter steamers, but as said, try to find [a plastic] one. So the K-4 will have to do. I have a T-1, GG-1 [imaginary overhead lines for now] and M-1 [were used occasionally for passenger cars] for bigger trains. But it looks good that there is the prospect to pull 6 cars on level track. That would be fine indeed.

Thanks for the input on the CC passenger cars!
Naybe they are a good deal!

Alan J3A

Edited by - AlanJ3A on 2010 February 20 5:30:53 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 320 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 2010 February 21 :  5:03:55 PM  Show Profile
I have a Bachmann K4, a very smooth running locomotive. I installed a Lenz Silver MP decoder just plugged it in, no sound.
I think mine can pull 5 or 6 Athearn passenger cars up a 2% grade, maybe more I would have to run it and see as it has been a while since I last ran it.

It's all scenery.

Country: USA | Posts: 2672 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 2010 February 21 :  7:09:41 PM  Show Profile
Should be strong enough. Good lookin too.

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Country: USA | Posts: 1596 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 2010 February 21 :  10:18:56 PM  Show Profile
I just gave my K4 a little test run. It could pull 9 Athearn heavyweight passenger cars(6 axle cars) up a approximate 2% grade on a 26" radius curve.
10 cars was too much and it spun the wheels at the top of the grade.
In my opinion not a bad pulling steam loco.
By the way, no extra weight or traction tires.

It's all scenery.

Country: USA | Posts: 2672 Go to Top of Page
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