As I was talking through the possibilities of a "mainline" layout design with Bernie Kempinski at lunch the other day I mentioned that one requirement of any mainline layout would be the ability to run this thing. This "thing" is a Central Vermont T-3-a class 2-10-4 imported by Division Point about a decade ago.
I was so enamored with it that I sold my two "old school" PFM 2-10-4s. Yes, this model is more accurate than the PFM model, but honestly if I'd known how much of curve hog these engines were going to be I would have kept my PFM models and lived with the compromises.
I was going to use the money to purchase this model when my bride surprised me with one as an anniversary present.
Since that day I occasionally get asked if I'm going to run my "nice" engine.
When asked how it runs I also answer honestly - it runs great... in a straight line.
Curves are a real challenge with this thing.
A combination of flanged driving wheels, long wheelbase, outside frame on the trailing truck that has components tucked inside the ashpan, not to mention the full diaphragm between the locomotive and tender and you have a recipe for a curve hog of immense proportions.
I've actually never been able to determine this things real minimum radius (the importer claimed something like 30" or some such!) - on the old layout it would almost get around a 34" radius curve - the drivers would normally lift about halfway through the curve and the trailing truck was truly hanging up.
For the track plan we're sketching I'm assuming that 48" curves should work. I have place in the apartment to test the engine on a curved section of track.
That all leads to the reason for this post - does anyone have experience getting one of these beasts successfully around a curve?
And if so, what radius?