View single post by Richard A-J
 Posted: Thu Oct 26th, 2017 12:18 pm
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Richard A-J


Joined: Wed Feb 22nd, 2017
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 15
There seems to be a general policy in model railroading that inertia is not required when switching (shunting in the UK). Can anyone tell me, what on earth is that all about?

I see videos of realistic operations but when it comes to the switching … it's back to being a kid again! It is even advertised in the instructions for controllers, for instance "But while simulated inertia is good most of the time, it can be a problem for shunting operations. So we've added a front panel switch to disable inertia when you don't need it" - "While inertia is for simulating heavy trains, in the scale world of models, we normally want to stop or slow down trains much more quickly than would be possible (or safe) in the full-scale world" (these are instructions for a self build controller but all controllers with simulation mode will make similar comments).

Am I missing something? When does a model not need inertia? When in the real world can you eliminate inertia? Everything has inertia, even a bicycle, even you, not just heavy trains; a single locomotive weighing some 100 tons or more has inertia all on its owny pony. Surely, a true model should have a motorisation system that models that of the real thing? In other words its performance specifications should model the prototype's. Operators should have no choice in the matter. An engineer of the real thing cannot flick a switch and make a locomotive accelerate or stop faster than its performance specifications just because they're behind in the timetable.

I bet the real railway operators wish they had such a switch, trouble is their engineers would then have to be strapped in tight like racing car drivers and be trained like astronauts and fighter pilots in order to survive the G forces involved. If a timetable requires that inertia be switched off in order to get the switching done on time then does that not mean by definition that it cannot be a realistic timetable?

I agree that an operator should have the ability to easily adjust inertia whilst operating i.e. to simulate different weights of train, but zero inertia should not exist for a model because zero inertia does not exist in the real world. The lowest inertia setting should simulate that of a 'light' engine i.e. one with no train.

Right, I've had my rant. As you were folks :Salute:

Last edited on Thu Oct 26th, 2017 01:38 pm by Richard A-J

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