J-1 #3012 struggled to haul NY-2 into New Britain today. Initially 15 cars, it was still having some difficulty when reduced to 10 cars. I have not done any sort of performance improvement on the locomotive yet. It is still just DC, and I haven't added any weight either.
I should be able to improve the performance considerably with DCC and weight. But like the L-1, it will never pull as many cars as three to four RS-3s on these trains in later years, or an FA-1/FB-1/FA-1 set for the Maybrook freights.
Because I'm using diesel and steam power for 1947, I have a plan to handle these descrepancies. Based on the freight timetables, it appears that in general the trains bound for Holyoke drop off cars in New Britain, and trains bound for Cedar Hill pick them up. This mirrors the Maybrook freights - Hartford bound drop off, Maybrook bound pick up. My operating sessions will be an extended daytime session.
Three of the five trains that drop off cars in New Britain run at night (between midnight and 5:00 am). So I will 'run' these trains off session, and the cars are staged on the sidings. The switching crew starts the day just like on the prototype, with a string of cars to work. The last through train to drop off cars is already hauled by a diesel (DEY-5) which was a prototypically short train because of the motive power at this time. The last train to drop off cars is HDX-5, the New Hartford local, which is also a short train.
The afternoon and evening trains pick up cars in New Britain. These trains will be primarily steam hauled, and shorter trains, until they pick up cars in New Britain. But these can be much longer since they will only have to go down the helixes.
So this will allow me to continue to run both steam and diesel locomotives, with the limitations imposed by the two helixes, and keep the trains looking 'right'.