Yes but air brakes will only hold the cars for a limited period of
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time -- that's why there are retainers, to extend that time period.
But ultimately the air bleeds off and the cars will roll away unless
someone sets the hand brakes.
So we do need working HO scale hand brakes. It's been done. Not sure
if it's practical with DCC -- you'd need a stalling servo motor on each
car to turn the brake wheel and hold it in place.
I'm not completely sure what Mark refers to but if it is the fact that cars
have their own brake system, I'll relate the following:
A few years ago while waiting to shoot video of ex N&W J 611 as it proceeded
EB from the Black Mtn area of North Carolina, a NS frt went by EB on the
upgrade [ about 1.2% ]. Soon we
got the word that the frt had broken in two and there would be some delay.
Now, on my layout, the offending cars would come rushing down grade, messing
everything up....including [gasp ] me. Fortunately, in this case, the
offending cars stopped themselves, the train was put back together and it
proceeded to the east. Soon, the J came by, producing perhaps my favorite
video. Oh, it looked to me as though the couplers were Sergents indicating
it was not a #5 / #58 compatibility problem.
Hmmm. I suppose one could power up a frt car truck, put a decoder inside a
box car and simulate a break in two. Probably not.
BTW, I don't recall anyone commenting on free rolling trucks and hump yards.