Reducing climb to ore dock
Sometimes a very stiff climb can be reduced by splitting the difference. In this example, an exaggerated difference in elevation between the "land" surface and the "water" surface means less elevation gain needed. See this MR forum thread for more: http://cs.trains.com/TRCCS/forums/t/196647.aspx In other words, the track starts at the nominal elevation for that part of the layout, but the water surface is dropped lower. Easy with many benchwork and subroadbed techniques.