grades on layouts?

virtual-bird May 29, 2000

  1. virtual-bird

    virtual-bird TrainBoard Member

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    What grade is acceptable for a N scale layout.

    2% is what? 2inches in ...

    I would like to run longish trains, and want things to be smooth without hassles from the start.

    There are 2 blokes extremely knowledgeable (word for the week) Aussies that know their **** helping me, and yer both know who yer are. Extreme Thanks - so far. Just aint seen you on ICQ for a while to ask!

    thanks.
     
  2. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    A 2% grade is 2 inches in vertical distance (height)for every 100 inches of lineal distance. But this is deceptive because you actually need more distance than that due to the vertical curves (transitions at the top and bottom of the grade) Also called vertical easements in some areas.
     
  3. Colonel

    Colonel Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    On my layout the maximum grade is approx 2% which requires multiple units to run decent length trains. 2% would be 2 centimetres for every metre of track. for most bridge crossing etc you need approx 50mm clearance so your grade would need to be a minimum of 2.5 metres long before reaching the bridge span. don't forget you need to add the rail height to the 50mm clearance.

    Paul

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    http://members.optusnet.com.au/~pcassar/index
     
  4. BC Rail King

    BC Rail King E-Mail Bounces

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    I am building for 2-3% depending on if it is main line, or branch. I will have 2 units for the most part with a 20 car train, so 2% will be a baby grade with no problems for them.

    Happy Railroading!

    Dane N.

    ------------------
    TAMR2860-AKA BC Rail King
    TAMR2860@Canada.com for TAMR info.
    To send a general TRAIN! E-Mail send to
    BCRailKing@Canada.com
     
  5. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    Most mainline railroads want to keep grades to a minimum and 2% seems to be the going maximum. There are steeper to be sure and I think the steepest mainline grade is along the Ohio river in Indiana. There the grade is over 4%. The New York Central boasted of being the "water level route" as opposed to the Pennsy's crossng of the Alleghenies. But even there the grade was only 1.75%. In railroading, staight and level is always preferable. Grades and curves add resistance. That translates into more power needed to overcome the resistance. Nothing is worse than curves on grades. One thing I noticed on the old Pennsy mainline on the western slope of the Alleghenies is that the track ascends the mountain in a series of steps much like a stairway. A train ascending the mountain would therefore not have the entire train on a grade at one time. Some of it would be on level track and some on a grade. Not only does this reduce the power necessary to ull the train but lessens the strain on that coupler between the last engine and the first car. If the entire train was on the grade the whole train would in effect be hanging on that coupler. Descending the mountain the stairstep design lessens the braking effort needed. The price to be paid for this is a greater distance to be traveled. Railroads will sacrifice distance to reduce grades and curves whenever they can.
     
  6. Alan

    Alan Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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  7. virtual-bird

    virtual-bird TrainBoard Member

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Alan:
    The maximum grades on my layout are around 3%, had to be that way to fit in what I wanted, and to give clearances for double stacks at cross-over places.

    No problem, as we always run 3 or more units per train, except locals, but they have two anyway.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    How do your trains run? no problems with this grade?

    Do you run long trains and if so do you run a double or triple? or a loco half way along?

    sorry for the 3rd degree...
     
  8. Alan

    Alan Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Yeah, no problem running trains, any length, but normally we run not more than 50-car trains, as that is the capacity of the staging yards.

    We can run with head-end locomotives and pushers, or head-end and mid-train helpers, all works ok.

    A proviso is that all cars are weighted to NMRA recommendations, or a bit more, so you don't have to make sure the heavy cars are at the front, and lighter ones at the rear. The biggest cause of problems are too-light cars. No problems with my spine cars, of course!!

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    Alan

    The perfect combination - BNSF and N Scale!

    www.ac-models.com
    Andersley Western Railroad
    Alan's American Gallery
    Alan's European Gallery
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  9. Robin Matthysen

    Robin Matthysen Passed Away October 17, 2005 In Memoriam

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    I stick to 2% as that is proper scaling as far as Canadian railroading is today. Early days through the Rockies was a nightmare until the spiral tunnels were cut between Lake Louise and Field. Grades in the past were in the 4% range then. Nothing over 2%now so that is my max now for the M.A.T.
    Robin
     
  10. BC Rail King

    BC Rail King E-Mail Bounces

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    well- for braves soles, I was a layout with like a 20% grade on it. You should of heard those Athearn motors scream, almost sounded like the F unit on the Royal Hudson today! Man, it was loud!

    Happy Railroading!!

    Dane N. [​IMG]

    ------------------
    TAMR2860-AKA BC Rail King
    TAMR2860@Canada.com for TAMR info.
    To send a general TRAIN! E-Mail send to
    BCRailKing@Canada.com
    AIM me at TAMR2860!
     

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