I have a steep grade that ends in a 72" curve on one section of my layout. Some of my motive power navigates the grade well but two engines stall when pulling any reasonably sized train. The two engines are both MTH premiers and one is a 2-8-2 and the other a 4-6-2. It seems to me that if a little extra weight were added, particularly over the drivers that this might solve it. Has anyone else had this problem and what might be the best way to add weight. Comments and ideas are welcomed. Thanks
Interesting as I never considered grades, in light of running my magna traction engines up and down those Lionel elevated piers with ease. Anyone know approximate grade? When I first saw this topic title, I was gonna reply (ala Christmas Story Miss Shields): A+A+A+A+A+A+A+ Sorry long Iowa winter nights....
The #110 sets are 22 pieces, yes? The A piece is 4 3/4". 11 to get there, one at each track joint. A straight run of O would be 11 x 10" or 110". Rise/run x 100% = 4.75/110 = .043 x 100% = 4.3% Curves are longer in length than a straight, (O31 is ~ 11.14"), therefore a curved approach to a shorter straight run would reduce it slightly. Larger diameter curves even more.
You can actually cheat a little bit. Don't think of one track going up or down. Where my train departs for an upper level, I have that track going up and the other track going down at the same time. That way the run to get the required height is not as great. One track goes up 4 inches and one track goes down 4 inches, now I have 8 inches of clearance for the train to go to a tunnel below the upper level. This run is 21 feet to go from level to an 8" clearance. But that is really only 4...
Of course, most/all those cars have motors under them, so every car is helping to push the train up the grade, or retarding on the down grade, unlike freights and passengers trains being pulled at one end and maybe shoved at other end.
Ron, I've tried this technique using my RR-Track software and it works well. However, this now has two tracks not level and I wind up losing some other feature I want more. Comes down to priorities. Still working on my final design as I complete phase 1, so I may still use this technique.
Mo, excellent work. And thanks for the tip on using plexiglass on the outer rails before applying the joint compound. I've been holding off doing my crossings as I wasn't sure how to do the rails, so I'll give your technique a try.
How did you manage to paint such nice lines on the textured surface. I would assume you masked it but would have thought there would have been some bleed thru because of the texture. The lines are perfect. Thanks, Ed
Ed, I did the lines by hand. At first I tried artist crayons, but the texture left bare spots, and I didn’t like the look. So then I went over it with normal acrylic paint using a small brush, then the paint marker for the white. I did lay a ruler down to keep the lines straight, but no tape. I just picked up a paint marker in the yellow for the middle lines, so the long sections should be easier. -Mo
Ed, you're welcome! The yellow is chose is called "cadmium yellow - medium hue". It's more on the orange side, which I think makes it look pretty darn close to the actual color of the lines on the road. Post some pics of your progress!
Very nice, MO!!!! Looks outstanding. One question, when you put down the joint compound did you use the fiberglass mesh used for doing corners on drywall? Or was the compound just put in between the tracks? Was there any cracking after it dried?
Thanks. It took a little bit of thinking on how I was going to do it with out making it dip. I am in the middle of renovating my house. My wife took down the lumber scraps to burn in our furnace. So I was down stairs to stoke the fire and seen the small pieces laying on the floor. I looked at them and thought this will make a good start to my roads. I now have to figure out how to cover it up to look natural. I will have to shave some more off so the top will not be to high. I will have to...
A 4.5 degree grade is actually a 7.59% grade, REALLY STEEP! For continuous running should be 1 1/2% to 2 1/2% grade (1 1/2 inch rise in 100 inches, etc.). For a line to a storage area up to 4% would work but with speed restrictions and good visibility. Also side to side track protection would also be in order! Russ
% grade is the rise divided by the run X 100%. On a small layout it is difficult to get 2%, or less grades. This is an 3.8% grade . A 7" rise requires 15 ft. (180") of run . Both grades pictured require the curves to also be part of the grade. There is very little of the outer loop that is not a grade/level.
It must be really nice to have a layout large enough to have 2% or less grades. I'm trying to limit mine to 3-3.5% since previous posts on this subject indicate engines with traction tires can handle that with a decent lenght train.
Wow, Chuck, that's quite a grade. How many cars are you able to pull up that grade and with what engines? I also try to limit grades to 3%, but have always felt I could go steeper since my engines will be post-2012 RailKing from MTH.
It’s a small layout about 12 by 14 so the train can’t be too long...say five cars? The other ramp is about 3 degrees. I just needed some more play, so I put in an upper level. An engine without traction and cruise has issues though.
The reason I ask is I'm planning a permanent Christmas display layout in a 4x10x11 L-shape and it might make quite a bit of difference if I could get away with a grade around 5% or so. I pan to run a RailKing 4-6-0 Christmas train with 3-5 passenger cars.
1/4" in 1 foot is a 2% grade (actually 2.08%). I'll need a 3% grade to achieve 4.5" vertical drop to my staging yard. I want a 9" vertical distance so the rising track will be rising 4.5" in that same distance. Don't forget that you'll need a gradual transition at the change in slope. Jan
A lot depends on what you intend to run, and how long your trains are. If you have track and trains already, I would encourage you to throw together a temporary set up and play trains a little... um, I mean, run some controlled tests in order to amass data.
The big issues with fast transitions to a grade are cowcatchers or drawbars shorting on the center rail, and couplers slipping apart or binding when there is a hard angle. If you have to, I've found a traction cheat that works well. Two sided tape from widow winter insulation kits on one outer rail. It is clear, like Scotch tape, so isn't easily seen. I detack the topside adhesive with my fingers till it can't lift off the rail, then run double what I can without it. It gives plain drivers a...
Grades are a lot of fun. Here is some early video of my double track, up and over, figure 8 layout. It's based on the Atlas HO Granite Gorge and Northern. Grades on this are 3-4%. Layout size is 8' X 14'. I agree with ACE. Test out some grades with your equipment and go from there.. Larry
The MTH Trolleys do not have traction tires. I ran one on my club module last year, which was on a grade. Don't remember how much of a grade but it struggled on the up hill portion. I have two Bump and Gos on my layout, both flat/level track. The Lionel, unless it has been modified, is substantially lighter than the MTH but does have a traction tire or two. You may have better success with one of those. I had one and it did not last long. I find the MTH bump and gos a bit more durable...
Allow me to add a little to this but not change the essential question. I bought a bump and go trolley that worked OK most of the time but was too light to be reliable. At any speed necessary for effective operation it would intermittently derail itself on a bump terminus and hang up, often tripping the Z-1000 breaker. To add weight seemed to put a strain on the motor. So, weight and reliability of the trolley along with grade complete the equation. I am told that some of the earlier Lionel...
When you block a person, they can no longer invite you to a private message or post to your profile wall. Replies and comments they make will be collapsed/hidden by default. Finally, you'll never receive email notifications about content they create or likes they designate for your content.
Note: if you proceed, you will no longer be following .