Grade on train layout

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.

Ron

 

TCA, TTOS, NCT, LCCA, PRRT&HS

 

Volunteers don't get paid, not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless!  Author Sherry Anderson

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.

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

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 real grip. A strip lasts a long time (6 months to a few years). If it loses grip, or a hole wears (more likely), a new strip goes on in about two minutes, sometimes right over the old one, sometimes just a short "repair", etc.

Going down, you can pull a 45° or better just fine.  Just don't try to climb it 

The sister grade is 5.2%, but here is 4.6%, 2.5°, ½" per.ft..  Even this little one can pull 5 " heavy" with the tape. Actually it is a PW, plastic PRR red stripe, metal framed Scout motor shoehorned into it. I'm brain-farting on the exact number, but not a big powerhouse even with the cast shell for added traction. The gondola is loaded with metal hardware & heavy junk (like the solid armature poking out the top), and the autos are cast metal too. Both weightings far exceed any "normal" freight car, so I know though the two end cars are 'lite', it averages out to about 5 heavy cars. 6 or 7 before she would even grunt some or slip on the tape; which I bet you can't tell is there

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"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





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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....

rrman posted:

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.

Carl

Arctic Railroad

CAPPilot posted:

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.

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 inches over a 21 foot run.  Pardon the mess, I've been working on this area.

Have Fun, Ron

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"I'd rather be lucky than good"

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