So I'm trying out a few ideas, at lest in a design sense but I'm worried what might be too steep of a slop for a narrow gauge "excursion" train.

Current Slope: 2.8%
Current Train: Baldwin 4-6-0, three coaches.

Is this too steep for this loco or no?

Greg R.

Lone Star Hi Railers

Metal Fabricator

Original Post

In the real world of 12-inch-to-the-foot railroading, a 2.8% is a seriously steep grade and a significant operating obstacle. In the O gauge, 1/48 scale world, 2.8% is not too bad. I get concerned at anything over 3%...and you're close.

Will your 4-6-0 pull three coaches up the grade without slipping? If so, you're done. Build it! 

Rich Melvin

If at first you don't succeed, don't try sky diving... 

% 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. 

Three rail units have traction tires on at least 1/2 of the drive wheels. 

Tough to do a small grade on a model train layout, unless it's a large, large layout.  IMO  Mike CT.  

Surprisingly the down is more of an issue than the up.  Grades require more power.  All (5) Atlas units are powered.  Click on the triangle for a video of a consist on the grades pictured. 

MIKE CT, that's an interesting video, but it doesn't help answer the OP's question. It's apples and oranges.

You showed a 16 car train (15 hoppers and a caboose) with FIVE powered units on the head end. The OP wants to use a single, small 4-6-0 steam locomotive to pull three cars up a grade. That's a completely different operational scenario.

Rich Melvin

If at first you don't succeed, don't try sky diving... 

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