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How much Grade is 'to much"

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  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: Smoggy L.A.
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Posted by vsmith on Thursday, November 20, 2003 1:31 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by vettbass

I've been able to get away with pulling 5 cars up 7%, but I'd say that's pushing it, maybe over the top for most electrics. This was with a steamer.

Seems to boil down to 3 simple things to me. Cleanliness of track, weight of loco and of course power of loco.

A short run experimental section should do the trick to see how far you can push it.


Also include in that the power supply to the track.

When I got my first Big Hauler I hooked up 5 cars to it using the standard "substandard" 1/2 amp power pack and it BARELY pulled the cars around a level track, even stalling at the far side. On a grade it wouldnt even move. So a good power supply, 5 to 10 amps should be a must for any graded layouts, especially if you are thinking of multi-engines, 10amp is a must.

General Rule: You can never have too much power!

   Have fun with your trains

  • Member since
    April 2003
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, November 20, 2003 1:23 PM
I've been able to get away with pulling 5 cars up 7%, but I'd say that's pushing it, maybe over the top for most electrics. This was with a steamer.

Seems to boil down to 3 simple things to me. Cleanliness of track, weight of loco and of course power of loco.

A short run experimental section should do the trick to see how far you can push it.
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, November 20, 2003 6:54 AM
On our line we have a 5% grade and pull four Bachmann cars plus a caboose with a Big Hauler up this grade.

OLD DAD
  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: NorthEast PA
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Posted by hblancow on Monday, August 25, 2003 7:06 PM
It depends on what form of control you are using. You can use greater ranges of grade if you have remote throttle or speed control than if your trains have to complete the entire track on a fixed throttle setting.
  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: Canada
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Posted by cprted on Sunday, February 2, 2003 12:23 AM
2% is a pretty common max grade. Do some tests and see how much you can pull up X grade with your engines, remember that moisture on the rail will cause locos to slip so keep that in mind if you live in a damp climate. Also, one really steep grade with helper service could add a lot of operational interest to your RR.
The grey box represents what the world would look like without the arts. Don't Torch The Arts--Culture Matters http://www.allianceforarts.com/
  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: Canada
  • 509 posts
Posted by cprted on Sunday, February 2, 2003 12:23 AM
2% is a pretty common max grade. Do some tests and see how much you can pull up X grade with your engines, remember that moisture on the rail will cause locos to slip so keep that in mind if you live in a damp climate. Also, one really steep grade with helper service could add a lot of operational interest to your RR.
The grey box represents what the world would look like without the arts. Don't Torch The Arts--Culture Matters http://www.allianceforarts.com/
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
How much Grade is 'to much"
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, January 25, 2003 6:32 PM
In laying out a track plan, I want to add trestles & bridges, however, what is a safe grade to use?? I do not have the 'biggest & baddest' engines nor am I pulling 20 cars. What is a reasonable maximum before the engine wheels will slip and lose traction. Greatly appreciate your help.

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