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Branch line incline

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Branch line incline
Posted by santafejeff on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 9:31 PM

Good evening, Im building a 16x24 layout and even though all my track is in, I want to add an upper branch line for gravel and specialty sand scenes yada yada. My current main portion of my layout is grain but the overall theme has always been gravel and grain. 

I have a run of 13ft (156 inches) that rises 6 inches in that length. Ive done some calculations and keep coming up with over 2% grade. However, when I look at the angle as a chalk line snapped on the wall of that run, it doesnt look anywhere near that steep. I have a clinometer app on my phone and it shows a 1.6 degree angle. What does 1.6 degrees translate to in a grade percentage? Everything Ive looked up on comes up with a different application and isnt any help. 

Is the 2+% grade correct? If thats what it is, I may have to re think where my grade starts or scrap the idea altogether. Just to add, no, I dont have any place to put in a helix without major reconstruction. 

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Posted by MidlandMike on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 10:30 PM

Divide 6 by 156 and you get .038 or 3.8%

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Posted by Pruitt on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 10:37 PM

Six inch rise in 156 inch run is 3.85%.

A 1.6° incline is about 2.8%.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, June 16, 2022 1:44 AM

MidlandMike

Divide 6 by 156 and you get .038 or 3.8%

 

I agree...grade percentage is "rise" divided by "run", then multiplied by 100...

In the OP's situation, that's 6" divided by 156, then multiplied by 100, which yields 3.85%, which is a fairly steep grade.

The longest grade on my layout is 558" (46'5"... a little longer than originally supposed) and the rise (less than my original guess-timation) was only 14", yielding a grade of only 2.5%, rather than my original estimate of 2.8%.

As a measuring device, I used 19 various cars, plus three Bachmann Consolidations, with an over-all length of 160", which was a lot easier than trying to use a tape measure, given the number of curves (in various directions) on the grade.

Wayne

 

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Posted by santafejeff on Thursday, June 16, 2022 10:14 AM

Thanks for the info. Not sure how I screwed that math up but I guess I will have to rethink the branchline starting point or scrap the idea all together. 

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Posted by santafejeff on Thursday, June 16, 2022 3:07 PM

Ok, since I spent several hours last night thinking of how to do this, I went out to the train building this morning and figured it out. 

My layout is around the walls center peninsula style. Pretty typical. By moving the start point to cone off the main on the peninsula and wrapping it around the room, I ended up with a steep approach of 2.1% but then it drops to a continuous 1.3% as it wraps around the layour room and ultimately ends up on a shelf 10" above a staging yard on the peninsula. 

The "E" shape  lets me start the grade near the center of the peninsula and wind around clockwise gaining elevation about a 40' run and then levelling off gradully until it is level for the remaining 50+' of branchline. Hopefully I did the math right this time

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Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, June 16, 2022 5:31 PM

That sounds like a more useable choice, and 2.1% is not all that steep.

Wayne

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Posted by CharlieM on Thursday, June 16, 2022 5:59 PM

Depending on how long the branchline trains are and what power you use, even 3% grades work well. I run 10-12 40' cars plus a caboose behind moderate steamers and 4 axle diesels on 3% with no problem. Most 4 axle dieisels handle it by themselves but a few need a second engine to avoid wheel slip. More weight would probably sove this. Of course the three truck Shay easily hauls short logging connsists up 6%. Just remember any place you want to perform switching must be flat.

Charlie - Northern Colorado

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Posted by davidmurray on Thursday, June 16, 2022 9:37 PM

I have a switch back to my higher elevation iron ore mine area.  I go up two sections of woodland scenics riser  four percent incline, unto a wye turnout with flat tail area, then back thru the switch and up another two risers.  Any of my geeps handle five iron ore cars plus a caboose.  So a short train would work.

 

David Murray from Oshawa, Ontario Canada
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Posted by hjQi on Friday, June 17, 2022 8:57 PM

3%, or even 4% is ok, as long as you run a train for small number of cars, such as 10 or less. Another thing to consider is that you may need to add an ease section. Changing from level to 3% -4% suddenly may cause issue if the car is long.  

Jerry

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, June 18, 2022 11:05 AM

My layout will have a 5% grade on a local branch line.

I know the train lengths will be limited to three cars, and it will look a bit silly. I really want the additional operational fun this line will provide, so it will be.

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

DrW
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Posted by DrW on Saturday, June 18, 2022 3:31 PM

SeeYou190

My layout will have a 5% grade on a local branch line.

I know the train lengths will be limited to three cars, and it will look a bit silly...

-Kevin

It also looks odd on the prototype. High-speed passenger trains can deal better with vertical curves than with horizontal ones. Thus, the dedicated high-speed line between Frankfurt and Cologne in Germany has very generous curves, but up to 4% inclines. In some places, it looks like a roller-coaster.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYGs6bpdYFg

JW

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Posted by hjQi on Saturday, June 18, 2022 9:08 PM

DrW
hus, the dedicated high-speed line between Frankfurt and Cologne in Germany has very generous curves, but up to 4% inclines.

Thanks for sharing. That is a very steep climb...

Jerry

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Posted by jjdamnit on Sunday, June 19, 2022 10:34 AM

Hello All,

We rode that route in April from Liège to Frankfürt.

At 200 kph that grade was not very noticeable in the direction we were traveling.

However, the hour delay in Neustadt, due to a mechanical problem, was very noticeable.

Good thing the Café Waggon (bier) was open during the delay!

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by santafejeff on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 12:33 PM

Thanks for all the input. I have about 30% of the branchline benchwork (ok its a 4" shelf on wall brackets) installed. Trying to keep as much clearance as possible for the main level. That being said, Im working on a brass rs2 that needs some improvements in order to get it running flawlessly. I need a new motor, the original is open frame and noisy, and new trucks which is proving more difficult than it should be. The originals are gear towers and louder than an AC/DC concert! Im thinking of going eith a set of Atlas aar-b trucks and an Athearn Genesis motor. Will probably need to find custom length drive shafts but, its a hobby after all right? If I knew how to post pics on here, Id show what Im doing. Lol

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Posted by crossthedog on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 2:28 PM

SeeYou190
My layout will have a 5% grade on a local branch line. I know the train lengths will be limited to three cars, and it will look a bit silly. I really want the additional operational fun this line will provide, so it will be.

Hear hear!! The grade up my branch to the town is around 3 or 4 per cent, not sure. I made it as long as I could, didn't worry about the percentage because, by golly, I wanted the branch and it had to fit in a small space. I'm very happy with it. I don't really know what silly would look like nor whether I would particularly object to silly, and I can only fit about six cars up at the terminus anyway, so it's not really a matter of being too steep for the locos to pull a train up, although the drivers on my venerable and much-recently-discussed Atlantic sometimes do a little slippy-hitch in one place on the grade. I kind of like that. It doesn't fail, just has to get a grip before moving on.

-Matt

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

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Posted by crossthedog on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 2:36 PM

santafejeff
If I knew how to post pics on here, Id show what Im doing.

Jeff, you have to host the pics on some other website like Photobucket or Flickr. I use Flickr or an old Wordpress blog I don't write on anymore. Then, you just need to capture the URL of where that image lives. Once you copy that URL, you can use the "Insert/edit image" button (it's in the toolbar when you're posting) and paste the URL into the Source field that appears.

Finding a free image hosting service you like is the hardest part, in my experience.

Good luck.

-Matt

EDIT: If you manage to host them but cannot figure out how to display them here, you could send the link to me (or several others here) and we could post them for you.

 

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

  • Member since
    September 2014
  • From: 10,430’ (3,179 m)
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Posted by jjdamnit on Thursday, June 23, 2022 2:55 PM

Hello All,

Check out this thread...

How to Post Photos With Built-In Magnification (Google Drive)

I have a Google account but don't trust third-party hosting sites.

This is the way I now post images to these forums.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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