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Grade maximum on an HO Layout

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  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,205 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 12:05 AM
You can try to lengthen the run to the "Top" any way you can. If you just can't find a alt. Route, you got yourself a helper division. Designate a suitiable engine as a helper and pu***hose trains over the summit. You can also leave 7 of 14 cars dat the bottom in a hold track and "Double" the hill by taking the first set of 7 over returning with caboose and getting the remaining 7 of your 14 car train. Suddenly mountain railroading has meaning.

With that said, in real life mountain grades are expressed as percentages. When I drove a semi I have encountered every interstate mountain there is including some off the beaten path. Some were more dangerous than others. The gradient is express as number of feet every 100 feet. If I crossed Black Mountain in NC that is 7 percent which means it is a 7 foot drop (Or rise going up) every 100 feet. Black Mountain is about 7 miles if I remember correctly so that meant a considerable change in elevation.

"Ruling grade" on a railroad is expressed by the steepest section on the division. I have watched trains fight across Raton Pass near the Colo./NM border and certianly it is a brutal climb. The Cheat River Grade in the east is another dangerous climb or descent for railroads.

Logging roads such as the CASS Senic Railroad uses Shays to climb grades of 8% Those grades are too steep for normal rod engines from a traction viewpoint.

Any way you can reduce grades by lenghening your distance to the top will help your model engines alot. I have some favorite engines that will start in excess of 50 cars out of the yard but suddenly dig into the rail with 10 of them on a hill. That is where I looks to operation problem of getting rest over the top.

Remeber to consider 3 inches from the top of the rail to the crossing above for your trains. I think the new modern car racks are even higher. Good Luck to you let us know how it goes.

Lee
  • Member since
    September 2003
  • From: Omaha, NE
  • 10,594 posts
Posted by dehusman on Monday, September 22, 2003 11:33 PM
If you are using steam engines 1-1.5% max.
If you are using diesels, 2-3% max.
Less is better.

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • From: Omaha, NE
  • 10,594 posts
Posted by dehusman on Monday, September 22, 2003 11:33 PM
If you are using steam engines 1-1.5% max.
If you are using diesels, 2-3% max.
Less is better.

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,205 posts
Grade maximum on an HO Layout
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, September 22, 2003 11:12 PM
I am planning a 10' x 16' layout and was wondering what the maximum grade should be. I realize this is the type of question that when you ask 10 people you will get 10 answers, but I was hoping to get an idea from personal experiences. I will be pulling no more than 12-14 cars. I want it to look relatively scale but I also need to consider the fact I don’t have that big of an area to use.

I was also hoping someone could explain how the grade is calculated. For example....a 3% grade means you will rise 1" every ? feet.

The reason I am asking is that there are several spots where I need to be 4" above the base level in about 8 feet.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Jeff
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,205 posts
Grade maximum on an HO Layout
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, September 22, 2003 11:12 PM
I am planning a 10' x 16' layout and was wondering what the maximum grade should be. I realize this is the type of question that when you ask 10 people you will get 10 answers, but I was hoping to get an idea from personal experiences. I will be pulling no more than 12-14 cars. I want it to look relatively scale but I also need to consider the fact I don’t have that big of an area to use.

I was also hoping someone could explain how the grade is calculated. For example....a 3% grade means you will rise 1" every ? feet.

The reason I am asking is that there are several spots where I need to be 4" above the base level in about 8 feet.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Jeff

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