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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am building a 00 layout 12ft X 10ft 10 in and would like to raise the track I have done a few trials with my engines most struggle with 4 coaches.I would be grateful for a bit of advice ,what would the height need to be for the trains to run without struggling up the gradient.
thanks
 

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Hi redmike
I would suggest at least a 1:50 you could reduce this
but I think you would need to lower any track that might be underneath.
You could also try the search option as this topic has been discuss in detail before.
It would probably give you a better answer than my short one.
John
 

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the best way would be to make your gradient as shallow as possible the longer the slope the better if you can do a 1 in 30 cms rise and if you are going over other tracks you will need a hight of 4" or 10 cms hope this helps

regards shaun
 

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Chief cook & bottle washer
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1:30 is very steep if you want to pull a train up it. I'd stick with the first suggestion of 1:50 or easier.
 

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The basic advice is keep gradients as gantle as possible. The no 1 trick for achieving this if two tracks starting on a single level have to pass one over the other (which is the usual thing on a model railway) is to have one track fall and the other rise. Sharing the climbing over both tracks increases the constructional complexity of the layout, but halves the gradient which can be very significant. You can get one track over another in OO with a 60mm height difference if you work carefully and the crossing is not on view. The more usual minimum allowance is 80mm, and this is visually acceptable if the crossing is going to be in a scenic area of the layout.
 

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Bog Snorkeller
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My layout is OO and 10' x 12'6" so very similar size to yours. I have three levels - bottom loop to station; the station area; and station to top loop, all of the track except the station and the two loops is on a 1:62 gradient. To be able to achieve this gradient with a minimum of 3" clearance where tracks cross, has required a track distance of 136' 6" from one loop to the other and this does not include the level station area of roughly 9'0". The layout is 'L' girder construction with individually cut trackbed allowing adjustment up or down far more easily than a solid deck.

I have used either woodland scenics or dcc concepts foam track bed (which is rather chunky) and the min clearance as already mentioned for tracks to cross over each other is 3". If you use a 1:50 gradient this will require 12'6" plus a small area each end for a transition. I found 1:50 too steep for my stable so eased it out a little to 1:62 (needing 15'6" + transitions) so, as you can see, it needs a lot of room. Both the 1:62 and 3" clearance look visually okay - ie they don't look too steep or too big.

My loco's (mostly steam) will haul 5 coaches up this gradient, the diesels a couple more, I don't have stalling problems but sometimes use a non-coupled banking engine for the steam loco's - more for looks than need.

If you have steam loco's I think you'll find 1:50 too severe so will need to do as I did and ease it out, but the only way to find out is conduct a few experiments with your stock, if you're just diesel then they may well cope with 1:50.

This gives an idea of what I'm talking about - from the bottom loop, rising at 1:62 into the station, from there it comes up again at 1:62 along my transistion road (the centre level in the picture) and continues at 1:62 to the toploop. From bottom to top, round the loop and back to the bottom is a total run of 85 yards.



This shows a minimum tunnel clearance of 3" with the track over rising at 1:62. From the top of the station deck where the diesel is, to the bottom of the deck running over is 3" which looks visually acceptable (to me anyway).


Hope this helps a little.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
QUOTE (16A @ 11 Oct 2010, 08:59) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>My layout is OO and 10' x 12'6" so very similar size to yours. I have three levels - bottom loop to station; the station area; and station to top loop, all of the track except the station and the two loops is on a 1:62 gradient. To be able to achieve this gradient with a minimum of 3" clearance where tracks cross, has required a track distance of 136' 6" from one loop to the other and this does not include the level station area of roughly 9'0". The layout is 'L' girder construction with individually cut trackbed allowing adjustment up or down far more easily than a solid deck.

I have used either woodland scenics or dcc concepts foam track bed (which is rather chunky) and the min clearance as already mentioned for tracks to cross over each other is 3". If you use a 1:50 gradient this will require 12'6" plus a small area each end for a transition. I found 1:50 too steep for my stable so eased it out a little to 1:62 (needing 15'6" + transitions) so, as you can see, it needs a lot of room. Both the 1:62 and 3" clearance look visually okay - ie they don't look too steep or too big.

My loco's (mostly steam) will haul 5 coaches up this gradient, the diesels a couple more, I don't have stalling problems but sometimes use a non-coupled banking engine for the steam loco's - more for looks than need.

If you have steam loco's I think you'll find 1:50 too severe so will need to do as I did and ease it out, but the only way to find out is conduct a few experiments with your stock, if you're just diesel then they may well cope with 1:50.

This gives an idea of what I'm talking about - from the bottom loop, rising at 1:62 into the station, from there it comes up again at 1:62 along my transistion road (the centre level in the picture) and continues at 1:62 to the toploop. From bottom to top, round the loop and back to the bottom is a total run of 85 yards.



This shows a minimum tunnel clearance of 3" with the track over rising at 1:62. From the top of the station deck where the diesel is, to the bottom of the deck running over is 3" which looks visually acceptable (to me anyway).


Hope this helps a little.
Thank you for your reply your set up looks great ,I am very new to this so all the help and advice gratefully received
 

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Bog Snorkeller
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Hi again Mike. (I forgot to welcome you to the Forum - so Welcome)

Help is no problem as we all had to start somewhere - just ask and we'll be pleased to offer whatever advice we can.

My set up is DCC using an NCE Powerhouse Pro- nice bit of kit, and this time I decided to use Tillig HO trackwork (code 83) with Tortoise or Cobalt point motors. What I've got so far on this new venture has taken just over a year to get where I am at and now all track is down (well nearly as I've just realised I can get a long hidden storage loop in that I hadn't noticed before) so I'm just about ready to start doing the scenic side of things.

Have a read of my blog (just click my signature) it may be worth a read just to find out how I got it together - although I have been 'at it' for more years than I care to remember, I'm still learning and thanks go to the members of this forum for pointing me in the right direction.

One tip for you regarding the forum - although it's not a distinct 'No No' when quoting someone don't use the whole passage as it just repeats everything that has already been said and is a pain in the backside to read - many loose interest if posts are repeated again and again in this way. Paste the quote in and then delete the unrequired portions of it so that only the salient points are made.

Anyway, keep up the good work and obviously keep us informed of your progress.
 

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Hi Mike (16A),

Any chance of a track plan, I think you have similar dimensions of space available to me, and I'm contemplating a vaguely similar style layout.

Cheers
Kevin
 

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Hi there too, I have conducted experiments on this matter, 1 in 20 is the absolute minimum and is only Ok if you have big loop tension liock couplings, as you rise the gradient needs to slacken off, I found that even if the loco can pull up the hill (a good effort by the Wrenn N2) coming down is a bigger problem, this also requires a better arrangement on the downslope as any corner can ensure a pile up, at 1 in 20 any more than 6 wagons was a pile up and 2 coaches similar.

1 in 30 is better but the manufacturers suggest 1 in 37 which is the same as the Lickey and I think Hemerdon Bank
1 in 27 is the Werneth incline and this is about the limit of possibilities with oo guage

The steepest bit of the national rail network is Chequebent near Bolton which after a landslip comes at 1 in 19.5, the Darjeeling Himalaya is 1 in 19 and I think the Rochsoles branch was 1 in 19.5 as well

So the rule is 1 in 30 minimum, ease the gradient at the top, have a straight run down at the bottom, big loop couplings and not the NEM/Marklin type small coupling and also short trains

Other than these minimum standards the advice above is good
 

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Just another modeller
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*** Using anything in steam made in the last decade or more and many diesels prior to the much better all wheel drive models now available, your quoted minimums are I feel way, way too steep.

Prototype gradients bear zero relationship to model railways. Sorry to say but really do think a Wren N2's ability has about the same validity relative to the question. An answer to a new modeller should reflect current models abilities, not that of long dead brands.

Which Mfrs suggest 1 in 37???

I would strongly suggest that anything steeper than 1 in 36 will limit trains to 20% of those pulled on the flat, that 1 in 80 to 1 in 100 are the not often achieved ideal area to aim at and that 1 in 50 should be considered a practical minimum target for any permanent layout if frequent disappointment is to be avoided.

sorry to pull your post apart like that, but while I respect your liking for the old dead brands, I do feel that a more general perspective based on current models is important.

regards

Richard
 

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Well jeden das sein is the word here, cannot pull me apart whatever you say, I have experimented and even checked with the Germans who work on a 1 in 25 basis at 4% and agree with this, was looking at such a marklin 'M' system tonight with 360 degree climbs so sorry mate you are too pessimistic. (just in case you doubt me the source is the President of the BDEF Peter Briegel) (Bundersverband Deutscher Eisenbahn-Freunde e. V)

Then come to the manufacturers I have just looked for the references to quote but assure you both PECO and Hornby say 1 in 37, Hornby of course produce supports that click into the track, I have tested these and it comes out at 1 in 22 and that is severe and think too steep to make use of, spacing them out and the gap is too long and the track sags whilst you need a selection of twice as many with intermediate heights to make it to 1 in 44, so I guess Hornby have gone the minimum possible to get up to one of their plastic bridges which are 80mm to track bed high. my old dad has a 1 in 27 gradient and all his (450 odd) locos get the chance to climb this from time to time, the regulars are N1's, J39 and other NE types some vintage and some handmade some new. (no deisels)

So my advice is to try it and experiment - by the way the Lickey is 1 in 37 so is Exeter Bank, but you cannot be wrong - can you - and that the gradients bear no similarity to real railways, funny that coincidence. I acknowledge the difference is in the stock, flywheel motors can run away and the coaches/brake vans have no brakes and in such situations you could have a Driver Axholme incident, again can only be a coincidence.

PS if you want to know more gradients just ask
 

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*** I have no interest in pulling anyone apart. I simply say it as I see it and in this case, as it is.

You continue to conveneiently miss the point: A model loco and a real one have no comparison in adhesion or ability to move tonnage without slipping. Quote away by all means but it has no relevance, as Marklin are also not relevant - M track is a legacy system of toylike track and K or M, they use stainless steel (recent) or steel (previously) rail which has a far higher coefficient of friction than NS plus cast metal bodies.

UK models use plastic bodied locos with Nickel silver rail and nickel silver wheels. NS is a VERY slippery alloy and no UK prototype model steam loco in current production will pull well up a grade near that steep. Slipping of a light loco on NS track with no suspension is inevitable with anything other than a token load.

1 in 50 will still drop possible train lengths by more than 50%, and any steeper it will just get silly. I do not need to experiment - I have been doing so for a very long time indeed and my comments are based on real world results, not silly word games....

The question was not of or about prototype gradients: by all means quote away about as many of them as you like, but prototype gradients will still have absolutely NO relevance in relation to the question OR model railways as a whole unless a specific prototype is being modelled, and even then, a wise modeller would build what works gradient wise, not what the real world did ONLY when they had absolutely no choice as THEIR locos could not pull an economical train up them either!

regards

Richard
 

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Hi kristopher,

I'm afraid that, based on many years experience, I agree whole heartedly with Richard's comments and would add that the gradients on my own layout range from 1 in 56 to 1 in 86.

As for the Lickey Bank, are you aware that trains are 'banked' with a second locomotive in order to get up it ? That should, in itself, indicate that it is not a representative example and is certainly not one on which a model railway should be based, unless of course you are actually modelling Lickey Bank
 

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Bog Snorkeller
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QUOTE (redmike @ 10 Oct 2010, 21:11) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>what would the height need to be for the trains to run without struggling up the gradient.
Now now gentleman - the salient point in the OP's question is above, upon which I have passed on my advice being a minimum of 1:50 but found in practice 1:62 was necessary (seemingly agreed upon by Richard and Trevor) and a minimum clearance of 3" where the tracks cross over each other.

It's all very well manufacturers quoting vague figures in this way but the equation contains so many variables it renders such information useless, but what is important is achieveing 'what works for you' and the only practical way of doing this is by local experimentation with your own loco's and stock - there is no other way.

Richard, Trevor and myself probably have over 100 years of model rail experience between us and as such should give some indication that what we have said is solid advice gained over many years - to others it may just suggest we're 'old gits'

QUOTE (kb27 @ 12 Oct 2010, 08:57) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Mike (16A), Any chance of a track plan, I think you have similar dimensions of space available to me, and I'm contemplating a vaguely similar style layout.
Kevin, there's a trackplan on my blog (click on my signature) right at the very bottom. It did change slightly during construction but the principal remained the same. I think the 1/10th scale cardboard mock-up pictures give a better idea of how it is all laid out.
 

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I think the point here is very much the case, people new to the hobby want to know what is possible and the manufacturers produce items for them to buy which one hopes are tested.

Fact Hornby bridges are 80mm to track level
Fact Faller bridges can go very high
The Metcalf viaduct is 132mm
Hornby produce ramps which give 1 in 22

So the prospect for a new comer is that they most probably buy ready to run from Hornby and supplement this with PECO after a time, as it goes they might move away from setrack but perhaps not, to many people a clip together track system is all they need or feel comfortable with and they like the interest of climbs and gradients.

Now Expat builds N guage so for a given length he can have half the gradient, others may have the luxury of space (my dad's layout is 9m long) and Richard I respect your views, given the space I would have the easiest gradients possible but my new layout will be a 5 sided lozenze shape with the long sides 4.05m and 4.15m, I will hide the gradients as best I can and it will be as long as possible.

If we come to an accurate system well I would not be here, EM or HO are the places for that, as soon as you go OO guage you are in toyland, 3.5mm/1 foot track and 4mm stock, it is just not accurate at all, I can see one day I will go EM but for now I am working my way from setrack/Hornby to Streamline then onto something better again but for now I am happy to have out of the way severe gradients, and a lot of fun out of it, just want to get building.

And now I want German Borsig neverwas 2-6-8-0 class 53
 

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QUOTE (kristopher1805 @ 13 Oct 2010, 08:09) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Now Expat builds N guage so for a given length he can have half the gradient,

I'm sorry kristopher but you're talking absolute rubbish. In N Gauge the height of rise necessary to pass over another track is correspondingly less but THE GRADIENT IS EXACTLY THE SAME.

Hornby is not a good reference for modelling. The ramps they produce are for the 'toy train' market and are suitable only for the train sets they produce where they include only 2 or 3 carriages or 3/4 wagons in the set. As soon as you add more carriages you will hit problems.

If you want to build a MODEL RAILWAY as opposed to a TOY TRAIN SET then gradients should be as shallow as possible but should generally be no steeper than 1 in 40.
 

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I think you misunderstand me because you wish to.

If your baseboard is 4 metres long and you have to rise 40mm then you have 1 in 100

But this allows you to go over the top of another N track

In double O to achieve the same effect you need to rise 80mm in other words the gradient is then 1 in 50

So you can halve the gradient for a given space in N over OO, 1 in 100 is always 1 in 100 of course but it is all a matter of scale. Why expat did you opt for N, because you wanted to model the whole East Coast mainline? unlikely but with n you get a lot in the space.

As we are being pedantic here then British N is 2.062mm/foot whereas British OO is 4mm so it is almost half in N and thus the gradient is half for a similar effect, not rubbish arithmetic.

(ref the PECO catalog)

So let us come back to the matter of the toy train market, I wonder what you started out with? I make these notes because I believe that the new people to the hobby wish to understand these issues and learn without spending the money to experiment, it is our (I hope) place to assist, OK we can have a super detail, snotty nose attitude that talks down to others but a little explaining can be a great assistance as some who have e mailed me tell me, my view if that is where you go and what you want fine, then you can tell new people they are toy railway anoraks and that the experienced hobby rail fans are all seeing and know better.

Guys if you are new to all this the facts are the facts, model railways are made with mass market appeal and are great fun, I have a number of converts already out here in the sand, one man has never even seen a real train but he is hooked, right now he wants a model railway and probably does not care about lots of detail, me I have a set pattern but bend this to suit my fancy, for eg my railway is 1962 but I will certainly be operating a 30xx Rod which last operated in 1958 because I like them.

I hope reading this you all will move on to super detail EM guage with easy gradients and easy curves.

One passing thought the German association in Stuttgart have a model railway in a 1935 coach body, it is 14mtrs long, controlled by a laptop computer, has 7 levels and it takes 1 hour and 25mins to complete the circuit, yes it has tight gradients and tight corners.
 

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You obviously believe that the more you write, the more right you become. I will not give you credibility by indulging in a game of words.

I will simply leave you to your toy trains while the rest of us get on with building our model railways.
 

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In my retirement I found myself building a largish layout in the garage and have built a condensed circuit using several levels. I ended up with a 1 in 65 gradient which really does allow me to drive trains. I have about 20 metres at 1 in 65 and using loco drive engines can regularly pull 9 coaches with most engines the smaller class 4 locos manage only 7 coaches and the larger ones 11. Move onto Wrenns and hornby dublo locos and even more coaches can be hauled. The one thing i would do differently is to reduce the gradient on all corners. I am nowhere less than 750mm radius but the friction of coaches on the curve does affect their pulling power I might get an extra coach on a train. This gradient I have found forces me to run trains that are pretty close to what is allowed on the big railway. This may be a comment on an old post but it may help other readers
 
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