My boards are 2ft 6'' wide and have an incline from the front of the board to a two inch incline at the back, of course i dont know what lcomotives you are running but to give you an example a Graham Farish Duchess would only pull three coaches up the incline confidently,
They just dont have the grunt a class 37 GF went ok up there being all wheel drive ....... none of my Kato. Atlas Life like locos have ever given me trouble one kato loco pulled 39 coal cars up there and back down no problems.
Yes there are way of working out the incline and i have used them but the only real test is try your locos up there before you fasten any track down or finalise scenery.
All wheel drive locos are better for inclines unless you consider a helix.
Gauge or scale doesn't matter here - Gravity affects them all in the same way, so the problems of gradients are similar for trains from Z scale to 12" to the foot!
If you must have inclines on a small board, then the best way is to "Split" the incline - for example, for a 500mm clearance, have one line go down 25mm, the other go up 25mm. Keep them as long as possible even if that means the only flat places are stations and yards.
If you do that, each gradient will be halved, all your loco's will pull good trains and the result will also look much better.
possible single gradient 1 in 50: problem for loco's, even pacifics or diesels are really limited in train length.
use a split gradient over same length: result is 1 in 100, and all loco's can still haul nearly as much as on the flat!
I have inclines on my layout, not recommended if you can avoid them, but it certainly lets you know what are "good" engines and "lemons" as far as pulling power goes. I did some trawling throught the internet and read that a 1:40 incline is a minimum, and this works for me. My Minitrix 9F can take a rake of six carriages comfortably, but some of my older Farish's (without traction wheels) do struggle, whereas my new Union Mills J11 treats the incline with contempt.
My Farish diesels can take a train of 28 or so four-wheel wagons up a 1:40 with no problem at all. For some reason the bogie coal hoppers have more rolling resistance and they struggle to lift 12 up the same incline.
Hi Davet and welcome to the MRF from a fellow N Gauger.
Richard Johnson has, I think, given a very practical solution to dealing with how to move between levels. I have, on my Chipping and Binding layout, adopted just such an approach and have managed to get my steepest gradient on my main line down to 1:58 while my shallowest gradient, on my branch line, is 1:86.
One should also recognise that the the problems caused by the gradients themselves are further exacerbated by the introduction of curves into gradients which create even more resistance for locos to haul against.
Another factor to take into consideration is the transition between flat and gradient. This should be as gradual as possible to avoid derailment and uncoupling problems. My personal rule of thumb is to rise by no more than 5mm per 250mm at the steepest point with the gradient rising by 1.5mm over the first 250mm, and 3.5mm over the next 250mm. I actually have a spreadsheet I use to calculate the amount of rise over the transition length based on the total overall rise required over a given track length. If you are into spreadsheets and would like a copy just e-mail me and I will send you a copy.
One thing have found very useful is to actually build a scale model of the intended layout which helps to identify any potential construction or track configuration problems before they become critical.
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