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favorite is to gradually raise the roadbed in a vertical curve, from the flat, to the desired gradient.

In much the same way as transition curves lead from the straight to the required radius.

You don't mention what type of roadbed you are using?

Easiest to get a smooth vertical transition is a plywood cutting out the intended trackbed using a jigsaw, and gradually introducing wood wedges underneath, the ply adopts a natural transition. The trackage will find it easy to follow the gradual increase in gradient of the roadbed.

what needs to be avoided are abrupt changes of gradient........for longer wheelbase stock this can be a reliability nightmare.

This is one reason why the addition of different levels requires far more space than folk imagine.
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