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As Tony says 1 :40 is pretty steep - it really depends on what locomotives you are using & train length/friction/weight - many modern locomotives have immense haulage capacity, so your gradients may be limited to what "looks right".

Try to get as smooth a transition from level to gradient as possible - Alistair's method is probably the best to achieve this & the way I would do it also. What you really need to avoid is an angle in the rail - don't forget to apply the same principle when you go back to the level at the top !

Whatever you do try & avoid curves on steep gradients, they can cause a lot of friction.
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