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I have a query with the plan for my new layout in our new house. I want to have a high level station but I need to get there from the low level & the question is how do I reliably do so without pickup etc problems. As I have never before worked with more than one level this is a new problem. I have seen some horribly sharp transitions into gradients that I wish to avoid.

I am sure that we are all well aware of transition curves & their merits but little is ever said about transition gradients. That is the bit between the level & the ruling gradient at the beginning of the slope & the ruling gradient & the level track at the end of the slope. Given that may locos have fairly long sets of drivers & in the small gauges very little in the way of suspension to cope with varying track height how do those with experience deal with the transitional areas?

Chris
 

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It's generally much easier when you use open frame bench work. You then can manipulate your transition and the angle of your gradient. From practical experience I found that 2% was about the maxium with a decent length train (six mark 1's). Have you thought about using woodland sceenic's road bed, they do them in a variety of gradients.
Woodlands Sceenics
Risers

To the best of my knowledge Bachmann UK don't stock this so you may have to ship it in from the states.

 

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On previous layouts built by my father and myself some years ago he had hardboard on top of something else (insulation board?). Both were cut to shape to form the trackbed and pinned down onto the lower baseboard then run up the timber supports forming the base of the gradient, which was about 1 in 40. This seemed to produce a transistion from level to gradient which all our locos and coaches negotiated without any problem.

Hope this helps,
John Webb
 

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Have a look at this website how he has done it and i have done it this way myself and works great.

Waldovia State Railways
 

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My loft layout has the fiddle yard under the main station, and I have planned the layout so that the transition gradient is about 1:50 (or 2%). This gradient is also on a curve at both ends of the layout, and even some pointwork is on the gradient! One end of the layout has been completed so that I have the full height difference in place. I have had no difficulty whatsoever with locos hauling realistic length trains up the incline. Hornby M/N and A4 classes have hauled 10 coaches with no problem and my son's Bachmann Class 66 takes 10 loaded container wagons up at a realistic crawl - awesome!

When I get to the branch line, which rises above the main station level, I will probably go to a gradient of 1:40 (2.5%) as the trains will be much shorter and lighter.

Regarding the transition from flat to gradient, all I did was lay the rails across the two boards - one flat, one gradient - and gently pack the gap between sleepers and board with suitable thickness of card before pinning the track down. This avoided any vertical pressure on the track, and I have suffered no loss of adhesion or power pick-up at all. Maybe my approach was naive and simplistic, but it works!

Graham
 

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The 'Railway Modeller' for March 2006, published this week, has an updated edition of their 'Making Baseboards' booklet given away with it. It is 50p from Peco otherwise.

This includes the topic of making slopes up or down and how to make the transition.
Regards,
John Webb
 

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We have two slopes on our layout to access the higher level (the trackplan being a looped-back figure of eight) which are both around 1:40 and metre long. We have some older A4s which have huge problems getting up these, even alone, I'm not sure how newer steam models would cope. Diesels, like bachmann 37s/25s have no problems dragging 8 coaches up that. The transition on these was originally almost non existant, but when it was discovered that coaches were coming off the top like a ski jump a lot of mounting board packing was cut and shoved underneath. Works like a dream now!
 
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