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Grades for model railroad,cars for sale in vernon ct,n scale trains for sale in canada vancouver,2 x 3 n scale layouts - Step 1

You may have noticed when traveling on a highway in hilly country that nearby railroad tracks do not follow the terrain as closely as the highway does.
Railroad grades are measured in the percentage of rise over distance traveled; a rise in elevation of one foot per 100 feet traveled would be a 1% grade (see Figure 1).
Going back to Figure 1 it’s good to note that model railroaders can use much steeper grades than prototypical railroads. In the case of one track crossing another, no matter what scale you are modeling, there are several measurements you must make to calculate the grade you have to use to achieve your purpose (see Figure 3). Figure 4b: Make sure you measure your tallest rolling stock if the crossover is on a mainline. Adding a safety factor to your maximum car height gives you your minimum clearance needed for one train to pass beneath another. But, the height the train must climb to give you the minimum clearance is actually railhead to railhead. Adding these figures together, is shows we have a total track run of 212.25” before our first crossover, more than enough to reach our minimum height at a 5% grade. Next we need to create risers to put under the roadbed of the grade track to lift it to its intended height (see Figure 6). Remember to cut two of each riser, since the track must descend after it crosses over the lower track, and as many of the tallest ones needed to support the track as it travels at maximum rise.
Figure 7 shows the risers placed under the roadbed of the 54” loop of our O Gauge Project Layout, raising the track to the point it crosses the lower tracks of the 42” return loop.
Grades create an area of interest on a model railroad layout and add to operational interest. MELBOURNE, Australia (20 June 2014) – Nissan has confirmed the Australian pricing and model grades for the all-new Nissan QASHQAI, which goes on sale in Australia in July 2014. The award-winning, critically acclaimed QASHQAI is one of Nissan’s most successful models, with over two million sold globally since the previous generation debuted in 2007 and redefined the crossover hatch. The all-new Nissan QASHQAI now sets out to offer even greater levels of premium comfort, innovative technologies and bold, attractive styling.
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This small HO scale layout packs a lot of action into a small footprint by using sharp curves and steep grades. A 2 percent grade for example would climb 2 inches in every 100 inches (or 1 inch every 4 feet, 2 inches).Maximum GradeSo just what is the steepest grade a train can climb? If you find something of value here, please "pay it forward" and help us keep the site operating by a secure donation through PayPal (PayPal account is not required), or by shopping with our advertisers.
While the road may go up and down repeatedly, the railroad track instead follows a much more gentle up and down path, with earthen fills or bridges over the lowest elevations and cuts through the highest points in the terrain. Among prototype railroads, this would be a steep grade for all but those railroads traversing tall mountain regions. But probably the most common reason for a grade on a model railroad layout is that, due to limited space, our tracks must cross over one another as we bend them to fit the space available. A 1% grade on most model railroads, because our trains tend to be much shorter and our cars much lighter proportionally, is not a steep grade. This distance includes not only your minimum clearance, but the thickness of your roadbed and the height of the track on the upper level. With O Gauge track, the 54” measures the diameter of the circle those tracks would make (in other scales, size of the curve indicates the radius of the circle those tracks would make). Since we don’t have a complete circle, it helps us to know that it takes 16 pieces of 54” diameter track to complete a circle. Given this extra distance we could create a transitional grade of 2.5% on the first and last 10” of our track to ease the change from level to grade track. As these risers fit between “ground level” and the bottom of the roadbed of our grade track; at full height, they will be our “minimum clearance height” of 8”, which we discussed earlier.
If you have an adjustable miter saw, you can cut the top of each riser at the angle of the grade at that point, either 2.5% or 5%, for a better fit, or you can just use shims between the riser and roadbed on the high side. With the formulas provided here you have a jumping off point to add much more interest to your model railroad layout.
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This is because a railroad locomotive, pulling a much heavier load than an automobile or semi-truck, depends on the friction of its steel wheels on steel rails for its pulling power. As an example of what a challenge to railroad operations a grade introduces, to keep its grades at no more than 0.5% on its route along the upper Potomac River in the hill country of western Maryland, the Western Maryland Railway went to the expense of building miles of retaining wall, six multi-span bridges, two creek crossings, a number of concrete culverts, and three tunnels over a distance of less than 35 miles.
And an O gauge model railroad will often utilize even steeper grades than even most “scale” model railroads – as much as 5% on the mainline (confused about the difference between “scale” and “gauge”? This is about an 8-inch clearance from “ground level” of our plywood base to the bottom of upper roadbed.
If you have the pieces, you can assemble them and then run a string down the center rail, and then measure the string (be careful not to stretch the string when measuring it). How steep is too steep?Model or prototype, the severity of a grade has a major impact on the operations of the railroad. In case of trademark issues please contact the domain owner directly (contact information can be found in whois). It simply cannot climb as steep a hill as a lighter road vehicle traveling on rubber tires. Even this grade would have required the use of “helper” locomotives added to trains heavy coal trains along this route.
However, make sure if it’s a mainline crossing that you measure the height of your tallest rolling stock (see Figure 4b). Remember, our first and last 10” of track rise at only 2.5% as a transition from level to grade track. Grades determine the length and weight of trains, the number and type of locomotives assigned and the speed limit. Gauge page – however in this use, I make the distinction between model railroaders looking to reproduce very-close-to-scale layouts as opposed to an O or S Gauge “toy” train layout, even a realistic one like our O Gauge Model Railroad Project). Most “scale” model railroad layouts would only use a 5% or higher grade as a deliberate challenge to operations to mimic mountain railroading. In some cases engineers have gone to extremes with tracks that look like a prototypical helix,  but they are an unavoidable part of life in most places in the world.Plan your grades to make the most out of the track and not overtax your locomotives. To calculate the height of our second riser, we need to start with the height of our first riser, and add to that. Calculating grades is easier than you think.Calculating the GradeGrades are written as a percent, with the height of vertical rise divided by the length of horizontal run. There’s nothing wrong with having flat level areas of track, but changing the elevations by including gradients (slope of railroad track) can add considerable interest to a layout. Adding grades to a model railroad can increase the option of including tunnels, bridges etc as the trains meander through the countryside or mountain ranges.However, railroad grades need careful consideration if you are to avoid operational problems such as derailments or stalling locomotives.
Below is a table showing the height of each riser needed to reach the height we calculated to cross over another track.
A train has a lot of momentum - enough that it can help power a train up a short grade without great difficulty.Because the method of calculating a grade is the same for both model and prototype, the same standards generally apply.
It’s not just the loco that will need to safely navigate up or down the raised track, it is also the fully laden cars carrying coal, timber, metal, refrigerated foods, fuels, vehicles, livestock, or even people (well, plastic models of people). Since most model trains are short by prototype standards, a 4 percent grade, or even slightly greater, is still quite steep but manageable for most layouts. Grades of around 2 percent are much more realistic and manageable but will still impact train speeds and engine capacity. Grades of 1 percent or less can be handled without any concern.Curves and GradesIn addition to the length and percent of a grade, curvature within a grade also has an impact on operations.
Curves increase the friction between wheels and rails, consequently it will be both harder to pull a train up a curving grade and easier to bring it down.Adding curves to a grade on a model railroad can help provide a longer run in a smaller footprint and therefore actually reduce the percent of grade. A heavier loco might be able to climb a steep grade, whereas the wheels on a lighter weight loco might slip. Unlike grades, minimum curve radius varies between scales.TransitionsAs with an easement on a curve, it is important to make gradual transitions when building a grade. Avoid kinks at the top and bottom of the grade to prevent derailments and accidental uncoupling. This is basically a motorized boxcar or freight car that can be positioned somewhere towards the center of a long train.
They just need to be evenly spaced along the train.How Steep Should The Track Grade Be?A track gradient is measured as a percentage of rise over the length of the track. So if the model train track stretches for 100 inches, and over that distance the train climbs by one inch, then the gradient would be 1%. Compare that to a short 25 inches of model train track with the same 1 inch rise – that would be really steep and equate to a 4% rise. Real railroads need to make money, so having trains stall or derail can prove costly.Broken down trains can block the line (upsetting schedules), derailed trains can be expensive to get back on the tracks, damaged goods (or passengers) is bad for business, and damaged trains or track can run into big money to replace or repair.


That’s why real railroads choose to minimize operating costs and minimize risks, by avoiding overly steep gradients. As I mentioned earlier, a 1 percent grade poses few problems on most layouts.As with life-size railroads, the grades on a model railroad will be determined by the weight and length of trains.
Other factors will be the number (and type) of locos being operated and the track speed limit. That’s not to say model trains can’t or don’t operate on grades of 4%, 5%, or even 6% – they do. But the steeper grades are more likely to operate short trains, geared locos, and at slow speeds.
Mainline grades are generally below 2%.The thing to remember is that on real railroads the trains gain considerable momentum on long straight level sections of track. If the track runs level for several miles and then has a small ? mile run of steeper 2 percent grade, then the power of the train will take it up the grade without too much effort. So, from a railroad management view point, the 2% grade is unlikely to disrupt schedules or add greatly to the running costs. A lot more pulling power would be required to haul the same train.More info on model train grades, realistic scale speedsCurves and bends also influence operations on level ground as well as on gradients. A sudden change to track slope or angle is a recipe for disaster, posing a higher risk of unplanned uncoupling or even derailments. This is because curves increase the wheel and rail friction making it more difficult to haul a train up a curving gradient, and less troublesome taking it down.However, a including curves on grades can give a longer run where space is limited on a model railroad.
Gradients can add considerable interest to a scale railroad, especially where one track passes over another on trestles or bridges.
As long as there are no track or wheel faults, a train will generally run along a straight section of track without difficulties. Add a tight curve, an ‘S’ bend, or steep gradient, and train speed and operation changes.Curves and Grades Need SpaceTo achieve continuous running, a layout will need 180 degree curves so the train can turn around without stopping. Due to space limitations, this is not possible on every layout, especially on narrow railroads. The minimum radius of curves will also vary depending on the scale.The above chart shows various scale clearances needed when planning tunnels and bridges. Remember that when a track rises it generally needs to come back down again, so the length of the grade will need to be doubled to allow for both the rise and descent.When constructing a layout it is always best to try and avoid potential problems, rather than try to fix problems after they have happened. Simply things can save a lot of frustration, like testing the trains on your layout BEFORE gluing down the track and grade foam. They need to be able to take the curves without derailing and climb the grades without coming to a standstill. Obviously you will need to decide how many cars each train is likely to have to conclude whether the track configuration is adequate for your needs. There’s no point in having a fancy layout that isn’t practical to operate. Share This Post7 Responses to What’s the Maximum Climbing Gradient for Model Trains? Reply John Mc Cabe says:Grades look great on long model train layouts but not on short ones, which can look too much like a toy train. If you’re not going prototype, remember that trains need a grade to go over something, and that the height at the crossing over has to clear the object below it. To test it, make a grade carefully with something like extruded plastic, going from 0 inches to your maximum height. With track nails, which can be pulled out of the extruded plastic easily, set up your track with a power pack at one flat end, and run the locomotive over it, putting some cars behind it. If your hand or hands get stuck, call the Model Railroad Police, though you might have to wait awhile. A good example of a bad grade is where they have beginners make a steep grade up and over a cross track and right back down. I run 2% grades and pulling 20 foot HO trains can be done with 2 engines depending on the axles pulling.
Reply Kevin Ching says:I use an adjustable builders level with one level able to be adjusted to the correct level when laying this along the track bed before laying the track so that you get the gradient at the same constant grade.
Reply David Broad says:I have used a grade of 1 in 36 on an indoor steam era UK layout for many years but while the old die cast Wrenn locos are happy with 7 passenger coaches or 17 4 wheel good wagons modern locos need more loco adhesion weight, removing bogie springs etc, and less drag like removing Tender weight and deleting tender pick ups.
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