Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Handy, Mar 23, 2003.

1. ### HandyNew Member

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Hi all. This is my first time posting here, I've lurked around for a couple days though. I'm pretty new to layout design and wanted to ask about grades.

I've seen others say 2-3% is normal, with 9% being an extreme. What does the % refer to- the angle? Also does this change in regards to scale? I'm in the way early planning stages of an N scale layout.

Thanks.
2. ### Paul DavisMember

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Probably the easyest way to explain it is to put it this way:

A 2% grade means for a section of track 100 units long* one end is 2 units higher while for a 9% grade a peice of track 100 units long* would have one end 9 units higher.

What scale you model in doesn't make a difference. A 2% grade in Z has the same steepness as a 2% grade in the real thing

*Ok technically this isn't true.as the 100 units should be the horizontal distance. The sloped peice of track 100 units long is actually slightly less than 100 units horizontaly but the difference is so small it really doesn't make a difference unless the grade is really really steep.

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Handy,

Don
4. ### jon-mononActive Member

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Welcome aboard Handy! Sounds like the other folks have explained it well. Your right normal people run 2 or 3% grades and get nervy when it gets up to 4%, but loggers go up to 9, 10, even 11% grade and enjoy every minute! A rough figure, if you want to stay on the normal end of the scale, is you can go 2 inches up/down every 8 feet. IMHO you'll have more fun if go for a steep logging layout
5. ### interurbanActive Member

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Welcome Handy, the folk have already boogled ya mind with %
or at least this old mind .
The way I was taught was simple, 1inch elevation every 3 feet.
Unless ya want ta live dangerous
Have lots of fun
6. ### HandyNew Member

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Thanks All!

As I understand it- the equation is as follows....

(hight of high point minus hight of low point) over distance between points = percentage over 100

So- (not actual example) - if the high point is 7cm and the low point is ground level(0), and the distance between each is 70cm, then the grade is a whopping 35% .

As I get more into the planning I'll be posting more in the N forum since later Q's will most likely be N specific.

Thanks again.
7. ### ezdaysOut AZ way

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Handy,

I don't know how you did your arithmetic, but if you're going up 7 cm in a 70 cm distance, the grade comes to 10%.

7 cm / 70 cm = .1 = 10%

Which is really steep., unless you wanted to go logging......

Don
8. ### HandyNew Member

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Doh!

When I did the math, the 70 morphed into a 20.
You right.

A better example-

You want to get a train up 10 cm form ground, using a 3% grade. How far apart would the points be?

10/x = 3/100
using cross multiplication...
10 * 100 = 3x
1000 = 3x
333.3333~ = x

You would need a little over 333 cm to acomplish this.

It's nice to have this, it helps with many things.