need help on layout

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by UPJunkie, Apr 8, 2004.

  1. UPJunkie

    UPJunkie Member

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    i am in progress to making a Ho layout (logging and Coal) and i want to make the top and some the bottom parts of the layout to have grades in it. I am not sure to scale what grade should i make them i don't want a big grade but enough to tell it is going down or up a grade i have been out of ho scale for a long time and just getting back into it but someone told me that the grades will burn up the motors in the engine not sure if this is true or not if it is true did they all fix that problem.

    the size of the room is 11ft x 13 ft and i want at least to have 3 or 4 trains running

    Thanks :thumb:
  2. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

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    About 1 1/2 inches per 8 ft is pretty conservative. A lot of people run 2". It all depends how many cars you will pull and what your loco's are capable of. The best thing to do is test it out on some track tacked down to a board. Curves on grade also add more friction.

    Usually the drivers will slip before the motor is overloaded. I can't immagin a motor burning up on a grade unless is was heavily weighted for traction and it moved very slowly up a long grade at full throttle. You could monitor it, a motor can get quite warm before it gets perminant damage. You may effect lubrication if it get hot a lot, but not hot enough to murder it. Lack of lubrication causes more heat. So keeping them properly lubed may also help. Proper lube will help overall performance.
  3. billk

    billk Active Member

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    A "rule of thumb" is not to have grades over 3%, preferably not over 2%, unless your running geared locos like Shays, etc.

    If the grade is on a curve, the grade would 'feel' to a locomotive maybe double what it actually is, depending on the curve radius.

    The grade percentage is just the vertical times 100 divided by the horizontal, for example a 3" rise over 200" would be 300/200 or 1-1/2%. (Doesn't depend on scale.)

    The problem with too steep of a grade is usually the limitation it puts on train lengths, although I suppose motor burnouts could be a concern.

    Hope this helps
  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    Your locos should not burn out if the wheels slip when you hold it from moving. There may be problems with some locos with traction tires.
  5. UPJunkie

    UPJunkie Member

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    thanks guys this helps alot someone told me long time ago about the grades i just wanted to make sure before i do it
  6. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

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    Sounds as if you are going to make part of a logging line as well as coal. Grades for logging lines are quite steep sometimes. The normal rule ot thumb for grades is around 1" rise per 48" for normal running, but with logging (As mine is) a rise of 5" at only 6' long (1" in 14.4") is steep to say the least and all my locos go up without any bother at all. Plus its on a slight curve.
    Locos such as the Shay Heisler or Climax will climb that % grade and won't even get out of breath doing it.

    Shamus
    [​IMG]
  7. DaytonTrainDude

    DaytonTrainDude New Member

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    Am I calculating this grade correctly at approx 6.9%?
  8. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

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    Yeah, steep ain't it, but all my locos go up it no bother
    Shamus
    [​IMG]
  9. UPJunkie

    UPJunkie Member

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    this helps :thumb: i have been thinking about making the grades at least 1/2 inch because of the size of the room
  10. DaytonTrainDude

    DaytonTrainDude New Member

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    Very steep, Shamus! I was just checking to see if I was calculating grade correctly.:)
  11. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

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    Yep sure is, here's a photo.

    Shamus
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  12. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    A few years ago I rode the "Logger" a tourist railroad near Yosemite that operates Shays. The steepest grade on the loop they run with tourists was 14%. Such a grade would not be unusual on logging or mining operations. Those type grades would always run Heislers or Shays. They are just too steep for a rod type engine. Our models aren't as fussy about grades as the prototype other than limiting the load they will pull without helpers. They may tend to buck and jerk a bit coming down grade as the loco tries to ride over the worm gear.