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I am starting to design a new room perimeter model railroad that will have two levels separated by approximately 2 feet. The lower level will be two feet deep and the upper level will be 3 feet deep. There will be a ramp connecting that runs along three walls with a length of 45 feet. About a 4% grade. I have a mixture of Lionel tubular track and gargraves flex track with Lionel O-72 and O-22 switches. I want to use my O-22 switches in yards for switchers, the O-72 was planned for mainline. I have used O-72 switches in past with gargraves with no problem, but this is a much larger project.

Min diameter on upper level will be 72 inches and min diameter on lower level will be 48 inches. (excluding yards with 31 inch diameter curves)

My questions:

1) Other than aesthetics, are lionel switches inferior to ROSS (more prone to problems)

2) In using stainless Gargraves track how do other people run feeder wires? I have never soldered stainless (but not for a lack of trying) in the past I crammed a piece of metal into opening at bottom of rails.

3) Would spending two to three times as much on track to get real trax, fast track, or Atlas track get me anything other than something that looked more prototypical?

4) Is my grade (twice prototypical) asking for trouble?

Thank you
 

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If you modify your 022 switches according to my post: 022/711 switch operating pblms (look it up using Google), your 022 switches will be bullet proof. I have 125 022 switches and wrote the post as I was bring them to perfection. Also, I didn't pay much for them. Less than $10 each.

Recently, I have bought some 711 and 5165/6 072 switches and am getting them ready to use. I have used two of them in a floor layout which no longer exists. They worked very well.

I bend the rails of my tubular track where the pins are installed to reduce the resistance of the joint. With the pins pointing away from me, I bend the left rail to the left and the center rail to the right. Grab the rail with pliers where the pin is installed so the pliers don't crush the rail. I have test equipment to measure the contact resistance between to track sections. I am getting between 0.001 and 0.003 ohms of resistance. The track is prewar 072 and is rather dirty. I have developed a way to clean the pins and holes in the rails to get the resistance down to these levels.
 

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I dont know about soldering stainless track but jamming metal in between works( as per some members here) . I like the lionel switches, like servoguy said, they work and have worked for many years. The grade might be a problem. Thats steep. You could lessen it as you have the length. If you have the track I wouldn't bother buying the new stuff. I like the old tubular track. It works and is cheap.
 

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I recently had a floor layout in a room with a floor that sloped 4%. Didn't have too much trouble making it up the slope. I was using a 2353 and 2033 both of which have magnetraction. I had to keep the track clean or the wheels would slip.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My goal was to run long trains of six scale passenger cars or 10-15 box cars.
Engines are mostly post war F3's, GG-1's, FM train masters, with plans to add a couple newer scale Hudsons .
 

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I think I have read your article in the past. Your response makes me feel better about not spending more on newer track systems or ross switches.
 

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I use tubular track for two reasons: It is cheap and I run toy trains and don't try to build a model railroad. I am interested in trains and track, not in scenery. I spent less than $10 each for the 022 switches. I am trying to maximize the fun I have and minimize the cost.

I clean the rails by running the train. I rarely use a ScotchBrite pad to clean the rails. Isn't running trains what this is all about?:D
 

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You might run a test with your locos and a few cars. Use a long board as a ramp and see how well the locos go up the ramp.
 

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Servoguy is right, 4 percent is doable just not optimal. its in the red zone so to speak. Your trains should be able to pull it as they are dule motors and magnitration. But there is the weight of the cars pulling and pushing on the engine s and the added strain on the couplers. Also , when going down grade try to leave a bit of straight track before hitting a curve. Dont ask how I found that out!
 

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I use all tube track, I guess I should have used all O.
I use all O/27 for my inside and I am running over to the other side of my basement but I am using all O for that.

A lot don't like the "cheap" O/27 track and switches. They say they had a lot of problems running their trains.

Mine O/27 switches won't work with all my trains, but it does work with a lot of them. And so far all my trains will work running around the outer loop. ( all O/56 curves) But some won't go though the O/27 switches and the smaller curves.
My crummy video working the O/27 switches, this is 8'x8', this is all O/27 track and switches that you see in the video.

(tell me do all see the blackened out area above and below in the video? That never used to be there? Anyone know how to get it out? It is like watching an HD movie without having an HD TV. Do all see what I am trying to explain? Or is it just on my side? It is like someone compressed the video, it never used to look that way?)


If I started all over I would go with all O I guess. Also with all 72 curves, at least on the outside line. But you have to take in account of the space problem most have. In the video I have all 56 curves on the outside and a mixture in the inside.

If money is no problem I say Gargraves track mated with Ross switches is the way to go. Look better too, I am guessing you been to their sites?
Gargraves also has flex track for laying what you want.

Plus the are all made in the USA. :D:thumbsup:

Edit,
In the video you see that the train slows when making the transition from the inside to the outside loop? This is because I have each of the loops set on a different throttle of the ZW. Sometimes I forget to reset the throttle so it is either too slow or too fast. :eek:
I can run two separate trains on each. Some of the slow downs you see are me working the throttle to make sure that the switch was switched or that I have the clearance to get by some of the things I have around the layout. Some of them move as they are not secured yet. Some I might end of placing somewhere else.
 
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