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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone. Starting a new 4 x 8 layout. This will be my first attempt at a more detailed and more involved layout. Will be uploading some pics. Only thing I'm not sure of right now is to accomplish what i want, I will have to have an 8% grade to get up to the height I need in the distance i have to do it. I set up a mock layout and all of my engines seem to handle the grade with no problem. Was wondering though, will the downhill be harmfull to my engines? Anyways. I will upload a layout soon, but It will be a double loop with a round house and turntable in the middle. Out side track will have a grade upto 4 inches, inside track will run through a tunnel.

I do realize that 8% is not a realistic incline, but the most common engines on the layout will probably be my sons Thomas series. Any input or advice appreciated.
 

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While 8% is rather steep, the Western Maryland had one that ran 12% so you're in the realm of rare but plausible. The only issue you would really have is cogging in the motors of lower priced locos...the tendency for the motor to slap back and forth in the casing because of the looser tolerances...hard to explain but you'll know it when you see it.
 

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Wow ... 8% ... that's steep! Are you sure there's no way around that, while preserving some fundamental aspects of your intended layout?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Need a rise of 4 inches to incorporate my tunnel on the inside loop. Takes 8 foot of track to raise 4 inches with a 4% grade. Doesnt leave me enough room for my crossover to the inside track. Not enough for me to be comfortable with it anyways. I test run the 8% grade with a bachmann 0-6-0 and also with a model power dual drive f2 both engine made the climb at all
speed and stayed consistent. The 0-6-0 did seem to take the downhill smother. Will be running larger steam engines when it is all said and done, aside from my sons thomas engines.

Though about adding 2 more foot to my layout, to make 4 x 10, but I would prefer not to do that do to space constraints
 

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Dustin,

Understood. Two thoughts, though ...

Maybe you can "buy back" some req'd table length by incorporating your rise in a 180-deg turn, i.e. ... A 180-deg turn at 22" radius has pi*22 = 69" of track length. If you add 1' of straight run into and out of this -- with the whole combination inclined -- that's 69+12+12 = 93" of track length. 4" rise / 93" run = 4.3% grade ... much better, perhaps.

If you do go with 8%, make sure that you incorporate an additional section of "transitional zone" between the 8% grade and the flat (horizontal) runs. Otherwise, an abrupt angular transition between sloped and horizontal may lead to some derailments and/or car-to-car decoupling.

Cheers,

TJ
 

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Hi Dustin, :)

I've also been mulling over grades as my planned layout is going to have lots of winding mountain "verticality" by using small short trains.

My plan is to cover the whole board with 2 inch foam for the "ground level" and have the lower track descend half the overpass clearance while the upper track ascends the other half of the needed clearance.

This would net you exactly the same overpass clearance using exactly the same amount of track length...

...with only HALF the grade. :):thumbsup:

Heck, if your engines already make the 8% grade pulling short lengths of rolling stock you could shorten the approaches even more and free up more space for other track features.
 

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now yer makin' me wish I paid attention in Math class
:laugh: Stuff like that is drilled into my head ... for better or worse.

Circumference of a full circle = 2 x Pi x radius, where pi = 3.142.

I wonder if Archimedes played with toy trains?!? :rolleyes:

TJ
 

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the issue with 8% will be making smooth enough transition more then anything. you can't go from 0 to 8 in one span, you will have to gradually increase it so to prevent engines from scraping plows and cars from decoupling. and that's what mainly will eat that length. digging the other line down however is a viable solution that might make this setup work.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Appreciate the math, i tried the using my 180 to get upto my 4", I think I may use that for my uphill and go with 8% for my down to save some space, plus that way if I'm bored I have the 8% grade hill to play with. I run my 8% into 2% then to flat, didnt run into any trouble with my coal cars and the ez mate 2 couplers, will do more testing tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Here is my proposed layout, im happy with the double loop. Do you think I should have a double crossover from my outter loop to inner loop. Also what do you think about my staging lanes and turn table. Looking for a better idea that what I have setup so far.
 

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Dustin,

Glad to hear you're making design / decisions progress ... 4% up, 8% down, gradual transitions ... all sounds good to me!

Did you really mean to post a zip file? You might rethink that (if you did), as zip files can often give 'net people the heebie-jeebies ... sources of viruses, worms, etc.

(I have no reason to distrust you hear at all ... I'm just cautioning you and others about zip file attachments.)

Cheers,

TJ
 

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Dustin,

Thumbs up on the jpg (vs. zip). Layout looks nice. One question ... do you have adequate track-to-track clearance between the inner and outer 1/4-turns in the lower-right section of the layout? It seems jammed a bit closer there, as opposed to other regions of the curved dual-track sections. I see you have a short straight piece between the leftmost and rightmost 1/4-turn sections of the INNER loop. If clearance between inner and out loops is too tight, you could easily remove those short straight pieces and buy back a little extra clearance between rails.

I don't mean to question your planning here ... it's hard for me to judge detailed clearances with the jpg ... you might be fully OK on your end.

TJ
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yeah I did think of that, I may have to take out the straight sections. I am using flex track when I actually lay my track down so I have some flexability, but i do not want anything less than 18 degree curves for the inner loop. As always I will lay track and test run for a week or two before making any permanent track install. Have made that mistake before. Good looking out though, nice to be reminded of possible mistake before its to late!
 
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