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kinda new to model railroading and decided to make and incline what type of engine should i look for. I have an old athearn that i'm using. its heavier and power to both sets of wheels so it doesn't spin.
 

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If you're going up the side of a mountain a cogwheel locomotive would be in order.

If your grades are around 2-2.5% then nearly any locomotive will do. Some steamers have trouble with higher grades, while most others can do 5% or better with a reduction in consist.

I have a 5+% grade on my layout that locomotives have no trouble with given a modest amount of carriages. One is pulling two 264mm cars and two 65mm cars. It is a branch line though so trains are short.

The other locomotives pull up to 3% effective grades with full consists on the mainlines.
 

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There is a term known as 'compensated grade', meaning a curve somewhere along it adds to the resistance of wheelsets going up that (curved) grade. Curves add resistance, effectively steepening the grade.

The answer to your question depends on whether you want an expedient, or pragmatic, solution or whether you'd like your solution to represent what the prototype would do.

For grades in excess of about 4%, the locomotive of choice would have all of its weight on 'driven' wheels. Those tend to be 0-X-0 tank engines or gear locomotives. The latter kind involved Heislers, Climaxes, and Shay locomotives. That's the steamer kind. For diesels, you'd want all axles driven, ideally, but diesels typically have all of their weight on driven wheelsets. It's just that they might not do so well on the iffy back woods trackage on which a Shay or a Climax would be found back in the early 1900's. Again, if your solution is just a pragmatic one, use the heaviest locomotive you have that will negotiate the tracks pulling the loads you want it to pull.
 

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Pulling power

kinda new to model railroading and decided to make and incline what type of engine should i look for. I have an old athearn that i'm using. its heavier and power to both sets of wheels so it doesn't spin.
Dale;

You have sort of answered your own question with your description of your present Athearn locomotive. To get the maximum pulling power, you want as many driven wheels, and as much weight over those wheels as practical. Generally speaking, a six-axle diesel (with all six axles powered) will pull more than a four-axle diesel. There are other considerations though. If you have sharp curves 18" radius or less, then the six-axle diesel may not work well, or even keep all its wheels on the track, in those curves. If you have tight curves then a four -axle diesel may be a better choice. You can also do what the prototype does in these situations, add more locomotives. Two four-axle diesels will usually out pull one six-axle diesel. So adding a locomotive or two will help you get your trains up the grade. This is done on real railroads today, and it was also done in the steam era.

An extreme case, on my favorite prototype the Milwaukee Road, was in Tacoma, Washington. The grade out of tide-flats yard in Tacoma was both very steep, and curved. The railroad added helper locomotives to the regular road engines just get trains up this grade. The typical helper, or "hill power" as they were called, consisted of nine, yes nine F-units added onto the two or three road units, for the climb up the hill. Once the train was safely up over the hill, the helpers were cut off, and returned downhill to the yard. The road locomotives took the train on from there.

The files attached below are some I've written to help new modelers. Browse through them, if you like. They may provide some useful information.

Have fun;

Traction Fan:smilie_daumenpos:


View attachment WHERE DO I START 3.pdf

View attachment 1 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment 2 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment 3 & 4 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment 5 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment 6 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment All AboutTurnouts revised.pdf

View attachment MODEL RAILROADING ON A BUDGET.pdf

View attachment Model Railroad Terminology 2.2.pdf
 

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you might also make sure the wheels on your rolling stock roll freely. Metal wheels and truck tuner. Test cars on an adjustable incline. I was surprised how easily some trucks rolled. Had to work to get some trucks to roll down a 2% grade.
 
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