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Discussion Starter #1
So on my layout to be I've designed in two inclines and two declines, so I'll need 4 boxes of the Woodland Scenic ramps. It seems like because I only need to rise up to 2", and the boxes contain inclines up to 4", I'll be wasting well over half of the material in the boxes.

In my layout I do have a long run of track elevated at 2” that I might as well use some of the leftover pieces and take the train a little higher if there’s room. Maybe I’ll be able to have a 4” high section if it won’t look too odd. Other than that I don’t know how to utilize the rest of the inclines.

Any ideas? I’d be okay if that stuff was 2” wide and I could lay the tall pieces on their sides and use them for risers but that’s not an option.

How do you use the leftover pieces?
 

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Yup, I agree with Magic. Purchase the Incline Starters and use the with styrofoam sheets layered "wedding cake" style.

Instead of one long incline, these are several segments that each goes from 0 to a predetermined height (1/2" to 2", depending on the grade -- and I'd recommend against 4%).
 

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So on my layout to be I've designed in two inclines and two declines, so I'll need 4 boxes of the Woodland Scenic ramps. It seems like because I only need to rise up to 2", and the boxes contain inclines up to 4", I'll be wasting well over half of the material in the boxes.

In my layout I do have a long run of track elevated at 2” that I might as well use some of the leftover pieces and take the train a little higher if there’s room. Maybe I’ll be able to have a 4” high section if it won’t look too odd. Other than that I don’t know how to utilize the rest of the inclines.

Any ideas? I’d be okay if that stuff was 2” wide and I could lay the tall pieces on their sides and use them for risers but that’s not an option.

How do you use the leftover pieces?
Mushtang;

There's no reason to use the Woodland Scenics incline at all. It consists of some pieces of pre-cut styrofoam at a ridiculously high price. You can cut your own styrofoam, or better yet wood, support pieces for a fraction of what woodland scenics charges. Styrofoam is often available free in the form of discarded packaging. Styrofoam is messy to cut, unless you have a hot wire foam cutter available. The savings on foam would not equal the cost of the hot wire cutter though. Styrofoam can also be cut with just about any handsaw, and some power saws, like a bandsaw, or even a table saw. One extra caution applies to the table saw. Don't let the foam twist at all. It will instantly kick back off the blade. Now I've had this happen, and getting hit with a piece of styrofoam won't hurt you, but it is a bit startling & annoying. Whatever saw you use will cut more cleanly, and create lees mess, if it has a fine-tooth blade. I recently cut some styrofoam for my grandson's layout, and found that a fine-toothed Zona (or X-acto) hobby saw worked best. Personally, I prefer wood risers over styrofoam. They are just as easy to make, stronger, and less expensive than buying multiple woodland scenics incline sets. The woodland scenics product is a convenience, not a necessity. However, you pay a stiff price for the convenience. Your choice of course.

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Don't get the 4" sets. They make incline starter sets that are 1/2" each.
Than get the 1/2" risers, next the 1 " risers etc. until you get the height you need.
Little to no waste this way.
I didn't even know these starter sets existed, so thanks! A couple of days ago I started to write to the company to ask why they didn't have a set that only went up to 2" high for N scale users but decided not to. It would only come across as me asking why don't they sell something that will result in them making less money and that never sounds like a good idea. Haha.

But... it turns out they sell something else that fills the purpose of what I need and my local hobby shop carried them, so thanks for the tip. I picked up a box of these starter sets and a couple of boxes of risers.

Thanks again for pointing me in that direction.
 

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Mushtang;

There's no reason to use the Woodland Scenics incline at all. It consists of some pieces of pre-cut styrofoam at a ridiculously high price. You can cut your own styrofoam, or better yet wood, support pieces for a fraction of what woodland scenics charges. Styrofoam is often available free in the form of discarded packaging. Styrofoam is messy to cut, unless you have a hot wire foam cutter available. The savings on foam would not equal the cost of the hot wire cutter though. Styrofoam can also be cut with just about any handsaw, and some power saws, like a bandsaw, or even a table saw. One extra caution applies to the table saw. Don't let the foam twist at all. It will instantly kick back off the blade. Now I've had this happen, and getting hit with a piece of styrofoam won't hurt you, but it is a bit startling & annoying. Whatever saw you use will cut more cleanly, and create lees mess, if it has a fine-tooth blade. I recently cut some styrofoam for my grandson's layout, and found that a fine-toothed Zona (or X-acto) hobby saw worked best. Personally, I prefer wood risers over styrofoam. They are just as easy to make, stronger, and less expensive than buying multiple woodland scenics incline sets. The woodland scenics product is a convenience, not a necessity. However, you pay a stiff price for the convenience. Your choice of course.

Traction Fan 🙂
While I don't disagree with any of your how-to advice, there is a perfectly good reason to use them. It saves the time and effort of the do it yourself approach. They aren't necessary, but they're convenient and almost idiot proof...
 

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While I don't disagree with any of your how-to advice, there is a perfectly good reason to use them. It saves the time and effort of the do it yourself approach. They aren't necessary, but they're convenient and almost idiot proof...
CTValley;

I should have started with "There is no reason you have to use the Woodland scenics incline at all." That's what I had in mind, I just didn't say it right.

regards;

Traction Fan
 

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Amen, Brother !
 

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Ok, I was in the same boat last year when I built the layout I have now. Using wood for inclines would work for me as my Dad (RIP) gave me some thin (3/8" ?) cabinet grade plywood that I never used for what he gave it to me for. What length of a run would be a 2% or 3% grade ? The WS foam incline I have is the 3% and have no trouble with my passenger train pulling the hills but the freight can only pull 5 cars without spinning (I have a 2nd freight loco I'll be getting for Christmas, Santa told me so ;)) This is a 4X8 table and is why I went with the 3% grade, any "formulation" for 3% that would help would be greatly appreciated
 

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Thanks Aard, I DO have a bunch of the foam stuff left, what would be the length of a run to raise the track say 2 inches, 3 inches ?. I'm planning on a two track layout with inclines to cross over with a bridge and have a tunnel
 

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Oh ok, I can work with that and cut some supports from scrap wood or foam (I've got a couple of boxes of foam packing from a new fridge and a new freezer LOL) Thanks Aard
 

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Oh no, I saw videos of that white styrofoam flying all over the place, the pink / blue foam is something completely different and new layout will have 2 (at least), 2inch thick pink 4X8 panels so I can more easily make scenery that isn't all flat (even Florida has hills and lots of water canals)
 

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Ok, I was in the same boat last year when I built the layout I have now. Using wood for inclines would work for me as my Dad (RIP) gave me some thin (3/8" ?) cabinet grade plywood that I never used for what he gave it to me for. What length of a run would be a 2% or 3% grade ? The WS foam incline I have is the 3% and have no trouble with my passenger train pulling the hills but the freight can only pull 5 cars without spinning (I have a 2nd freight loco I'll be getting for Christmas, Santa told me so ;)) This is a 4X8 table and is why I went with the 3% grade, any "formulation" for 3% that would help would be greatly appreciated
Wooky;

The "formulation" for 3% is simply that the track rises vertically 3 units of measurement, (for example 3mm.) in 100mm. of horizontal travel. So to climb 6mm. off the table you would need a minimum of 200mm of track, etc. Also, grades need "vertical easements" (lengths of milder percentage grade) at the bottom and top of each up or down grade. The easements help the train get started up the grade, and help prevent things like accidental uncoupling, and couplers on steam locomotive pilots digging into the track at the bottom of the grade. To be sure whether your grade is really 3% or not, measure the full length of the track in the grade, and divide it into the total amount of vertical climb the track makes between the bottom and top of your grade. The result of that division problem will be the percentage of your grade. Since you're not able to pull more than five freight cars up your grade, something is wrong. Maybe the grade is steeper than 3%. Maybe your freight cars don't roll as freely as your passenger cars do. Or maybe your freight locomotive doesn't pull very well. Or it may be a combination of two or more of those things.

Good Luck & Have Fun;

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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I used the Woodland Scenics 3% incline risers but on my new upcoming layout I was going to go with a less steep grade with hopefully a slightly larger table (gotta talk the other half into it). All of my rolling stock are either Kato passenger or MicroTrain truck equipped if not MT cars, I swapped out trucks and couplers. Using the 2 locos I have right now all 22 cars go up the inclines as they are, I've got a 2nd freight loco boxed up for Christmas with a different cab number (for the controller address)
 
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