angle of slope

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by woodworker, Apr 6, 2007.

  1. woodworker

    woodworker New Member

    I'm new here and have what is more than likely an easy question for the advanced.
    I searched a bit but couldn't find my answer.
    I'm creating my first permanent layout in O.
    I wanted multi levels to the tracks.
    So what is the recommended angle for a slope that won't put to much stress on the engine and is the most realistic visually?
    Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  2. NCMRailroad

    NCMRailroad Member

    Hi, I'm not sure about O scale as I model only in HO. However As once being a pipefitter for a living I had to respect the 2% grade. That was Maximum a pipe in the ground could be. As a model railroader, over the years, I have learnt that 2% is also a good grade. O scale engines should have no problem climbing (or desending) at that level. 2% would run you 2 feet for every 10ft of track...if I am not mistaken!
    Good luck, hope this helps!
  3. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    I think a 2% is 2 inches raise in 100 inches
    is what you ment . I am also just HO and not sure if its the same in O
  4. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Lionel used a 5% grade on their graduated trestle set. That's as steep as I would want to go. On a 5% grade, pulling power is significantly reduced going upgrade, and control to prevent runaway trains (our models don't have brakes on the cars) going downgrade is becoming marginal.

    5% grade is 5" in 100", or whatever measuring units you want to use.

    yours in hill country
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Of course, Lionel had magnets between the wheels and steel track to increase the traction.
    I suggest laying a length of track along an 8' board and raising the one end 2", then 3" and so on and seeing if your train will pull up it. (2" in 8' is as close as you need to 2%) Make sure the board is straight. If you want steeper grades, you may have to shorten the trains.
    Grade % is the same no matter what the scale.
  6. Relic

    Relic Member

    I find it makes a difference if the track is straight or curved, it's really surprising how much you loose to friction in a curve
  7. Hunkiedoo

    Hunkiedoo Member

    Building track at a 2% slope

    I have found that 2% is a good all-round maximum slope. Here's a handy way to build track at 2%:

    Tape a small wood shim (track ties work well) EXACTLY 1/4 inch thick, under one end of a two-foot long carpenter's level. 2% is two units high in 100 units long. Or one unit high in 50 units long. Your shimmed level is one quarter-inch in 48 qiuarter-inches... close enough to 1::50.

    The following description applies to horizontal roadbed supported by vertical risers which you want to adjust up-or-down so the roadbed ends up at 2%.
    - Lay the level on the roadbed with the shim at what will be the low end of the roadbed.
    - Lift up the other end of the roadbed (it doesn't matter how long the roadbed segment is, within reason) until the level bubble is centered.
    - Clamp the supporting riser.
    - move the level forward to the next segment of roadbed, and repeat.

    This works for curved track too; that's why a 2' level instead of a 4' level.
  8. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    Shuldnt it be half a inch in 2 feet for 2%?
  9. santafewillie

    santafewillie Member

    I think Roger is correct, both times.
  10. Hunkiedoo

    Hunkiedoo Member


    My bad.:oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops:

Share This Page