Here I go

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by joefryfry, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. joefryfry

    joefryfry joefryfry

    Okay, I'm diving into this. Switching from HO to N. So long HO people on the other forums. Just kidding.
    I'm just getting a 4 axle diesel that I like for now, so radius isn't an issue in my space.
    I have a couple questions.
    Do these little buggers pull up a 2% grade as well as HO, or should I get 1% inclines? For now I only plan on running the one engine with a handful of cars. It won't spoil my track plan if I have to switch.
    1% is a 1 inch increase in height over 100 inches, correct?
    What height clearance do I need to over another train? This may affect my plan.
    Can I use my DCC system with this? I have a MRC Prodigy Express.
    There seem to be a limited number of DCC equipped diesels out there, as far as I could find. Is this expected to increase as decoders can be made smaller?
    I have an L-shape space that is 6' deep and 7.5' wide. Are there any resources to check out track plans?
    What are the good web sites that sell a wide variety of N stuff?
    Thanks for taking the time to read this and even more for responding.

    By the way, trainut, I loved your coffee table layouts, but I'm leary of the glass even if it's plexi. Not because of the kid, but because of me. Plus I found space (read that as "got permission from the wife") to put up a small layout.

    This may be the only forum I've been on that I haven't seen a childish argument or people who think they know it all.
    Thanks all!!!!!!!!!
  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Haven't you read any of my posts? :mrgreen::mrgreen:

    You can install DCC in N scale locos. (See the DCC thread.)
    A quick estimate of how much climb is needed: measure your loco as it stands on the track, add a bit of clearance, then a bit for the bridge. If you run modern high-cube boxcars or such you may want to measure them instead.
    1% is 1 in 100 (of any measurement). An easy approximation is 1" in 8 feet or 1/4" in 2'.
    I'd expect a good modern loco to handle 2% with no problem. They used to claim that N could handle bigger grades than HO, but I wouldn't push that.
  3. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    The bigger layout in my dining room started off with 4% grades. I like to pull longer trains though and before long, I realized this was a bit steep. I added a 3' extension in the middle of the layout which allowed me to lower all grades to 2% except one which came down to 3%. I think, with your current intended operating roster, 2% will work just fine. The best way to know for sure is to go get some flex track and lay out a test grade. Run your engine up and down it and see what you think.
    Also, go here for some simple graphics by Woodland Scenics to help you understand grades and how to calculate them using their foam risers and inclines.
    Check out the thread for my dining room layout. It fits roughly the same space and you can follow the build from framework to near completion.
    I've found that if you plan to have "just enough" clearance, tomorrow, you'll want to run a car that will be just a little taller. For those rare days when I like pulling around my double stacks, I have made all tunnel clearances a minimum of 2". that also conveniently works out to 2 layers of 1" foam. 3" is better because then, you have just a little more room to stick your hands in there and do track maintenance if need be. To tie this to the grade question above, at 2%, you'll need 8 linear feet to climb 2 inches.
    Cool beans! Glad to see you got approval from the real estate department for more space. While coffee table layouts are neat and unique, they're not for everybody.
    It'll be fun to see what you come up with for a plan!
  4. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    joefryfry, there are a few of us that know it all but we just don't let on....wall1:cry::eek:

    Of course, I'm not meaning myself....(did I say we?) :p
  5. joefryfry

    joefryfry joefryfry

    Actually, I had a brainstorm. The space that the real estate department let me use is on the other side of a wall that the real estate department has no control over. With the kid coming and a job that keeps me busy, I may never finish the first area, but I'm going to put a spur towards the wall for future expansion onto the other side. She wasn't as excited as I was over my revelation. HA!

    One other question lingers at this time: Other than the obvious differences that things are smaller, and the variety of products is smaller, what sort of differences will I find between HO and N? Thanks.
  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    N scale fits better in the Xmas stocking.
    For a given size of layout, N scale needs more rolling stock, so is more expensive per square foot.
    N scale manufacturers make a lot more collectible series of cars.
  7. joefryfry

    joefryfry joefryfry

    I'm already started my layout, and have some pics. I think I've seen before where people have a running thread of their layout. I thought there was a certain place for that, or do I just start a "My Layout" thread here?
  8. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    However, since the cars, track and structures are cheaper, it's still a bargain over the larger scales, and it comes with the cachet that you are one of the proud few N-scalers! :thumb:
  9. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Name it whatever you like and put it here in the N scale section!
  10. TrainGuyRom

    TrainGuyRom Member

    N scale is good for running long trains. It still sounds like you can go for a wider radii. I recomend you do a minimum of 11'R, that way there is a wide veriaty of engines & rollingstock you can still run. I have A loop of Kato Unitrak that is 11"R and all but one of my engines/rollingstock will run on it. I even have a six axel engine that will run on there!

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