Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by NCMRailroad, Oct 6, 2006.

  1. NCMRailroad

    NCMRailroad Member

    Hi Everyone,
    Need to wonder... My mainline is 16 feet in length (HO scale) and am planning on it being elevated. Just curious as to what the Maximum practical elevation would be at that length? (running steam)
    Thanks to everyone that replies:thumb:
  2. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

    If it was a continual climb the entire 16 feet (192 inches) it would be 3.84 inches up from where it started at a 2% grade.
  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    There would be no maximum elevation. If you are are talking about maximum grade, probably 3%. Model trains will pull 4%, but they won't pull much at that gradient, and coming down they tend to jerk. 2% is better. The % is the amount of rise in 100 units. If you are measuring in inches, 3% would be a 3 inch rise in elevation in 100 inches of travel, about a 3 inch elevation change in a distance of 8 feet 4 inches.
  4. fsm1000

    fsm1000 Member

    My shay can pull 11 ounces up 9% grade, That is two SMALL cars though.
    My Porter 0-4-0 can only pull 3 ounces or one SMALL car.
    For all practical purposes 3% should be your max with 2% something to shoot for preferably.
    Just my opinion, hope it helps. :D
  5. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Another thing to keep in mind is that curves will increase the effect of any grade. A locomotive that will just barely pull a train up a straight grade will not likely pull the same train up the same grade if the track is curved. And the sharper the curve, or the more curves that are included in the grade, the less that same loco will be able to pull.


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