maximum grade

Discussion in 'Logging, Mining and Industrial Railroads' started by cascademan, Nov 12, 2005.

  1. cascademan

    cascademan New Member

    I forgot to mention in my last thread that im knew to the-guage and so far i love it! I have a question though. Does anyone know the maximum grade a shay or climax can do? Changing subject, i will post my 5' by 9' HO plans for the Ceder Creek Lumber Co. in the next few days. Im still in the process of drawing and tweaking out the bugs. Thanks for the help all you loggers out there:) .

    Cascademan:wave: :cool:
  2. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Since you said HO, most model Shays or Climaxes ought to do 8% or better on their own - no cars. If you want more than 1 car bring the grade down to 5% or less.

    I have personally seen my MDC Climax haul 4 cars up an 18in radius 4% grade no sweat. I have seen another MDC Climax climbing 8% grades with a 3 car train on 14in radius curves. The Keystone Shay with the NWSL motorizing kit reputedly does just as well. I have not heard about the MDC or Bachman Shays, and have no experience with brass models.

    Something to watch, though. Most HO models of geared lokies don't have space for anything but a small or very small motor, which limits maximum current. While wanting maximum traction, which geared lokies get with all wheels driving, you still want the drive wheels to slip before you reach the maximum current rating of the motor. If they don't slip, then the max current of the motor can be exceeded in operation and fry the motor. Best way is to test using DC - not DCC - and an ammeter. Load the lokie up on a test grade and watch the current.

    yours in gearing down
  3. Lightbender

    Lightbender Member

    I have too many grades that are a bit extreme and have to double head as a matter of course. My Shays, Climaxes and Heislers have no problems going anywhere I have laid track. Some of it is quite badly laid but the geared locos seem to have no problem.

    I say badly laid, no short equipment derails if I'm slow, but it's too wonky for any of the longer locomotives or rolling stock to get up to the top of the mountain where the logging and mining is going on.

    The sure footed agility of these little beauties will give you a false sense of security if you use them for your test runs on newly laid track. They climb and weave way too well.
  4. brakie

    brakie Active Member

  5. Steve Lancaster

    Steve Lancaster New Member

    I have A 15% Grade on one section of my layout that my logging engines will climb with
    light wood and plastic rolling stock, but it takes a skilled hand on the throttle and a good
    run at the grade to get my Keystone log buggies up. mmmmm, I am thinking of cutting
    the grade down to a more sensable angle for easy operation. Good Luck Steve
  6. GearDrivenSteam

    GearDrivenSteam New Member

    My On30 Bachmann Shay will push or pull three loaded Spectrum log cars up my 8.4% grade and never spin a wheel. I have another three pack of cars coming. I know it will pull more, but I don't know about six. That might be stretching it a bit.
  7. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    I have what I believe is about a 10% grade on my logging / small coal mine / oilwell short line rr on my layout. I have a MDC Shay & a Spectrum Shay. They both will pull 2 cars & bobber caboose on all grades( that is what I wanted). I pull log cars, small box cars, small coal cars, tank cars. The only problem I have is my curves were set up with the MRC and the Spectrum won't turn as sharp. I am making adjustments in the track now, not much fun to do.

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