Hi guys. After searching the threads regarding elevation and grades percentages for layout design, I still cannot wrap my head around the numbers. What I am looking for is the minimum distance allowable to get a 1-2% grade up to a whopping 1/2 inch elevation. I imagine it cannot be that far of a run.

1% is 1 inch of rise (height) in 100 inches of run (length). 2% is 2"/100". Therefore, to go up 1/2" @ 1% requires 50 inches of run; @ 2%, it requires 25" of run. The formula is grade% = rise/run x 100. You can solve for any one part, as long as you know the other two. Hope that helps. Andrew

I just wanted to make sure I had enough room to elevate the track work behind my yard. Just to make it a tad more visible. I've got about a 2' 6" of straight run before a turnout. I'd like the elevation to occur before then. I was trying to keep it to a 2% grade at most.

i find if you raise it a 1/4 inch per running foot it is a nice smooth grade, but you could go 1/2 per running foot .....it is anot as smooth but it works

You also need to put a bit of a curve at the top and bottom of the grade. Usually you can do it by fastening the roadbed down flat at both ends and letting the bit in between take a natural curve. To get you grade, you may have to allow a bit more length at each end.