New guy question

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by R Bischoff, Mar 9, 2002.

  1. R Bischoff

    R Bischoff New Member

    Okay, so bear with me. I'm not actually involved with model railrods (although they DO look interesting :) ), but my father is getting into it.

    Since he's new he obviously has lots to learn, but the one thing he doesn't get is the whole 'percent' thing. He knows that if he wants to introduce a grade he shouldn't go too much over 2% (at least for now, I suppose).

    Unfortunately, he has no idea how to measure, build, etc. within this 2%. My thought was that it has something to do with those little half circles you used to have in school, but I wouldn't bet money on it.

    And I of course thought 'who uses all that trigonometry after school'. :confused:
  2. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    Welcome to The Gauge Chris,

    You can get answers to all sorts of model RR questions in here, there's a great group of guys in here willing and able to advise, comment and help others along.

    As far as grades are concerned, a 2% grade is 100 units horizontally with 2 units vertically.

    If your father has a computer he should log in here and before he knows it, he will as knowlegable as anyone else on models.

    Wish him well for me please. (By the way..... there is no question too trivial to ask if one doesn't know the answer).

  3. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member


    G'day and welcome to The Gauge! :)

    Yep. get your dad to watch his inclines! As suggested by Errol, 2% is a rise of 2 in 100. Say 100 inches of track would rise 2 inches, or 50 inches rises 1 inch. etc. get the idea? 4% for 4 inches in 100, or 1 inch in 25 inches.

    My inclines are about 5% and are way too steep. The loco wizzes up them ok, then screams down the other side. Put a couple of passenger coaches behind (5 or 6) and........ no go up the hill! The loco will either stall, or start to slip, then if it does just manage to chug over the top, it's off down the other side at a screaming pace!.
    I knew I had gone over the "limit" when I built it, but, I just got greedy. So there are some rules that you should follow. Curve "sharpness" is another one!

    One thing I should point out too, is that gradually increase the incline to your required steepness too, otherwise long coaches will derail as they head up the incline.
  4. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    And might I suggest, as was pointed out to me but I ignored and surrepticiously paid for, on your very first layout it's probably best to skip the incline entirely. One of those things you "grow" into in the hobby.
  5. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    You might want to have him check out some layout plan books, like those published by Atlas and Kalmbach. These books spell how out to construct the layouts, and so things like gradients (inclines), wiring and benchwork are all taken into consideration. These are a good way to get into the hobby and learn the basics.

    Here are some sneak-peeks at the HO-scale plans that Atlas puts in their books:

    The actual books describe them in much greater detail, including the required parts, any special notes on how to build the benchwork, and suggested scenarios for running the trains. (BTW, ignore the prices that Atlas puts on their site. You can buy the track for MUCH cheaper elsewhere!)

  6. RI541

    RI541 Member

    OK OK OK The guilt is killing me I cheated on my inclines I used the premade one by Woodland Scenics they take the guess work out of and its realitivly cheap.They have them in 2% and 4% they also have a wide selection of sub-terrain materials.

  7. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    The guilt isn't killing me at all and I've incorporated a couple of pieces of Woodland Scenic's foam into my layout :D :D

    This is my first layout and I found it great to work with. Is very forgiving and actually you could pin your whole subterrian in place before you ever touch the glue pot :cool:


    Attached Files:

  8. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Is that a grade crossing on the left? Maybe I'm a freak, but I **LOVE** grade crossings. Wish I could have 'em everywhere.
  9. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member


    Do you mean where the two tracks cross the one? What you really have there is a reverse loop going each way. There is a double cross over on up to the left that you can't see. If the train is on the left hand track it loops back around and crosses back over on the single track. If it is on the right hand track it comes around and can come back down onto the left track or can go straight ahead down a spur that runs the entire length of the layout, about 21'. The spur is dead end now as I can't seem to make up my weak mind what I want to put down there; coal tipple, grain elevator, small turntable?????????

  10. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    Bob, I've said it before (I think), and I'll say it again... That's one fantastic looking layout! Scenery or not, it looks like a really fun trackplan! I wish I had that much space! :)

  11. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Really a great looking layout Bob!!! Please post more pics as the work progresses!!! ....Vic
  12. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    I'll be more than happy to post more pictures when there is progress to show off. Yesterday I spent some time taking out all of the wiring except the drop leads in preparation for installing DCC before I go any farther. Let's see, after I get that finished I'll need to stop for a spell and run a few trains using my DCC and then back to "building." :D :D

  13. IMRL393

    IMRL393 Member

    Yeah, Bob!

    "First things first...but not necessarily in that order!"

    - The Doctor


    - George
  14. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member


    Who was that?



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