Siding on Grade

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by steamhead, Mar 29, 2008.

  1. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    I'm planning on putting a siding coming off a track that's on a grade. Is this advisable..? Would it make any difference if the turnout is facing into the grade (up), or away from it (down)...? Any input would be most appreciated...:thumb:
  2. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Don't try to change the grade in the turnout - of either branch. Once past the ends of the turnout you can change the grade.

    You cannot leave cuts of cars on a grade while the locomotive is switching. Model train cars have no brakes, and they roll down hill. :cry: If you are going to be switching in the vicinity of the turnout, you need some kind of device to stop the cars rolling away.
  3. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Fred...I hadn't thought of that....Makes for an interesting challenge....Guess I'll have to fit some cars with working brakes...:mrgreen:
  4. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    I have a siding on a slight grade that I didn't think would be a problem but I have to sink a small nail in the tie in front of the car's coupler to keep it from rolling and fouling the main line. It isn't very visible but it is a bit of a pain operationally.
  5. Goattee

    Goattee Member

    I seem to remember someone used tall sprigs of weeds between the rails to brake cars on a down hyill siding. The weeds had a thin wire hid in them. Something maybe as tall as the axels would work.
  6. santafewillie

    santafewillie Member

    I did what Goattee said. I drilled a small hole in the roadbed and put a loose piece of copper wire in it. It is just barely taller than the axle and is positioned to catch the axle of a fifty foot boxcar at just the right position. When backing over it, the axle rises slightly but not far enough for the flanges to clear the railhead. Making it loose reduces strain.
  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    You can make the siding level, you just need to make sure that you don't change the grade until the track is clear of the switch so that you don't put any twist in the switch.
  8. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Russ...The siding will be level...The problem will be with cars left on the main (grade) while the siding is worked...I had thought of putting any cars to be cut at the siding at the very end of the train, so no cars would be sitting on the main...But that still leaves the caboose to be cut and left on the main.... :cry: And no train of mine is going out without a caboose bringing up the rear...!!! :mrgreen:
  9. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    leave car on a grade

    I have done what you are asking about and this works. I have held 15 cars on a rather steep grade with this. You need an atlas switch machine a small block of wood a piece of plastic square or rectangle strip. and kadee magnet. I am adding a bad drawing to help this along. You drill a hole between ties just large enough to put plastic strip through and move easily. Now drill a hole in one end of plastic strip the right size for the pin on the switch machine to fit through. attach the machine to block of wood and attatch wood to bottom of layout with plastic dropped through hole between ties and the pin through the hole in the plastic. cut the plastic to a length that will catch the axle on a car while up but will clear the train when down. place the magnet on down hill side of new brake pin you just installed. I hope these directions are understandable. I have made several of these and they worked very well. now stop your train with couplers over magnet. put pin in up position pull axle against the pin stop back up to release coupler and pull away.
  10. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Is there room to eliminate the grade for a distance long enough to be able to drop a cut or cars on the main while working the siding? Conversely, if you want to put the cut you will drop at the end of the train so you just have to drop the caboose, you can do that by leveling out about 8 inches or so past the switch on the main.
  11. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Lester...That's a clever use for an Atlas switch machine..!! Now I know they're good for something..!! I'm going to have to rummage through my junk box to see if there's any left... :mrgreen:

    Russ...No way to "flatten" the grade at all. It's already a 3.2% as it is....:cry:
  12. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    That is darn clever Lester!
  13. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    A suggestion I was given by another modeler to keep cars from rolling down a grade was to use a thin strip of clear styrene or plastic to act a spring clip. The clip is glue in place in the center of your track and stands on end so that it is no higher then the axles on your rolling stock. You can push and pull a car over it without any issues when done correctly. I haven't tried it myself, however I'll give it a go.

    Acts kinda like all those Gretzky Rookie Cards you used to put in the spokes of your bicycle when you were a kid so it would make that dirtbike sound.
  14. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    thank you Ralf & Guss for the compliments. I like to do things different to see what I can come up with. I wasn't sure anyone could understand my directions.
  15. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Another take on the method shared by Lester would be to do something similar with a choke cable and a Caboose Industries ground throw.
  16. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

    What a friend of mine does is put a small piece of paper or clear plastic over the axel of one or more of the wagons, then you have natural brakes. Might not work though if you are going to seperate each and every wagon as this wll cause too much drag.

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