steep grade for an O layout

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by vbkostur, Jan 29, 2007.

  1. vbkostur

    vbkostur New Member

    i am running the newer lionel dockside switcher and lionel USRA 0-8-0 switcher. both are really powerful and have traction tires with momentum flywheel. i usually will have them pulling about 4-8 cars.
    my question is(and i am sure it has been asked several times), what is the steepest grade these guys can handle (i am not asking if it will look realistic, i know it won't be anything close to what a real train could do). i want to run a line connecting two areas of the layout. i need to get over a line but only have about 7ft to get up 6 inches and another 7 feet to get back down. i realize this causes about a 7% grade, which is realy steep.
    i thought about the lionel tressel set they sell that makes 5% grade and my older trains handled that pretty well in the past.
    i specified what trains i will run on the grade because it seems these newer guys can handle a lot more.
    these newer steam engines seem as powerful or more than my 20yr old hudson's and berkshire's with magnetraction! looking for someone with experience in these steep grade. thanks for all the help.
  2. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Most people say a max of a 3% grade to ensure that all locos can make the climb. I never realized the trestles were 5% though. Actually, I've never used my trestles because I'm always affraid the darn thing will fall over.
  3. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    Lower grades are better that means around 2% to 3%. However there are more than enough people that push these limits to between 7% and 10% with success. Since you are not worried about the realistic look then the sky is the limit. I have run as high as a 7% with no problems with a full load of 10 cars.

    Each set up is different so I would suggest you just set it up and take a test run until you get the grade that works for you. If you looking for reliability then keep the grade low and you will never have any problems.

    [FONT=&quot]I’m sure you will get various grade reports from many members who like to push the envelope at times. But the best way to find the maximum grade is to test the grade yourself with your own locomotives or just keep them under the 3%.[/FONT]
  4. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Biggest problem with steep grades for O equipment is coming down. If your engines will free wheel down the grade, then you have no control over the train on the downgrade. With a heavy train behind my postwar 2026 steamer, the 5% downgrade becomes a missle launcher, with the train activating its floor-seeking tracker upon launch. Don't ask me how I know this! I had to install 042 curves instead of 027 on the down grade to prevent automatic activation of the missle launch sequence with my prize Blue Comet passenger cars.

    yours in playing with toy trains
  5. vbkostur

    vbkostur New Member

    i may just have to test as i build. i only have three engines with that free wheel(chicago alton, blue comet, and lakawanna) and i would never run them on this line. they run on the longer outer line.
    my two newer engines have momentum flywheel which i beleive will stop the wheels from spinning. i feel like i have so much more control and power with newer engines than my older ones.
    i am also using gargraves tack and some have said that helps in the climb.

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