Steep Grade

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by SF247, Jul 21, 2005.

  1. SF247

    SF247 New Member

    I have a steep grade on my Garden Railway at my house. I remember visiting some train exhibitions and seeing little grooved plates put on the track, so that a train could make a steep grade with help of these plates. I was just curious if someone knew what these exactly were and where I could get them. Any anwser would be great. Thanks.
  2. SF247

    SF247 New Member

    So I guess no one knows???
  3. tillsbury

    tillsbury Member

    Hang on hang on... we're all relaxed and sleepy over here on the Gauge. We do try to help, honest!

    No idea what you're on about, but you mention grooved plates on the track... are you sure they were 'on' the track, and not grooves cut into the track (e.g. with a Dremel) to increase friction? Steep grades would give you a mu problem, which is overcome (normally) by increasing either the weight of the loco (downside: reduction of useful pulling ability), or by roughening up the track or wheels (downside: more muck and less electrical conductivity). In extreme cases on the prototype, wheels almost like cogs, or extra tracks, or central tracks with horizontally-mounted wheels either side of them would assist mountain railways...

    Do you have a picture or a diagram of what you're suggesting?
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Because of some of the headaches that tillsbury mentions in modifying the track, you are probably better off re-engineering that section of track to reduce the grade...

    Welcome to The Gauge... :)

  5. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Welcome to The Gauge. Have a bit of patience, surely someone will know what you're talkng about, but you may have to wait a bit longer than three and a half hours for your answer. Some people only check in once in a while, others are here several times a day. But remember, when it's 9:00 PM in Sacramento, it's midnight on the east coast. :rolleyes:

    A picture or diagram would be helpful so we could see what you're talking about, but so far you've gotten good advice. How steep it your incline? If it's so steep that your wheels slip, you in all likelyhood have an incline that is too steep. You can determine you grade percentage by mesuring the distance and dividing that number into the amount of rise over that distance. For instance, if you measure a rise of 8" over a distance of 96" you will have a rise of 8%. Anything over 2% is non prototypical, anything over 5% is asking for problems.
  6. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    If you are talking about a strip that runs down the center of the track, (between the rails) That would be a rack for a cog railway. The locomotives had a gear (or cog) that would engage the rack to pull the train up the grade.
    Here's an example
  7. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Kinda like the mechanism that grabs a car on a roller coaster...:thumb:
  8. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Kinda, except the rollercoaster mechanism is built into the structure of the coaster, not the cars. It grabs a "hitch" on the cars and hoists them to the top of the grade. The rack between the rails has no moving parts - those are all on the engine.

    There is one other type - a rack that simply provides a "fail-safe" for an adhesion based loco. A ratcheting type mechanism is found under the loco, and engages the rack to ensure that no (or minimal) backwards movement is possible should the loco begin to slip on the grade.

  9. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Hey, that's cool, I just went to Ray's link. I'd expect to see a big wind-up key on the side of those engines for the drive spring.:D
  10. SF247

    SF247 New Member

    Yeah, thats what im looking for. Your probably right though, that would be too much of a hasstle. I should just re-design it as whenever I put two or more cars behind any of my engines, the wheels slip and the train goes nowhere.

    Thanks for the greetings, and thanks for the great info. I have an idea what I want to do now. :thumb:

  11. capt_turk

    capt_turk Member

    LGB makes at least a couple of rack locos. They also have the rack to put between the tracks. All of them I've noticed were European locos. Check out the LGB
  12. SF247

    SF247 New Member

  13. capt_turk

    capt_turk Member

    That's it!
  14. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Just a little nitpicking...EZ Days mentions an 8" rise over a 96" run is an 8% grade. Actually that's an 8.3% grade. 8" over 100" is 8%.

  15. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Close enough for modeling work, but I wouldn't use my rounding off for sending up a spaceship:D:D
  16. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I think that you need to buy the locos with the rack gear already designed into them. I don't think modifying other locos would be an easy job.

Share This Page