Track Grade Question

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Floyd, Oct 23, 2007.

  1. Floyd

    Floyd Member

    Hello All....This may seem like a dumb question but I am going to ask it anyway. I bought my grandson a new train set that came with a bridge and plastic risers to make an elevated grade. What I want to ask is, if I decide to continue the grade to make it longer and therefore higher (hope this makes sense), can I just measure what the difference in the height of each plastic riser and make wooden ones to continue from the two highest ones? As I said, we want a longer elevated track. Also, if I did this, woul'nt the grade still remain the same as if I just used the plastic risers as they came with the set, without my modifying them?
  2. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Hey, Floyd, no questions here are considered dumb. ;) You're correct: if you increase each riser by the same amount as the plastic ones, and space them the same distance apart, the grade will remain constant. I'm guessing that the track layout is a figure eight, with one track crossing over the other at the middle. The piers that came with the set will raise the one track high enough to clear a train on the lower track, so it's not necessary to go any higher, but you certainly may do so if you wish. There are a couple of ways to make the elevated section longer, but not higher: one is to make more risers the same height as the highest ones that came with the set, giving you a longer elevated run. You could also make intermediate risers that increase in height only half as much as the ones that came with the set (make one lower than the lowest one, then another half the difference in height between the first and second ones that came with the set, and so on, then place them between the plastic ones, separated by the same distance as was intended with the originals. The result will be a grade half as steep as the original, but twice as long.

  3. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

    Try to keep the grade below two and a half percent. If it's too steep, the train won't be able to climb it. A two and a half percent grade would be 0.30" or rise for each foot of track in the grade.
  4. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Floyd, you can also buy the plastic risers separate if you want them all looking the same.

  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    If you find a second set of risers you can put them on a pier base that's the same height as the tallest piers in the first set -- a little piece of wood or plastic foam a bit bigger than the bottom of the riser that you can paint to look like concrete, stone or brick. (sorry, is this understandable?)
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    The one thing that you need to remember is that the figure 8 with the risers that came with your set are made for a 4 x 8 board and are close to the maximum grade that you can run. You can't go any higher unless you increase the size of the layout to allow the grade to continue up at the same or less grade. If you try to increase the height without increasing the table size, it won't work.
  7. Floyd

    Floyd Member

    Thank you all for the information I was asking because we have bought more track so as to end up with something more interestig than the basic figure eight layout. We would like to have longer straight aways with inclines (If that is what you call the straight track arrangementin model railroading). I am in the process of constructing our first new layout and would like to install elevated rails. I will try to keep things at the same incline as the original piers so as to avoid the problems of engines not being able to climb. I have gotten tons of ideas from this group and I appreciate everyone's postings.

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