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Author Topic: Gradient - the age old question!  (Read 336 times)

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Offline Dave_K

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Gradient - the age old question!
« on: May 26, 2020, 09:38:26 PM »
In one of my layout mock ups I am playing with the idea of the two main lines - coloured in blue - descending to the 'front' of the layout and then climbing back up. With an approximate track length of 70cm I estimate I can drop it by a total of 1cm. Do others concur?, could I make it a greater drop or would that cause issues? (Track would be Kato running modern stock).

- Dave

Online njee20

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Re: Gradient - the age old question!
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2020, 09:56:48 PM »
70cm to drop, or 70cm to drop and come back to the datum (ie 35cm each way)?

The former is 1.4%, which is pretty shallow, and should be fine with the length of train you'll be able to fit on that layout. The latter is 2.9% which is pretty steep, should still generally be ok, but you may find some things struggle a bit.

Offline stevewalker

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Re: Gradient - the age old question!
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2020, 10:10:07 PM »
General recommendation seems to be not to exceed about 2% (1 in 50). That's roughly what I have and its viability depends upon your locos and what sort of trains you run. My Dapol Britannia will pull at least 16 BR Mk1s from a standing start, on the gradient, with some of them on a curve, while my (old Poole) Black 5 will only manage around 5 (IIRC). From memory my 4F manages about the same as the 5.

Offline PLD

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Re: Gradient - the age old question!
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2020, 11:08:12 PM »
Without an obvious reason for the track to drop and rise, I'd suggest to keep the track level and drop/rise the scenery around it, which if done well would give the illusion of the track rising and falling...

I'd certainly avoid any gradients on curves that tight, especially if using any form of set-track/sectional track which tents to mean more joins than using Flexitrack...

Offline Dave_K

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Re: Gradient - the age old question!
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2020, 09:44:08 AM »
70cm to drop, or 70cm to drop and come back to the datum (ie 35cm each way)?

Thanks for the reply, does the picture below help? The drop in vertical height is only 1cm but the length the track travels before reaching that point is approximately 70cm using the radius of the outer curve...


- Dave

Offline Dave_K

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Re: Gradient - the age old question!
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2020, 09:46:08 AM »
Without an obvious reason for the track to drop and rise, I'd suggest to keep the track level and drop/rise the scenery around it, which if done well would give the illusion of the track rising and falling...

I'd certainly avoid any gradients on curves that tight, especially if using any form of set-track/sectional track which tents to mean more joins than using Flexitrack...

I just wanted to avoid having another flat layout. it was an option I was trying out but it does seem, in the space I have available to me, that an operational interesting layout is not possible.
- Dave

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Re: Gradient - the age old question!
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2020, 10:16:24 AM »
I agree with @PLD    keep the trackwork on the level but take the scenery above and below track level using open frame construction, it will give the layout some character without compromising running.  You can include under- and over-bridges, embankments, cuttings etc. even on a small layout.
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Online njee20

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Re: Gradient - the age old question!
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2020, 10:47:18 AM »
I agree with PLD and ntp - having a gradient like that doesn't really add operational interest, I think it'll just cause you problems. Go with an open frame construction so you can have scenery coming above and below the track, it'll make it much more interesting visually, without the operational constraints.

Offline Dave_K

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Re: Gradient - the age old question!
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2020, 11:19:47 AM »
Thanks for the feedback guys, I think you're right - a lot of effort for little difference. I shall put the thinking hat on!
- Dave

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Re: Gradient - the age old question!
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2020, 11:57:31 AM »
If you use open frame as suggested above and don't mind losing the station at the front. You could do a pretty deep cutaway and have those front lines running over a pretty epic bridge or viaduct.

 

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