Chris Sheldrake wrote:
> Selecting gradients is fraught with difficulty !
We want to do more in a small space -- unfortunately we cannot just
scale down standards from another scale and expect them to work
for Z scale. Our engines are lighter and even the slightest differences
in track height and gauge can derail a train. The tolerances kick in.
> Using Marklin standard radii curves and my own locomotives
> and rolling stock I can certainly confirm that a gradient of
> 2.5% is too steep and will cause wheel slip with most
> lengths of train. The same gradient on a straight is OK,
A 2.5% grade will work fine as long as you use much larger radius
standards than Marklin has and make sure that you have built in
easements for both the approaching grade and curve. I try to think
outside the Marklin track box. As for wheel slippage, just double
header your locos along the grades and it will look even more
> When I design a layout with three track levels, I make the
> "baseboard" height the middle one and construct the layout
> on an open frame. That way, in Z gauge, track level 1 might
> be at an altitude of minus 25mm and track level three at an
> altitude of + 25mm. Each track is on a shaped track bed of
> it's own at an individual height above the frame. Only the
> lowest point of the bottom level track bed might sit
> directly in the frame. That way even the lowest track can
> descend to pass under another track that is ascending.
I must admit that the "base" level of any complex layout should always
have it's zero datum elevation at least 2" above the plywood base. This
is to allow for drainage and creeks, etc. and perhaps an occasional
under a crossover loop. --Reynard
> Chris Sheldrake
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