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• A question to anyone that has built a small layout in Z: What % grade do you guys consider a good rule of thumb maximum for a 4 to 10 car train? Seems like I
Message 1 of 5 , Jun 2, 2002
A question to anyone that has built a small layout in Z: What % grade
do you guys consider a good "rule of thumb" maximum for a 4 to 10 car
train?
Seems like I read somewhere that 2.5% would allow good performance
from most of the Marklin and MT motive power. I have a track plan
that I like and am just about ready to start the bench work but I
need some advice on the grades. I have worked up an Excel program to
calculate the actual rise in the track( one piece at a time or
several pieces together) for grades from 2% to 4% in 1/2 %
increments. Now all I need to know is which would be best suited!
Steve
• Hello Steve, 2.5 % is just about ideal for a small layout and if you want good general performance for most locomotives that is the number. I ve seen layouts
Message 2 of 5 , Jun 3, 2002
Hello Steve,

2.5 % is just about ideal for a small layout and if you want good
general performance for most locomotives that is the number. I've seen
layouts that have 4 % and 5 % grades successfully runnnng trains but
they were only running short wheel base locos with a maximum of five
cars being hauled.

I've also used the Marklin figure 8 crossover pier set (which is at
least 4%,-- probably 6%!) and found that only certain locomotives
successfully negotiated the tight radius and rise of this set. Long US
style passenger cars did not work at all on this section of track. They
constantly derailed and only "double header" short wheel base electric
locomotives could pull them up the grade anyway. The US Mikado 2-8-2 by
Marklin never completed a run along this section without stalling or
derailing.

When in doubt always go for the easier grades and the largest radius'
you can allow.

Best regards,

Reynard

optimamid wrote:

> A question to anyone that has built a small layout in Z: What % grade
>
> do you guys consider a good "rule of thumb" maximum for a 4 to 10 car
> train?
> Seems like I read somewhere that 2.5% would allow good performance
> from most of the Marklin and MT motive power. I have a track plan
> that I like and am just about ready to start the bench work but I
> need some advice on the grades. I have worked up an Excel program to
> calculate the actual rise in the track( one piece at a time or
> several pieces together) for grades from 2% to 4% in 1/2 %
> increments. Now all I need to know is which would be best suited!
> Steve
>
>
> "Z" WARNING! HANDLE WITH CARE! Highly addictive in Small DoseZ!
>
>

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
• ... I agree with 2.5%, but remember the transition from level to grade=2.5% should not be abrupt, otherwise wheels can lift off the track. It would be better
Message 3 of 5 , Jun 3, 2002
--- In z_scale@y..., Reynard Wellman <micron@m...> wrote:
> 2.5 % is just about ideal for a small layout and if you want good
> general performance for most locomotives that is the number.

I agree with 2.5%, but remember the transition from level to
grade=2.5% should not be abrupt, otherwise wheels can lift off the
track. It would be better if the change in angle (2.5% = 1.5 degrees)
was spread between three successive joins in the track: 0.5 degrees
at each join. This applies to the top and the bottom transitions. It
makes the grade slightly longer but it's really worth it if the
trains run troublefree.

If the piers are every 110 mm, successive heights (in mm) are at the
bottom approximately: 0, 1, 3, 6, 9 and so on, each increasing by
3mm. At the top: -9, -6, -3,-1, 0.

Hope that helps! Jeremy.
• Thanks for the responses! As I understand it, a 2.5% grade would result in an increase of .328 in. over a distance of 3 marklin 8500 track pieces (13.125 in).
Message 4 of 5 , Jun 3, 2002
Thanks for the responses!
As I understand it, a 2.5% grade would result in an increase of .328
in. over a distance of 3 marklin 8500 track pieces (13.125 in). Does
that sound right to you guys? That converts to .109 in per section.
Are you saying that maybe it would be better to absorb that
initial .109 spread out over 2 sections in lieu of all of it on one
section?
Thanks again for the help!
Steve

--- In z_scale@y..., "jeremypbrandon" <Jeremy.Brandon@t...> wrote:
> --- In z_scale@y..., Reynard Wellman <micron@m...> wrote:
> > 2.5 % is just about ideal for a small layout and if you want good
> > general performance for most locomotives that is the number.
>
> I agree with 2.5%, but remember the transition from level to
> grade=2.5% should not be abrupt, otherwise wheels can lift off the
> track. It would be better if the change in angle (2.5% = 1.5
degrees)
> was spread between three successive joins in the track: 0.5 degrees
> at each join. This applies to the top and the bottom transitions.
It
> makes the grade slightly longer but it's really worth it if the
> trains run troublefree.
>
> If the piers are every 110 mm, successive heights (in mm) are at
the
> bottom approximately: 0, 1, 3, 6, 9 and so on, each increasing by
> 3mm. At the top: -9, -6, -3,-1, 0.
>
> Hope that helps! Jeremy.
• ... of .328 ... Does ... A #8500 is 110mm long = 4.33 inches, so 3 x #8500 = 13.0 inches. A 2.5% grade is 0.025 up or down for every 1.0 along. So 13.0 * 0.025
Message 5 of 5 , Jun 3, 2002
--- In z_scale@y..., "optimamid" <steve@t...> wrote:
> As I understand it, a 2.5% grade would result in an increase
of .328
> in. over a distance of 3 marklin 8500 track pieces (13.125 in).
Does
> that sound right to you guys? That converts to .109 in per section.

A #8500 is 110mm long = 4.33 inches, so 3 x #8500 = 13.0 inches.
A 2.5% grade is 0.025 up or down for every 1.0 along. So 13.0 * 0.025
= 0.324 inch. Near enough!

> Are you saying that maybe it would be better to absorb that
> initial .109 spread out over 2 sections in lieu of all of it on one
> section?

Yes. At 2.5% each #8500 rises 0.108 inch (say 0.1 inch). At the
transition from level to 2.5% grade, the first #8500 should rise 1/3
of that = .036 inch (1mm), the second should rise 2/3 = .072 inch
(2mm) from .036 to .108, the third and ones that follow rise the
full .108 (3mm). This means the transition is one #8500 longer, but
it is smoother.

Jeremy.
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