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Re: layout and rail questions

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  • Jeffrey MacHan
    Hey Jacob, I found that Bill Kronenberger s answers were pretty much on the mark. However, I ll share with you my personal grade experience. On the Val Ease
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 29 9:53 PM
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      Hey Jacob,

      I found that Bill Kronenberger's answers were pretty much on the mark.
      However, I'll share with you my personal grade experience. On the Val Ease
      Central I am obliged to make very tight curves and large grades. In fact
      the highest grade on the layout is a one inch rise in a 20 inch run (5%!).
      Elsewhere the grade is 1:40 or 2.5% maximum grade.

      I can run a 10 car freight train up the 5% grade with one Micro-trains F7 on
      the lead. However, I double head F7's to pull a 6 car passenger train up
      the same grade. Note that MT F7's are fine pullers but you want to avoid
      noticeable slowing of the train going up the grade. I do cheat at train
      shows where I only run trains down the 5% grade.

      On the subject of rail, Rail Craft in the US makes a slightly lower profile
      rail for Nn3 use. If you want to try your hand at laying your own track, I
      would suggest that you look into this brand as it is available in 30" if not
      36" lengths.

      I am sensitive to the look of the rail myself. Unfortunately, I had
      completed two suitcases before Micro-Trains introduced their flex track. I
      used Peco for the most part. My solution to the tie spacing and rail height
      problems was to disguise them... paint the rails and the ties before
      balasting and then weather the ties and ballast between the rails after
      ballasting. I have found that the problems seem to disappear because most
      of the visual clues have gone.

      I could have used a 3 way turnout myself a couple of times or even a wye
      turnout. I did cut between the turnout ties and curved the straight exit to
      add a very slight wye effect to one turnout leading into a yard throat.

      With a little creative cutting and careful bending and artful disguising, it
      is possible to make do with what is available.

      Cheers,
      Jeffrey
    • BJKRONEN@xxx.xxx
      ... on ... Ah Ha....the truth has prevailed. Given the Norway location the question came from, I assumed (whoa, you know what that word means) that we were
      Message 2 of 7 , Jun 29 10:20 PM
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        Jeffrey:

        > I can run a 10 car freight train up the 5% grade with one Micro-trains F7
        on
        > the lead. However, I double head F7's to pull a 6 car passenger train up
        > the same grade. Note that MT F7's are fine pullers but you want to avoid
        > noticeable slowing of the train going up the grade. I do cheat at train
        > shows where I only run trains down the 5% grade.

        Ah Ha....the truth has prevailed. Given the Norway location the question
        came from, I assumed (whoa, you know what that word means) that we were
        talking Marklin locos. That's where my little tables of grades vs. train
        length came from.

        But you are talking about MicroTrains locos. Now we're talking REAL power.
        Serious loco weights. High gear ratios. Not the same as Marklin fly weight
        locos.

        In very non-scientific tests on our z modules, we find that on flat and level
        track, a Marklin F7 approaches wheel slip conditions with around 28
        MicroTrains cars behind it. But a single MT F7 didn't get into wheel slip
        with 71 cars behind it. Sorry, that's all the cars we had that day.

        And I agree with your double heading comments. I have a complete daylight
        passenger train plus two extra cars, and on one module that has a (grim) 2.4%
        grade on it, I use a pair of Marklin F7's to charge the hill. One won't do
        it.

        However, if you take the time to fill the top of the shell of a Marklin F7
        with lead, its performance almost comes up to a MT, pulling power wise. Just
        be careful not to short out the printed circuit board when you re-assemble
        the loco with the added lead. I can't do that with my Daylight F7's, I have
        a Richmond Control's MARS light board jammed in that space.

        Bill Kronenberger
        Houston
      • WBolt1809@xxx.xxx
        From Wolfgang (Bolt) Some suggestions to Jacob s questions: Although I do not have a real layout - shame on me, I know ! - planning it
        Message 3 of 7 , Jun 30 8:42 AM
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          From Wolfgang (Bolt) <<wbolt1809@...>>

          Some suggestions to Jacob's questions:

          Although I do not have a real layout - shame on me, I know ! - planning it
          more and more sophisticated.....keeps me away from tranferring it into
          reality......

          No doubt at all: MT locos have originally by far better traction qualities !
          But what, if you prefer "Europeans" ??! Without any modification, it's better
          to have no grades of just those up to 2-3% - this is commonly agreed and
          experienced for a long time.

          Putting on weight - lead for example - is surely a remedy, but not always and
          on all types of locos applicable, space........- perhaps you followed the
          discussion just 2 weeks ago on the mailing list of the "Z-Club-92" .....

          When I suggested to try traction tires on Diesels and E-locos, like used in
          H0, I was confronted with the arguments: Improving traction ability versus
          lack of contact for taking up electricity and possibly higher danger of
          derailing on turn-outs.

          I did it all the same ! What I had seen already before on demonstrations,
          turned into reality: My "Heizer-Loco" (a series "460" from the Siwss
          Railways, one out of the double loco-pack "88445") had no problem at all to
          "climb" a grade of more than 30%......the following one must see or
          experience oneself: A Diesel - BR 218, catalogue nb "8880".....made its way
          "uphill"....on a grade of 45� (in words: degrees !) - which is, give me some
          time to calculate......a grade of 58%.........(difference in height was 25
          cm, ....."length" of track run......:43cm......) - As everyone can easily
          understand, testing how many cars my loco would pull easily on a grade of
          let's say 4%, is up to now really impossible........what I try out now on a
          grade of 6,9% - you should see me right now, looking for kinds of weights to
          put on a flat - "8610" car (6 gramms) !!! - I decided for a "Zippo"......60
          gramms......and my loco nearly wanted to take off like a Jumbo Jet.......A
          normal German reefer weighs 5-7 gramms...... - next try: grade 3,5%, same
          loco, 2 cars to put weight in/on.....I stopped my trials, after the loco
          managed to move "uphill" with a total of a little bit more than 400 gramms
          behind.....

          I am pretty sure that just 1 or 2, but "heavy" car(s) is not the same as 179
          (?) simple cars and that curves, turnouts and different radii have certainly
          influence on the traction "capacity" !!!

          Above all - it was great fun to do all this - perhaps you can imagine.... -
          Oh yes, the price for 2 axles modified, including shipment in Germany, is not
          more than DM 30...

          Due to the linkage (please let me have the right expression, US-folks !),
          traction tires are not yet available for steamers.

          Perhaps, somebody has an idea, how to do this more easily without having to
          dismount the "linkage" from the driving wheels of steamers - maybe some kind
          of liquid rubber to be put on by a brush ?????

          Years ago, at the time, the "Z-Club-International" still merited the name
          "Club"....- there was sb, who built a "Bergbahn", very interesting project
          and very well realized ! But this was without a cog-bar/cog-wheel, I think
          the cars were moved by strings. Nowadays, the company "Railex" introduced
          something similar even in "N" and "H0".

          Thanks for the information about the poor flexibility of the M�rklin type !
          Can anybody help me where in Europe to purchase the Peco flex track ?

          ....I enjoyed this afternoon and writing this email !

          Wolfgang
        • Jacob Munkhammar
          Thank you all for exhaustive accounts on the maximum climbing grade issue. The reason why I ask is that I am planning a very compact, multilevel layout where
          Message 4 of 7 , Jun 30 9:37 AM
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            Thank you all for exhaustive accounts on the maximum climbing grade issue.
            The reason why I ask is that I am planning a very compact, multilevel
            layout where almost all visible track is flat, while it is shifting levels
            in hidden tunnels.
            As I want the layout to be as compact as possible, and those mountains and
            other hidden areas - especially at the ends of the layout - as small as
            possible, I of course want the trains to climb to another level in an as
            small area as possible. An as narrow helix as possible seemed the obvious
            choise.

            And, consequently, speed decrease is no problem, the trains are not visible.

            There is another issue here, though. Starting up-hill. I guess, at the
            grades I am discussing, this is impossible with stock locos.
            I will also park trains in those hidden areas. Better keep those parking
            areas flat or down-hill, I suspect....

            This rubber thing on a pair of wheels is interesting. Who make and sell those?

            /Jacob
          • Frans van Cuilenborg
            Snip, snip, snip...... There was a lot of good things said in this mail but I do not quite agree about the flex Märklin type track. I have used it a lot but
            Message 5 of 7 , Jun 30 9:43 AM
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              Snip, snip, snip......

              There was a lot of good things said in this mail but I do not quite agree
              about the flex M�rklin type track.
              I have used it a lot but you have to cut the underside of the track on the
              "outside" of the radia. Then it will bend easy. The advantage is that you
              can make a very nice stransfer from straight to circular by keeping a part
              fixed as it is and then cut where it bends.
              The cutting is done between the sleepers on the outside of the radia.

              Frans

              >
              >Thanks for the information about the poor flexibility of the M�rklin type !
              >Can anybody help me where in Europe to purchase the Peco flex track ?
              >
              >....I enjoyed this afternoon and writing this email !
              >
              >Wolfgang
              >
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