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Re: [z_scale] Noch Sonnenalpe layout?

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  • gerrystanding@aol.com
    Hi people I hope Im not breaking in to your discussion; but Im appreaciating this ongoing discussion; -- I ; kind of; inherited a Sonnenalpe 87050
    Message 1 of 6 , Jun 1, 2003
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      Hi "people" I hope Im "not " breaking in to your discussion; but Im
      appreaciating this "ongoing discussion;"-- I ; kind of; 'inherited" a Sonnenalpe 87050
      lay-out; so I was "forced into trying to make the "best" of a bad situation;
      regarding the "steep-degree rises" causing "slippage& skidding" on both of my
      "main-lines" & of course very reduced train-car lengths;; "Nels" at Bigdam;
      helped me out by getting an availability of "wahl-oil"; which helps me to get at
      least a 4 car + engine & tender; on the "long-grade" but even with raising
      the front of the "lay-out by approx" 3/4 of an inch; & using the "wahl-oil for
      traction"; I can only add i more car; before "skidding/slippage" on "engine'
      starts again;; "Nels" figured my grades to be about 2 % in a foot of track-rise;
      but I think its more like 4 %;; especially ;on th "inner-track" where I can
      only get 2 passenger cars;; before slippage; even with "wahl-oil" ; Im using a
      Mark-81561 with tender on the outside track; & I wish now I had bought the
      "heaviest-actual-weight engine; {whichever model marklin that is} because my
      mini-club transformers ; are supplying "power to spare" At "50" mark on both
      trans formers;; on the short level -curved-tracks; im at the verge of "derail";
      so you can see that I have to "man" both transformers all the time; because
      of the inclines I still have to "boost the power to 100; even with the
      "wahl-oil"on track;; So ;the only answer now is to buy a new "heaviest weight
      engine";; because I "prefer" long train-units; Sorry for the long "song& dance" story
      here;-- But I wanted to make sure that any "new-zee ers"; who buy a
      Sonnenalpe layout 87050 will understand some "limitations" they will have with it ;;
      Many thanks to "Nel"; for the "help" he has provided me ;; He is an excellent
      "moderator"-- for this "forum"--- Regards to all " Zee-ers" Gerryd

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Bill Hoshiko
      ... both of my main-lines ... I looked at the picture shown on Z scale Hobo s webpage http://zscalehobo.com/website/noch/87050.html The Sonnenalpe layout has
      Message 2 of 6 , Jun 1, 2003
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        --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, gerrystanding@a... wrote:

        > regarding the "steep-degree rises" causing "slippage& skidding" on
        both of my "main-lines"
        > & of course very reduced train-car lengths;

        I looked at the picture shown on Z scale Hobo's webpage


        The Sonnenalpe layout has two circles of track. The inner circle is
        very restrictive because of its sharp curves. A European style train
        with 4 wheel cars are shown here. Their short wheel base would have
        no problems with the sharp curves.

        The outer loop is restrictive because almost all of the grade is on
        sharp curves. It shows a passenger train traversing a reverse curve
        on the upper level. You can see that the locomotive is trying to
        pull the first car to the left while that car is pulling the second
        car to the right. The second car in its turn is pulling the third
        car to the left again. The wheels on these cars are struggling to
        keep the train following the rails. Just imagine all the power that
        is required to pull these cars around these opposing curves.

        If you add a few more cars to this train, the locomotive will also be
        pulling the last cars uphill on a curve. You will never have enough
        weight on a Z scale locomotive to accomplish all of this. You will
        need some helper engines. I understand that helper engines are
        rarely, if ever, used on European trains.

        > I wish now I had bought the "heaviest-actual-weight engine;

        If you want to have increased traction you can look back through the
        archives for "traction tires". Someone on this list offers to modify
        your locomotives for traction tires. Be sure to read the pros and
        cons about traction tires.

        A choice must be made over long trains or very small layouts. These
        two concepts are not compatible. Small ready formed layouts are
        almost entirely curved track and even if there were no grades, your
        train length will be limited. (ie: nose to tail) A larger layout
        with generous curves can allow for longer trains. Often a very long
        train is limited only by the ability of the couplers to keep it
        together. See the 100+ car trains operated on the Z-bend or the
        other modular layouts. To see a picture of a 100+car train go to

        then scroll down to Pics
        then scroll down to Z_Track Show
        then scroll down to Houston_Coal_Train.jpg

        Or, if you can get the following url to work by copying and pasting
        try this:


        If you have no urge to build your own layout, then you might
        investigate a preformed N scale layout minus the track and use Z flex
        track to build a Z scale layout with more reasonable curves and

        Just thinking out loud on a foggy Sunday morning. Well it was foggy
        but now it's sunny and almost 80 deg outside.

        El Toro, ca
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