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Old 08-12-2017, 07:00 PM   #1
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Default Need some advice on layout

I need some advice on my new layout. This is my first so am very inexperienced. The layout is going to be about 2m by 4m, OO gauge, DCC with an operating well in the middle. I am planning to have steam locos only. My idea is to have two levels - one level to represent a branch line with small tank engines and the like and one level as a main line with A4s and so on.
Now here is the problem on the upper level I want a wills kits viaduct, perhaps five arches long reminiscent of a Settle Carlisle type. From the literature it seems it is 234mm High. So it follows the difference in height between the upper and lower sections of my layout will be 234mm.
I would like to connect the two by an incline at a slope of 2░. This means it will have to be 11.7 meters long and I will only use 2nd & 3rd radius curves - fine I can do that in the space I have.
My worry/question after watching many youtube videos is, can modern DCC locos, larger main line and small tank engines, handle that slope at that length - I thought about doing a helix but at 2░ raising at 50mm a circuit it would have to have a radius of at least 80 cm - could locos manage that?
Your thoughts and experiences would be greatly appreciated!

Last edited by Leo; 08-12-2017 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 10-12-2017, 03:18 PM   #2
alan stonebridge
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Hi Leo,

Welcome to the friendly forum ! You'll get plenty of good advice on here. I'm not the most experienced modeller but have always thought different levels and gradients essential for an interesting layout. Having said that mine have never climbed as much as 200 mm. The space I have available is a little larger than yours but the maximum difference is certainly no more than 100 mm.

You can see photos of my layout on the "New Layout" in Memebrs Layouts.
Cheers Alan
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Old 10-12-2017, 06:51 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum. When I started out like you I considered having a gradient. I built a test layout using R909 elevated track support set. What this revealed is that my locos performed badly on gradients. The thing to do is build a test layout like this to see if your track plan idea is practical.
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Old 11-12-2017, 09:15 AM   #4
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It depends on several things.

The number of driving wheels on the loco, the weight of the loco, the weight of the train and how much friction the train generates.

In short, there's not a lot you can do, except to build a test gradient and see how things cope. I have a 3% gradient on my layout, some of the trains I planned to run, will have to be a bit shorter than originally planned. Some older trains don't go up the gradient full stop and will need a bit of abstract thinking to get them up it.

There's kits available which increase the loco friction & grip, using magnets on the trains and steel plates under the track, which I am considering.

Last edited by Ginger The Hutt; 11-12-2017 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 11-12-2017, 09:32 AM   #5
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I have several gradients loco's are in in 2 groups with if you like sub groups, Steam Loco's are rubbish as there driving wheels are set in a chassis and the slightest 1/2 a thou and the wheels spin, Diesel Loco have 2 bogies and can take up slight out of aligned track, modern bogie have all the wheels linked and these are linked to the driving motor by a prop shaft front and rear, the 3 axles bogies will pull better. there are some pictures and videos in this link....
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Old 12-12-2017, 05:49 PM   #6
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on the one i did for my grandson i had the inclines as a loop off the main track and not crossing the main track which let me use a smaller gradient
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