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4231 Views 12 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Al McEvoy
This may be a questions that was already answered but I can not find it, I have a Bachmann set and was wondering what is the max grade one can get up, I have seen several photos of trains climbing 8" (or enough for a train to clear the bridge) in what looks like about 8', is this reasonable. What are the deciding factors? I am planning on pubbing from 4 to 6 cars? Any ideas?

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Grade is measured in terms of rise over run, expressed as a percentage. A rise of 8" over a run of 8' (96") is roughly an 8% grade--8" rise over (almost) 100" run. That's about twice as steep as what is considered the maximum advisable grade for model railroads. If you can stretch that to 16' of track to rise up 8", then you'll be at a 4% grade. I recommend trying not to exceed 3% if at all possible. A train of only 4 to 6 cars with the average loco will not have any trouble on a 3 or 4% grade. But that's not necessarily an invite to pull steeper grades. There are internal forces in the gearing of our locos that tend to cause issues on steep grades regardless of how many cars the loco's pulling.


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