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Thanks for the informative replies on a controller. Now, another question in the beginner vein: How much can the track tilt from side to side. I am trying to make it dead level but in some cases it is 1/8 inch higher, or lower, from side to side. Is this much tilt OK or must I get it more level? Thanks.

RB Whale
 

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Mr Whale,

Ideally your track should be level across the rails -or to within 1mm or so.

If you multiply up the size of a 1/8 inch "bump" this equates to 2.5 inches across 3 feet, (in 1:20.3 scale), or even 3.6 inches across 4 feet 8.5 inches, (in 1:29 scale).

regards

ralph
 

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The tilt at 1/8 of an inch will derail the big engines/cars with 3 axles per motor block. They just will not tolerate uneven track.
I believe the 2 axle large passenger cars will not like this either as wel as the Aristo RDC.
 

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Hi RB,

The other guys have given you very good detailed answers.

Mine would be: good trackwork = good running, poor trackwork = poor running.
 

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The "tilt" itself is not so bad. Its the transition into/out of the tilt, especially into another tilt of the other direction, that's the killer.
 

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Ditto to what everyone else has said. Really, I think the answer you are looking for depends on what you plan to run and where the tilt is. I'd recommend getting it to as close to level as you can all around, and maybe bank the curves in a little (not necessary, but I find it helpful). I don't have experience with the bigger equipment a lot of people have so I can't really be of much help there, but I would think the smaller equipment should be okay. I guess to basically answer your question, the 1/8" difference should be fine assuming its not in the curves, your equipment can handle the tilting without derailing, and seeing the train "tilt" slightly from side to side doesn't bother you. :) Hope this was of some help, and good luck!
 

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SD-45's will derail if there is a tilt on a straight run.
I have seen it happen and a re-ballast corrected the tilt and derailing.
 

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Cross level is very important to the operations of trains. I use a line bubble to cross lever the track (side to side for you non RR folks:)) Twist or warp as its called for cross level that goes one way and then reverses the other way can also be a pain for good operations. Nothing more frustrating than a train that keeps derailing. You'll find the smoother the track the better the trains run. Also don't for get to line the track. Later RJD
 

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If all you are going to run on your track are 0-4-0 small steam or diesel engines and small two-axle rolling stock (typical narrow gauge short line equipment), then the slightly wobbly track may not be an issue at all (in some cases it may resemble the prototype more realistically!). You will have to try out your loco to see. Couple a few cars to it and try that also. Run it in both directions.

I have set up five different larger temporary layouts in the backyard on the grass and they have been quite wobbly at times. I have not had any issues with my LGB equipment, including all the Stainz locos, the F-7 ABA units, the 2-6-0 Mogul, and the Crocodile. I have not run my Aristo RDC on such track yet so I'll take the word of those who have. My Aristo GP-40 and RS-3 both ran fine on wobbly track as well as did my Bachman Heisler and Climax units. The Bachmann 2-8-0 Constellation did not like wobbly track and would derail continuously.

Having said all that, I would never install a permanent railroad with track that wobbly so I agree with all the advice previously offered in this thread.

Al
 

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Side to side level is critically important.
The longer the cars or locos, the more impact that lateral level makes. Yesterday, I had a 15 car domino effect derail with the cars falling on their sides when the train went over an area that ballast had been washed out during our recent 9.5in rains. Since the track was on a slopeing area,the washout was behind trees, and wasn't too obvious, I was running "fat and happy" when disaster struck. The only item remaining on the track was the LGB Mikado loco.
If you have a curve that is banked to the inside [super-elevation], longer trains may pull off the track to the inside [stringlining].
To more easily check lateral level of track I use a dial level from Harbor Freight.

JimC.
 

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Never under estimate the track cross level or alignment. It will bit you every time as Jim found out. Later RJD
 

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I run consists of 9 MTH streamliners or 30 to 40 freight cars. The freight cars have a mix of different wheel sets and flange sizes. All my curves have super elevation. I have never had a "string line" derailments, I have a minimum 20ft radius on an elevated track. there is a max grade of 1/4" in 40' in one turn, all others are level other then the super elevation which is 1/8". The change from curve to straight where the superelevation flattens is about 4ft You can run as slow or fast as you want. There ARE up/down variations in the straights as much as 1/4 of sag in a 12' span, but they are level side to side. So one can throw there scale flanged live steamer on the track and run a scale 100+ mph, with no worries. What I am trying to point out is side to side level depends on several things, just make sure you keep it consistent all the way thru the turn, and make any change as gradual as possible.
 
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