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Author Topic: Saluda Grade  (Read 5092 times)
Tyler


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« on: May 16, 2016, 07:23:40 PM »

Has anyone ever tried to make an entire replica of the 5% grade of Saluda NC? An if you have any tips on how to make one for myself?
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Piyer


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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2016, 02:11:56 AM »

The approach to modeling Saluda is no different than modeling any other prototype location, at least in terms of selective compression and adjusting prototype reality to match the reality of what will fit in the space available for the layout. Saluda rises about 600 feet in three miles. Now, three miles works out to around 180 actual feet in HO-scale - a very doable distance on a basement empire, but that 600-foot rise is nearly 7 actual feet in HO-scale, so you might have to trade the basement for a barn and buy a pair of stilts.  Wink

Presuming you don't have access to a barn, my suggestion would be to research operations on the grade in the era you want to model. Look at what locomotive X's tonnage rating was on the grade, and working with a testing grade (track tacked to a tiltable run of lumber) figure out the maximum grade at which your model of locomotive X can reliably haul a model version of the prototype tonnage. For argument's sake, let's say that a model SD9 can haul 10 cars up a 2.75% grade. You make that your ruling grade on your version of Saluda, and then add a section of 3.0% to represent the steepest section.

You are probably looking at a double deck layout with the steep grade providing the only thing necessary for it to climb over itself. If you have the space, you could put a double ended staging yard on one or both ends of the layout. The yard(s) could feed into broad radius return loops with a helix tucked inside the loop to provide continuous running for coal trains.

As I said, it's not much different than any other prototype location, you just have the added "fun" of having to work out grades that are both compatible with your models and give the right feel of the prototype's infamous grade and related operations. It's a challenge, but challenges aren't necessarily a bad thing in this hobby.

 
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~AJ Kleipass~
Actively modeling in N, HO, and 2-rail O scales.
jward


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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2016, 03:10:02 AM »

your biggest challenge is to find a way to model the runaway track at Melrose at the bottom of the grade.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
jbrock27

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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2016, 07:05:51 AM »

T, ever check for PMs?
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Keep Calm and Carry On
willis

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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2016, 10:16:57 PM »

there is a scale model of that grade and the whole area in the old depot in Hendersonville North Carolina.
it is a beautiful layout.
do not remember the club name.
Willis.
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MBB


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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2016, 12:05:26 AM »

there is a scale model of that grade and the whole area in the old depot in Hendersonville North Carolina.
it is a beautiful layout.
do not remember the club name.
Willis.

Apple Valley Railroad Model Club

Click Here for info.

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Tyler


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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2016, 08:36:18 PM »

Ok 1 thank you piyer for the information, it'll take a really long time to get all the materials and the right sized shed to build but still thank you for giving me all the info I need 😃

And 2 how does modeling the runaway section in Melrose my biggest challenge? 😕
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jward


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« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2016, 09:37:59 PM »

at Melrose, you are coming off a 5% or so grade, levelling out through the switch, then continuing the downgrade at about 1 1/2-2%. the safety track comes out of that switch upgrade at probably 5% or better. the vertical curves necessary to pull this off without compromising reliability in operation will eat up a lot of space, and probably make the whole area look larger than it should. you can't selectively compress a vertical curve without sacrificing reliability  particularly with regards to couplers.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
RAM

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« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2016, 10:47:38 PM »

In a model railroad layout, does the runaway track need to be operational?
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Piyer


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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2016, 12:54:54 PM »

In a model railroad layout, does the runaway track need to be operational?

Yes and no.

Yes, when you are talking about really steep mainline grades where free-rolling model railroad stock are likely to get away from you if the couplers separate (one way to avoid this is to keep a pusher locomotive on the rear of all up-hill trains).

No, because model railroad rolling stock lacks the mass of the prototype and thus a runaway track is just as likely to work as a ski jump and launch your runaway equipment into the great rift valley that is the aisle at the edge of the modeled world. Oops!

So.... Yes, it should be modeled as realigning the runaway track switch for the mainline would add to operations, but you need to add protective measures to it to make sure that a real runaway doesn't turn into a real train wreck.



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~AJ Kleipass~
Actively modeling in N, HO, and 2-rail O scales.
J3a-614

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« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2016, 06:54:51 AM »

Yes, when you are talking about really steep mainline grades where free-rolling model railroad stock are likely to get away from you if the couplers separate (one way to avoid this is to keep a pusher locomotive on the rear of all up-hill trains).

No, because model railroad rolling stock lacks the mass of the prototype and thus a runaway track is just as likely to work as a ski jump and launch your runaway equipment into the great rift valley that is the aisle at the edge of the modeled world. Oops!

So.... Yes, it should be modeled as realigning the runaway track switch for the mainline would add to operations, but you need to add protective measures to it to make sure that a real runaway doesn't turn into a real train wreck.

If your trains are long enough and heavy enough, you can get some interesting results in runaway situations.

Years and years ago, at a club in Wheeling, W.Va., where I'm originally from, such a situation involving long cars (trailer flats) occurred.  This long cut of a fair number of cars ran downhill--and hit another following train coming up.  What a crash!  

What was most interesting were the prototype dynamics that were mimicked in HO scale.  A bunch of cars jackknifed, as they would in full scale.  One empty trailer flat under-ran a covered hopper that was next to it, shearing the trucks from the hopper.  The heavier locomotives on the following train were derailed, but did not jackknife like the cars in front did.

About the only thing we didn't have were cars that would have been crushed; being in HO scale, we had broken steps, sheared couplers, and sheared trucks.

Protective measures?  Well, the prototype had the end of the runaway tracks buried in sand, which would cause a derailment, but hopefully at reduced speed.  Alternately a nice bit of forest scenery at the end of the track would provide some sort of soft bumper effect for a runaway cut.

These runaway tracks were also used on a grade on the Baltimore & Ohio on the West End Division between Cumberland and Grafton, though I forget the exact location at this time.  Reportedly they once had the Cincinnatian (streamlined steam passenger train) go up that track!  That had to be a wild ride that day!  No derailment at the end of t he track, but reportedly they had to bring the cars and locomotive down one at a time, partially because that track was so steep.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2016, 06:58:40 AM by J3a-614 » Logged
jward


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« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2016, 08:27:20 AM »

if I am not mistaken, the b&o runaway track was on 17 mile grade at bond, md. unlike most of the grades on the west end, 17mile is a long descent eastbound, and most of the trains using it were and still are loaded coal trains. in steam days they had to ride the airbrakes down the mountain. with the advent of diesels, and dynamic braking, the need for runaway tracks was lessened and in this case the runaway track was removed long ago. now they safely run trains with tonnages that were unthinkable in steam days.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
James in FL

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« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2016, 07:06:22 PM »

@Tyler;

Check this video to give you some perspective of what your up against.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IABM8UPplY

Good luck
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