Forum Options

« Back to Track, Signals and Infrastructure Topics

Sign In above to begin adding replies.
 

A VERY STEEP GRADIENT !

HauteSaoneFrance

Joined: 2-01-14

Topics: 27

Replies: 91

Posted: Sat 24th May 2014, 5:35pm
A VERY STEEP GRADIENT !

Still pondering about how to connect the two levels of my site with safety in mind I suddenly remembered a 'railway' close to my childhood home it was a brickworks with a deep quarry to provide the clay linked by a railway for the tipping trucks by a very steep incline with the laden trucks being hauled up and empty one's let down by winch, I'm not sure how they were moved when reaching a level? Anyway the thought occurs that my 3 to 4 metre variation in levels could be overcome easily in a relatively short linear distance courtesy of an electric winch. Has anyone experience of this? A 240 volt electricity supply is readily available and a winch capable of hauling quite a heavy load is not too expensive and as my proposed layout is private there should be no H & S issues.
 

Replies To This Post

colinedmondson

Joined: 9-08-09

Topics: 3

Replies: 82

Posted: Sat 24th May 2014, 9:15pm

If your gradient is just to move a loco then as steep as 1 in 10 is possible on dry rail, the track from the workshop at Beer Heights is at about that gradient I believe. At Beamish they have a 7 1/4 rack railway, but a lot of engineering involved. As long as you don't get in the way then a winch should be fine, a bar dropped across the line before the rope is disconnected at the top of the incline should give all the safety measures needed.
 

Mick

Joined: 1-01-89

Topics: 7

Replies: 114

Posted: Sun 25th May 2014, 8:46am

Good thinking Colin! As an annual visitor to Beer with my loco ELLA I thought I would have a photo of the incline somewhere. This is the best I can find - having cropped a bit from another photo - but is does indicate the incline down to the workshop you have mentioned.
Good thinking Colin! As an annual visitor to Beer with my loco ELLA I thought I would have a photo of the incline somewhere. This is the best I can find - having cropped a bit from another photo - but is does indicate the incline down to the workshop you have mentioned.
 

HauteSaoneFrance

Joined: 2-01-14

Topics: 27

Replies: 91

Posted: Sun 25th May 2014, 11:58am

Thanks Colin and Mick. The problem I have is that the width at the end of my site where I want to link the low to high levels is only about 50 metres max boundary to boundary and the two proposed tracks running along in a straight line at high and low levels need to both turn through 90 degrees it will obviously be beneficial to make those two 90 degree turns in a reasonable radius (say 8m min) and to keep the radiuses themselves level meaning that the linking uphill straight needs to be steep, but
1 in 10 is just about achievable. I may be able to tweak it a bit by building up the lower level track and forming a cutting to reduce the rise to the higher level.

The Beer track looks good, I must pay it a visit it's not that far from here, Bristol that is not France !


 

George Coles

Joined: 4-08-09

Topics: 19

Replies: 90

Posted: Sun 25th May 2014, 6:47pm

As a point of interest, steep rope-worked inclines were the norm on the very early railways. So you can claim you are re-creating a historical feature!

Sound fun, too.

George
 

HauteSaoneFrance

Joined: 2-01-14

Topics: 27

Replies: 91

Posted: Sun 25th May 2014, 7:08pm

I hope to that the feature will form a point of interest, some ting like level crossing type gates at top and bottom of the incline, stop signs and signals etc. will all add to the uniqueness. I visited a track a while ago that was extensive in it's length but flat as a billiard table with nothing of interest in the terrain, mine is indeed challenging and relatively small but there are quite nice views.

Please can the enlightened members give me an opinion on 8m radius? Colin's book on point building gives this radius as a start point, should I be aiming to go a little more?
 

colinedmondson

Joined: 9-08-09

Topics: 3

Replies: 82

Posted: Tue 27th May 2014, 10:23am

I think if you are sensible about it and have sprung stock then you should be able to climb or fall as you go round the curve, thus easing the gradient. If you add a short rise at the lower end and a cutting at the top then the gradient should soon become manageable. I would survey the site, only needs a spirit level balanced on a camera tripod and a long stick with tape measure, then decide on a gradient and work back to see how much earth needs to be shifted to achieve it. Better to do it before you start running rather than find out just what a limiting factor it is in the future. 18m is the smalllest in my point building booklet simply because that is what is most commonly used, I have done drawings down to 10' radius for hand worked lines, and 20' for loco worked. Hunslet locos in North Wales worked down to 20' radius on 2' gauge, ten times 7 1/4 gives 6' radius!
 

franksidebottom

Joined: 1-01-95

Topics: 4

Replies: 28

Posted: Tue 27th May 2014, 11:42am

Would the site of this proposed railway permit a 'zig-zag' method of achieving the difference in levels, as used on numerous hill railways around the world? If so it could offer much potential for shunting and could well be a lot safer than a steep incline. The gradients would be considerably eased using a zig-zag formation, worth bearing in mind if 'in-steam' operation in the future is envisaged. A train can be driven on a zig-zag, with the driver having ready access to the loco controls.
 

HauteSaoneFrance

Joined: 2-01-14

Topics: 27

Replies: 91

Posted: Thu 29th May 2014, 8:46am

Hi Colin, Did you mean 8 metre min rather than 18m? the former being your minimum in your points book. I was working on the basis that the radius's for the approx. 90 degree turns at lower and upper levels must be kept flat as I seem to remember reading that a radius combined with a gradient is not good I can however go for a large radius if that can also become part of the gradient. Thanks for the tips on surveying, I am though fortunate to have a professional laser that is superb, one person visual and audio reading on the staff and the unit itself is self levelling, accuracy is incredible at 2mm in 1Km wish I had bought one years ago instead of spending so much on hiring surveyors for my business needs. Another question at another part of my proposed track it would be beneficial if 1 can incorporate an 8m or at most 10m radius 180 degree turn, the track can be kept totally level at this point
 

colinedmondson

Joined: 9-08-09

Topics: 3

Replies: 82

Posted: Thu 29th May 2014, 7:17pm

I have worked on a commercial line that had curves down to 25', and I think that Beckenscot has curves that are tighter. All depends on what you want to pull and the power available to pull it, the main reason for avoiding curves and gradients at the same time is the way it increases the drag on the train. You can mix the two as long as you realise that you will be able to pull less. I envy you the laser level, I will have to get by with the spirit level, which is accurate enough for what I need.
 

surreyjames

Joined: 1-01-70

Topics: 0

Replies: 1

Posted: Fri 26th Sep 2014, 8:09pm

I'm a trial member and I have just seen your post.  As Chief Engineer, I am currently constructing a 71/4" 'Garden & Mountain Railway' for my grandchildren in the back garden.  Max gradient is 1:5 so of course it needs a rack with a cog wheel but if you use something like the form of Morgan's design ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rack_railway#Morgan) it's difficult but not impossible.

Good luck.
I'm a trial member and I have just seen your post. As Chief Engineer, I am currently constructing a 71/4" 'Garden & Mountain Railway' for my grandchildren in the back garden. Max gradient is 1:5 so of course it needs a rack with a cog wheel but if you use something like the form of Morgan's design ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rack_railway#Morgan) it's difficult but not impossible.

Good luck.
 

Richard_Langford

Joined: 1-01-70

Topics: 10

Replies: 37

Posted: Fri 26th Sep 2014, 8:46pm

Welcome to the forum and the society SurreyJames. That looks and sounds like a very interesting project.I would love to hear and see more about it.

:)
 

MartynRedfearn

Joined: 1-01-94

Topics: 16

Replies: 107

Posted: Wed 1st Oct 2014, 7:36am

Surry you may want to talk to the 7 1/4 team at Beamish who run a successful cog railway.  http://www.bmeg.co.uk/
Surry you may want to talk to the 7 1/4 team at Beamish who run a successful cog railway. http://www.bmeg.co.uk/
 

HauteSaoneFrance

Joined: 2-01-14

Topics: 27

Replies: 91

Posted: Wed 1st Oct 2014, 8:55am

Unfortunately my project has fallen a bit behind and hasn't got far beyond surveying but some earthmoving has taken place and also removal of a clump of trees which were in the way of the proposed track. One thing is certain is that in order to link high and low levels of the site will require a gradient of 1 in 25 over 140 m of track which will need to include 2 No 90 degree turns with a radius of 17 m each with each radius being part of the 1 in 25 gradient. How practical is this? It's a private garden railway so rolling stock and what it's carrying can be kept to a minumum. I'm aware that all rolling stock will need to be braked.


 

alan

Joined: 23-10-04

Topics: 0

Replies: 9

Posted: Thu 30th Oct 2014, 9:22am

hello,if its of any interest,my garden railway has a gradient of 1:26,with curves of 6m radius on the incline,and as tight as 4m radius on level.Rail is 21mm steel flatbottom;it all seems to work ok so far;admittedly with short trains.
I wish you well with your project,Alan
 

HauteSaoneFrance

Joined: 2-01-14

Topics: 27

Replies: 91

Posted: Thu 30th Oct 2014, 5:37pm

Thanks Alan for the reply, gosh those radiuses seem so tight? The main ones I was referring to are about 17m and would be a part of the 1 in 25 gradient but I would ideally like to make them a bit less.
 

dennisrayner

Joined: 1-01-94

Topics: 0

Replies: 7

Posted: Fri 31st Oct 2014, 10:36pm

I also have a garden railway with 4m radius curves and a gradient of 1 in 25 - 28. It seems to work OK see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfAd41ei_8U

Initially I ran up the gradient but then the rest of the circuit was downhill or level and I had to keep the blower on all the time. Now I run down the incline to solve that problem. I make sure that any fixed wheelbase is 12" or less and there is no superelevation - in any case I don't go fast enough to need it.
 

HauteSaoneFrance

Joined: 2-01-14

Topics: 27

Replies: 91

Posted: Sat 1st Nov 2014, 2:53pm

Thanks for the reply Dennis, I looked at the you tube video and I can see your space is tight, I didn't even realise that a radius of 4m was possible?
 

HauteSaoneFrance

Joined: 2-01-14

Topics: 27

Replies: 91

Posted: Fri 12th Jun 2015, 8:10am

Work is under way at last and I've gone for the initial loop of about 400 metres to be level having done some extensive excavating in one part and building up banks in others. I t leaves me with the greater problem of how to reach the higher level ground without the track there being in isolation with no connection to the lower level and loco shed etc. there isn't enough room to do a zig zag so it looks like the linking track will be at a gradient of 1 in 10 for a distance of about 20 to 25 metres. I could establish an electric winch point for hauling up and letting down in safety, interesting stuff?
 

HauteSaoneFrance

Joined: 2-01-14

Topics: 27

Replies: 91

Posted: Fri 23rd Oct 2015, 8:29pm

After extensive consideration including avoiding digging up water pipes I can establish about 170 m of track which will include 2 X 90 degree curves at a min radius of 9 m at a continual gradient of about 1 in 30 this will enable the high and low levels to be linked, the lower level tracks will be mostly flat except for a slight gradient into the loco shed. Opinion on practicality please.

 

HauteSaoneFrance

Joined: 2-01-14

Topics: 27

Replies: 91

Posted: Sat 2nd Jan 2016, 4:34pm

It's going to be decision time for me soon as to how to cross my site entrance and whether to go for a 'level' which would leave the present ground 'as is' by crossing this entrance with a swing bridge of about 6 m total length so I can still have access for heavy lorries such as the local 8 wheel ready mix concrete one's. The alternative is to drop the track with say a 1 in 25 max gradient for a distance of about 25 metres, both the approach and exit (or vice versa depending on whether running clockwise or anti clock) would be level, in that case I would need to construct a heavy duty level crossing but that would be a lot less work than the swing bridge. This is a private garden railway with no public running or need to haul heavy loads. I think I have cracked my earlier concerns about linking lower and higher levels though it will mean around 250 metres of track having a 1 in 45 gradient. Opinions please and happy new year to all
 

roystonthomas

Joined: 1-01-85

Topics: 5

Replies: 16

Posted: Sat 2nd Jan 2016, 5:55pm

Hi, If I recall correctly Bob Smith's "main line" in Comrie (now unfortunately lifted) was all laid in heavy steel rail and had a reasonably short section of around 1:25 leading up to the top road crossing. It tested man and machine but was OK once you anticipated the start of the incline early enough. I never drove down that incline, as the track was "one way". The rest of the main track had a ruling gradient of around 1:50. There may still be videos available of the AGM held at Comrie a good few years ago.
 

HauteSaoneFrance

Joined: 2-01-14

Topics: 27

Replies: 91

Posted: Sun 3rd Jan 2016, 5:48pm

Thanks Royston for the reply, Oh for a flat field to establish my railway ! I fell for this place and the area because it's hilly and wooded, I'm now paying the penalty in trying to establish the track. I need to move thousands of cubic metres of ground if I'm to get an initial level loop and to maintain access for both cars and heavy lorries I also need to have a level crossing(s) or a lifting bridge. Looking at my old site drawings I see another access was planned if I can now establish that it could solve a lot of problems? A visit and chat to the Mayor in my village could result in a solution?
 

Xz

Joined: 1-01-92

Topics: 17

Replies: 244

Posted: Sun 3rd Jan 2016, 8:31pm

This very afternoon I was watching a private video tape (VHS) of the Comrie track, including that gradient. It was worst for steamers as there was no flat at the bottom to brighten your fire and the shallower grade was long and steam sapping, so if you were short of steam at the bottom you were often already in trouble by the time you reached the steep section. I don't remember if there was an official video that year's AGM, but quite likely, though doubtful if any are still available from the Society.
 
 
« Back to Track, Signals and Infrastructure Topics

Web design by Slingshot