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HOm Novice

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Just setting out in HOm scale after modelling British n gauge for a number of years. I have a rough plan of a viaduct layout based on the langwieser viaduct but I am keen to have some gradients included.


What is the best height to leave between the baseboard and the under side of the gradient board allowing for the pantograph on top of the engine?


Also what is an ideal gradient without a rack.


I was considering running an overhead wire all round the track to lower the distance between baseboard and gradient board if this is practical.


Any advice would be really appreciated

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • RMweb Gold

Hi HOm Novice,


Maximum gradient - test out your locos with the amount of stock you want to run and remember that there is more resistance around curves. 


The minimum height between boards will be the lowest you can get the pantographs down on your stock without it locking back in place. So just release the pantograph and measure the height that it comes to just before it clicks back in place, then add the (usually a piece of rail) guide that you will use backstage. When you come near the entrance to a tunnel you can make the guide wire go up in a gentle slope and the pantograph can be raised to a better looking height. Strictly speaking the pantographs should be high when they go through a level crossing but you may not have enough room to do this on a layout. Alternatively you could 'Hobble' the pantographs with some black thread.


Don't run guide wires on all areas of the layout because you then wont be able to get at the stock in the fiddleyard!



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