Easement Help Needed

Hoot24 Sep 6, 2013

  1. Hoot24

    Hoot24 TrainBoard Member

    Hi everyone.... need some suggestions please.... How would you guys create the subbase for this easement incline. My original thought process was to use tape or cardboard webbing, joint compound and paper towels. But before I start slopping the stuff on, I am curious if there is a better way to be doing this. I will be using Kato Unitrack on top of this which I believe I will be able to blend in with ground cover etc. For areas where I will be creating small mountains and maybe a tunnel, I plan on use the pink foam as the base. Thanks for your help.

    2-IMG_1142.JPG 3-IMG_1146.JPG
  2. PaulBeinert

    PaulBeinert TrainBoard Supporter

    I am thinking you are asking about super-elevation not easements.
    Easements are easing into the curve while super-elevation is slowly increasing the elevation of the outside rail through the mid-point of the curve and then slowly decreasing the elevation as you come out of the curve.

    I have not done this but I have read that people use layers of paper (about 6 to 8 layers) and the lay it like you are building a pyramid.

    Kato sells track with the easements and super-elevation built in to them.
  3. traintodd

    traintodd TrainBoard Member

    I would use Woodland Scenic foam inclines for those. You didn't mention what the grade is, but they come in several and they are easy to use and make very smooth grades, especially around curves. Biggest issue with them is the abrupt transition from level to the grade which could be a problem, especially with Unitrack. I generally make a transition out of styrene sheet at the bottom of the grade and take a surfoam tool and smooth out the top of the grade. You can whatever you want then to build up the landscape around the grades. I used foam, but plaster or sculptamold on cardboard or paper forms would certainly work as well.
  4. Hoot24

    Hoot24 TrainBoard Member

    I think I have my terminology mixed up.... I'm building a 2.5% grade up and then down. So I need to create a subgrade to place the Unitrack on. This will in essence be a hill of some sort. So to redefine my question, what is the preferred method to create these "hills"? The paper that I have shown in the photo is something thin that I was planning to use to support the plaster cloth/paper towels. I figured not to use cardboard because of the thickness. And then I was planning on using lightweight spackle in the transition area where the grade becomes flat again.
  5. Hoot24

    Hoot24 TrainBoard Member

    Good suggestions..... I was thinking about buying the WS inclines, but I'm just to darn cheap to buy Styrofoam. I made a hot wire foam cutter this past spring so my plan was to use this pretty cool tool to it's full capacity. The squares in the photo above were cut out with the hot wire cutter and they are precisely 1/8" increments. I was actually surprised that I could cut the foam dimensions so accurately with this tool.
  6. Jeepy84

    Jeepy84 TrainBoard Member

    With your homemade foam cutter, I would make contour uprights and then cover them with tape followed by plaster-coated paper towels. That way, your hills can match up with your incline heights where they meet perfectly, you can make hills up, and hills down along the right of way where ever you like. Is this what you were asking about?

    I've seen this method a few times, a guy named SYROUS in the N scale forum photo-documented it on his CP layout... hold on.

    I may give this technique a try in areas where I don't plan on planting a lot of trees, since I like the idea of being able to plant by poking instead of drilling through hard shell.

    Edit: I suppose it should be noted that he started out with a skeletal framework of uprights underneath his railroad's grade slab o' foam. The additional uprights (screwed into place) help define the terrain contours more definitively.

    SYROUS TrainBoard Member

    If you want look at my layout thread the kicking horse pass to field sub. Jeepy already forwarded a few shots from my posts on how i am solving my grade issues and landscaping with light weight in mind.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 4
  8. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

    As TrainTodd indicated, the Woodland Scenics foam inclines will certainly work. The Woodland Scenics inclines provide a steady grade from one end to the other. To produce a 2% grade, some people will stack a 1% grade foam incline on another 1% grade. If you stack multiple inclines directly on top of each other to get a 2.5% grade, you may have a relatively sharp change in grade from 0% to 2.5% that (especially in N-Scale), could look odd as a loco suddenly passes from level to inclined track and it could potentially cause some problems with electrical pickup on some (but not all) steamers with 3 or 4 drivers or diesels with longer 3-axle trucks).

    A horizontal easement provides a gradual transition from straight track into a curve, and improves the appearance and operating reliability of the tight curves we often use in model railroading. A vertical easement does the same for track that changes from level to an incline. Depending on how quickly you need to get from 0 inches elevation to your highest elevation, you may want to consider using a vertical easement into the grade (perhaps, 1% for the first 3 inches, 2% for the 2nd 3 inches, and get to 2.5% around 7.5 or 8 inches). A similar vertical easement may be beneficial at the top of the grade as well to return to level track at the higher elevation.

    If you want 2 inches between the railhead of your lower track and the railhead of the higher track, and a maximum 2.5% grade with 8 inches of vertical easement at the bottom and top of the grade, you'll need (very roughly!) 48 inches. Yes, it probably could be done in less, but the closer you get to 40 inches, the greater the chance of concerns with appearance or reliability.

    It is possible for turnouts to perform reliably on grades, but I have found that turnouts on grades are most reliable when they do not have any vertical easement (i.e., a change in the grade) within the turnout itself and no vertical easement (change in grade) for the length of at least 1 locomotive beyond either end of the turnout. When trying to determine how many inches of track are needed to rise from 0 inches elevation to your highest elevation, be sure to exclude track around turnouts from any of your easement calculations.
  9. Hoot24

    Hoot24 TrainBoard Member

    Created the western incline this weekend. The joint compound and paper towel method was easier than expected.

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