Switch back for elevation

NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org
Mon Jan 26 14:14:33 EST 2009

A few considerations:

Required length depends upon the maximum grade desired. For a 2% grade,
25 inches are necessary to rise 1/2 inch. 3% - 17 in.; 5% - 10 in.; 6% - 9
in.; 10% - 5 in.
Remember that the switches have to be horizontal so add a few inches at
each end of the graded run between the frogs for the vertical easements
to/from the grade. Should only need a few inches for a 2 or 3% grade but more if
the grade is steeper.
A major consideration is the length of your planned trains. Trains have
to fit the length of track beyond the points at both ends as well as within
the runs between the frogs. Not much of a problem if you are in HO or
smaller. 9 1/2 feet will allow a 30 in. train comfortably. Larger scales will be
The 7 inch horizontal space does not look sufficient unless you are in Z
scale. For six near parallel legs (3 inch rise at 1/2 inch per run) about 1
1/2 inches width per run (track separation plus a small width for grade
scenery) are necessary for N scale, 2 1/2 in for HO, 5 in. for O. Number 8
turnouts will support this track separation without additional width..

Good luck.

Bob Lang
Layouts That Fit
Custom Model Railroads
San Diego

In a message dated 1/26/2009 8:23:47 A.M. Pacific Standard Time,
nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org writes:

I have a two questions I'm hoping that some one will be able to answer
without giving me alot of percentages.
My son and I are building a layout that will have logging area that will be
3 inches up from the 2 inch foam base that will sit on 1/2 inch plywood.
My questions are how long do we need to raise up 1/2 inch at a time to
switch backs and how wide do we need as we will be using #8 turnout and #8 curved
turnouts to reach the 3 inch high logging area?
We have 9 1/2 feet from the starting point to the first turnout by 7 inches
to the 3 inch point of the last turnout.
This layout was planned with 3rd Plan It software.
Thank you for your help.
Yours aye,
Macdonald, RB

NW-Modeling-List at nwhs.org
To change your subscription go to
Browse the NW-Modeling-List archives at

**************Know Your Numbers: Get tips and tools to help you improve your
credit score. (http://www.walletpop.com/credit/credit-reports?ncid=emlcntu
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://six.pairlist.net/pipermail/nw-modeling-list/attachments/20090126/a31662a3/attachment.htm>

More information about the NW-Modeling-List mailing list