Incline problem after cleaning track


My layout has an incline of just under 5% and each loco could pull a line of rolling stock with no trouble all until I cleaned the track.

After that even the locos on their own struggle to get up the incline. Is this normal??

Answers ( 2 )


    Basically what happened is your dirty track had more friction with the train wheels but the electrical conductivity was OK. You cleaned it nice & shiny and got to realize your slope is too steep. As you go higher than 2% grade the pull force becomes exponentially higher and now you witnessed yourself why 5% is too high. Rule= 2% up & 3% down- no more.


    I have the same exact problem. I like to keep my track clean, but in doing so, I take off the top layer of gunk that is actually assisting my locos with more friction. The question that I still have though, is that I don’t recall having traction issues when my layout was just laid down. I pulled 17 cars with a single GP38-2 locomotive and it was enthralling. But now, when I clean my track nice and shiny, I have to MU two locomotives together to navigate my 3% – 4% grades. You might want to to try the MU solution. That’s the only thing I’ve found that works, plus it looks cool.

Leave an answer