Author Topic: Gravity train  (Read 1135 times)

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Jbub

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Gravity train
« on: July 27, 2018, 11:22:36 AM »
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The things one can find on youtube

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Darth Vader

Trainmaster247

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Re: Gravity train
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2018, 03:58:12 PM »
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huh cool video

dougnelson

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Re: Gravity train
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2018, 04:49:13 PM »
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Gravity train? You call that a gravity train?  This is a gravity train on the Mill Valley & Mount Tamalpais Railroad.  This was a wild ride on "the crookedest railroad in the world".  Now a recreational trail.

« Last Edit: August 21, 2018, 05:08:02 PM by dougnelson »

nkalanaga

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Re: Gravity train
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2018, 02:03:18 AM »
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Didn't they have freight "gravity" railroads in Pennsylvania for years?  Winch the cars up one side of the ridge, then let them coast down the other?
N Kalanaga
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narrowminded

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Re: Gravity train
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2018, 11:20:09 PM »
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Didn't they have freight "gravity" railroads in Pennsylvania for years?  Winch the cars up one side of the ridge, then let them coast down the other?

I've read stories like that.  I believe it was related to the Portage Railroad.
Mark G.

cjm413

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Re: Gravity train
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2018, 01:08:27 AM »
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Didn't they have freight "gravity" railroads in Pennsylvania for years?  Winch the cars up one side of the ridge, then let them coast down the other?

D&H

http://www.northeast.railfan.net/dh_gravity.html

nkalanaga

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Re: Gravity train
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2018, 01:44:31 AM »
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It didn't last as long as I thought, but was a more extensive operation, with the canals.  Thank you!

I wonder if anyone has ever tried to model it?  Getting the cars to roll right would seem to be the biggest problem.
N Kalanaga
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Jbub

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Re: Gravity train
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2018, 10:45:47 AM »
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It didn't last as long as I thought, but was a more extensive operation, with the canals.  Thank you!

I wonder if anyone has ever tried to model it?  Getting the cars to roll right would seem to be the biggest problem.
To me it would be an extended hump yard operation. Use paint brush bristles along the track acting as breaks. I guess one would have to play around with it to get the right amount of breaking action.
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nkalanaga

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Re: Gravity train
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2018, 12:48:57 AM »
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A bigger problem might be getting the cars to roll far enough, on a prototypical grade.  The uphill side was steep, but the downhill side ran for miles.  They didn't want speed, but distance, and until recently most N scale cars wouldn't roll that well.

The D&H was only the second longest gravity railroad in the US.  Here's a Wikipedia link for the longest, and it notes it was the inspiration for roller coasters, becoming a tourist attraction, as well as coal hauler, in its later years.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mauch_Chunk_Switchback_Railway
N Kalanaga
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Blazeman

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Re: Gravity train
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2018, 08:28:16 PM »
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In the 30's, before there was Live Steam and Garden Railroads, more well-to-do rail fans would construct gravity roads in their "back yards,"  a non-powered roller coaster if you will.  A. Sheldon Pennoyer, an artist and photographer of the period highlighted several in his semi-biography, Railroads in Our Lives.

x600

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Re: Gravity train
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2018, 02:19:02 AM »
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There was also the Pennsylvania Coal company Gravity railroad from Port Griffith, near Pittston , Pa., to Hawley, Pa., with a loaded (or heavy) line to
Hawley and an empty (or light) line returning on a different right of way.  Coal was transfered onto D&H canal boats and trekked across NY state to the Hudson River.
There was a passenger line that diverged from the freight line and took people to Moosic lake, near Mt Cobb. it had it's own return line that met the light line for the trip back down to Dunmore.

Googling Pennsylvania Coal Company Gravity Railroad will give you lots of sites dedicated to both the PCC and D&H gravity lines.
there are numerous places in NE PA where remains of both systems are still visible. In the early 80s I explored much of the PCC lines
Here is a link to some interesting pictures that were posted  http://forums.railfan.net/forums.cgi?board=DH;action=display;num=1294797568

 In the 80s when I lived in Wimmers, Pa, we hiked and took ATVs to explore the right of ways that that traversed Moosic Mountain.
We found a place that where the tracks crossed a swampy area and the pattern of ties were still visible although covered with moss.
There was also some telegraph poles in some places and I managed to score a wooden insulator.
Moosic Mt. is the large ridge that forms part of Cobbs Gap east of Scranton. On top of the plateau there was an extensive yard and stone abutments.
there is also a 500ft long tunnel carved through the rock. We drove the ATVs through the tunnel once, I still get the shivers thinking about it.
It is amazing to think of the work that was done to build this system through the hilly terrain at this time in history. I spent some time as a "student" of the Gravity,
reading and researching everything I could about the operations and routes in NE PA

I have toyed with the idea of doing some sort of model of a part of the gravity system. I came to the conclusion that it would be better done in a larger scale.
Even using N scale track and hardware in HO scale. There was no Z scale flex at the time I was messing with this idea so building tiny cars and handlaying track
seemed to be a major under taking. When I first started getting involved with N-Trak, I thought it might be cool to include a little bit of gravity line on a module grouping
but it seemed like a lot of time could be spent for what little bit you could show.
I do think one could model a bit of a gravity system in N, using Z scale trucks and now with 3d printing, coal cars and even the passenger cars could be built and made to
be pulled up a plane and  coasted down a level for some distance.
 I'll leave it to someone younger. It took me this long to get as far as I did in the hobby, I certainly don't need another project!

Greg O.