Model railway incline, what is it

What is an incline on a model railway? Why are they needed? Read the answer here in the largest glossary of model railway terminology.

  • An incline is a gentle slope over which locomotives can pull trains up and down terrain that rises above normal track level.

layout update hills and inclinesTrains are very efficient forms of transport due to the small surface area of the wheels that comes into contact with the rails and smoothness of the rails.

However, because there is only a very small area of contact between the rails and wheels there’s very little traction that can be brought to bear when climbing a hill.

If the slope is too steep there won’t be enough traction to compete with the downhill drag the engine will stop or even roll backward!

Inclines are gentle slopes built at angles that the trains can manage. See how to build inclines for the best angle of incline for a model railway

For more terminology definitions read my model railway glossary.

> A final, personal, note: I spend a huge amount of time testing, photographing, writing and researching techniques for these articles and pay for all the running costs of MRE out of my own pocket. If you found this article useful you can support me by making a donation on my fund-raising page. Thanks and happy modelling, Andy.

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