Railroads Online – Guide to Grade, Mass and Tractive Effort

A simple guide on how you can calculate the grade your locomotive can pull it’s train up yourself. Avoid having to wait for online calculators to update to new locomotives and rolling stock or stat adjustments and do it yourself. Caution, this guide is encouraging you to do math.

Grade, Mass, Tractive Effort and You

The Equations

For those who just want to grab the equation, here you are. I even already transformed it for you.

Use the in-game imperial measurements for tractive effort and mass.

Give yourself some margin when putting the results to use, curves and track imperfections will have some (minor) impact.

How Much Choo to Get Up the Hill?

If you know the grade of the hill and know the mass of your load (remember to include the mass of the cars when empty) this equation will tell you the tractive effort needed to get up the hill.

You will need to add the mass of your chosen locomotive/s to the mass of your load, they don’t get up the hill for free.

How Big Can I Make This Train?

So you’ve got your locomotive/s and you’ve got your hill, but how much can you get up there in one go?

Plug and play with this equation, remember the answer will be in pounds.

For flat ground expect high numbers (millions of pounds), locomotives are really good with flat ground.

Should I Re-Lay This Line?

Determining the grade an already known train can make it up can be very useful in planning, or re-planning, routes.

Maybe you can make it up in fewer trips if the hill was just a touch more gentle. Maybe you can make that slope steeper and still make it up, I’m sure you have your reasons.

Written by Lord Srednuas

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