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What Height Should A Water Tower Be?

David models in HO and has this question:

“I want to build a water tower for stream engines. Can anyone give size I need to build one please?”

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5 Responses to What Height Should A Water Tower Be?

  • William Bolden jrsays:

    Good evening, when I added ballast to my layout, I had a problem with the trains running poorly with the exception of the ACS64 which has a built in capacitor. I use a track eraser to remove residue off the rails.

  • Henry niersays:

    Please explain running poorly. Stop and go ?, Derailing?. I suspect some of the ballast may be too thick rubbing the inside rail. Just a thought.

  • tedsays:

    Height ? Higher than your loco ! LOL The better question is what type. Google steam water tower there’s everything from the simple wooden tower to brick houses that held water, round ones and square box like structures. There’s no one answer to your question, but lots of great ideas.

  • Steve B.says:

    I don’t have any definitive answer, but here is what I would do. Determine what spout I will use and hold it over the tallest tender you will be using. Tilt it at about a 20 degree angle and measure the height of the back end. Design around that as your starting point. If at that height, your lowest tender would require greater that 30 – 40 degree angle, you may want to drop the starting angle to 10 degrees (if true authenticity is required). The other thing to consider is that the greater the angle is, the closer to the tower the spout will be when down. Your track to tower spacing will be controlled by this. If you will not be trying to automate the spout and it will always be up, only the tallest tender should set the overall design. Googling it would be an excellent alternative as Ted suggested though. I hope this helps and I would appreciate any criticism or added suggestions.

  • David Stokessays:

    The height of the tower is a function of the height of your tenders. Railways usually have a “loading gauge”, which measures the maximum height and width of items on the line. Your spout of your water tower should be higher than this for the highest filler on the locomotives you run. That is the only critical measurement. Railway water towers range from 10 to 100 feet in height, but the spout is as high as it needs to be to fill the tanks.

    If you are modellng a prototype you would of course scale off its standards.

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