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Author Topic: Curves  (Read 764 times)
freebirdcsmi

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« on: August 10, 2017, 10:47:35 AM »

I'm fairly new to model trains.  I just built a platform for my layout.  The platform is L-shaped, with both legs of the L being only 2 feet wide, because of limited available space.  I am looking to do a single loop around both legs of the L.  I know the 22" curves are too large.  Am I going to be okay with 18" radius track, or do I need to tear down my platform and start over with more width?

Thanks for any help I can get.
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Yardmaster
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« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2017, 11:30:38 AM »

2 foot is too narrow for 18" radius curves. 18 inch curves produce a 36" diameter circle. Radius is half of the diameter.
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Terry Toenges


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« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2017, 11:56:00 AM »

Actually, you need a bare minimum of 38" when you take into account the width of the track. 38" puts your track at the very edge of the table.
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freebirdcsmi

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« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2017, 12:05:50 PM »

So, in other words, I'm screwed and just need to start all over?
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Maletrain

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« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2017, 12:23:34 PM »

TO make a full 180 degree turn, you need a shelf width of twice the radius of the curved track pieces, PLUS at LEAST one times the width of the track pieces.  That would put the edge of your track right at the edge of your table.  But, if you do that, a derailment could send your trains off the layoutand onto the floor, damaging them.  So, most people allow some space between the edge of the track and the edge of the layout.

You could put a piece of plexiglass along the edge of the layout to stop trains from falling to the floor, put you probably need a little space between the edge of the track pieces and the plexiglass near curves to allow clearance for the cars to overhang the rails as they go around the curves.

You did not say what scale you are working with.  For HO, 19" radius cruves are already tight.  But, for N scale, 19" radius curves are still pretty wide, and some track pieces in N scale go down to 9-1/2" radius.  A lot of N scale equipment is designed to go around 9-1/2" curves, but they don't really look good doing that.  Still, that would make it on a 24" wide shelf, with a couple of inches between the track and the edge.  There are also 11" radius pieces of sectional track, and that would work with plexiglass.

One final thought is that some layouts do not have ovals that let trains run continuously.  The track goes "point-to-point", with turnouts onto passing sidings and industry spurs that allow for interesting car switching activies between the two end points.  Those types of layouts can be made even thinner than 24" in most scales.  And, with your "L" shaped layout, you might be able to fit a wye into the corner to turn engines and maybe a few cars so that you can see both sides when you operate.
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freebirdcsmi

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« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2017, 12:43:30 PM »

I am working in HO scale.  I've thought about doing N, just because it would give me so much space for buildings, scenery, etc.  But isn't N scale structures and rolling stock quite a bit more expensive?

And thanks for the input.  I am now considering just doing a point to point layout.  I honestly don't care a great deal about how the train runs.  I get more enjoyment out of building and decorating the structures and working on the scenery.
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freebirdcsmi

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« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2017, 01:25:07 PM »

How difficult is it to find the 9.5" track in N scale?  I'm looking on ebay and other places but the tightest I've seen is the 11.25"
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charon
G gauge since 1972


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« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2017, 05:17:13 PM »

Check out Trainworld, they have Atlas 10" radius track in N scale.  I think Bachmanns smallest is the 11 1/4".  
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Mesquite Short Line
Len

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« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2017, 07:36:58 AM »

Kato makes just about any size curve you can think of in N-scale. And it's not that hard to modify the end of EZ-Track to mate with Kato track.

Len
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Terry Toenges


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« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2017, 05:26:31 PM »

If you do decide on point to point", you can get automatic reversing units that will allow it to go back and forth automatically.
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NarrowMinded


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« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2017, 12:11:48 AM »

I am working in HO scale.  I've thought about doing N, just because it would give me so much space for buildings, scenery, etc.  But isn't N scale structures and rolling stock quite a bit more expensive?

And thanks for the input.  I am now considering just doing a point to point layout.  I honestly don't care a great deal about how the train runs.  I get more enjoyment out of building and decorating the structures and working on the scenery.
you could lay down some flex track for your curves but you have to be sure the locks you intend on running will handle tight curves.

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Len

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« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2017, 07:12:52 AM »

Another option would be to do HOn2-1/2 (30") narrow gauge, which operates on 9mm (N-gauge) track. That way you could use any HO size structures or scenary items you may already have.

Len
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If at first you don't succeed, throw it in the spare parts box.
dutchbuilder


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« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2017, 08:03:15 AM »

Or even go a step higher....0n18.
1:48 on 9mm track.

Ton
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