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Author Topic: Dual Main Lines using EZ Track with larger Locomotives  (Read 777 times)
daxer15

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« on: December 13, 2017, 05:33:43 PM »

Currently, I have the EZ track starter kit with 18" curves making the traditional kidney shape with a couple turnouts. I choose the Nickel Silver w/ gray road to ensure a better connectivity thru a small or larger layout.  In the near future, I will be upgrading my layout to have two main lines in some combination to run several loco's.  Although I have (1) GP-20 and (1) GP-40 locomotives, I will want to purchase and run the larger diesel and steam locomotives in conjunction with my current loco's. 

I know the minimum radius I will need to run on the inside main line will be 22" curves.  Is there a calculation I need to consider for the outer curve?  Is it as simple as going to the next size up with EZ Track?  As I understand, the sizes are as follows - 18" - 22" - 26" - 28" - 33".  I have room to go wider and longer but the outer main line will determine the overall width of the layout.   If it helps with replies, I have the NCE Power Cab system to run DCC.

Thank you in advance for your input! Grin
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Flare

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« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2017, 05:51:31 PM »

I don't believe there's a calculation for outer curve radii for locomotives, you should only worry about the minimum radius for the inside ones.

However, you should measure how much overhang your longest car or locomotive will have on the outside curve and make sure it will clear the ends of your other equipment on the inside curve.

Also, make sure you wire up multiple terminal rerailers on your layout to avoid voltage drop.
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daxer15

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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2017, 09:52:31 AM »

Flare, thanks for the reply!  I did not think about the voltage drop so I will make sure I get a few of them on the layout.  I dug into the Bachmann website more to find the 26" and 28" and 33" and 35" are good matches for double mains.  I will need to figure out a software program that will allow me to pick this style and see how I can lay it out. 

I would prefer not to make photo copies of track and lay it out.  I feel mistakes could be made in that manner. 
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Len

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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2017, 10:28:52 AM »

There are a number of software packages out there:

SCARM: https://www.scarm.info/index.php
Free version allows placing up to 100 pieces of track. $39.99 to unlock the full package.

AnyRail: https://www.anyrail.com/en/download
Free version allows placing up to 50 pieces of track. $59.00 to unlock the full package.

RR-Track: http://www.rrtrack.com/html/online_bundles.html (Click on 'HO Gauge Bundles' for the list of what's available in HO)
No free version. $79.00 for the HO bundle that includes the software engine and track libraries for  Atlas c100, Atlas c83, Atlas TruTrack, Pilz c83, Pilz c100, Peco, Kato UniTrack, Shinohara c83, Roco, Fleischmann PROFI, Bachmann EZ, Marklin-M, Marklin-K, Marklin-C. Additional libraries for other scales and accessories can be added for a nominal fee.

Len

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

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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2017, 10:36:19 AM »

Nominally, HO double track uses 2" center-to-center spacing.  However, with the tighter curves you need more spacing to account for the big overhang for longer equipment, especially articulated steam where only front engine pivots.  I believe the NMRA has a set of recommended practices for this, and you can look on their web site.  However, for curves in the 24 - 30" range I would use minimum track centers of 2 1/4".  Curves 30- 36" 2 1/8"; broader than that, you can usually stay with 2" centers.  If using standard Bachmann sectional track, more spacing is better.
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jonathan


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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2017, 10:57:11 AM »

Since you mentioned a desire to run larger locomotives, like articulated, I'll share what I did.

I have 2-8-8-4s and a 2-6-6-2, plus some full-length passenger cars.  I run these sporadically on my home layout. However, to ensure there was plenty of running room for the big stuff, I went with 2 1/2" track centers.

So, inside track radius is 25.5", middle track is 28", and outside track is 30.5" radius.  Even with this larger radius setup, the articulateds and passenger cars just pass through the curves without bumping trains on the other loops. 

I used 2 1/4" centers on my previous layout, and could only run big trains if there was nothing running on the other loop.  Didn't want that to happen on my current layout.

Just food for thought, if you are considering long locos and cars for your layout.

BTW there are a number of free track planning software packages on the interwebs.  Smiley You may find them handy before purchasing the track you need for your layout.  Enjoy.  The planning is the really fun part.

Regards,

Jonathan
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Flare

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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2017, 01:02:33 PM »

There are a number of software packages out there:

SCARM: https://www.scarm.info/index.php
Free version allows placing up to 100 pieces of track. $39.99 to unlock the full package.

AnyRail: https://www.anyrail.com/en/download
Free version allows placing up to 50 pieces of track. $59.00 to unlock the full package.

RR-Track: http://www.rrtrack.com/html/online_bundles.html (Click on 'HO Gauge Bundles' for the list of what's available in HO)
No free version. $79.00 for the HO bundle that includes the software engine and track libraries for  Atlas c100, Atlas c83, Atlas TruTrack, Pilz c83, Pilz c100, Peco, Kato UniTrack, Shinohara c83, Roco, Fleischmann PROFI, Bachmann EZ, Marklin-M, Marklin-K, Marklin-C. Additional libraries for other scales and accessories can be added for a nominal fee.

Len



I use XTrackCAD, it's free and they have a library for Bachmann's HO E-Z Track profiles.

http://www.xtrkcad.org/Wikka/HomePage
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daxer15

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« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2017, 11:07:26 AM »

Thank you all for your help and guidance on this subject.  I will be planning ahead towards my new layout in 2018. 
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