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Author Topic: 4ft circle track  (Read 2494 times)

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« on: February 16, 2011, 07:43:32 PM »

On a large Oval , what's the most rolling stock you can pull around the radius without derailing . Or will it . I bought 8ft to use on the main L shape but was thinking of putting a 4ft oval on the inside of one section of the L . Being pulled by either a center cab switcher , F3 unit or GP30

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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2011, 08:32:06 PM »

Edit all 40ft rolling stock

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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2011, 08:35:50 PM »

For the best action, short straightaways and tight curves sue short cars, while long straightaways and gentle curves demand longer cars.

Therefore, if you have an 80 by 40 pike with the smallest curve being 8 foot diameter, you would go for the longest things you could find. If your pike is 5 by 12 and it uses 4 foot curves, you go for the shortest.

Action is a matter of three things: trackwork, scenery and car selection. Your layout has to use trackwork that is the right blend of turns and straights. Your scenery has to work with trackwork to make the best visual effect. Your cars have to be the size and type that work best with your layout and scenery.


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« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2011, 09:05:23 PM »

Your available space and scenery affect your track choices. What of clearance? Cars are wider than track, and without proper planning, could collide with scenery and other obstacles. Folks new to the hobby think car clearance is a matter of the height and width of the car. There is also the problem of "sweeping," as I call it. On curves, the corners of cars swing outward, while the inside between the wheels overhang. Overhang looks unsightly and can rap scenery.

Here's how cars overhang and sweep on curves
With wheels closer to center of car, sweep is greater
Wheels closer to ends increase overhang

Take a train heading for a tunnel. If the track is straight, all you need account for is the height and width of the car. If the approach is curved, then sweeping becomes a problem. Too much overhang or sweep will prevent the car from entering the tunnel.

The tighter your curves, the more sweep and overhang. Likewise, longer cars tend to overhang and sweep. One other factor is placement of trucks. The closer the truck is placed to the end of the car, the less sweep and more overhang. Obversely, the further trucks are from the end, the more sweep and the less overhang.

Longer cars will either overhang or sweep more than short ones.

Your curves determine what can and cannot work on your railway. Likewise for clearances. To make clearances work for you, make sure they will accommodate your longest car's sweep and overhang.

Small Pikes
Going the same speed, a train with shorter cars tends to look faster than one with long cars. Small pikes with tight curves demand shorter cars and locomotives. Granted, some pieces will not handle tight curves. The Aristocraft Pacific steam locomotive and Heavyweight passenger cars both need 8 foot or wider curves. A standard G 40' boxcar model will overhang like crazy. On the other hand, short cars look stubby on long straightaways with wide curves.

For small pikes with tight curves, the smaller cars work to their greatest advantage. One special area is Narrow Gauge, especially 1/20 scale. Narrow gauge thrives on short cars. Very tight curves work well for the short "economy line" kits from HLW, vintage-type pieces from Aristocraft and the Bachmann 1/20 lines of cars. Locomotives like the 0-4-0 Porter, "Lil' Critter", "Eggliner," 20-tonner, center-cab, 44 tonner and Rogers steamer work very well. 4-wheel freights are a good choice, especially if you love Narrow Gauge.

You can get away with using larger locos and cars. The Baldwin 2-4-2s and Ten Wheelers from Bachmann will do nicely. However, most diesel requires at least a 5' curve. If you use 5', you can easily step up to models like the HLW 4-4-0, Aristocraft Consolidation, Alco FA and RS3.

One thing that makes short cars look good is to have a few tall cars. A couple of boxcars, even home-made "whimsey cars" add to the action. You need not limit yourself to ore cars and low gondolas! A few tall pieces will make your train look better on even the tiniest pike.

Middle Range
If using 5' to 8' curve track, you can use most of what is out there. Middle sized curves allow for use of Ten-wheelers, Consolidations, FA1s, RS3s, 40' boxcars and the Sierra passenger cars. The ideas in mid-sized layouts is finding the balance. Trains will rarely be more than five or six cars. Mixed consists prevail.


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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2011, 09:16:11 PM »

did some reading and searching and found the article in the above post . answered my question

regards: mark f   MF5117

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« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2011, 12:44:51 AM »

Good and useful article.

If you use 5', you can easily step up to models like the HLW 4-4-0,

My PRR 4-4-0 from HLW takes the 4ft diameter Big Hauler train set curves quite contentedly, and with 3 Bachmann passenger cars in tow.

When all esle fials, go run trains
Screw the Rivets, I'm building for Atmosphere!
later, Forrest
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