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Author Topic: radius  (Read 3036 times)

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« on: August 13, 2011, 12:03:59 PM »

Hey guys, what is the smallest radius that one would want to run on n scale. I need to set up a layout on  maybe a 4x6 for my grandson and he will want as much track, sidings, turnouts etc, as i can put on it. thanks, david

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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2011, 02:07:58 PM »

It really depends on the equipment you plan to run. If you want to run large steam or modern 6 axle loco's, the absolute minimum is 11 1/4" but most will recomend somewhere around 14".

I have built layouts with as small as 6"R but they were built with specific equipment in mind.

Tony Hines

Modeling the B&O in Loveland, OH 1947-1950

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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2011, 05:20:48 PM »

If you want to be able to utilize the greatest variety of locomotives and rolling stock a minimum radius of around 15" or so will allow you to use most items.
James in FL

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« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2011, 11:04:08 AM »

Hi rookie,


11.25r is a good minimum, but its tight on the main.
Go 15r + wherever possible.
For really tight sidings, yards, etc., my absolute minimum is 9r.

Have a look here for some layout ideas;

…and here for transitions (a good read)

Good Luck

Edit; fixed link

« Last Edit: August 14, 2011, 06:48:57 PM by James in FL » Logged
Fred Klein

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« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2011, 02:24:31 PM »


I'm a grandpa too, but I'm running my own N scale layout (used to be in HO a long time ago). I'm running Bachmann's EZ track system in 12.5 and 11.25 radii. The two complement each other and make for a nice double track layout. I run fairly long diesels (Bachmann Dash 8-40s) and they run very well on either radius. Is it prototypical? Probably not, but in N scale the overhang on the curves is really not very noticeable - at least to my old eyes. Also, instead of a 4x6 piece of plywood, you may want to consider a hollow-core door. I'm running mine on a 32"x80" door and even with the 12.5 inch radius, there is plenty of space left for sidings, etc. Lot of times, you can pick up a door that has some imperfections (mine has a couple of small holes punched in one side) for very little money. IIRC, I paid $10 for mine.

Hope this helps,

Fred Klein
Okeechobee, FL

Fred Klein
Okeechobee, FL
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