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Radius for big trains

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  • Member since
    April, 2003
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Radius for big trains
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, November 18, 2001 2:35 PM
Hello. I am new to model railroading and am in the process of planninga HO layout. My father and I have some trains left from my grandfather that we'd like to run. One is a big boy and I'm not sure of the others, but they are about the same size. I was just wondering if you could run these on a 22" radius or if you need to build your own with flex track. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
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  • From: OH
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Posted by BRAKIE on Sunday, November 18, 2001 4:08 PM
Hi,Lance, for those big boys I would recommend nothing less then a 30" radius,if you have the room.You will need to use flex track to make these curves.However,If these are rivarossi engines then you can get by with the 22"radius.But the over hang (swing)of the engine will give you problems if you have two tracks by hitting what ever is on the other track.Also keep in mind any tunnel portals on a 22" radius and the engine will hit it.also you will need to keep buildings away from these tight curves.this also applies to scenery,such as trees,rock out crops and so forth.Again,I recommend 30" radius curves. Good Luck!

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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  • From: Anderson Indiana
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Posted by rogerhensley on Monday, November 19, 2001 9:25 AM
The recommendation for 30 inch radius was very good. The NMRA Recommended Practice 'RP-11 Curvature and Rolling Stock' shows 26.5" to 32" depending upon the type of car that you would be running with it.

Roger Hensley
http://cid.railfan/net/

Roger Hensley
= ECI Railroad - http://madisonrails.railfan.net/eci/eci_new.html =
= Railroads of Madison County - http://madisonrails.railfan.net/

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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 20, 2001 7:12 PM
I agree at 30 inch is needed to look good. A lot
of these engines will run around smaller radius
but they don't look right. It is the same way
with passenger cars. The radius must be big enough
for the cars don't over hang to much.
The more drive wheels on your engines also depends
on the radius of your curves. Most Big Boys are
artticulated, not knowing what your other engines
are we can't say about the radius.
Have fun with your trains. Ross
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 20, 2001 7:28 PM
I am wanting to build an el shape layout with 2 4'x8' sheets making one side 4'x12' and the othe end 4'x4'. oh yeah, my other big engines are; an ahm g.g.1 electric loco, and 2 4-6-2 heavy pacifics.
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 21, 2001 8:15 AM
From your description of the other engines, sounds like they are all Rivarossi, which AHM sold in their own packaging 30+ years ago.Your proposed layout size, if any kind of a continuous loop, limits you to 22" radius as a maximum. The Big Boy and GG1 engines will go around them, but as Larry says, they won't look very good. Way too much overhang, too. The 4-6-2's will look better, but really these are only passenger engines, so unless you use Athearn 'shorties', or MDC 'Harrimans' for passenger cars, the cars won't look very good on 22" radius either.
The size of your proposed layout is great,and an excellent beginner's layout could be fit in it, but if it were me, I'd put the big engines on display, on an unpowered siding or two, and run first generation diesels with freight cars. Good luck and regards.
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, December 05, 2001 7:03 PM
Lance, Let me suggest to you that You might want
to extend your tables to 6x8 this will give you
more room for a bigger radius. You can get about
a 30. I know that you might not be able to do
this but it would really help. You would be able
to run a complete loop at 30 so you could run your
Big Boy and GG1. With a 4x8 22inch radius is all
you can work out. Another idea is a point to point
layout not a continous loop. You could get more
track on your layout and run your big engines to.
These are only suggestion, I do not want to tell
you what to do. I Had to make it larger to be
able to accept Spectrum Passenger Cars. I was then
given a 2-10-4 and it was a good thing that I made
the radius that big. Large gondolas, large flat
cars, and large freight cars will also have a hard
time with smaller radius. And some won't even go
around 22inch radius. Again these are only my
ideas. Just here to help. Good Luck Ross
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, December 05, 2001 8:20 PM
I'd run the new steam offerings from Athearn or Bachmann, they're great! Well, Proto has some nice ones, but are expensive, IHC has some cheap ones that run well (2-8-0 at least), but the detail is not at all up to the standard of the new steamers from Bachmann and Athearn.
As below, expanding to 6X8 for at least one sheet is a good idea, but how practical that is, only the owner would know.
A possible compromise is to run a 22" radius on a hidden corner (blocked by buildings or scenery) and then run full 30" radius in the forground. This would allow maybe a 5' or 5 1/2' sheet... Well, it's an idea that could help if the space is too small for 6 by just a little bit...

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