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How Close to the Edge?

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How Close to the Edge?
Posted by kenben on Monday, August 19, 2019 5:40 PM

So I canʻt seem to find any minimum measurement (distance) from track enter to edge of layout in HO scale. Is 3" min standard? Can 2" work with out problems?

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Posted by saronaterry on Monday, August 19, 2019 5:50 PM

2" inches is ok. I have spots that are that close, but I build up scenery at a slope, or have installed a tree line between the track and the abyss.

Just in case.

Terry

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Posted by cuyama on Monday, August 19, 2019 5:52 PM

I try to keep at least 3" from track center to the edge of the benchwork in my designs, more when possible. Much less than 3" and I suggest some sort of a guard ... not only to keep derailed trains from taking the big plunge to the floor, but also to reduce the hazards of loose clothing (and overhanging bellies) from the aisle.

Many published speculative plans unfortunately shortchange this safety distance to cram in more track. They also often don't provide enough track-to-track clearance in curves, but that's another topic.

Allowing the benchwork to curve in and out as needed often helps secure some breathing room from the benchwork edge – look beyond the rectangle!

Byron

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, August 19, 2019 6:56 PM

I have always allowed my track to go right to the edge of the layout in spots. 

.

I use removable plexiglass panels for safety. 

.

-Kevin

.

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, August 19, 2019 7:14 PM

Down by a river?

Down at the end, right by a corner?

 

 

 What, no Yes fans here?

 

                             --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by cowman on Monday, August 19, 2019 7:18 PM

My 4x6 has one spot thet is at the edge and on a curve.  I do as Kevin does and have aremoveable plexiglas fence all around the layout.  It is virtually invisible and saves trains from taking a dive whether by derailment, clothing or tiny fingers.

Good luck,

Richard

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Posted by BRAKIE on Monday, August 19, 2019 7:23 PM

On my ISLs I keep the track one car from the edge so,if I knock one over it will hit the layout and not "the big catch all"--the floor.

 

Larry

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Posted by doctorwayne on Monday, August 19, 2019 7:53 PM

kenben

So I canʻt seem to find any minimum measurement (distance) from track enter to edge of layout in HO scale. Is 3" min standard? Can 2" work with out problems?

 
Unless you're running trains at slot car speeds, why waste layout space?
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wayne
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Posted by cuyama on Monday, August 19, 2019 8:09 PM

doctorwayne
Unless you're running trains at slot car speeds, why waste layout space?

Because not everyone has your track-laying expertise – and many people have oversized visitors and operators in the aisles. 

Why take the chance?

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Posted by railandsail on Monday, August 19, 2019 8:14 PM

You are a brave soul Wayne,....ha..ha

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Posted by selector on Monday, August 19, 2019 9:37 PM

I lost an IHC 2-8-2 once trialing newly laid track supported on spline roadbed.  No scenery. Ya pays yer money an' ya takes yer chances, sonny.

You can safely move right up to table's edge, but you should have something to prevent the more costly items, or rare, from meeting an untimely end.  Plexiglass seems sensible. A picket fence could even do the trick if you don't mind cuffs, buttons, elbows, and other items snagging them or knocking them askew all the time.  I prefer a modest hedgerow of ground foam bushes or something that, once I have done trials, I know will do the job.  That is, I like scenery to extend naturally outwards of the tracks so that they look like they belong in a real setting. If a couple of trees, or shrubs, can catch a tumbling locomotive against them, great.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Monday, August 19, 2019 10:48 PM

cuyama

doctorwayne

Unless you're running trains at slot car speeds, why waste layout space?

Because not everyone has your track-laying expertise – and many people have oversized visitors and operators in the aisles. 

Why take the chance?

 
I don't really consider it to be "taking a chance".  I doubt that my "track-laying expertise" exceeds that of the average modeller, but I am generally the only train operator and am usually rather careful.
I have mostly generous aisles, although there are a couple which might hinder some folks with larger builds.  If I were expecting such visitors, trains would be removed from at least the sidings shown in those photos. 
The only really precarious areas are around the peninsula (photos 2 to 6) and when operating there, I'm always walking alongside the moving train.
I do "get" the practice of not laying track too close to the edge, but my interest when building the layout was more for having as large a radius as possible, without even thinking about set-backs from the edge.
 
The only hit-the-floor issue with this layout was when I was doing some switching while standing in the aisle area beyond the peninsula, with most of the rest of the layout not really in sight.  I could swear that I heard something else running, but several checks around the layout revealed nothing to be where it wasn't previously.

Once the switching in that town was completed, I recoupled the locomotive to its train, and set-off to the next town along the line.  
The train hadn't gone too far when I heard the unmistakeable sound of something hitting the concrete floor.

The coal train, shown in the photo below, powered by two Bachmann Consolidations, and with 12 hoppers loaded with loose "coal" (Black Beauty blasting medium) was apparently on a track which some not-to-be-named-idiot Embarrassed had neglected to kill the power....
 


While I was switching that town on the other side of the room, the coal train was moving back and forth on its siding, in unison with the locomotive I was using.  However, when my train left that town, the coal train was then attempting to leave its staging track and enter the layout proper on the other side of the aisle.  Unfortunately, the lift-out at the room's entryway was not in place.
 
The lead locomotive dropped about 3' and hit the floor head-on, breaking-off the Kadee coupler on the pilot and the drawbar mounting post on the tender.  The tender's load of loose "coal" was all over the place.
The second loco was hanging, nose down, with three of its driver sets over the abyss, prevented from following its sister locomotive to the floor by the sheer weight of the trailing train.
 
Surprisingly, there was little other damage to the locomotive, and it was quickly back in service.  Here she is, coming out of the shop after repairs....
 
 
Crews dubbed her "the lucky 26", with apparently no qualms about working in her cab.  However, about two years later, this loco began to have issues with loss of proper gear mesh.  A tear-down revealed a broken screw-mounting post inside the boiler casting, allowing the interior weight, which encloses the motor, to rise, taking the gears out-of mesh.
I'm pretty certain that this was caused by the kiss-the-floor mishap, and it became an issue only after more use in the demanding role of moving coal trains. The repair was, however, quick and easy, and the loco is trouble free again.
 
Wayne
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Posted by carl425 on Monday, August 19, 2019 10:57 PM

rrinker

Down by a river?

Down at the end, right by a corner? 

Do you mean "Down at the end, round by the corner" Smile

I have the right to remain silent.  By posting here I have given up that right and accept that anything I say can and will be used as evidence to critique me.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Monday, August 19, 2019 11:10 PM

rrinker
What, no Yes fans here?


Not here, anyway....I never really cared for their music.  It always struck me as being too light for my tastes.

Wayne

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, August 19, 2019 11:57 PM

doctorwayne

 

 
rrinker
What, no Yes fans here?

 


Not here, anyway....I never really cared for their music.  It always struck me as being too light for my tastes.

Wayne

 

 Too light? Oh, a Rush fan then - well, that's my second favorite.

Try  Machine Messiah (I know, sacrilege, no Jon!) or Gates. Definitely not light.

                              --Randy

 


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Posted by rrinker on Monday, August 19, 2019 11:58 PM

carl425

 

 
rrinker

Down by a river?

Down at the end, right by a corner? 

 

 

Do you mean "Down at the end, round by the corner" Smile

 

 I thought that's what I typed - do you know how hard it is to type the lyrics for one song while listening to something else? Laugh   Laugh    Laugh   Laugh

                                             --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 12:03 AM

 Back on topic - the thing about runnign the cloose too the edge, particularly with team, is it only takes one tiny screw to back out to vault the thing right to the floor when a rod jams into the ballast. Running slow won't save you, unless it's the trailing end of the rod that falls off. 

 I've been lucky - only thing I ever had go off the tracka nd actually hit the floor went off the unfinished end, no off the side, and it was a couple of Kato covered hoppers - they just got turned back into a kit, nothing actually broke. Anyone who's built those will know what I mean.

                                       --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by wvg_ca on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 12:12 AM

i suppose it's a matter of personal taste ...

in my case i leave enough room for a loco or rolling stock to lay down sideways, and still stay on the layout .. if i didn't have the room, i would use some thing like clear plexi as a guide to keep it on the table., and off the floor , it's a long way down for little parts, lol, as 'insurance' it's pretty cheap ..

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Posted by "JaBear" on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 12:17 AM
The modular guys I associate with when I have the time have the outside track centre 3” from the edge.  By coincidence, the only dive to the floor, which was caused by little sticky fingers, was taken by my 2-10-2, seen in this shot after having tested my abilities in carrying out locomotive repairs. She runs well in spite of my efforts.
 
IMG_1157 by Bear, on Flickr
 
I should also add that the modular group were regular show exhibitors.
Cheers, the Bear, (Going for the One!)Smile

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Posted by doctorwayne on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 1:06 AM

rrinker
Too light? Oh, a Rush fan then - well, that's my second favorite.

Nah, not them either.  Maybe more appropriate, for this thread at least, could be Dylan's "It takes a lot to laugh, it takes a train to cry" or perhaps Greta Van Fleet's "Meet on the ledge".

Wayne

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 4:29 AM

kenben

So I canʻt seem to find any minimum measurement (distance) from track enter to edge of layout in HO scale. Is 3" min standard? Can 2" work with out problems? 

"You've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do you, punk?" 

dirty-harry.jpg

Oh well, Dirty Harry wasn't much help, but he did ask one good question. Do you feel lucky?

I don't, so I make sure that I either have at least 3 inches from the edge or else I install some sort of edge guard.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 5:50 AM

The modular guys I associate with when I have the time have the outside track centre 3” from the edge.

.

Wow, they are a brave group. I am certain I would not feel comfortable with my equipment on a modular layout that close to the edge.

.

Good job fixing the big stem locomotive.

.

-Kevin

.

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 7:26 AM

rrinker

Down by a river?

Down at the end, right by a corner?

 

 

 What, no Yes fans here?

 

                             --Randy

 

The lines you were quoting reminded me a bit of Creedence Clearwater Revival.

 

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Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 9:25 AM

My shortline based layouts have never wound through mountains or had peninsulas, which I assume would be the most likely place to need little clearence from the edge.

I like scenery between the edge and the track, so about 4 to 6 inches of space is about right for me. 

- Douglas

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Posted by UNCLEBUTCH on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 9:53 AM

 Due to the fact that I don't use a track plan,I have ran into this problem a few times. Useally I just add some more surface, another plus for useing foam. I still have a few spots that are >1in <. Never had an issue, But I never run at more then half trottle, if that.

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 9:59 AM

riogrande5761

 

 
rrinker

Down by a river?

Down at the end, right by a corner?

 

 

 What, no Yes fans here?

 

                             --Randy

 

 

The lines you were quoting reminded me a bit of Creedence Clearwater Revival.

 

 

 I will be sure to put a small group playing instruments on a street corner somewhere on my layout. To see how many people get it. 

 Couldn't be more different than Yes, but I like Creedence too. Fogerty puts on a heck of a show, too. 

                                                --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 10:07 AM

I still have all those recordings, on their original release vinyl..........

I like to keep track back at least 3-4", as much for appearance as for safety.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by York1 on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 10:12 AM

Completely off this topic, but when we were  kids with an old Lionel set, it didn't matter how far from the edge.

We'd crank that old locomotive up to full speed, and half the time it would hit the curve, derail and run off the table, crashing to the concrete basement floor.

No problem.  We'd pick it up, put in on the track, and off it would go.  They were built for boys like us.

Saints Fan John

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Posted by BroadwayLion on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 10:15 AM

LION has been known to run close to the edge.

 

Here the LION added more to the table for this part of the line.

click on da photo for a close up

 

ROAR

The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

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