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Passenger and freight trains L shaped layout plan

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  • Member since
    January 2024
  • From: Quebec, Canada
  • 4 posts
Passenger and freight trains L shaped layout plan
Posted by Sly63 on Monday, January 29, 2024 5:38 PM

Hi, I am looking for a plan for a L shaped layout consisting of a 4x8 main section and a 2x6 extension much like the Turtle Creek Central featured in Model Railroader's 102 Realistic Track Plans #5 February 2010. I know that curves radius is an issue. Passenger trains require a minimum 30" radius I believe. I would like to run both freight and passenger train.

  • Member since
    November 2013
  • 2,725 posts
Posted by snjroy on Wednesday, January 31, 2024 10:59 AM

Ok, so it is this https://www.trains.com/mrr/how-to/track-plan-database/turtle-creek-central/

with the extension:

https://www.trains.com/mrr/how-to/track-plan-database/turtle-creek-branch/

(kudos to MRR for making these available)

First off, what period do want to model?  Anything past the 30's-40's will involve longer passenger cars (80') - someone correct me if i'm mistaken here. In HO, there is a big difference between, say, 60' and 80' cars. With 60' cars, which is steam era, you can get way with 18'' radius track. 80' cars will require at least 24'' radius, and will look better with 30'' radius track. IMHO, if you want to go with longer cars, I would look for another plan instead of trying to adapt the Turtle Creek. But if you like steam, the Turtle Creek could work fine - just add a passenger station somewhere (e.g., where the coal dealer is) and you are good to go. 

Simon

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Sebring FL
  • 842 posts
Posted by floridaflyer on Wednesday, January 31, 2024 11:19 AM

Adding a foot, if possible, to the width gives you a lot more options

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Mpls/St.Paul
  • 13,873 posts
Posted by wjstix on Thursday, February 1, 2024 1:15 PM

In my experience, the length of the car may not be as important as how the couplers are installed. A 60' HO passenger car with body mounted couplers might have a hard time with a 22" or 24" radius curves, while an 80' car with truck mounted couplers might go around an 18"R curve with no trouble.

Note that HO products now often have a recommended minimum radius of 22" rather than the 18" that was once common. You might find too that a large engine like an SD70 might go around an 18"R curve by itself, but not be able to pull a train around the curve without causing the lead car to derail.

In the long run, a simpler 4' x 8' layout with 22"R curves and No.5 turnouts might work out better than a more complicated layout with 18"R and No.4 turnouts.

 

Stix
  • Member since
    November 2013
  • 2,725 posts
Posted by snjroy on Thursday, February 1, 2024 2:21 PM

wjstix

In my experience, the length of the car may not be as important as how the couplers are installed. A 60' HO passenger car with body mounted couplers might have a hard time with a 22" or 24" radius curves, while an 80' car with truck mounted couplers might go around an 18"R curve with no trouble.

Note that HO products now often have a recommended minimum radius of 22" rather than the 18" that was once common. You might find too that a large engine like an SD70 might go around an 18"R curve by itself, but not be able to pull a train around the curve without causing the lead car to derail.

In the long run, a simpler 4' x 8' layout with 22"R curves and No.5 turnouts might work out better than a more complicated layout with 18"R and No.4 turnouts.

 

 

My layout has 22" curves, and will handle 80' passenger cars (Concor and Rivarossis). All couplers are indeed truck mounted. I think that 18'' would be pushing things to the limit. I mostly run these cars at the Club, where they look much better on 28" curves. 

Simon

  • Member since
    January 2024
  • From: Quebec, Canada
  • 4 posts
Posted by Sly63 on Monday, February 5, 2024 9:55 AM

Thank you all for your pertinent comments. I might try, as proposed, to add a station to the Turtle Creek or find another L-shaped plan with similar dimensions. Any plan suggestion would be greafly appreciated.

Cheers!

  • Member since
    January 2024
  • From: Quebec, Canada
  • 4 posts
Posted by Sly63 on Monday, February 5, 2024 10:17 AM

I am not sure about the exact period/era. Here's a picture of the engine.It's Canadian National C-liner in the 1950's. F9 and 9600 appear on the cab's shell.

 

  • Member since
    October 2022
  • From: Pasadena California
  • 92 posts
Posted by BradenD on Wednesday, February 7, 2024 6:10 PM

Passenger cars vary a lot on radii.

Athearn, rivarossi, ihc and any other older plastic cars clear 18" fine. If you wanted to run heavyweights I would pick from these companies.

walthers says 24" but I think 28" is better because it lets you get body mounted couplers. Branchline/Atlas is about the same maybe a tad wider.

BLI makes SP daylight articulated cars that can do 22" curves pretty well and they look good doing it. Very niche but just throwing it out there.

  • Member since
    February 2021
  • 1,109 posts
Posted by crossthedog on Wednesday, February 7, 2024 6:20 PM

I have Branchline (original and post-Atlas-purchase) and Spectrum heavyweight passenger cars that navigate my 24" radius curves without problems. I think they are about 11.25 inches long including couplers. Sure they would look better on 40" radius curves but I don't have 40" radius curves. I have 24" radius curves. They don't derail so I'm happy.

-Matt

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

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