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Switching from N to HO, curve radiius?

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  • Member since
    November 2006
  • From: NW Pa Snow-belt.
  • 2,214 posts
Posted by ricktrains4824 on Saturday, February 25, 2023 9:49 AM

If space dictates it, 30" will be fine so long as you don't operate at mach-1 or faster speeds.

My new layout has 24" radius minimum (on main) and can (via testing) operate the 6-axle loco's and autorack cars. The key is smooth trackwork and smooth operation of the train, no sudden elevation changes, no jack-rabbit starts and stops.

But I also operate at "prototyipically slow" {under 40 smph} speeds. (And most of my rolling stock is smaller, due to layout size. But I can run big stuff if I wish.)

While "larger looks better", if space dictates 30", 30" is fine. (Like my space dictating the 24" radius in one area. 24" required, 24" it is.)

Ricky W.

HO scale Proto-freelancer.

My Railroad rules:

1: It's my railroad, my rules.

2: It's for having fun and enjoyment.

3: Any objections, consult above rules.

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • 6 posts
Posted by Main on Wednesday, February 22, 2023 9:10 AM

Thank you, gentlemen, truly appreciate your input.

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 13,375 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Tuesday, February 21, 2023 2:48 PM

I agree with Sheldon...a 30" radius is the smallest that I have on my layout, (actually three of them), used mainly as a turn-around for locomotives and some rolling stock that has to have a particular end leading when in-transit...

Wayne

  • Member since
    January 2009
  • From: Maryland
  • 12,758 posts
Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, February 21, 2023 6:21 AM

So, 15" radius in N scale translates to 27.5" radius in HO, but there are other things to consider. N scale trucks and couplers are much more for giving and have wider swing and tolerances proportionally than HO.

I would strongly recommend 32" radius or greater in HO, and 36" is a much more desirable radius especially for modern equipment.

Sheldon

    

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 23,870 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, February 21, 2023 5:27 AM

I am going to go with Ray on this.

30" is ok, but 32" is ideal.

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    December 2016
  • 230 posts
Posted by TrainzLuvr on Monday, February 20, 2023 8:49 PM

I think you will be fine with 30" curves if you observe the usual guidelines e.g. no short S curves (and split with a straightaway if possible); some straight track before entering the turnout from a curve; wathch out for S curves in the yard ladders, etc.

You could probably use #5 turnouts, if the trackwork is done well, and you are not running at full speed. Ultimately, the space dictates what kind of geometry you end up using...

  • Member since
    March 2013
  • 427 posts
Posted by Colorado Ray on Monday, February 20, 2023 7:49 PM

30" is pushing it for +80' cars.  32" would be better if you can eek out a few extra inches.  #6 turnouts should be fine for most locations, but #8 turnouts would be better for crossovers. 

But, you have to do what needs to be done, so I wouldn't fret about sticking with 30" radius.

Ray

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • 6 posts
Switching from N to HO, curve radiius?
Posted by Main on Monday, February 20, 2023 12:54 PM

I like to run big modern road diesels and 60'-80' long cars. I use 15" radius curves in my N scale world with #6 turnouts.  In HO will those locos and cars work well with 30" radius curves and #6 turnouts?

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