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 Minimum Radius for HO scale 89-footers
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Author Previous Topic: Static model steam engine Topic Next Topic: West Springfield, Mass. Show news  

CSX_road_slug

Posted - 2007 September 07 :  06:35:11 AM  Show Profile  Visit CSX_road_slug's Homepage
Hi Group

I discovered yesterday that I can convert my 'E' shaped layout to a folded dogbone and get rid of the two duckunders. My current minimum mainline radius is 34" so I can run 89ft autoracks and intermodals; problem is, one of the blobs will only be wide enough to accommodate a 31-inch min radius.

I remember someone mentioning a standard where the minimum radius of any curve should be at least 3 times the length of the longest car you plan to roll on it. I'm already 2" below that. Will 31" be adequate for performance? I can hide the curve in a tunnel if necessary.
-ken L


http://www.djcooley.com/rr/gifs2/traingif.htm

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basementdweller

Posted - 2007 September 07 :  06:43:30 AM  Show Profile
Everyone has their own standards, most here proberly wish to have 31" radius curves.
At our club we run 89' autoracks and articulated AutoMax cars on 30" curves with no problems at all, I think they look fine too, but then I am used to much tighter curves on the home layout.

I always suggest rigging up some track to the desired curve and see if you are happy with it.


It's all scenery.

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riogrande

Posted - 2007 September 07 :  08:31:53 AM  Show Profile
You should be totally fine with 31-inch radius and 89' freight cars (auto racks and flat cars). Typically the minimum operating radius for those kinds of cars are about 24-inches so at 31, you are well above that. Once you are in a reliable operating range of radius's, its more a matter of appearance. My first large layout was a garage layout with 30-inch minimum radius and my 89' autoracks worked just fine. I had a 36-inch curve and even on that curve the autoracks looked like they were on a fairly sharp turn. When I was at the GATS train show in Louisville KY one year, I saw a string of autoracks on a modular layout and they looked real nice on the corner module curves. They guy told me they were fifty something inch radius curves!

Rio Grande - The Action Road
Atlas forum member since 1994

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dean

Posted - 2007 September 07 :  08:44:10 AM  Show Profile
31"....hmmmm lot of us would like to have that as a minimum or even a max! Thus said, the layout I am planning has as a standard 26-28" curves, with most in the 30" range due to room and layout size determination.

dean

Santa Fe all the Way....Middle Division Emporia Sub Circa 1976 - 1986
Hoping someone someday will make a quality ACF 4600

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Nova55

Posted - 2007 September 07 :  08:51:45 AM  Show Profile
16" here....Completely prototypical to..


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CSX_road_slug

Posted - 2007 September 07 :  09:05:03 AM  Show Profile  Visit CSX_road_slug's Homepage
Thanks for the replies, y'all. Now I have the confidence to proceed!

quote:
Originally posted by Nova55
16" here....Completely prototypical to...

Really...with HO scale 89-ftrs?


-ken L


http://www.djcooley.com/rr/gifs2/traingif.htm

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ACL1099

Posted - 2007 September 07 :  09:08:04 AM  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by riogrande

You should be totally fine with 31-inch radius and 89' freight cars (auto racks and flat cars). Typically the minimum operating radius for those kinds of cars are about 24-inches so at 31, you are well above that. Once you are in a reliable operating range of radius's, its more a matter of appearance. My first large layout was a garage layout with 30-inch minimum radius and my 89' autoracks worked just fine. I had a 36-inch curve and even on that curve the autoracks looked like they were on a fairly sharp turn. When I was at the GATS train show in Louisville KY one year, I saw a string of autoracks on a modular layout and they looked real nice on the corner module curves. They guy told me they were fifty something inch radius curves!



You oughta see the Sipping & Switching Society's curves. They have some modules with 23 FOOT radii. The 86' cars and passenger trains look great on those!



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CNW

Posted - 2007 September 07 :  10:57:40 AM  Show Profile
I posted this in another thread. When I lived in an apartment I could only do 19" and 22" radius curves. I had easements on every curve but I regularly ran 89' cars on that layout. Yeah, they didn't look that good but it's all I had room for at the time. I had that layout for 5 years and never had a derailment or another car hit another one. I had to make some modifications to some cars to get them to handle those curves but I did it. Now my minimum is 30" and 32" and I think they look very good on 30" radius curves. I could go larger but I would have to sacrifice other operating possibilities. I'm just not willing to do that. I care more about operations than looks in this regard. I tend to try to hide those reverse curves anyway so I try not to make those focus areas of the layout.

Rockford and Indiana Railroad - THE Chicago connection!

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