Minimum radius question

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muggins
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Minimum radius question

Postby muggins » Wed Sep 28, 2016 6:54 pm

I'm pondering on building a small 00 layout of some kind of an industrial nature. Being a returning modeller, I'm confident of my ability to make a proper job of tracklaying and the electrics, but right now I'm wondering ...

Given nothing bigger than an 0-6-0 and 4-wheel wagons (no coaches or bogie wagons), what's the minimum radius curve I can realistically bend flexy track into for use "behind the scenes" and still get reliable running?

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Emettman
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Re: Minimum radius question

Postby Emettman » Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:38 pm

Personally I wouldn't use flexitrack: I'd be happier cutting up lengths of various tight-curve set radii to get graded curves with no stress in them from 18" radius and down.

I'd suggest it's too easy to get a little kink in a "near minimum" curve which is then at one point "below minimum". Not nice.
Some small 0-6-0's I have are happy on 10" radius curves (The smaller-wheeled Bachmann Junior chassis in particular) others want at least 12", or 15".

It was historical practice on some dock and other sharp-curved lines to remove the front coupling rods on certain 0-6-0's and run them as 2-4-0's to give them more track tolerance. Other classes had their six wheels designed especially closely-set for dock work.

[edit] I wanted to check, but can confirm my little Dapol or Hornby terrier is quite happy on 10" radius... And they got everywhere in 2nd, 3rd, 4th hand industrial use.
Last edited by Emettman on Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Bufferstop
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Re: Minimum radius question

Postby Bufferstop » Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:41 pm

Depends what you mean by behind the scenes. If you are talking about tracks behind the backscene, with the operator there as in exhibition layouts tight curves that might need the occasional "hand of God" might be OK, but if you mean hidden behind/beneath scenery avoid anything that might stall or derail a train. Most 00 0-6-0s are ok on radius 1 which I think is around 13" if you are looking at tracks such as harbours, works yards etc, and only one or two wagons in a train then you can probably get down to 10" if it's well laid. The biggest problem is likely to be couplers, modern narrow ones have a nasty habit of getting their hooks tangled when taken round sharp corners. The old Triang enormous D was far more tolerant.
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muggins
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Re: Minimum radius question

Postby muggins » Thu Sep 29, 2016 6:50 am

Thanks gents, hadn't thought about the couplings issue. That's given me enough to work with for the time being ...


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