Using curved track for straight. Thoughts.

Any questions about designing a model railway layout or problems with track work.
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Using curved track for straight. Thoughts.

Postby Chops » Mon Nov 09, 2020 8:42 pm

Every time I put pen to paper in search of a new and innovative track design, beyond the point-to-point of which there are many superb
examples, I keep coming up with the same old oval. My attention, as I run out of space, is drawn towards micro layouts, which has long
been a staple of the British model railway scene. Ian Rice's work, comes to mind. Many other brilliant efforts in NMRF, which I glean
over and over again. But my efforts yield an oval, two ovals, or a circle. Blah. :roll:

Whilst plotting out a new micro layout, with an Old West theme (thus having short wheel bases by North American Standards), it dawned on me :idea:
as to why not compose the entirety of the track plan using curved sections? In N. America, the smallest premade section is a fifteen inch radius, and next up is an 18 inch radius (381 mm and 457 mm, respectively. By use of gradients, it will be possible to stuff a rather sinuous track plan slithering
through canyons and up mountain sides. There will be room for one, perhaps two, stub sidings at the base, all within a dimension of 40 x 60 inches, or
(101 cm x 152 cm) with a decent spot of room for some structures to give it some purpose. :!:

The smallest OO radius is what, a #1, about 15 inches, 381 mm? With the short wheel bases of many OO trains, this could be quite easily accomplished.
If the gradient issue is too much for some of the daintier (and absolutely gorgeous) Hornby shunting pieces of recent vintage, then a diamond
cross over could easily be substituted in place of a gradient. For those of a DCC persuasion, two trains sharing a single line, particularly with level
crossings, could have a banging good layout that could easily be stored under a bed. :)

For the baseboard, I like using a hollow core door, obtained from a lumber salvage company when possible- a dent, or even a hole is trifling, because
they are easy to cut down to length and superbly strong and warp resistant and exceedingly light. The cost of a scratch and dent hollow core door
is less than the cost of assembling one's own baseboard. Styrofoam, even discarded, can be used to build a sub-base in which to easily carve
geographical features, like rivers and streams. :shock:

Here is the rough mock up of the forthcoming Old West layout, Harte's Mill II.


The Old Hart's Mill is a trite circle of track, but it will be repurposed with a coat of snow and barren trees and stone arches to
become a micro layout of the Camden and Amboy Railway of New Jersey, 1835. Featuring an exported locomotive by Mssrs. Stephenson,
the "John Bull."

The radii, in the above video, are all fifteen inches.
Nessie rocks!

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Re: Using curved track for straight. Thoughts.

Postby GeraldH » Sun Jul 25, 2021 3:39 pm

Looks like fun. Go for it :) .
Gerald H - BNR Correspondent :)

My layout: ... hp?t=28854

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Re: Using curved track for straight. Thoughts.

Postby Dad-1 » Sun Jul 25, 2021 4:31 pm

You'll struggle with '00' train-set track.
You can get short 0-4-0's around curves much tighter than standard 1st radius.
That brings you to the only option Flexitrack. To get good smooth curves it's
going to be necessary to cut out the plastic ties between sleepers on the inner
of any very tight curves.
The length you're playing with is very limiting. If space is that much of a problem
then 'N' becomes a much better option. However the choice of 'cheap' locomotives
is going to be limited.

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=32187 and Another on viewtopic.php?f=22&t=28436&start=60&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

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Re: Using curved track for straight. Thoughts.

Postby Mountain » Sun Jul 25, 2021 6:04 pm

I would consider narrow gauge as some smaller concerns had short trains on steep and sharp gradients. In model form small narrow gauge locos tend to have a little more space to add weight then their shandard gauge counterparts though not always. :D

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