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> Distance between tracks
BobB
post 9 Sep 2010, 11:25
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I'm still in the planning stages before I comit to a N guage layout. (Sounds very grand, I'm actually doodling on scraps of paper !)

I've manged to determine from the web that if I stick to Peco set track then the centre distance between tracks is 35 mm (or 1 3/8 inches).

Years ago when I was building N guage layouts the distance between tracks if I used small, medium or large radius points was quite a bit less, memory suggests 25 mm.

Is this the correct distance ? What about other makes of track ?
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M8 INTERNET
post 9 Sep 2010, 11:38
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There are three track separation (search "track separation" and my previous topic should appear) distances
Setrack
Streamline 6 foot
Streamline 10 foot

Using the Peco tool will confirm the separation for Setrack and Streamline 6 foot


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Glasgow Queen Street Model Railway layout : N gauge modern image with DCC
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egg and chips
post 9 Sep 2010, 12:04
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33mm for kato N unitrack - centre to centre that is
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chrismac
post 9 Sep 2010, 12:40
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Nothing has changed Peco trackwise from your earlier days in N except possibly the introduction of Code 55 track and Electrofrogs.
26.5 mm is still the standard centre to centre for Peco points apart from the the Setrack range of track and points which is 35

If you need to use tight curves I would recommend using Peco flexible Code 80 or 55 with a TrackSetta curve to set the tightest inner curve and open the gap to the outer rails to allow for the overhang. That will allow you to use the "normal" points and the 26.5 mm centre to centre. The Peco Six foot way gauge (SL-336) is as good a way of keeping the tracks parallel as any.
In theory the Setrack, which is Code 80 (or normal Code 80 pointwork for that matter), should marry up to the Code 55 but I personally have never tried.


Kato is a setrack type system but with a centre to centre of 33 mm and a limited range of points but the motors are built in to the pre-formed ballast. A problem with their points is that the smaller of the 2 available (No.4) will "lift" British outline 15' wheelbase stock and some locos as it goes through the check rails.
website is here

Fleishmann range is here

Chris

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BobB
post 9 Sep 2010, 15:15
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Thanks for the replies; on with the doodling !
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Edwin
post 9 Sep 2010, 19:05
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The Peco Streamline spacing is actually a bit overscale for most prototypes, though perhaps OK for GWR routes where the former broad gauge tends to mean the tracks were laid further apart. It is possibe to doctor the points to reduce the spacing by about 3mm, it is described in the current N Gauge Society journal.
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Greg H
post 6 Oct 2010, 08:23
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Hello BobB,
Welcome back to the hobby. As usual there is much rubbish published on this site and the previous entries go a long way to contributing to it because, as usual, they take no notice of actual track spacings, only those in model form.
Three measures to remember (from the prototype) are:
4 foot (actually 4' 8.5") the distance between a set of rails.
6 foot
10 foot.
Of these ONLY the 4 foot is an exact measure, the others vary by so much it is impossible to give an accurate answer but they are the absolute minimum distances between two lines (6') and where a double track then includes others (10'). It's not easy to illustrate but, in the case of a 4 track mainline, the measures would be cess - 4' - 6' - 4' - 10' - 4' - 6' - 4' cess if you follow.
In real life the 6' depends on the history of the line, for example for a broad gauge line converted to standard it could be cess - 4' - 10' - 4' - 15' - 4' - 10' - 4' cess but if the relief lines were added AFTER the broad gauge era it could easily be cess 4' 10' - 4' - 10' - 4' - 6' - 4' cess.
Just in case anyone is thinking "That does not apply outside the Great Western Railway area" please think again. It could apply to you if you model in Scotland, the East Anglian area or East London!
Just a few historic examples include the Dundee & Arbroath (5' 6" gauge), London & Blackwall (5'), Eastern Counties Railway (5') or the Kilmarnock & Troon which went the other way and had a gauge of just 4'! In short there are NO set distances or rules except the minimum ones I gave (4',6',10'). Stick with those as an absolute minimum and you'll be correct. Exceed them (except the 4' of course, unless your railway is a pre or early Victorian one!) and no one can say you are wrong regardless of the measures you use between the lines because your reply will be "Ah, but you don't understand, the original line was built to xx gauge"! (Simple really, YOU are right and no one can show differently). As someone said above, Peco is ideal because it provides the perfect 10' (for ex broad gauge lines) straight from the box.
Best wishes, from a fellow "envelope planner"!
Greg.
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M8 INTERNET
post 6 Oct 2010, 13:12
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QUOTE (Greg H @ 6 Oct 2010, 09:23) *
a 4 track mainline, the measures would be cess - 4' - 6' - 4' - 10' - 4' - 6' - 4' cess

During August I travelled along the WCML and ECML, taking photos of such lines
I found there was no consistency and the 10' was rarely in the middle
The majority were :
4' - 10' - 4' - 6' - 4' - 10' - 4'
I suspect this change came about from electrification
I could find only two locations where the 10' was in the middle


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Glasgow Queen Street Model Railway layout : N gauge modern image with DCC
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Greg H
post 6 Oct 2010, 19:18
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QUOTE (M8 INTERNET @ 6 Oct 2010, 14:12) *
During August I travelled along the WCML and ECML, taking photos of such lines
I found there was no consistency and the 10' was rarely in the middle
The majority were :
4' - 10' - 4' - 6' - 4' - 10' - 4'
I suspect this change came about from electrification
I could find only two locations where the 10' was in the middle


Hello,
My point exactly. There are NO absolutes when it comes to distances between tracks, only between rails. Therefore anything goes and no one can say it's wrong.
Try the Southern main line between Waterloo and Basingstoke and the "10 foot" is often near to 30 feet in places, for example. In short, anyone saying that it can only be one way, as some seem to in model circles, are probaly not all that conversant with the real thing.
Regards,
Greg.
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