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Best minimum radius for planning a layout?

1620 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  alastairq
If you would have to pick a good broad minimum radius in metric - what would you say that radius would be???

Are we talking more 40cm or 80?

Thanks again for all the advice!
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Ideally the wider a radius you can manage the better. The smaller it is the less realistic it looks. Making it wider allows better running of trains.
Of course Neill is right. The larger the better.

To be quantitative, 40cm radius is approximately the standard radius of set track in starter sets and is definitely too low.

80cm is a good target number for mainline running, possibly 60cm where needed.

Sticking to these larger radii will give you much better running; more realistic appearance and the ability to adapt some stock for closer more realistic coupling.

Of course larger radii take up much more room, so you have to do the best you can with your space.
There have been people on this and another forum who show a design in a fairly large room with small radius corners joined by straights. They say that the corner curves will be under tunnels.

The great advantage of larger radius curves is that you don't need to put them in a tunnel; they look all right out in the scenic area. In fact I would say have no straights at all and this is what I have done on my layout. Assuming that you are going to have a complete circuit make it as large an oval as possible.

Cheers, Robert.
Thanks for that - I'll aim for those two dimensions - it seems like it will work in the room!
biggest IS best....

I'd go as far as to recommend avoiding straights as much as possible.

long straight bits, with sharp curves at the end, simply do not ''flow''......and 'flowing'' track is so much better from a viewpoint aspect.

Even if your available width is limited, and a tight radius is unavoidable...then I also recommend a ''transition' curve on entry and much larger radius leading into the curve, gradually tightening up, then opening out again on exit...much the same sort of line a decent driver takes when negotiating a curve in the road?

this has the strange advantage, because the transition 'leads' a coach, or loco, into the curve....of creating a stable sudden jerks...

the strange advantage?

it 'is' possible, to actually have an even tighter, minimum radius in the centre of the curve........than would have been thought......simply because the stock going through is already riding smoothly.
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