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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am teetering on the brink of going from OO GWR to HO American, and it would seem appropriate and sensible to use Peco Code 83 track. (Is it?!) I am keen to keep the minimum radius on my layout as large as possible, and it has previously been easy to plan this using the known, traditional GB way of giving the radius of different turnouts (as in Code 100 and 75). Does anyone know what the actual curve radius of the #5, #6 and #8 turnouts in the Peco range is? I cannot find it on the Peco website, and it could be disastrous to have arranged a minimum radius of 30" elsewhere only to find that there was not an equivalent turnout. How do the Americans manage? Surely curve radius is so often the key dimension in layout planning?
I would be grateful for any help.
Peter
 

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>I am teetering on the brink of going from OO GWR to HO American
That's a brave statement to make on a public forum...


Sorry I can't help with an answer to your question but maybe a visit to the NMRA site might give an answer? The NMRA have a lot of standards and maybe there is one for point numbers which will give you the radius information you seek

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This blessed system just lost my entire post *******! Try again:

Thank you David, Gary and John for your help.

Looking at the NMRA standards, it seems that the switch rail radius for #4,5,6 is 43", while for #7-10 it is 117". The relevant closure rail radii are given as:

#4 15"
#5 26"
#6 43"
#8 67"

so it would appear that the closure rail radius is the critical one - and this fits in with the peco radii.

It is interesting that there are only two switch radii - a rudimentary form of easement?

This makes life difficult: decisions, decisions! Do I stick to my minimum of 30" - a compromise forced on me by my available space - and use the larger #6 turnouts, or do I go for #5s and lessen my minimum to 26"? That would give me a little more flexibility in track planning, but I find that appearance and operating reliability both suffer as you narrow down. I know most of the layouts in Model Railroader have a minimum of 24" but to my mind the trains look pretty compromised on such sharp curves.

Any experience, thoughts, advice would be very gratefully received.

Thanks, Peter
 

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My layout is approx 24ft x 8ft. At one end the ruling radius is between 30 and 36 inches. It doesn't look too bad, but I have decided to put nothing between the curves.

At the other end, the track is 4 mainlines and I think the innermost radius is down to 24inches. This is partly because I have only 12 inches of width to aim at in the centre for all 4 lines. Think roof trusses on 600mm centres and water tank and you get the picture. This set of curves definitely looks tight but I plan to "lose" it under a bridge of some kind. There's no room for anything between the curves at that end either.

In between the track is straight and from some reactions to how I get it straight (search on laser), I think it must be straighter than the prototype. I have standardised on Peco large radius points which has made the through station throats rather long but I am happy with it.

So while most people get an awful lot of layout into a long 8 foot side, I have a couple of curves and that's it.

David
 

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QUOTE I am teetering on the brink of going from OO GWR to HO American, and it would seem appropriate and sensible to use Peco Code 83 track. (Is it?!) I am keen to keep the minimum radius on my layout as large as possible, and it has previously been easy to plan this using the known, traditional GB way of giving the radius of different turnouts (as in Code 100 and 75). Does anyone know what the actual curve radius of the #5, #6 and #8 turnouts in the Peco range is? I cannot find it on the Peco website, and it could be disastrous to have arranged a minimum radius of 30" elsewhere only to find that there was not an equivalent turnout. How do the Americans manage? Surely curve radius is so often the key dimension in layout planning?
I would be grateful for any help.

NMRA-UK

roundwooduk, yep been three as well. I am a member of NMRA-Uk and it's a very good organisation with a lot of regional support. Contact them and go along to a regional meeting in your area. Eventually my wife persuaded me to stay with a UK layout, as going American involves a lot of research if you do it properly, and then what road will you choose. I thought things through and my knowledge base is UK railways so I thought it made sence to stay with that. With regard to your layout planning Xtrackcad which available for free from Xtrackcad (dont forget to cut and paste your key so you have an unlimited layout will permit you to try various radii with turnouts. Setup your track libary and remove by unticking the track type you are not using under preferences first. Finally if you download Xtrack thank Dave Bullis on his web site.
 
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