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Im in the process of designing my layout and would appreciate advice concerning the correct distance between each track?
Regards
Steve
 

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It all depends on the following:

The scale you are modelling in...presumably 00.
The minimum radius of curvature you intend to employ.
The track system that you are using...setrack/flexitrack etc.

Colombo
 

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Steve,
From one Steve to another, I believe that, in BR the space between say, up and down sets of rails is commonly referred to by P.Way staff as "the 6 foot". I have refrained from checking this myself for obvious reasons but scaling from photos makes this viable.
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
QUOTE (Colombo @ 22 Aug 2008, 08:41) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>It all depends on the following:

The scale you are modelling in...presumably 00.
The minimum radius of curvature you intend to employ.
The track system that you are using...setrack/flexitrack etc.

Colombo
Im using a combination of setrack and flexitrack. My minimum radius will be 370mm (= Hornby 1st radius) within the fiddle yards and 505mm (= Hornby 3rd radius) on the mainline.
Hornby state track centres of 67mm but this doesnt look right to my eye.
Steve
 

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You are right that the Hornby track separation is way over scale. The correct scale track centres measurement is 45mm but if you used that nothing would get round any but the most gentle bend. Peco streamline uses a nominal 50mm but if you measure accurately it is nearer 52mm.

I'm afraid that if you are going to use set-track curves then you are going to have to put tracks much wider apart than the prototype. This is so that long engines and coaches can pass without touching and derailing. Well away from the curves you could bring the tracks closer together. However, this will present a problem with points on a crossover. There are ways of reducing the separation by cutting points if you really want to do that.
 

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QUOTE (wolverton bloomer @ 22 Aug 2008, 09:01) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>My minimum radius will be 370mm (= Hornby 1st radius) within the fiddle yards and 505mm (= Hornby 3rd radius) on the mainline.
Hornby state track centres of 67mm but this doesnt look right to my eye.
Steve,

Glad to hear you are at the design stage. First thought for you to consider: the large majority of the better models are now specified for 2nd radius minimum. With a little careful adjustment many can be got to run on 1st radius, but no guarantees.

Set track centres spacing is necessarily much overscale to permit clearance between the longest items of stock on drastically underscale concentric curves. The standard minimum distance between centres in UK double track is 11 feet, scale 44mm. Peco's Streamline points wil give roughly 50mm centres which looks a lot better, and will allow vehicles the length of BR mk1 coaches to just pass on truly concentric curves of 22" and 24" radius. Longer vehicles yet will demand a greater minimum curve radius.

The use of 24" radius points as minimum, and preferably live frog, will not take up much more space than using set track points; but the gain in running reliability is like day from night.

If it is physically possible in the space available to you, ease all curves to greater than set track radii. This and the use of larger radius points than set track may place some limitations on the track formation that can be accomodated when compared to using set track radii. But it is a compromise worth accepting for the gains in both appearance and running reliability.
 

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The way I lay curves is to use the longest and widest coaches to gauge clearances - if they can pass each other with a reasonable amount of space at the closest point then that's where the track gets pinned down! I lay straight sections using the standard points to set the distance apart (as in a crossover) but spacing between tracks on curves is widened gradually as the curve tightens up.
 

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Thanks for all the info guys!
It looks like all my Hornby set track and hornby points will be going to that great internet flea market we all love so much and being replaced with peco flexitrack and points! Luckily I havnt spent a fortune on track and have just what came in the various train sets that've found their way to me!
One more question before I have to get back to the real world and do some work, Ive heard tell of Peco code 100 and code 75 track and that they are superior to hornby offerings. which is the best, code 75 or code 100?
Steve
 

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QUOTE (wolverton bloomer @ 22 Aug 2008, 10:47) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>.. which is the best, code 75 or code 100?..
Steve,

Code 75 looks a lot better thanks to the finer rail section, which is a good approximation to scale for 4mm. You will need to use RP25 or equivalent standard wheels - most OO from the last thirty years will run without problems, except Lima which had very deep flanges.

Something further to think about since you have got this far. There is ready to run flexible track from SMP and C&L which is made to represent typical UK sleeper dimensions and spacing; the sleepers are essentially 2.3mm short, the same as the missing 2.3mm in OO track gauge. In comparison to the HO track supplied for OO, to avoid being contentious, let's just say that it is worth seeing in terms of the effect achieved. There are however no matching plastic based RTR points, it's build your own, or buy 'bespoke' from a track maker. Careful use of such plain track with Peco's large radius code 75 points can yield rather good results; Chris Nevard's 'Cement Key' a fairly recently published example.
 

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The MOROP standards are a good guide for track and structure clearances, and are available on their website at http://www.morop.org/en/normes/index.html. NEM 102 and 112 are useful, though possibly a bit conservative. They cover H0 rather than 00, but presumably it should be safe to scale them up 14.3% to give a rough guide for 00. The track separation they give for H0 is 46 mm, which works out to 52.6 mm between centres for 00 straight track. There's other good stuff on that website too, such as NEMA coupling mount information.
 

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The prototype standard is indeed 6' between adjacent lines on double track (measured from rail to nearest rail, not between track centres). This increases to 10' between adjacent pairs of running lines (Up fast/down fast//up slow/down slow) or between running lines and an adjacent loop or siding (up loop//up main/down main//down loop).

However, as others have stated, this all becomes a bit academic when model railway curves and overhangs are brought into the equation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
QUOTE (andrew @ 22 Aug 2008, 12:08) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The MOROP standards are a good guide for track and structure clearances, and are available on their website at http://www.morop.org/en/normes/index.html. NEM 102 and 112 are useful, though possibly a bit conservative. They cover H0 rather than 00, but presumably it should be safe to scale them up 14.3% to give a rough guide for 00. The track separation they give for H0 is 46 mm, which works out to 52.6 mm between centres for 00 straight track. There's other good stuff on that website too, such as NEMA coupling mount information.
Thanks for the link. Very usefull information! Saves me asking loads of questions!
Steve
 

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Can I just jump in here and ask if other than asthetics, is there any issues with using Peco code 100? I've got a design for a layout on Xtrk and I'll be using flexi for all straights and the odd mild curve but the bulk of the curves are all set track radius 2 or 3.

I plan to use SRman's way of judging clearance. I've used medium points so these will judge most of my straights and I will use the largest coaches I can find to ensure clearance.
 

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QUOTE (eddscott @ 23 Aug 2008, 19:11) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Can I just jump in here and ask if other than asthetics, is there any issues with using Peco code 100? ..
From the point of view of its' mechanical and running properties, and also durability, no serious problems. I have points and plain track over 30 years old carefully salvaged from past layouts inside and out, still doing service in concealed sections.
 

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[quote name='34C' date='22 Aug 2008, 10:25' post='60068']
Steve,

"Code 75 looks a lot better thanks to the finer rail section, which is a good approximation to scale for 4mm. You will need to use RP25 or equivalent standard wheels - most OO from the last thirty years will run without problems, except Lima which had very deep flanges."

Steve,

If you have any old Hornby or Mainline/Bachmann rolling stock that you wish to run on code 75 track, it is worth checking the back to back gauge on the flanges. If they are less than 14.2mm back to back, you are likely to suffer derailments at the point crossings (frogs).

I have replaced all my suspect wheels and all plastic wheels on old stock with modern metal wheels. The cheap wheel sets produced by both Hornby and Bachmann for this purpose are effective. Unfortunately they are not suitable for old Lima stock which has a different axle length and frequently ran with undersized continental wheels. At a pinch, you can turn down Lima's deep flanged metal wheels in a lathe or a drill chuck. They can then be regauged to 14.2-14.5 mm back to back which is acceptable for code 75.

Colombo
 

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Hi All

The 6 ft Way between tracks is nominal distance, whereby the rolling stock doesn't strike each other on the straight. The tighter the radius, the greater the gap becomes. Model railways use curves that are not to scale; therefore the gap is also not to scale. The answer is to run the largest coaches around the curves of two adjoining tracks and move the tracks apart until the coaches miss each other. Then add a 3mm clearance safety factor. Remember that whilst long carriages will go around tight curves; large steam locos do not&#8230;They derail.

John-Pro
 
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