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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello guys,
I hesitate to buy HO Amtrak coach with 80' long, It is stated to require a minimum of curve 18" radius. My layout got a lot of curve 15" radius.
According to youtube below, it seems to have trouble when it is on the turn.
Who got Amtrak coach in hand and it is okay with 15" radius?
 

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Hello Frank,
I used to run various Amtrak coaches from Con-Cor, Rivarrossi, Bachmann etc and they were very unaccepting of anything less than 22” radius!
I still have some Walthers and Kato double deck coaches and I’m afraid they are much the same.
Sadly, American coaches are much less forgiving of sharper curves than European coaches, I suspect this is because they mainly rely on body mounted Kadee type couplers. The best I have seen is where the coupler mount has a certain amount of swing but it’s nothing like the European systems.
I don’t know anything about the more modern manufacturers like Rapido, maybe they have adopted the European mechanism?
The best I could suggest is to try the old Athearn “shorty” coaches as I don’t think much will go around such tight curves, sorry.
Good luck,
John E.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hello Frank,
I used to run various Amtrak coaches from Con-Cor, Rivarrossi, Bachmann etc and they were very unaccepting of anything less than 22” radius!
I still have some Walthers and Kato double deck coaches and I’m afraid they are much the same.
Sadly, American coaches are much less forgiving of sharper curves than European coaches, I suspect this is because they mainly rely on body mounted Kadee type couplers. The best I have seen is where the coupler mount has a certain amount of swing but it’s nothing like the European systems.
I don’t know anything about the more modern manufacturers like Rapido, maybe they have adopted the European mechanism?
The best I could suggest is to try the old Athearn “shorty” coaches as I don’t think much will go around such tight curves, sorry.
Good luck,
John E.
Thank you sir,
I can change radius 15" to 18", but 15 to 22 is quite a bit of harder.
 

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You’re welcome Frank!
I would actually struggle to run most six axle diesels or any vehicles over say, 55 feet long on anything less than 18” radius. Pretty much all four axle diesels will be okay though.
I appreciate it means a considerable amount of replanning and or work relaying track but honestly, larger radius curves will repay you with much less troublesome running.
I have a strong feeling that manufacturers these days generally recommend a minimum radius of 22”, sorry.
I have a moderate collection of Athearn SD40-2s and they were fine down to 18” radius but when I “upgraded” my fleet and added a Proto2000 SD60, it promptly fell off such curves. We modellers ask for extra details and more realism yet when we get it, we sometimes get a different problem!
Modern models are so realistic (& long) they simply won’t work on “toy train curves”.
Cheers,
John E.
 

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....larger radius curves will repay you with much less troublesome running.
I have a strong feeling that manufacturers these days generally recommend a minimum radius of 22” ...
Much the same as the recommendation from the 1960s* that those engaging in DIY for what was then considered 'finescale' OO would best consider 24" the minimum radius. (*That recommendation may have been yet earlier, but that's when I became aware of it.)

Oh that a UK RTR OO manufacturer would dare to start telling customers that a radius significantly larger than the 18" minus of the OO set track point is required...
 
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