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if you are arranging fiddle yards then there is a tool you can use. it looks like about 8 dividers on a pantograph. i will try and find a pic for you

Peter

here it is. this is a very expensive and complicated one but i think squires do one for about £8.
You only have to get 1 track straight then measure all the others from that datum.

http://www.haff.de/reduktionszirkel_e.htm
 

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there are several reasons. on one club layout i was involved with the fiddle yard could be put together with the centre boards in any order (and the end boards were also identical). this made setting up even easied as it didnt matter which order the boards were packed away in or taken out.

also it looke neat.

although prototypes vary, on modern lines the distance between the tracks is often very closely monitored for aerodynamic and noise reasons. often it dosent need to be straight but it does need to be VERY accurate.
The same applies to a model.

Peter
 
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