A tip for those newbies who are creating a track plan. The issue is track spacing in curves.
I have build some layouts in the past and am beginning my plans for a new one.
I learned early that it is most important to have proper clearances in those dastardly parallel curves. Especially in the hidden areas where one tends to make things “tight’ to conserve open layout.
Consider taking the longest engine, car or any other object that will be placed and operated on the layout rails. Include, depending on the size of the layout, all object lengths of future acquisitions of greater length.
First get paper, ruler and compass to draw arcs from a common circle center or along a common radius.
Any multiple arcs of different radiii created from the common or other circle center along this common circle radius will be used to determine the clearance of objects on adjacent arcs.
As example, see the attached image
Draw the arc with desired minimum radius of inside track of the two tracks
Using the common arc center, Draw the arc with desired radius of the next track
Draw extensions at one end of the arcs to represent parallel straight tracks
Measure longest item that will traverse the rails
Measure length between wheel truck centers
Draw car on paper and cut out; make two more
Place cars in locations similar to the example
Use the dimensioned cars to determine minimum clearances for the cars on the desired curves
The extended straight tracks can then be used to determine the minimum parallel track spacing for car clearances Use the locomotives as they are usually wider
The location of the intercept of straight to curved rails may then determine the required easement
This dimensioned example is for O gauge that I have used to lay track for a long time. The radii shown are tor minimum diameter arcs and longest cars considered.
Hope this will assist others from creating unexpected derailments but allow maximum use of hidden or exposed track layout.
Bruce from SC USA”
A huge thank you to Bruce for sending this in: a simple, but effective way to stop hours of misery with trial and error.
I am new to the hobby and your posts, I am putting together my first layout and think I might put in a turntable scratch built so I started looking for parts then I remembered I had just the other day thrown out an inkjet printer/scanner and luckily it was still outside, I brought it back in and stripped it down.
I found all the motors, gears and belt drives I could possibly need to power the turntable and several more besides, this printer turned out to be a treasure for the hobbyist and I thought I would share it, I have posted to you tube (not great video but it does show what I found).
happy for you to share and hope you and others find it of use.
That’s all today folks.
Please do keep ’em coming.
Beginner’s Guide is here if you want to take the plunge and get going with your layout.