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AJV1

N Gauge - Tightest Radius Turn?

Question

Hello all!

I'm looking at planning an N gauge layout, and I have a spare baseboard or two from my old OO gauge layout, measuring 20 inches wide. 

In short, will that be enough width to fit a full 180 degree turn? Basically my plan is to split the board in half down the middle - front half as the main layout, back half/third as the fiddle yard hidden behind the backscene? None of the tight turns at either end will be in sight on the layout, so I don't mind it not looking prototypical as people shouldn't be able to see the turns anyway. 

I've seen various sites say the smallest radius turns possible are as little as 10-11 inches, so that'll be more than okay if that's the case :) 

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56 minutes ago, Bob Hughes said:

http://www.jellymodels.com/en/shop/joke-track-donuts/

Just under two and a half inch radius, is that small enough?

Or even ... http://www.jellymodels.com/en/shop/joke-track-coin/

Hahaha! I'd say that's more than small enough lol

Now I'm curious about a diesel locomotive or coach trying to go round in circles...

Bob Hughes likes this

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Well, can't remember where (maybe Carl Arent's site) I saw a "layout" built around a 1£ coin (or something like that) so 10/11 inches may fill every need ... it depends on what you want to run on that curve too as a full size HST couldn't feel ar ease :) (:

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1 hour ago, Franco said:

Well, can't remember where (maybe Carl Arent's site) I saw a "layout" built around a 1£ coin (or something like that) so 10/11 inches may fill every need ... it depends on what you want to run on that curve too as a full size HST couldn't feel ar ease :) (:

Yeah that might be the bigger concern. It'll be off-scene so I don't need it to be prototypical, I just need it to be physically possible for trains to run around such a tight curve into the fiddle yard on the back of the board. :) 

The maximum length of any train will be about 5-6 coaches, so maximum 3ft long train. :) 

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22 hours ago, AJV1 said:

 

The maximum length of any train will be about 5-6 coaches, so maximum 3ft long train. :) 

Not so acquainted with imperial measures, but it seems to me that such a train will take the entire curve, won't it? :eyebrow: 

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In theory it should do - I guess I'm thinking more if it would be such a tight turn that the coaches would derail as the gap between each coach would close too much. 

*dives onto Youtube to find some layouts with tight turns* 

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Hi AJV1

The minimum radius for "N" scale is nine inches this equates to 1st radius curves in "N" or if you wish very sharp train set curves.

They are available from PECO as part of the set track range.

I would NOT recommend the 1st radius curves, with the wide range of "N" available you may find you can't run what you want.

As a side note, they are very good for industrial tracks fitted into tight places.

The old general advice still applies use nothing less than second radius curves

Long time since I was in "N" so I am not sure what it was again Peco make second radius curves.

With the sharper curves, I found set track easier to deal with for those.

regards John                                                          

Edited by buz

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Hi AJV1

After some research.

If you can fit them in I would use 4th radius curves Peco list them as being 333.4 mm or 13 1/8" radius, big enough to start thinking flex track.

Or if that is too big go with the 3rd radius which is listed as 298.5 mm or 11 3/4" radius.

Peco ST17 3rd radius set track double curve 8 per circle

Peco ST19 4th radius set track double curve 8 per circle

Oh, and the little red Peco track spacing gauge is very useful as it will also give you the platform edge distance get a few of them they are easy to loose.

Also, remember the radius is measured to the centerline of the track

Hope this helps

regards John

Edited by buz

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3 hours ago, buz said:

Hi AJV1

After some research.

If you can fit them in I would use 4th radius curves Peco list them as being 333.4 mm or 13 1/8" radius, big enough to start thinking flex track.

Or if that is too big go with the 3rd radius which is listed as 298.5 mm or 11 3/4" radius.

Peco ST17 3rd radius set track double curve 8 per circle

Peco ST19 4th radius set track double curve 8 per circle

Oh, and the little red Peco track spacing gauge is very useful as it will also give you the platform edge distance get a few of them they are easy to loose.

Also, remember the radius is measured to the centerline of the track

Hope this helps

regards John

Thanks for all these measurements and details John! Really appreciate it. :) (:

I'm working on using a 6ft x 20'' board, with the front scenic section looping round tight scenic breaks at each end into a fiddle yard on the back half of the board - so basically I need the tracks to loop round a complete 180 degree turn inside 20'' at either end of the board! It's a bit of a squeeze :confused:

If only I'd made the boards the full 2ft wide...possibly there's a way I can add a little extension either end, to accomodate 3rd or 4th radius curves? 

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Hi AJV1

If you make your framing right you can get the necessary bumps built into the ends with enough strength to support the railway and scenery.

There is nothing that says the line has to be built on a perfect rectangle or square table.

Even if you don't run US trains get an 86' high cube boxcar or something of similar size to set clearances with then you won't have many visitors that can't get around the layout.

I have one for my OO scale for the same reason.

regards John

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5 hours ago, buz said:

Hi AJV1

If you make your framing right you can get the necessary bumps built into the ends with enough strength to support the railway and scenery.

There is nothing that says the line has to be built on a perfect rectangle or square table.

Even if you don't run US trains get an 86' high cube boxcar or something of similar size to set clearances with then you won't have many visitors that can't get around the layout.

I have one for my OO scale for the same reason.

regards John

True! I'm thinking more of weight and size, given it won't be a permanently mounted board and has to be easy to set up and store away. But I'm sure a kind of 'dog bone' shape at each end of the boards won't be too much of an issue. :) 

That's a GREAT idea about the boxcar. Basically the theory is, if THAT can get round the layout, anything can? Any specific models in N gauge you'd recommend? 

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15 hours ago, AJV1 said:

True! I'm thinking more of weight and size, given it won't be a permanently mounted board and has to be easy to set up and store away. But I'm sure a kind of 'dog bone' shape at each end of the boards won't be too much of an issue. :) 

That's a GREAT idea about the boxcar. Basically the theory is, if THAT can get round the layout, anything can? Any specific models in N gauge you'd recommend? 

I would suggest having a look at the Con-Cor 86' Hi-cube boxcar they come in several road names not that important which one.

As its a clearance set and test wagon.

If the layout is not permanent as such, have a look on youtube at how the Japanese do modular layouts could be something useful in how they do theirs

They work in how on earth do you build a layout in those kinds of spaces but they do and some of the modules are very impressive, and smaller I believe than we would ordinarily make them and they only have legs a few inches long so they can be sat on an ordinary table.

IMG_7540 (2) layout 2.jpg

 

Sort of something like this narrow gauge only in "N" scale and with more than one module

regards John

Edited by buz

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