Author Topic: Your luck with 15" radius curves?  (Read 2131 times)

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Ed Kapuscinski

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Your luck with 15" radius curves?
« on: May 24, 2010, 01:31:04 PM »
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I'm working on a track plan, and I'd like to hear your experience with 15" radius curves.

I'm not planning on it being part of a "mainline" operation, (the layout will be branchline focused), but I'd like to hear people's real life experience with them.

I've proved (on a test track) that Bluford big boxes and MTL's TOFC flats will run around them 12" (but look really weird doing it), but a test track is a far cry from an operating layout, and it's operation experience I'm looking for.




Pomperaugrr

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Re: Your luck with 15" radius curves?
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2010, 01:44:10 PM »
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I established 15" as the minimum radius on my Housatonic RR layout.  I have only a few of these, as most are broad sweeping curves.  I have had good luck with them.  Long equipment does look a bit funny on them, but having the average rail height at 57" above the floor helps to minimize the visual impact.  All of my equipment operates extremely well whether moving forward or backing a 40 car train through them.  I am using Atlas code 55 track and mostly FVM low profile wheels at the present time.  I super elevate all mainline curves and build in easements, which is not a problem with flex track.

Eric
« Last Edit: May 24, 2010, 02:25:32 PM by Pomperaugrr »

Dave V

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Re: Your luck with 15" radius curves?
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2010, 02:04:21 PM »
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Mostly good.  Exceptions to the rule are long wheelbase steam and some MTL TOFCs to which I've not yet applied your fix.
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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Your luck with 15" radius curves?
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2010, 02:43:02 PM »
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So no Challengers or M1s... check.

I'd imagine the only steam I'd be running would be a Bachmann Consol or something smaller.

John

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Re: Your luck with 15" radius curves?
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2010, 03:02:06 PM »
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ed .. the curve by my refinery where it joins the lift bridge is 15 ... never any problems .. other than it looks funny

Mark5

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Re: Your luck with 15" radius curves?
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2010, 03:03:19 PM »
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So no Challengers

15" should be no problem for articulateds ...

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Your luck with 15" radius curves?
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2010, 03:13:17 PM »
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Ok, sounds like I'm good then.

Excellent!

And John, it only looks weird because there's so much of the layout that's NOT that tight.

davefoxx

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Re: Your luck with 15" radius curves?
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2010, 03:41:24 PM »
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Ed,

If you can go bigger without sacrificing mainline run, go for it.  In my opinion, though, if space is limited, you'll be fine operationally with a 15" minimum.  Depending on the layout height, you can usually get away with sharper curves visually, if you are viewing them from inside of the curve.  That actually improves the look of monster gaps between cars.  Then, if possible, save the larger space-hogging curves for where you view from outside of the curve.

My last door layout, the Virginia Central, which I'm sure you remember, had an average of 13"-14" radii curves with one spot at 12-3/4", if I remember correctly.  I ran all sorts of equipment (no long wheelbased steam, though) and had no problems.  I do body-mount most of my rolling stock and generally used Fox Valley wheels on Atlas Code 55 track.  I remember running a test with a body-mounted coupler on an MTL auto rack with a body-mounted coupler on an IM two-bay hopper.  No problem.

By the way, on my current layout (10" radius curves), I can get away with running Walthers' passenger cars (10-6 sleepers and coaches).  Looks ridiculous, but works.  Therefore, I can confidently state that I believe that you will be fine with a 15" minimum curve on your layout.

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MichaelWinicki

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Re: Your luck with 15" radius curves?
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2010, 05:09:14 PM »
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Heck, a 15" is equivalent to what in HO scale?  Like a 28"?  That's what I started out with back in the early 70's and then switched over to N, but still to this day I convert N scale curves to their HO equivalents.

But regardless, a 15" curve is very reasonable.  That's the minimum on my main, and I think it looks pretty good.

John

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Re: Your luck with 15" radius curves?
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2010, 05:19:11 PM »
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Ok, sounds like I'm good then.

Excellent!

And John, it only looks weird because there's so much of the layout that's NOT that tight.

LOL .. yea .. my standard curve is around 24 .. the only place it ever drops below 18 is that one  .. but I have successfully run my auto rack train through it with no problems ..

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Re: Your luck with 15" radius curves?
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2010, 06:17:17 PM »
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15" is the stated minimum on my main line (there is one that's tighter on the temporary Ohiopyle loop).  They work fine.  I've run Challengers, and recently the Bachmann 4-8-4 rounded the 15, with the only hang up being the tunnel portal on the Thomas sub.  My curves don't look funny though, because you don't see them...



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Dave V

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Re: Your luck with 15" radius curves?
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2010, 06:36:08 PM »
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So no Challengers

15" should be no problem for articulateds ...

Yep; I ran a Walthers 2-8-8-2 a few weeks ago and she ran like a champ on the Juniata Division's 15" radius curves.
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Philip H

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Re: Your luck with 15" radius curves?
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2010, 08:43:48 AM »
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I have 14 inch curves (or rather I have my first 14 inch curve) laid out, and while the longer cars do look . . . interesting going around them, if you lay your  track carefully you should be fine.
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mmyers

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Re: Your luck with 15" radius curves?
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2010, 04:27:18 PM »
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Ed,
 The 90 degree curve on my oNetrak wye module is 15 inches. No one has complained yet.

Martin

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Your luck with 15" radius curves?
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2010, 05:11:38 PM »
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Perfect!

I think I've got the data I need. Thanks guys.