Author Topic: Limits of Kato 150mm R curves and compact turnouts?  (Read 770 times)

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Hedron

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Limits of Kato 150mm R curves and compact turnouts?
« on: April 04, 2019, 01:31:53 PM »
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Got a little ahead of myself trying to maximize a set of T-trak modules and ordered some Kato compact turnouts. Now I'm second guessing. Without opening the packages before initiating a return, I'd like some others' experience with these. What's the biggest loco and rolling stock they'll take? Just switchers? How about a GP diesel? Will they accept 40' or 50' rolling stock reliably?

PGE_Modeller

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Re: Limits of Kato 150mm R curves and compact turnouts?
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2019, 04:40:07 PM »
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The 150 mm (6") radius curves scale out to 80' radius.  While not necessarily applicable to a model, the 1953 Locomotive Cyclopedia lists the minimum radius of a GE 44 Tonner as 125' (with a train).  For a GE 70 Tonner, the minimum radius for the locomotive itself is given as 75'.  A GM SW-1 is listed as having a minimum radius of 100' and the GP-7 specs show 39 degrees (150' radius) as the minimum curvature.  The only one specified as "with a train" is the 44 Tonner  A model may be able to operate on tighter curves.  I would expect truck-mounted couplers to be required for operation on curves as tight as 6" and truck swing will be the factor limiting maximum length of cars.
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randgust

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Re: Limits of Kato 150mm R curves and compact turnouts?
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2019, 08:11:10 PM »
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My 18x36 portable Hickory Valley module features Trix R1 (7 1/2") turnouts and some 8" radius curves.   On that, I manage to run an Atlas shay, 2-6-0, Rapido 0-6-0 converted to a 2-6-0, 40' cars max with truck mounts.  Rather reliable after decades of tweaking.  But, I'd never go tighter than 9 3/4 again if I can help it, it's just too hard to modify so much equipment to get away with it.   Be prepared to have to tweak just about everything, and also to realize that basically nothing wants to run slow speed when it's bound up on a curve that tight and on a turnout.

I'm doing Nn3 with Rokuhan 120mm curves and my Climax A, 25' log cars, 25' flats, and a 34' boxcar and that's pushing it right to the ragged edge too, but it actually works. 

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Limits of Kato 150mm R curves and compact turnouts?
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2019, 12:40:26 PM »
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Do you have a piece of flex track handy? Try bending it down to that radius and giving it a shot.

I have a feeling it'll work. It might look terrible, but I bet you'll be surprised. I don't think Kato would make something that ONLY their handful of trolley models can run through.

DKS

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Re: Limits of Kato 150mm R curves and compact turnouts?
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2019, 02:20:19 PM »
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http://davidksmith.com/modeling/ttco-1.htm

GE 70 tonner makes it around the inner curves (which are 6") no problem. Turnouts aren't compact, but should handle them too. Ask @VonRyan to try a GP on it.
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CRL

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Re: Limits of Kato 150mm R curves and compact turnouts?
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2019, 09:23:36 PM »
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http://davidksmith.com/modeling/ttco-1.htm

GE 70 tonner makes it around the inner curves (which are 6") no problem. Turnouts aren't compact, but should handle them too. Ask @VonRyan to try a GP on it.
Yeah, but can he parallel park it?  :D

Hedron

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Re: Limits of Kato 150mm R curves and compact turnouts?
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2019, 10:39:59 PM »
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Thanks for the input. My order arrived and this weekend I tried it out for myself using one compact turnout. F7 and GP-40 handled it pretty well technically. A 2-8-0 steamer did not like it. Appearance-wise, the GP-40's trucks were swung hard and some rail peeks out from beneath the body. The F7 looked more comfortable. My 40' stock traveled fine and looked OK. I think it works well enough, technically and visually, for a short siding angled up into a single T-Trak module, with diesel locos or small steam and 50' or shorter cars. Big steam and stock not so much.