18" radius curve and long locomotives

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Scoobie, May 9, 2006.

  1. Scoobie

    Scoobie Member

    Hi, I want to buy a new loco, maybe a Dash 8-40 or a ac4400 ( twelve wheel drive ) I have not owned either, am I going to have a problem with my 18" radius curves?
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I think you will. I don't model that new, but even if those long diesels will make the 18 inch radius without coming off the track themselves, they will probably derail any car they are pulling through such a tight radius because of the overhang of the locomotive.
  3. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Yes and no. if there are any turnouts neart the end of the layout, the switchmotors will need to be spaced farther away, but that can be done. I also installed longer couplers on the AC4400CW.
  4. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Here are some pictures. The atlas snap switch has an extra plastic piecewith screws so you cna position the motor farther fromt he tracks. this may be necissary if there is a tight curve ( like an 18" curve) at the entrance. this is because the Snow plow will often get caught.

    The AC4400CW is also pushing it for what even looks realisitic.

    THE C44-9W is the same size as the AC4400CW.

    just take a look at these pictures and see if its worth while to you. a smaller locomotive like a GP38-2 or a B40-8 might be better.

    Attached Files:

  5. Scoobie

    Scoobie Member

    Thanks guys, Thanks for the pic. Green_elite_crab. They are really helpful. I think if I add longer couplers I'll be fine. My switches are far enough away and they're Bachman, so there is no motor in the way. I am however, going replace the bachmann track with Atlas shortly, so those pic are a huge help. Thanks again:thumb: :thumb: :wave: :wave:
  6. Scoobie

    Scoobie Member


    Are those 18" curves or 22"?
  7. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Scoobie,The coupler overhang looks like it would cause any following cars to derail..:(

    Can you replace your curves with larger curves made from flex track?? IMHO that would be better and you should be able to use those long wheel base engines without the overhang.. :thumb:
  8. Scoobie

    Scoobie Member

    I think I'm going to have to try it out and see. I ordered it this morning ( couldn't resist ) if I have to I can replace the 18" with 22". Don't really want to though, that will lessen the width of the river I was planning on putting in. What to do, what to do?:curse: :confused:
  9. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!


    it looks better on 22. persoanlly i'd take flex track and get the widest curve i could fit.
  10. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    brakie is right. it definitely will pull some cars over, even with a long shank coupler. it depends on where the coupler on the car is in relation to the trucks, but it seems to me that my tank cars get pulled off often, but some of my other cars stay on, even though they are more or less the same size.
  11. Scoobie

    Scoobie Member

    Would it be hard to or can I even use flex track with bachmann EZ track. I'd hate to have replace all the Bachmann track right now. Although I do plan on replacing it, I was hoping maybe next year. Can I use flex track with cork bedding to match the height of the EZ track?
  12. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Another trick you might use to operate those large diesels on 18 inch radius, if the locomotives will handle the tight radius curves is to mount a short shank coupler on a piece of styrene that ounts in the stock coupler pocket. Then buy a cheap toy freight car if you don't have one already with talgo trucks and make is a transition car. Body mount the coupler on one end to interface with he other cars that have body mounted couplers. Leave the other end a talgo coupler, I think the hinge on the loco coupler and the talgo will probably make it around the tight radius even though it will look kind of funky.
  13. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    y ou'll be able to hook up regular track with flextrack if you have enough support under the tracks. you could probably get some cork roadbed, and maybe something to lift it up a tiny bit. then it should work.
  14. stuart_canada

    stuart_canada Member

    take it from me, if you want to run the more recent models, go for the largest radius you can make. this is a case of bigger is better.
    i use to run 18s everywhere and found out they do not work well for the new fleet I run with.
    22 or bigger

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