3ft. Curve...is that the smallest curve I should make?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by vanda32547, Aug 15, 2004.

  1. vanda32547

    vanda32547 Member

    Hey guys,

    Just wanted to make sure that a 3' curve is the smallest circumference I should consider for the dogbone curves on my new layout? Wish I had more space to make them wider but unfortunately I do not.

    Thanks for you input,
  2. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Are you talking 18" radius Bob? If so what kind of equipment do you want to run on it? Desiel switchers and rolling stock 40 ft. and shorter should be fine, 6-axle desiels and most steam as well as rolling stock over 50 ft. could be a problem in the looks and/or performance depts.
  3. SAL Comet

    SAL Comet Member

    Ha Bob, Yes and no. 18" radius is the common min. However it depends on your rolling stock. Some long locos and cars won't make at around 18" radius curve, while short locos and cars will work just fine on 15" radius curves. I recently experimented with 15" radius loops and found that a 4 axle diesel would pull or push 14 short cars(40' or less) through the loop with no problems. If you are really tight on space, that's 6 big inches gained, but you are limited in the rolling stock you can use.
  4. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    As far as 18" curves 4 axle locomotives and up to 57' cars should work..Now,There are some 6 axle units that will operate on 18" curves such as (say)the SD9s and U33Cs.As far as steam a 2-8-0,2-8-2 and 4-6-2 should work rather well as will the 2-6-0s,2-6-2s and 4-6-0s of course..I don't think I would try any longer wheel base steamers then those though.
  5. vanda32547

    vanda32547 Member

    Thanks Guys...most of my rolling stock

    Thanks Guys,

    Most of my rolling stock and diesel engines consists of the shorter variety so I should be fine then. Guess I'll have to give up on running a passenger train on this line unless I buy some shorter passenger cars then the typical long silver ones I have in storage at present. I am really excited about building this new layout in such a small confined space. I think the attention to details will make it all worth while.

    The old Venture Railway layout is history :( and was dismantled last weekend. http://www.geocities.com/vanda32547/trains/train.html but there are still some pix remaining for anyone interested in looking. I'll post some new pix as soon as I make some progress on the new layout. :)

  6. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    How small and confined???
  7. vanda32547

    vanda32547 Member


    Maybe I will consider the shorter 15" radius instead of the normal 18" turn. This would be better as far as space is concerned. Most of my rolling stock is of the short variety and my engines are small diesels. I have no plans to run steam locomotives on this layout which would seem to require a minimum of an 18" radius.

    Thanks for your input.

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