Creating 17.5" Curves the Wrong Way

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by RobertInOntario, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    When I first started working on my 4x6' layout a few years ago, I made a few mistakes because I was just learning the basics of layout design and because I was rushing. At least these are my excuses! :mrgreen:

    One such mistake was with the track in the layout's inner loop. FYI, my 4x6' layout consists of an outer loop near the edge of the board and a tight inner loop. The radius of the curves on the inner loop is less than 18" (I'm guessing 17.5"). On the left-hand side of the layout I eventually created this tight radius with a piece of flex track. But on the right-hand side I took a few 18" pieces of track and filed the inner piece of track down on each so that (once these pieces were joined) this created the tight curve that I needed! :eek:

    I realize now that this was a bad move but it has actually worked when the trains travel in a clockwise direction -- but when I run them counter-clockwise, I often get derailments! So I'm planning to rip up these pieces of track this week and replace them with a piece of flex track.

    I do this with some trepidation though, because it can take ages to achieve the correct shape for the curve.

    Just wondering if anyone has ever done anything similar and if you might have any advice. I'm a little puzzled as to why I don't get derailments in one direction, but often do in the other. :confused:

    Thanks in advance.

  2. train1

    train1 Member

    I'm going to guess that the reason for the derailments is that the curve is not 'fluid' in both directions. The radius may ease around in one section and suddenly "tighten up" in the second section or vice versa. Have you or are you able to look at the entire curve from a higher vantage point; ie: ladder looking from above. This might help your perspective.
    You didn't mention if you were going to redo it all in flex track this time around. If you do - replace the entire curve if you can and pre- solder two pieces of flextrack.
  3. phoneguy

    phoneguy member

    I built a small layout to test decoder installs. It's 4x6 with two loops and a #6 crossover on one side. The inside loop is 18". I have some 6 axle diesels that I ran on the 18" loop; they would go one way but not the other. What I found was the trucks would bind going one way; it wouldn't turn as tight a radius. I know I'm not going to be running these engines on radius less than 26" on my layout so I didn't try to correct this.

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