HO radius recommendation

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by ls1gto, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. ls1gto

    ls1gto Member

    Very true on hiding the curves and I definately like the idea of a helix on each end. Only thing is I would be concerned about how many cars I could run on a tight helix without umm "operational issues". I could actually get close to a 27" outer radius and still have 2' of walk through space. But then again I still like the duck under idea.
    :D :cry: :curse: This is an example of my current cycle of emotions. Get a good idea, then get confused because of another idea then I just get frustrated trying to decide.:D . Its a great problem to have.:thumb:
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    One other solution to the duck under is to put it high enough that you can get under it while sitting on a rolling office chair. Makes it easy for visitors to get in/out and is back friendly too!

  3. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member


    You're right about duckunders. I tore a 7 1/2' X 24' apart because of that. For an 11X17 room, around the wall, this is what I would do. It gives 22" radius on the ends for continuous running, plus the possibility of a center peninsula for all kinds of sidings. The 30" along the wall allows you to reach everything.

    I had to think, which was a strain, so that is my 3 cents worth.


    Attached Files:

  4. ls1gto

    ls1gto Member

    O.K. This is just flat embarassing.:oops: . I have people drawing me a diagram of my layout and I've not posted one of my own. Thank you very much for your input. I'm so stinking torn on this deal. Everyone that I have asked at work which they would prefer, UNANIMOUSLY said the turnaround to turnaround instead of the around the wall. (I just wanted to get a non-enthusiast point of view). But the around the wall has its own set of advantages also.
    I prefer the T/A to T/A myself, I just have to get the design down to where I'm happy with it and unfortunately I'm a little short on tallent and imagination. I'd be embarassed to even show you guys an plan I came up with:D .
  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    In the end it is your layout, and you will have to live with it. The closest 99.9% of us will get to it is via The Gauge. So go with what you want, taking the advice with a grain of salt...!

    But, as Lynn says, don't underestimate the impact of a duckunder as you get (not so much) older, the width of aisles as you grow in different directions ;) and how many times things need to be accessed if you've built the shelf too deep.

    ;) :D

  6. ls1gto

    ls1gto Member

    Yeah, the whole "growing in different directions", definately see that as a valid point. :D The shelf being to deep is another consideration.
    Now I ask you, is the advice on THE-GAUGE only worth a grain of salt?:eek: :D . Just kidding, again I truly appreciate everyones input, it is very valuable in making educated decisions.
  7. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    "growing in different directions" -

    I meant growing in your hobby... you know - holding operating sessions that may require two people to pass in a narrow aisle... ;) ;) :rolleyes: :D

  8. Union Pacific

    Union Pacific Member

    lol masonjar
    the way it looks for me I willl be growing in all direction withy the hobby an well you know :p :p
    I personally would use swing bridge that swings out not up or down
    just my 2 cents "hey another idea":rolleyes:
  9. ls1gto

    ls1gto Member

    Umm, yeah, thats what I meant too.:thumb:
  10. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Regarding your concerns about operational dependability with long trains on a helix, I have a double tracked helix with radii of 23 7/8 and 26 1/8. Because I used a lower than standard clearance (1950's, no high cubes or such) my grade is about 2%. I often run trains which are long enough to use two deck lengths of track. It's interesting to see a caboose two levels below the locos. I have no derailment problems but careful track laying is a must. You can't have any rail joints which aren't perfectly aligned. Here's a link to my rail images page, where there is a photo of my helix.

  11. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Your layout description is much like mine with the opening at the end of the U. I've done my HO layout in a 12.5 foot wide, 20 ft long room and have needed to keep the radius of the return curves to a max of about 26" so I can accomodate a decent opening for folks to walk into the layout. I run mostly 40 and 50 ft. freight cars and four axel locos so its not a problem though.
  12. ls1gto

    ls1gto Member

    Thank you for your input! Beautiful layout!
  13. ls1gto

    ls1gto Member

    Man, I tell ya, if I just had another 1' 6", that would eliminate most of my issues. Of coarse you do still have the issue of a deep shelf to deal with as MJ pointed out. Thank you!

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