Laying out curves

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Tim H, Jul 31, 2006.

  1. Tim H

    Tim H New Member

    I am in the process of designing my first real HO layout. I am having trouble with the curves. How would you go about laying out a parallel curve, transitioning from 2" centers on the straight to 2.5" +/- center spacing in the curves. I am going to be using Atlas code 83, 22” or 24” curves. I know I can get proper spacing by using the same curve radius, but will the finished track look right? How parallel will the tracks look? If I use 24” on the outer curve and 22” in the inner curve, what is the technique to get the proper spacing in the curves. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.


  2. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Some options:

    1) start your inner curve 1/2" early and space 2.5" from the outer. If the curve is 180 degrees, you will need to add a 1" straight at the 90 degree point. This is how sectional track layouts do it.

    2) Use flex track for your outer curve and set the radius to 24.5". Alternatively, using flex track, make the inner radius 21" or 21.5". With flex track, you can also create curve transitions (called easements) which make a gradual entrance into a curve instead of the abrupt one that comes with sectional track.

    Easements will allow your longer equipment to enter the curves easier with less side pressure on the couplers. Considered worth doing by most MRs.

    my thoughts, your choices

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