Lionel Tubular Track Radii?

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by Lighthorseman, Jun 5, 2004.

  1. Lighthorseman

    Lighthorseman Active Member

    Here are questions for our resident Lionel experts.

    Is there some way to tell the given radius of a piece of Lionel curved tube-type track? I had heard someone mention that the number of ties indicates curve radius - can anyone help me out here?

    The reason I ask is that I am trying to plan a shelf-around-the-room idea, and I'd like to have a curve radius wide enough to run (eventually...) some of the closer-to-scale passenger equipment. (NOT the super short 027 stuff) These require either 042 or 054 radius curves; I'm not even too sure at this point, but I'd like to know how to find the correct pieces of track when I'm ready to go.

    Hope someone can help. :)
  2. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    No expert here but I think the indicator of Lionel track...O27, O72 and etc. reffers to the diameter of a circle of track not the radius. To establish the radius you take 1/2 of the diameter....Example: O72= 72X.5=36"radius.
  3. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member

    Vic is right on the money. Why O gauge tin plate trains go with diamiter rather than radius is beyond me.

  4. Lighthorseman

    Lighthorseman Active Member

    Got It!

    Thanks, guys! I have since figured out that I'll need 042 curves (a 21 inch radius) for the stuff I'd like to run. Now to find some. ;)
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Lionel used to measure the track to the outside of the ties!
    The also measured gauge to the middle of the rail (top of the tube).
    "Oh, don't ask why. No, don't ask why."
  6. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Why not consider using some Gargraves flex track and then you won't have to worry about finding particular radi/diameters. Although its a bit pricy its looks and overall ease of installation will probably be worth the price.
  7. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member

    K-Line sells tubular track in various diameters. IIRC they have O27, O42, O54 and O72 all in the O27 size rail, and also in the larger standard O like the O72 rail Lionel used. That stuff was tough, you could walk on it and never bend it, unlike the O27 rail. The Gargraves rail is a step up in the looks department as well as more flexible for layout planning. The new Atlas 3-rail flex is nicer yet and not that much different in price. Sure a lot more choices out there now than 30 years ago. At least we had the Gargraves then.

  8. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    They did it that way because that was the way Maerklin measured it when they definied the standards for #0, #1, #2, #3 gauge, etc. Misreading the Maerklin specs and measuring between the rails got them in trouble; that was where the oddball 3-rail "Standard Gauge" (there wasn't anything standard about it) came from.
  9. conductorGCM

    conductorGCM New Member

    Can anyone tell me where I can find "transition pins to go from Lionel 027 track to O Gauge track? I know they use to make these pins. A gentleman in an old post on here also stated he had seen these transition pins by Lionel. Please let me know if you can help.
    Also is anyone familiar with The "Pittsburg Shawmut & Northern Rail road? I have a box car by Lionel & I am trying to find out if it is a common car or an unusual car as I have been told is a possibility.
    Thank you.

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