Minimum distance track to edge of table

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by BigJim, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. BigJim

    BigJim Member

    I am planning at least a 30" radius curves with two full loops out into the room ("G" style). I am going to be running full size passenger cars so having a large radius is very important.

    If I use 4" of clearance from track center to edge this results in 68" wide loops. I would like to have it a little less but don't want operational or appearance problems. I am planning on having some sort of "fall-off" protection (plex or masonite) around the edge.

    For HO Scale what is the recommended and minimum distance from track center to an open edge of the layout? To a wall?

  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    At (local modular club) we use 2.5" from track centre to edge on conventional modules, but this is for straight track. On the corners, it always works out to be more becuase of module geometry, but in theory the same standard applies. However, it is an interface standard, not a "safety" or "clearance" standard.

    I would think that 4" is very generous, and you could easily cut that to 3" on the curves. You might want to do up a little mockup with a piece of flex track, your longest cars, and a piece of cardboard or something to represent the wall - especially if there is a wall on an inside corner.

  3. jcoop1

    jcoop1 Member

    I had a new BLI C-16 hit the floor because I only had about 2" of distance. This time I have at least 3" and much more at other parts.

    The short answer: as much as you can, an extra inch of clearance will not make that much difference in running distance or radius, but an extra inch may save your favorite loco from doing a swan dive to the concrete.
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I guess I should have mentioned that the HOTrak standards also call for a plexiglas front... :D

  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I would make the layout fit as well as possible. Sometimes you may have to have a track a bit too close to the front edge of the benchwork, in order to reach the track at the back of the same benchwork for rerailing. Just put in plexiglass anywhere the track comes too close to the front edge of the table. It doesn't have to be tall. At the modular club we use 18 inch tall plexi because it is intended to keep little hands from touching the trains. In a home layout a couple of inches above the track should be enough to keep the trains from taking the big dive to concrete.

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