new needs a little help

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by bloyseboy, Jul 31, 2006.

  1. bloyseboy

    bloyseboy New Member

    hey guys just got a ho set a few weeks ago and i am sketing out a layout. i would like o know a few measurement to get me going. for instance. is 18" the standard radius for turns?
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Welcome to The Gauge!

    18" radius turns are considered the usual minimum in HO, although sectional track is available in 15" too. 18" and 22" radius sectional track allows for a double mainline loop to be made on a 4x6 or 4x8 tabletop.

    Some newer models of big diesels and big steam engines require 22" or 24" curves to operate. With flex track, you have to be careful how you lay it, but any radius is possible from about 10-12" and up!

    You've come to the right place - keep the questions coming!

  3. bloyseboy

    bloyseboy New Member

    thanks a lot.
    yeah i'm pretty green. but i've been obsessed with model trins since i was a kid and never had the room. now i just set up a new work shop and i have a big empty basement. i'm starting with a 4x8 layout. any layout sugestions or links you know of that will show a guy where to start. i don't want to end up with something i don't like or even worse wont work well.
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    You are here! ;) :D

    The Gauge is a great place to start (and to stay, actually). We have lots of friendly, knowledgeable members who are willing to share info and offer advice. We have The Academy (link in my sig) for tutorials and "how-to's". We alos have a Search function that can help turn up useful information.

    The track planning forum might help you decide if you really want a 4x8 or something else. There is a link to a "Given's and Druthers" form in my signature too that asks you questions that will help focus what you want to do with your layout - first or 10th!

    Look around, and start asking questions - no question is a silly question.

  5. bloyseboy

    bloyseboy New Member

    thanks man
  6. Iron Horse

    Iron Horse Member

    Try and read books and magazines if you can. They will give you some ideas. Try Magazines : Model Railroader, Railroad Model Crafstman. Try books from Kalmbach Publishing (avail. @ hobby shops or local library). Try websites, (layout diagrams) and Welcome :)
  7. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Hi bloyseboy,:wave:
    IronHorse has excellent advice! read all you can. If you are trying to sketch a layout,
    make sure you have a turnout or two (or templates) to get your dimensions right.
    Atlas has track planning software free to downoad, if you're so inclined.
    There are lots of track plans available for getting ideas. Best of Luck!:thumb:
  8. fsm1000

    fsm1000 Member

    You might wanna pop over to my website, it is all free by the way so no worries there.
    Anyhow, I am trying to do a beginners thing for,,, well, beginners. I hope it will help you get started. Enjoy:)
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    How much of that big empty basement is available for model railroading? I ask because the ubiquitous 4x8 isn't the most satisfying layout to start with. If you start with 2x4 shelf sections around the walls, you can scenic one section at a time and build a more free flowing layout that will be more satisfying to operate. A 4x8 is pretty much restricted to an oval with a couple of sidings, and you will probably tire of watching the train run in circles after a short time. The other problem with starting with a 4x8 is that you can't put it against a wall because you won't be able to access the back of the layout if a train derails back there. If you allow 24 inches clearance between the layout and all walls, a 4x8 takes up a minimum of 8x12 feet!
  10. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    This is a common misconception. There is no standard radius in any scale. It varies with equipment. 18" allows cars up to about 60 scale feet, 4-axle diesels and short 6-axle ones (up to the SD35), and steam engines up to 2-8-2s and 4-6-2s. Anything larger may not stay coupled and probably will look clumsy.
  11. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    :wave: welcome to the gauge :wave: 18" is kinda the standard for most beginer train sets , but go with the largest rad. you can, looks better and trains run better.

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