Possible Layout for 4' x 1'

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by mullinyu, Sep 14, 2005.

  1. mullinyu

    mullinyu New Member


    i'm a beginner and want to build my first SIMPLE one with the following features:

    1. a complete cycle of rail
    2. village
    3. mountain with tunnel
    4. bridge

    is it possible to do a limited size that at most 4' x 1'? therefore, i'm thinking of using Z scale. i want to use Kato for the track and rail stuff.

    any comments?
  2. theBear

    theBear Member


    I haven't found any reference on Kato's US site to z scale at all.

    MicroTrains and Marklin have z scale set track, however I couldn't find a radius small enough to fit in the 12" requirement. There is z scale flextrack that could be used.

    Take a look near the bottom of this page for an idea or two:


    4 x 1 can be done in z scale you might want to take some time and look over some small track plans to get a feel for what can be done.

    I'm doing my work in n scale and the smallest set track radius I've got is 9.75" which makes a circle come in at 19.5" with some safety margin I'd call it 21".

    I've seen flextrack take it down to 7.5" so with a safety margin you get 18" for a circle of track. Below that is possible provided the loco is a small one.

    Here is a set of n scale plans to give you an idea:


    The z scale set track comes in with a radius of about 7.7" if I used the correct conversion factor.
  3. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Actually, doesn't Marklin offer a radius of about 5-1/2"? That would be cutting it a bit close, so flextrack would be preferable. What's limiting your space to 12" wide? Where is the layout going to be?

    Kato doesn't offer any Z. (Ah, if only...)

    Carl Arendt's site, carendt.us, shows lots of 4-square-foot or smaller layouts. Most are for HO, OO, or larger, but pretty much all either have no continuous running or are narrow gauge. HO trolleys or narrow guage industrial lines will handle 6" curves (and usually do on his site); such plans can be converted to Z in about the same space.
  4. The Rock

    The Rock New Member

    With that kind of space, Z scale is the way to go. MTL is putting out a lot of new stuff, most recently a GP-35 and new track with roadbed very similar to the Kato Unitrack.

    Here's a good site for further info: www.ztrack.com

  5. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    MTL's new track doesn't yet have any turnouts, and won't until 2006. But, if you're only going to start building in a few months, maybe its a good choice. I don't really know.

    Correction: Marklin's smallest sectional radius is 5-3/4". Use flextrack, but I really suggest you look at finding a larger space if you want continuous running. Maybe a temporary layout to set up on a table?
  6. Fort Kent Dad

    Fort Kent Dad New Member

    Finding a track that is only 5" R is one step, finding a locomotive that can run on a curve that tight is another. Maybe a trolley. I'd want to make a one foot circle and take to to a hobby shop and see if anything can go that tight.

    Maybe a switching layout that is not a complete circle would be a far better idea.
  7. Dominique

    Dominique New Member

    Personally, I don't recommand such a tight radius, as virtually nothing runs on it, except some small Marklin stuff, ie 0-6-0 switcher and 2-axle cars....If you want to operate american prototype the minimum is having Marklin (or Micro-Trains) R195mm (7 inches or so) radius for an F7 and 40' boxcars, or R225mm (AZL 6-axle engines).

    Myself as I have limited space and as I definitively prefer broad curve radii, I chose to start with a switching layout (with trains running back and forth), allowing for R495mm minimum radius on a 137cm x 27cm diorama.


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