Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by plbab, Mar 25, 2002.

  1. plbab

    plbab Member

    Ok frustration over for now . What is recomended radius on N scale curves? thinking of a dogbone layout 3 ft on each end and 2 ft or 18 inches in middle or could be 4 ft ends with 2 ft middle. any suggestions?
  2. nmtexman

    nmtexman Member

    Hi again, plbab;

    Radius is one of the most important things in N-Scale. The larger the radius, the smoother the ride.

    I run about 20" on my turnarounds. This is mainly for the passenger trains I like to run with their 85' cars. Also my Bachmann 4-8-4 does better on larger radius curves.

    How well a train goes around a curve is also related to speed. I very slow train, as in a switcher, can take a tighter curve, say 9½". This means that you are really going to have to go with flex track, since the largest pre-formed curve Atlas produces is an 11". They also produce a 19" radius track, but it is hard to find, at least in my area.

    Just keep in mind what you plan on doing with the layout and remember, even though you have 4' end, you'll have to leave an inch or two on the outside, thus giving you only 46" or 44". Also keep in mind that you will be bending over this layout, and it is impractical to have too large an area because you can only reach in 18" or so, usually.

    If you are building a walk-around layout, this will not be a problem.
  3. YakkoWarner

    YakkoWarner Member

    In N guage, I have found that 15" radii look very nice with normal freight. If you want to run long passenger trains I recomend at least 17" radius. My layout has a minimum radius of 13"but most of it is hidden, and the freights look O.K. there anyway.

    Speaking of which, my handbuilt 13"r re-railer isn't working very well and I have been unable to locate one, anyone know of a manufacturer of rerailers in any radius other than 9.75" or 11"?
  4. plbab

    plbab Member

    Right now i am thinking of having a walk around , but that could change.
  5. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Are you going to be using flex-track, or sectional?

    I've run N scale passenger trains on 15" curves, & I didn't have any problems with operation, pr appearance. I don't think I'd go any smaller than that, though, unless you're just running short freight equipment.
  6. RI541

    RI541 Member

    I try to stay away from the 9.75 radius it just doesn't look good.I only use it when I need to get into a tight spot or a quick curve.

    I try not to go under an 11 but sometimes you need to.

    Remember wider is better.

  7. WM-N-fan

    WM-N-fan Member


    I have a three track line with 19" radius on track 1, 17 on track 2, and 15 on track 3. Track 1 is for coal drags and long mxed frieght powered by Sd-80's and C44-9w's. Track 2 is for both passenger and WM-CS frieght. Track 3 is for short CSX 2-4 car scrap metal trains, and occasionally AMTRAK.

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