Regarding very tight circles...

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by tverskaya, May 12, 2007.

  1. tverskaya

    tverskaya Member

    ...tight as just under one foot in diameter.

    As far as I know most stuff that runs on rails will just laugh at you as soon as you think of having them run close to something like that. I tried to run a four axle, two bogie locomotive (my hideous old Piko) through such a curve in a test layout and it derailed, completely according to expectations. As there's clearly a minimum radius save major reconstructing of the chassis, I gave up trying to run that one. Undeterred by this setback, I decided to look for a simple, cheap two or three axle engine that could make this curve.

    Now as to my questions: Does any of you have recommendations for an engine to use for this. I'm looking for a simple tank engine or diesel locomotive. I'm not too picky, as I'll probably partially rebuild the body anyway. Are the small locos that come with starter sets the way to go?
  2. Papa Bear

    Papa Bear Member

    Hey Tverskaya. The Life Like SW 9/SW 1200 should make it. I think Bachmann makes an industrial switcher and a 0-4-0 that may work.

    I'm not familiar with your Piko locomotive, but I would try checking underneath to see if there's anything getting in the way of the trucks turning. The freer your trucks can turn, the tighter radius you can negotiate.

    Also, with curves that small, you have to be really careful with the track as it can easily get out of gauge. Check it with a track gauge. You may have to put more spikes, nails, etc in it to keep it in gauge.

    Hope that helps.
  3. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    If you can find small shunter diesel (Plymouth is one of them that I remember from a while ago) or perhaps one of the old Atlas 0-4-0 switchers they should take that small radius. I have even had a small 0-6-0 on a 12"circle. Didn't run to long as the engine finally died. I never did finish that layout though.
  4. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    My first guess would be a small switcher of some sort as well and some 40' boxcars.
  5. tverskaya

    tverskaya Member

    Thanks for your input.

    Already frantically bidding on 0-4-0s and 0-6-0s on a well known auction site. Been overbid thrice already, but I keep trying.

    Will it be sufficient if I just pin down the flex track to keep it put at the right gauge or are more rigorous methods required?
  6. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    I would definately get a gauge to gauge your gauge.
  7. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    Cannonball hit it. I believe that as the turns get tighter it is even more important to have the gauge correct simply because the locos and cars cannot be as forgiving as they can on wider curves.
  8. tverskaya

    tverskaya Member

    I guess there are two ways in which a car can get into trouble in a curve:

    a. two bogies with two (or more) axles each, and they just can't turn enough.

    solution would be to make more room under the car.

    b. more than two axles in line, where there just isn't enough room for the wheels.

    short 0-6-0 doesn't cause much trouble, but I'd imagine that 0-8-0 and more will only accept huge radiuses.

    Now if the gauge of the curve would be just a fraction larger...wouldn't it then be able to accomodate longer fixed axle cars?

    Oh, and I have a 0-6-0 tank loco and some very short two axle cars on their way.
  9. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Where did you find the short cars?
  10. tverskaya

    tverskaya Member

    They're by Graham Farish, British prototype (which will probably look awful as the loco I got is German prototype, but some paint and modifications should make them look good enough)

    Attached Files:

  11. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Oh, I thought maybe you had found some short passenger cars.
    Actually, that's what I'm looking for is early to mid steam era passenger cars.
  12. tverskaya

    tverskaya Member

    Tons of German prototype short passenger coaches. Two and three axle stuff. But...they're German prototype.
  13. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    I'm not even finding those. LOL

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