Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by Lighthorseman, Jun 5, 2004.

1. ### LighthorsemanActive Member

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Here are questions for our resident Lionel experts.

Is there some way to tell the given radius of a piece of Lionel curved tube-type track? I had heard someone mention that the number of ties indicates curve radius - can anyone help me out here?

The reason I ask is that I am trying to plan a shelf-around-the-room idea, and I'd like to have a curve radius wide enough to run (eventually...) some of the closer-to-scale passenger equipment. (NOT the super short 027 stuff) These require either 042 or 054 radius curves; I'm not even too sure at this point, but I'd like to know how to find the correct pieces of track when I'm ready to go.

Hope someone can help.
2. ### VicActive Member

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No expert here but I think the indicator of Lionel track...O27, O72 and etc. reffers to the diameter of a circle of track not the radius. To establish the radius you take 1/2 of the diameter....Example: O72= 72X.5=36"radius.
3. ### Greg ElemsMember

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Vic is right on the money. Why O gauge tin plate trains go with diamiter rather than radius is beyond me.

Greg
4. ### LighthorsemanActive Member

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Got It!

Thanks, guys! I have since figured out that I'll need 042 curves (a 21 inch radius) for the stuff I'd like to run. Now to find some.
5. ### 60103Pooh Bah

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Steve:
Lionel used to measure the track to the outside of the ties!
The also measured gauge to the middle of the rail (top of the tube).
6. ### VicActive Member

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Why not consider using some Gargraves flex track and then you won't have to worry about finding particular radi/diameters. Although its a bit pricy its looks and overall ease of installation will probably be worth the price.
7. ### Greg ElemsMember

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K-Line sells tubular track in various diameters. IIRC they have O27, O42, O54 and O72 all in the O27 size rail, and also in the larger standard O like the O72 rail Lionel used. That stuff was tough, you could walk on it and never bend it, unlike the O27 rail. The Gargraves rail is a step up in the looks department as well as more flexible for layout planning. The new Atlas 3-rail flex is nicer yet and not that much different in price. Sure a lot more choices out there now than 30 years ago. At least we had the Gargraves then.

Greg

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