Newbie Needs Help

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by LostinTime, Dec 19, 2006.

  1. LostinTime

    LostinTime New Member

    Dec 19, 2006
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    I am a newbee to the model railroad hobby. I live in a mobile home so am very limited to the space for a layout.
    I have decided on a shelf layout (see diagram below). I need help on some of the design factors. I already have the train set for the layout. It is a Klein modelbaun locomotive and two passenger cars. I plan on use circuitron's automatic
    reverser unit to make the unit traverse the layout.

    Here are my questions (please study diagrams below before answering):

    1)With regards to the left and right side of the layout what is the max radius curves that I can have?

    2)Which type switch should I use (wye, Curve turnout, turnout, or single crossover)and which size would be the best (4,5,6,8,10,etc)?
    That part of the track on that side of the layout will be parallel. I already have a dual track bridge built that I
    want to use and train equipment that I have.)

    3) Should all the track be level or is it an acceptable practice to slightly tilt the track possibly in one or more of the curves?

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    Attached Files:

  2. Dragon

    Dragon Member

    Nov 13, 2003
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    1) I have a similar shelf layout area, only mine is 15" wide, and I find 18" about max (more takes up too much room). you might get away with 22", but it will be the only curve there.

    2) I am most likely going to be using "snap" switches, which I think are close to a 4. I might go as large as a 6, but with all short-wheelbase logging engines, I don't really need anything "prototypical" and my space couldn't handle it anyway. As to curved, wye, etc., it will all depend on what your track plan looks like.

    3) Tilting (or "superelevating" the track in the curves is more often done on high speed mainline runs. Again...what is your trackplan going to represent? i do not plan on superelevating, but like I said above, I'm modelling HO scale steam logging, so I don't need to.

    Here's a rough sketch I made to figure out where my benchwork was going to go:

    (I'd paste it in, but it is a HUGE picture)

  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Oct 31, 2002
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    Welcome to The Gauge.

    After studying your plan, I assume that this is some sort of tourist line that climbs a mountain via a switchback? If so, I would flip your track plan and put the switchback on the left (longer) leg to allow more room for the turnout and train length.

    Some other answers:

    1) Technically, it looks as if you can fit a 5 foot radius curve on the left, and a 3 foot radius on the right - if the track was right against the outside. Realistically, you are looking at relatively broad curves, and 22-24" should not be a problem. Try drawing the benchwork to scale on some graph paper - it will give you a reasonable idea of what is possible.

    2) Since your train will be traversing the switchback turnout at slow speed, you could get away with a #4, but a bigger turnout would look better. A wye will let the tracks come together evenly/symetrically, but that may not be what you want. If you put the switchback on the left leg, I would use a #6 or #8 RH turnout.

    3) I would not bother with "superelevation" in the curves, since as Dragon pointed out above, that is limited to highspeed mainlines.

    Hope that helps.

  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Mar 25, 2002
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    A wye switch will let you save a bit of space, which could be important to you. You need to allow enough space on the switchback for all your train.