Minimum curves for 85' streamline cars

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)

#21
Yes, I Believe those are the first run. They have the Empire Builder sleeve over the box, and it doesn't look like the hand rails are applied at the factory. That is the set I have. I might have a set of 32" sectional track I can throw down later this week and see if they'll go through.
The instruction sheet says the grab rails are in the box, but I found none in the two I checked (I now have the whole 1955 EB consist, except that I only have one each of the short dome, the 7-4-3-1 sleeper and the 6-5-2 sleeper. The prototype pulled 3 each of those --- 15 cars total. I figure 9 is enough to start). :)

If you set up that curve a photo of your EB rounding it would be appreciated!
 
#22
I do not have any experience with the walthers cars so i cannot comment on tracking reliability for a given radius. It might be useful to note that for aesthetic purposes you "need" bigger radii for curves viewed from the outside than ones viewed from the inside. Furthermore, if part(s) of the curve are hidden, you could consider varying radius, ie like a very large easement from 40" going to 32" (32" at the hidden part). For a future layout that i am planning i am considering 40" for curves viewed from the outside and 36" or less (even 30" at some points) for curves viewed from the inside.
I'll have several of those curves. Might be able to hide parts of some of them. Here's the (very preliminary, very incomplete) sketch:

layout1.jpg

The mainline passes through a wall into the adjoining room. That will be a tunnel, of course. ;-)
 
#23
After a boat load of work which required all truck mounted couplers to be removed and replaced with body mounted couplers, and changing out the plastic wheels some of which has flanges so large the wouldn't work on my code 70 track, they now finally operate almost as good as the Walthers cars.
I'm also building the 1929 version of the EB. Have a Brass Hybrid GN 4-8-4 (which is lovely). But those cars are harder to find. I have a few so far, a hodgepodge, most will need various modifications. Several Branchline Blueprint kits. All but one will need to be re-lettered.

What is the radius of the curve shown in your photo, with the NP NCL running on it?

Nice layout.
 
#24
Gary, from the layout plan you posted, i would try to have the 180 degree curve on the peninsula (lower part) with the widest possible radius (and the 90 degree curve on the right side of the peninsula) and worry less (cosmetically) about the radius on the 180 degree curve that is viewed from the inside (upper left corner). Ie try to have lets say 36"-40" on one and drop to 32" on the other. This is what i would aim for from a visual perspective, other more experienced members will chime in with respect to tracking reliability for the said cars.
 

montanan

Whiskey Merchant
#25
What is the radius of the curve shown in your photo, with the NP NCL running on it?

Nice layout.[/QUOTE]

I am guessing that the curve, which is coming out of the yard/station area is about 45 to 48 inches. That's why I like either handlaying, or in this case using flex track. You can set your radius to what you need to get a smooth curve to what ever location you need. There is a video of a short passenger train. The first cars is a ConCor 65 foot combine with an 85 foot coach behind it. You can see how much better a larger radius curve makes the cars look with a minimum of hangover on the curves.

[video=youtube;Y7zO8kdjGGA]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7zO8kdjGGA[/video]
 

Selector

Well-Known Member
#26
Properly eased 28" curves will suffice with these longer Walthers passenger cars. Their recommended 24" minimum radius is entirely unrealistic, as I found out ten years ago. If you are worrying that 32" curves might be on the tight side, stop worrying.
Instead, be concerned about any S-curves, uneven track, over-done super-elevation, and low rails on the outsides of curves that will probably cause locomotive derailments.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#27
Definitely be wary of over-done super elevation. On the club layout, at the end of one peninsular, where that particular track is also a reversing loop, the member built it with so much lean, any more speed than an absolute crawl guarantees the rolling stock will fall inwards.
 

Aerojet

Active Member
#29
The largest cars one can run safely on 18 inch curves are the 70 foot center beam, or the 65 foot stacker cars. I n the future i will post out some interesting pictures of both going around the curve and into a tunnel ...

The Aerojet...
 

KB02

Well-Known Member
#30
Just posted this on another thread, too, but it seems fitting to post it here.

18r curves:
[video=youtube;gflWprwgDfU]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gflWprwgDfU[/video]
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
#31
Double Curve Radius(s)

HO scale:
I'm looking at running long cars (autoracks, long passenger, etc) on 2 parallel mainline curves, (also two helix curves) of OuterRadius 31". What is the minimum curve I can use for the InnerRadius, while still having trains pass one another simultanously on these 2 tracks.

1) In other words what is the minimum distance I need to provide between the centerlines of the 2 tracks?

2) What are the two minimum and maximum radius circles I need to provide these 2 tracks such that their 'overhangs' don't interfere with outside/inside, scenery/structure obstacles, etc?
 
#32
My guess is 28¾ as a bare minimum, and 28½ as a safe radius. I used similar curves on a return loop on my last layout and had no trouble with full length passenger equipment with floor mounted standard shank Kadees. I don't see why a helix would be any different. A centerline of 2¼ to 2½ would be adequate.
 

migalyto

Well-Known Member
#33
Glad this topic came up. I’m going to use Unitrack to get up and running, and my plan was to use 28 3/4 for inside, and 31 1/8 for the outer. I hope that’s enough radius, and clearance. I have tested the 31 1/8 with the auto racks but not the 2 side by side.
 

fcwilt

Active Member
#34
When space is not an issue the larger radius curves will look better.

That said my minimum radius is 30" and I have no problems running any of Walthers "named" sets of cars.

Frederick
 
#35
Glad this topic came up. I’m going to use Unitrack to get up and running, and my plan was to use 28 3/4 for inside, and 31 1/8 for the outer. I hope that’s enough radius, and clearance. I have tested the 31 1/8 with the auto racks but not the 2 side by side.
Uni-track was precisely what I used on the last layout, and there is sufficient clearance for full length passenger cars, as well as sufficient turning radius. BTW, any #6 switch will work just fine with long equipment.
 

Selector

Well-Known Member
#37
I have learned not to rely on suggestions posted by even the most good-hearted and well-meaning of forum members when looking to see what I can get by with on my own track clearances. People I have come to admire on several forums urge people asking such questions to take a sheet of drywall, or plywood, and lay nested curves and tangents directly on them, or put together sectional track right on a clean floor, and actually watch what happens when you bring your tracks closer and closer to each other, and then try to run different locomotives and strings of cars past each other. It's often the best and surest way to establish, definitively, exactly and precisely how closely you can nest two curves and still avoid sideswiping.

I don't think any two of us can lay precise curves, and certainly unlikely to lay curves the same way between us. So, we should all find out what our limitations are, and then what limitations our skill and style imposes on the product we want to negotiate our track-work geometry. It's hard to argue with facts, especially when you're the one who generated them!
 
#38
As with Frederick i am also having 30" radius curves (with easements) and the Walthers 85' Proto cars have no issues. I just finished trackwork on the new layout and pulling / pushing a 13-car consist manually at relatively high speed showed 0 issues.

Track spacing for me is 3" (7.5cm) having 30" outer and 27" inner tracks. I was ok with 6.5 to 7cm as well (85' cars on both tracks) but i wanted to be safe than sorry.

PS. the 27" radius inner track is a freight-only passing siding.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

beiland

Well-Known Member
#39
Great responses thus far.

Now how much distance between the track centerline and a trackside post, pole, tunnel edge, etc, do I need to provide for the front 'overhang' of most of those plastic articulated locos? (I specify the modern plastic locos as they general possess articulation on both 'engines/trucks' compared with some brass ones that followed true prototypical design, and only articulate the front engine)
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#40
Great responses thus far.

Now how much distance between the track centerline and a trackside post, pole, tunnel edge, etc, do I need to provide for the front 'overhang' of most of those plastic articulated locos? (I specify the modern plastic locos as they general possess articulation on both 'engines/trucks' compared with some brass ones that followed true prototypical design, and only articulate the front engine)
Theoretically the double articulated should have less overhang because of that, the model makers intention for doing so.
 



ModelRailroadForums.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

Top