We all know the saying "there's a prototype for everything", and here's some proof that it's not just our model railways that have sharp turns.
I took this on my commute home today from the first of a 6 car suburban EMU. This is the sharpest railway curve in Melbourne, and funnily enough is followed shortly afterwards by a not-so-sharp curve in the opposite direction (not shown here). Why? Couldn't it have just been a gentle S-curve instead? Well, *puts on history-teaching hat* this tight curve used to form part of a triangular junction where another steam-era railway line splintered off in another direction. Said line has long since been removed, but a few remnants remain such as rails left in the asphault at old crossing sites (which must confuse the hell out of non-railbuffs/locals ). Here's a Google Earth view of the curve-
At some point it was electrified, and circled at the top are some remaining gantries from the northern leg of the junction. Circled at the bottom is a gantry that has its left leg much further away from the tracks than the other gantries, assumedly because this is where the southern leg split off from the main.
As you can see from the video, the curve isn't exactly the smoothest section of track in the world. The intermittent jumps of the camera are due to the tiny bits of straight section required at the rail joins (look carefully and you can see them on the parallel track). Yes, making smooth mid-corner joins is apparently difficult in the prototype as well!