OK, so maybe eyeballing it was not the best thing....

  • Okay, if you are an intermediate or a pro, you can move on. There's nothing here to see. LOL If you are a newbie, boy have I got some info that may save you some trouble don the line.Though I don't have the layout wired yet I was able to run a small consist on the outer and inner loops by using my power supply and alligator clips. As I ran my different engines and found, much to my pleasure, that I could run my SD40-2 on the outer loop with my longest cars, I thought that I had it made. I thought, okay, if my SD40 can run the outer loop, how about the inner loop with all the switching and industries? So I gave it a try only to find that it derailed everytime at the two turns going into the straightaway. So then I tried my U30B and F7 with no problems. No problems, that is, until I tried to run the 50 footers and longer cars with the same results as my SD40. How could this have happened? Well, I eyeballed it! Yeah, you heard me right. I pinned some cork down, looked it over, pinned some track down, looked it over again, and then took some cars (yeah, you're right, short cars) and tried them only to have them work. Ouila! Right? WRONG! I know, I know.........I see you Intermediates and Pros out there shaking your heads and saying "Kids! What you going to do with them?" Well, this blog is for those of you who are just starting out and are like me. Some of you may be hardheaded like me and think you can wing it and maybe you can and maybe you can't. Take a old newbie's advice (can't call myself an intermediate yet) and try as much as possible to try to figure out the radius needed before hand. Or, barring that, at least use the longest car you have if you are going to eyeball it and make sure that everything will make it through the whole layout. Also, use more than one car when you do. I also found out that while one car will make it through some areas alone, if you go and add more cars to it, they may rub against each other if the curve is too sharp. That way, you will have less headaches later on. I guess while I am at it and tearing up track I may as well get two curved turnouts to give myself some more room in my siding and industrial area. Shoot, while I am at it I may as well redo the industrial area to have more switching and action. Hmmmmm, why do I feel a major redo of my whole inner loop coming on? Oh well, at least the layout is not wired yet or the buildings or scenery down yet. It's looks like it's going to be an interesting winter in the "Shack".

  • Rick Phipps
    Rick Phipps Ian, your description was more understandable than the site's description of how to go about checking the radius. Thanks for the suggestion. How are things over in merry 'ol England?
    December 12, 2011
  • Andrew Kiely
    Andrew Kiely Oh my... my oh my... One easy way out of this is to invest in some Atlas 24" sectional curves. (Assuming you are using code 83 track). They are big enough to run just about everything and best of all there is no measuring. Perhaps 22s for the insi...  more
    December 15, 2011 - 1 likes this
  • Andrew Kiely
    Andrew Kiely When using curved switches it would BEHOOVE you to keep your curve radii consistent. You really don't want an 18" radius switch in the middle of your beautiful 24" radius curve. Ruins the whole thing.
    December 15, 2011
  • John  Warren
    John Warren As per what Iam stated, I also back my longest train into the curves, if there is a track problem, usully magnyfies it.
    January 28, 2012 - 1 likes this