I have HO set and want to change to On30. My track is two separate ovals with 15" and 18" radius. Is there enough room in-between the two tracks that engines and cars on each track do not hit one another?
If someone else has this question as I got no replies.
I found some On30 car sizes. It would be very close, less than 1/2". Some engines are a little wider than cars. And, such close clearance would look unnatural. So, I add 6" straight track in center of the 18" oval to create extra clearance.
In HO scale the standard spacing of parallel tracks is usually 2". And, on curves you will need it to be wider. With 15" and 18" radius probably at least 2.5" or more. With On30 you'll want 3" track centers, and wider on curves. Remember you will want to be able to get your fingers in there to rerail cars. Also it depends on what type/size of equipment you plan on running.
With the limited space you have, forget about looks.. If you can get your fingers between all rolling equipment on the curves, that's the ruling factor in your case.. large layouts can figure it scenically.. Simply install the wider track first, perhaps with push pins for now, making sure it comes no closer to the edges than 2" (maybe 1.5"). Again, with push pins, eyeball the inside curve (No reference to baseball) and pin it..Take your longest cars/locos and roll them side by side thru the curve/s. If a car's corner hits another's corner, just pull out the push pins and move this curve that much more away..When you've solved it, take pencil and run it alongside the inside of this curve's ties and the in or outside of the wider curve's ties..You can now install them permanently your way...One thing else: Since it's narrow gauge you don't need shouldered ballast on 97% of the trackage..You can install the track, sprinkle the ballast in and around the ties and add the white glue...Narrow gauge can look very funky and a little roly poly ......