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Hello Smokestack!

It depends on how long your engines and cars are.

Longer cars (unless they are articulated ) will require longer turn radiuses.

One of the members on this list makes some beautiful chopped down box cars etc that are very short so they would be able to negotiate some pretty small curves.

Hopefully someone else will have more info for you

Aaron
 

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If that is the Bachmann one I think it is the minimum is 18r. I think >22r is recommended. That being said, just because it will run on 18r does not mean that it will go full speed on 18r. For example I have an Athearn DD-40 that will run on 18r turns but I cannot go over 40% throttle or the front truck will derail. On 22r it can go all out all day.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If that is the Bachmann one I think it is the minimum is 18r. I think >22r is recommended. That being said, just because it will run on 18r does not mean that it will go full speed on 18r. For example I have an Athearn DD-40 that will run on 18r turns but I cannot go over 40% throttle or the front truck will derail. On 22r it can go all out all day.
So 22" I'm assuming is for 1x90 degree bend. So for a 180 I'm looking at 44"?
 

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Yup ... HO track is measured in RADIUS (rather than diameter), reference to the outside rail. So 44" diameter, measure at outer rail.

TJ
 

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the engine might be rated at 18 R and run fine but I've found that it will flip off cars, especially if the couplers have a stiff spring.

I had a 12 wheel diesel that made it around 18s but couldn't pull anything for very long before a derail. sold it for the same model in 8 wheel
 

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So 22" I'm assuming is for 1x90 degree bend. So for a 180 I'm looking at 44"?
When you measure the track placement on you layout do not only measure the diameter or he turns, remember to account for the overhang of the cars and locos. Some locos have noses that stick out over the outer rail while their mid section is way ove the inner (my DD-40 on 18 r is an example of this.) If anything is to close to the side of the track it will get hit. This is also true with the rolling stock. The distance between parallel tracks needs to be greater in turns than in straights.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
When you measure the track placement on you layout do not only measure the diameter or he turns, remember to account for the overhang of the cars and locos. Some locos have noses that stick out over the outer rail while their mid section is way ove the inner (my DD-40 on 18 r is an example of this.) If anything is to close to the side of the track it will get hit. This is also true with the rolling stock. The distance between parallel tracks needs to be greater in turns than in straights.
Nice tip:thumbsup: Is there a standard distance between parallel tracks?
 

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Nice tip:thumbsup: Is there a standard distance between parallel tracks?
I do not know what the standard is. I took the two largest items I had and ran them by each other in the worst possible situations. Then added a half inch. The additional space was for the occasional derailment, do not want to derail and hit an oncoming train.
 

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2 inches center to center. i have kept mine to a minimum of 20 inches R and still i don't run the 12 wheel passenger cars.

With 18 in it helps to have a transition
 

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Hey Smokestack...Yea, I would be shooting for the biggest radius you can have. I would certainly try for the 22" radius if you can swing it. Like tkruger said, it may go through an 18" radius, but it may not necessarily be pretty. There is nothing worse than a curve that is too tight for certain loco's. Many loco's have minimum radius recommendations, but in my opinion, ALL TRAINS do better on bigger, broader curves. I would even add on to a 4 X 8 sheet of plywood if I had to in order to get the radius to be what I want. Good luck!

Chad
 

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Guys allways use largest radius turns you can for space you have avaible. Short wheelbase engines & cars look real good on big radius turns & you can run the bigger engines &cars with out them looking stupid. Exampel 4 by 8 about as big as you can go is 22 inch radius. If you have a spare room say 9 by 12 . Go around the walls type layout bacman E/Z track gray roadbed has radius at 26&28 inch. Also 33.5 & 35.5 inch. And ofcourse there is allways flex track. Many good books out there atlas & bachman EZ track layouts come to mind first, atlas books are called model railroads YOU can build. And there are others. BTW that 484 you have will take 22 inch radius. Sorry about being long winded Hope that helps..
 
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