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I have my layout planned to a point. I have the size of my table figured out and will start building it soon. I have a "L" shaped setup in a spare room in the basement. The longest leg of the L is 11'-5" and the shortest is 10'-1" the depth from front to back 4'. I have my layout drawn to scale all except the track. I free handed that in just to get the basic track setup down. I will have a loop that runs the outside of the L with a second inside that with some variation with the elevation on the outside. I have a yard a the "elbow" of the L shape and plan on a town on one end and a farm scene on the other - eventually. I'm going to use the Atlas 83 Flex Track and I'm going DCC. I am completely clueless when it comes to the radius. I was told by some very reputable guys that I want at least a min. of a 22" radius - possibly 24" so I can utilize longer cars and engines if I desire. So where can I get some templates for those radius so I can visualize this setup? Also, I'm in the dark about turnouts and what the numbers mean. I plan on some turnouts in the corners for parking cars and for the yard. How are the track radius measured - from the center of the track the outside rail or the inside rail??? Anyway, if I can find some templates of the radius and turnouts, I think I can piece it together and have an accurate idea of how much track I'll need and all the switching and whatnot. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Upon further review...

I actually drew my table top on the floor. I think I'll be increasing the dept from 4 feet to 4.5 feet (54"). The corner will be hard to reach, but that's where I will put my yard and build up a mountain scene in the corner that has a tunnel thu it and extends along the longest wall. I've also shortened up the longest wall from 11-5 to 11 feet even. I drew the radius for the outside and inside loops. The outter radius is 24" and inside 22". Only thing is, will that provide enough clearance for the outside train/cars to clear the inside if they are passing? I've seen some layouts in a book I bought and bunch of photos online and it looks like the cork roadbeds are side byside, so can I assume that's okay? Thanks for any input you have in advance.
 

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4020deere - I wish I could help you. You are about 4-6 months
ahead of me. I can't wait to get to building a real track.
Don't be shy about sharing what you find out, 'cause theres
people like me who will need that info. The clearence for
two turns next too each other is a good question. good luck!
 

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Yard Master & Research
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The best way to measure out a 22 inch curve radius is to have a 22 inch string between a pencil and a tac or nail.If you need a template do it on a poster board.
Take a look at the picture gallery , members layout's, Smokey has the "Future of Cardboard"
 

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Schizophrenic Engineer
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2 tracks, 2 close

I've seen some layouts in a book I bought and bunch of photos online and it looks like the cork roadbeds are side byside, so can I assume that's okay? Thanks for any input you have in advance.
Hi, nice to see some elase from NC.
I did not think of that years ago when I laid two track side by side. The straight section worked great. The corners were an other story. As long as the trains where going in the same direction in worked.
Passing trains with long cars or long engines was, well lets just call in a TRAIN WRECK! I had to move in inside track.
This is after the track was moved. you can see what would happen if there was no seporation.

Hope this helps. John
 

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believe it or not what I did when I built my big layout is to take actual track and make photo copies (3 to a sheet) of it and cut it out. I then layed out various plans and came up with just what I wanted. It worked. Now on my latest layout, a Modular one I have been using some software called Anyrail that was recommended on this forum by one of the members. It is pretty good and has a great variety of track from many vendors like Shinora, Peco, and of course Atlas. You can download a trial version that is limited to 50 pcs of track. But it is enough to see what it can do. Here is the website
http://www.anyrail.com As I say I am using it with pretty good results.
 

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I recommend using NMRA Standards, clearances are critical. The standards are available on their website. Clearances on corners is a huge problem, especially with longer engines and cars(like passenger cars) Also, turning radii. Another common mistake is made there. Long cars just won't turn in short radii. Just plan carefully and be flexible enough to make the need alterations to the original plan.
 

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I really love the passenger trains but it takes a lot of room for them. I like some of the older 1800 passenger cars and personal private cars because they can be shorter and still look good. I think it would be neat to have a whole collection of the private cars like the old railroad barons used. Maybe a thought for a future project.
 
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