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Discussion Starter #1
My searches have not yielded me anything solid.

I would like some advide on how far apart to space tracks... in an HO scale layout. I am planning on having mains that are fairly close together, with a siding to allow trains to pass. As well as crossovers. I have seen all these things in pics, and videos, but can't nail down how far apart to lay the track.

Right now, I am planning my layout in AutoCAD, and that's the medium that I work in every day.

Using search, I found some recommendations on setting tracks 2" apart. Is that 2" on center... or 2" between nearest rails? or what? I know... I am an engineer, and it should probably be obvious to me... but it's not.

Thanks in advance!

Jabba
 

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Discussion Starter #3
For now... I have settled on 2.5" on center. I think that's going to be enough. It is a little more than that thru the curves.... I am laying out three curves inside one another with 18", 20" and 22" radiuses. That yields like... 2-11/16" thru the turns. I read somewhere that someone thought that 2-1/4" spacing in the curves would be conservative.

And I'll test it in a small scale prior to actually building it semi-permanently.

Jabba
 

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Discussion Starter #5
OK... I saw that thread a while ago... and that's a lot of the reason why I decided that I could go as tight as 18"r. But is this for real? a 46r turn? That would make a 180 degree turn around 92" across? Seriously? it takes a 8' sheet of plywood, LENGTHWISE to change directions? That would be an 8'x8' layout with nothing but a circle on it.

Or am I losing something in translation?

Jabba
 

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Yard Master & Research
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Thanks Stationmaster.
Looks likes 2 and a quarter will do it between rails. 1 and 1/32 from centerline for HO gives you that much. A little confusing but the information is there. I am begiinng to understand what the gages are all about.
Wide radius is the gold of Model RR. Sharpe turns are not for show but a wide radius is. So go with a gage that you can live with and turn appropiately.:)
That is why large layouts are walk around and not table tops. They have mountains etc with large sweeping turns. Sometimes a helix, hidden to change levels. Just pick up an issue of Model RR and see.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It's one of those things that there is WAY too much for any one person to know.

But I am old enough, and wise enough now to learn from other people's mistakes. The fun is in figuring it all out anyway... but I figure... the more I can learn from Ya'll, the less I have to learn the hard way.

I am sure I'll make loads of mistakes.

Jabba
 

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I use the NMRA Standards because the group, now defunct, would take modules to shows. With everyone using the same criteria, we could bring modules from home and made the layout that much larger and impressive. I usually too four modules, a switching yard.

If building a module, hold the rails back from the ends 4 1/2"" and use a short section of track to connect the modules. Works incredibly well.

Bob
 

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For now... I have settled on 2.5" on center. I think that's going to be enough.
When I laid out most of my tracks I had a plan in my head, but not on paper. In the rail yard I placed the edges of the cork road bed next to each other for the parallel track. I just checked and it is 1 & 7/8th's of an inch, Center to center. It is closer than most. But I want to pack a lot of trains on my table top. The main line is 2 inches.

It is a little more than that thru the curves.... I am laying out three curves inside one another with 18", 20" and 22" radiuses. That yields like... 2-11/16" thru the turns. I read somewhere that someone thought that 2-1/4" spacing in the curves would be conservative.
I learned the hard way(Read that as train wreck) about the track spacing in curves. I had to relay the inside track. There is now 3 inch spacing in the corners. I run some long passenger cars with large over hangs. The smaller the radius, the more distance is needed.

John
 

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John,

The standard for HO parallel track is 2"oc, turns are2 1/2"oc. You'd be surprised at the room for long cars such as passenger cars. And you can actually get your fingers between the cars to lift them.

Here is a better link that gives the Standards and Best Practices of the NMRA, http://www.nmra.org/standards/sandrp/consist.html

Bob
 

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John,

The standard for HO parallel track is 2"oc, turns are 2 1/2"oc. You'd be surprised at the room for long cars such as passenger cars. And you can actually get your fingers between the cars to lift them.

Here is a better link that gives the Standards and Best Practices of the NMRA, http://www.nmra.org/standards/sandrp/consist.html

Bob
I understand. I saw your link the first time. My layout is not standard. It is just for the Kidd's and grandkids, and I to have fun with. I do not let it out of the house to play with other layouts. I don't count the rivets. Allot of the great things that I have seen and read here are not up to the ridged standards of the NMRA.

John
 
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