Hey everybody, I am building a G Scale layout suspended from a ceiling in my existing train room in my basement. Can anybody tell me from experience if 5 inches of clearance between vertical side supports is adequate? Thanks
It is not. I have several pieces of rolling stock that are 5 to 51/2" wide. I'd have to go out and measure my tunnel portals, but I think they are 6" (I just bought some 6 1/4" wide ore cars that wouldn't fit, but they are oddballs). I would think you'd need at least 6" on the straights and more than that on the curves. Also depends on what scale you are actually running? 1:32, 1:29, 1:24, 1:22.5, 1:20.3 ? Those with indoor experience can tell you for sure.
When you state the scale you are running, please also state the minimum curve diameter. Also, if you want to run long cars on 1:29 (since they are available) state that too.
Until then, I'd not go under Big John's recommendation, and you might have to go over that.
The important thing is don't paint yourself in a corner to start out with. I've visited many a layout where things were "tight" where a little more work could have broadened curves and increased clearances.
Quite often I have heard, "oh I wish I could by loco XXX, but it won't fit on my layout".
using LGB stuff, the widest is 135 mm (5.4"), on straights my minimum is 6" wide.
on curves, R1 = 1200mm = 4' diameter i use minimum 9" wide. the longest loco i have is a Bachmann 4-6-0, the longest car is 1' 4" long.
I will be running only short engines on this layout due to space restrictions. It is going in a basement ceiling and some areas are tucked between heating ducts. I am running 3 different units, an LGB freight starter set, a USA 20 tonner and an old Kalamazoo General. The largest piece of rolling stock is a LGB "chicken dance" box car. The track is 5-foot diameter LGB. I understand the concept of not "painting yourself in a corner" but I am really having to "shoe-horn" this layout into place. I can probably go as wide as 6 inches but it is going to be very tight. I have a small outdoor layout in a garden but I want to get something inside to use in the winter months. I have a 2-yr old Grandaughter that is nuts about trains. I also have done a conversion on an old Echo toy train and put a Thomas the train body from a "little Tykes flashlight" on it. It is of course a little smaller than the other engines in my tiny collection and I suspect it will get the most use.
if you work with little space, the most important points to have enough free space is, where the trains come OUT of the corners.
maybe it would help, if you make your curves gradual. entering and leaving with a very wide radius, that gets tighter to the middle of the curve.