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Hi Gang,
     I'm considering a foray into On30 inspired for now by Carl Arendt's micro layout concept and a gift of logging and mining shack kits from my friend Dave Rouse.  I imagine that I'll build a larger layout to more prototypical standards as time progresses.
     I'd like to know the minimum radius required by Bachmann's Shay, Climax, Porter and Gas Mechanical locomotives for reliable running.  
Thanks,
Tom 
 

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Tom:

The Porters and gas mechanicals will easily handle 15" radius curves (probably even tighter ones), as will most of the shorter rolling stock. That's what I used on my first On30 pike. The 2-6-0s will negotiate 18" radius curves without difficulty, as will some of the others you mentioned, but for most of the larger locomotives (Consoldations, Forneys, etc.) you're better off going with wider curves if you can manage them in the space you have to work with.
 

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A very helpful link, Jim! Thanks for providing it.

I may try for 22" curves on my main line when I get to the point of finalizing things, but right now am going with 18" because I already have most of the track I need. I do have a Forney and a Consolidation (as well as several Broadway Limited Consolidations), and hope to get the 4-4-0 at some point, but my primary emphasis will necessarily be on smaller motive power
 

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Tom,

I have the Bachmann climax, porter, shay  in use, and the 4-4-0 on order.  My curves are mostly 22" - 24".  All my track is code 83 hand laid rail and ties using #5 fast track turnouts.  So far all is working well.

They say that if the 15" to 18" is layed well it will work for a/a units.  Not sure about the 4-4-0 on 15" r. as it is to new to the market.

Tom
 

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The Bachmann gas mechanical requires the frogs to be powered or it will stall in the switches at slow speed. Caboose Hobbies sell a manual switch (ground) throw with tabs to wire the switch including the frog. Tortoise switch throws also allow the frog to be wired.
 

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Caboose Hobbies sell a manual switch (ground) throw with tabs to wire the switch including the frog. Tortoise switch throws also allow the frog to be wired.
I bought a 10-pack of these...



It's manually operated with a pushrod through the fascia, and has a set of built-in DPDT contacts for frog power routing.

Available here.
 

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Gents,
I've been working on ideas for a Gn15 layout... and the Bman On30 Davenport will easily run down to 6' radius and stay coupled to short 4-5" cars. I plan to keep my track at about 8" radius. I also plan to use a similar sized Porter and my big loco will be a Bman On30 Forney with the butt removed at the cab - making it a 2-4-0. I'll then add a shorty tender. In tests it will also run on 8" radius track. Gary
 
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