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What is a good compromise for track minimum radius for an outdoor waist level layout? As a dividing line, what would it be for a 2-6-0 and then what would it be for a 2-8-2. I am making early plans so I am just trying to get a handle on what track radius to even consider for those types of locomotives. Thanks, Jim
 

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What is a good compromise for track minimum radius for an outdoor waist level layout? As a dividing line, what would it be for a 2-6-0 and then what would it be for a 2-8-2. I am making early plans so I am just trying to get a handle on what track radius to even consider for those types of locomotives. Thanks, Jim
Always go for the largest radius that your space allows. You will never regret it
jim o
 

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My strongest advice would be the largest radius you can fit in. If you want to run live steam they all run better on large radius and the minimum would be 10 foot radius (20 foot diameter) then you can run anything. Having said that if you stick to smaller loco's like 4 or 6 coupled with short wheelbase you can get away with around 6-7 foot radius.
Electric powered loco's also like a larger radius as there is less flange 'drag' and less wear even though some are made to run on sharp 4 or 5 foot radius curves.
A bonus of large radius is often overlooked is that long bogie coaches also run better especially if prototypically having body mounted couplers. Sharp radius on an S curve when pushing a train back into siding it can be a source of derailments with long rolling stock. If you intend to do more with switching and less 'round 'n round' then bigger curves and switches will make your layout much more enjoyable and you will have happy visiting engines.
As Jim Overland says above "..largest radius your space allows. You will never regret it..".
Russell
 

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10ft. Radius, 20ft. Dia. will allow all engines including Brass Big Boys, etc.
If you're only running MTH 1:32 than 5 1/2 ft. Radius, 11 ft. Dia. will accommodate Dash 8 and 70ace Diesels with body mount couplers and all their steam engines plus small Brass engines. 57" rail height above the ground is the best viewing height.
 

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I did a bit larger than 10', call it 10.5' radius. Candidly, it isn't quite wide enough for the big locos. A H8 Alleghany slows through it. An electric Big Boy does go around but that front swings. I didn't want to use more right of way than I did but I think 12ft radius would be better, 15ft might be where I would shoot for next..... that said, 15ft radius uses a lot of space.
 

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I had a 20 ft Dia. layout and our Club Layout was 20 ft Dia, BUT when I got My Penn.T-1 it would not go on eather Layout, So I Expanded My layout to a 40 ft Dia. The layout. and the T-1 Loved it. So I guess Itis up to You and what size Engine You Get. And Yes The BigBoy would go on the 20 ft Dia, But Remember it is Artickqulated. the T-1 is not
 

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On my former layout in Valmondois near Paris I had à 3 meter 35cm radius curve, that comes out to about 11' radius and my T1 used to sail through that without any problems. Apparently Bob you were just inside that tight limit. The T1 because of the extension to the rigid wheelbasedue to tthe second cylinder block + large drivers is probably the pickiest engine for sharp curves of the whole gauge one line up. However it is not the reason why I went to larger radius on my new layout; that was mainly because it looks so much better and because my Nord Atlantic had a chance to haul my Etoile du Nord Pullman train, and it did, because of the reduced drag! Small radiusses create as much drag as a grade. Which is why I
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recomend as large as you can.
Plant Grass Natural landscape Road surface Asphalt
 
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