N scale radius

I know the bigger the better but what is the smallest suggested N scale radius
for operating N scale layouts which operate mostly 1950-1970 equipment
including passenger cars and steam locomotives. I have just started this scale
and noticed layouts in most magazines this month seem to be 18" radius. Is
this about the minimum or is 15" acceptable. Thanks
Reply to
EppersonJohnR
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I know the bigger the better but what is the smallest suggested N scale radius for operating N scale layouts which operate mostly 1950-1970 equipment including passenger cars and steam locomotives. I have just started this scale and noticed layouts in most magazines this month seem to be 18" radius. Is this about the minimum or is 15" acceptable. Thanks -------------------------------------------------- I think you'll be quite satisfied with 15" radius. That's equivalent to 28" radius in HO scale.
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Reply to
Bill
John:
I recommend you visit this N scale site, and see just how well 14.5" and 16" radius track works for a lot of Bend Track folks in different cities around the country.....
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Bill
Reply to
ZBendTrack
Suggest you check the NMRA Standards (on line at their site). IIRC, ~17" is about the largest minimum radius they spec, for modern mainline equipment (6-axle diesels, 80' cars etc.). I'm not sure whether their standards are based exclusively on mechanical reliability, or include esthetic considerations as well.
-- Steve
Reply to
Steve Watson
=>Suggest you check the NMRA Standards (on line at their site). IIRC, =>~17" is about the largest minimum radius they spec, for modern =>mainline equipment (6-axle diesels, 80' cars etc.). I'm not sure =>whether their standards are based exclusively on mechanical =>reliability, or include esthetic considerations as well. => =>-- Steve
The recommended practices (not standards) relating equipment and minimum radii are based primarily on mechanical considerations. The assumption is that the couplers are body mounted, which limits coupler swing. So, longer cars will need larger radii so that the side thrust on the couplers won't derail the cars. Larger locos, with longer wheel bases, need larger radii so that the wheels won't bind. And so on. BTW, six-axle diesels need wider radii than four axle diesels. The min. rec. radii also assume easements, BTW.
From an aesthetic p.o.v, none of these minimum radii are satisfactory. They are a good guide to what you can get away with on hidden track. There are a few coniderations besides min. radius when planning a layout. The general rule is, use the minimum radiius only where you absolutely must. Otherwise, use the largest radius that will fit. Here are a few guidelines.
a) Viewed from inside the curve, the curve doesn't look as sharp as viewed form the outside..
b) Curves viewed from a high angle look sharper.
c) If you hide the beginning of a curve, it will look less sharp.
d) Easements make a curve look smoother, and make a train moving into the curve look smoother.
e) When faced with S curves, you should have a straight between the curves that is at least 1-1/2 times the longest car that will run through it -- and it's worth shifting track around to get it.
f) Readymade turnouts should have a straight leading into the points that's at least as long as the longest fixed wheelbase of any of your equipment, but 2x as long is better.. EG, if that N scale Pacific has a driver wheelbase of about 1", then you should try for a 2" straight. You can get away with less, especially if it's low-speed track, but I wouldn't. How do I know? Don't ask.
g) If you build your own turnouts, easements into a curved turnout are essential if you want the sharper side to be the min. radius.
HTH
Reply to
Wolf Kirchmeir

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