What track (curves) do I need?

S

sargent

Registered
31 Aug 2018
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Wolverhampton
Ive just bought my first live steam locos.... Caradoc and Russell.

What track should I be looking at? The Caradoc can run on a radius of 0.6m according to Accucraft website, but Russell being a 2-4-2, is going to need something wider

Im a little (a lot) confused about the different types/codes (R1-5) for LGB for example.

Can someone help and advise which radius curves I should get to ensure smooth running for both locos?

Many thanks.
 
F

Fred Mills

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27 Mar 2017
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Nothing less than 5 foot RADIUS....(10 foot DIAMETER)….Larger if possible, depending on where you have to accommodate it.
 
korm kormsen

korm kormsen

Registered
24 Oct 2009
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if you don't own an airplane hangar, or a golf course, you better go the other way around:
buy the largest radius track, that your space allows... then buy locos and roling stock, that your track can acomodate.

it is hard to give the right advice. your choice depends on too many factors.
the avayable space calculated against:
- just one circle around the walls/the garden fence
- a switching yard with a lot of turn-outs
- or anything in between.

but be assured, no matter how you decide, you will not reach curves, that are really to scale.
(save, if you own an airplane hangar, or a golf course)
 
P

Paul M

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25 Oct 2016
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If you check the blurb that comes with the locos, it usually tells you the minimum radius (in feet/CMs). Remember, live steam isn't quite as controllable as electric, especially when starting out, so as said above the bigoer the better!
 
Gizzy

Gizzy

A gentleman, a scholar, and a railway modeller....
26 Oct 2009
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Yes, I would go for the largest radius/diameter curves that you can fit in your available space.

LGB R1 is about 2 ft radius, 0.6 m

LGB R3 is about 4 ft radius, 1.2 m

Nothing wrong with R1 though if noting else will fit, this photo shows R1/R2 double track curves on my old layout....
136100_0284b44b23a37e65849446000b50c2b2.jpg
 
railwayman198

railwayman198

Registered
24 Oct 2009
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East London
LGB R3 or greater is fine for the vast majority of live steam locos produced by Roundhouse and Accucraft, the most notable exceptions being some of the large US locos from Accucraft. Even some locos listed as 'minimum 4'6" radius' (such as the Accucraft WD Baldwin) will in fact manage R3. If you have to go tighter than R3 your choice of locos will be restricted to short wheelbase locos, so best stick to R3 and above if possible.
 
65 1057

65 1057

Railways @ 1.435 mm/ 1.000 mm/ 750 mm and 45mm
9 May 2018
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Berlin
Like in the real 1:1 world - the tighter the curve, the higher the rolling resistance of a train. This can result in massive velocity change of your steamers when you enter / leave the curves.
My recommendation for smooth running trains: Track radius as wide as possible. Here as reference the LGB-track code:


The largest LGB radius is R5 with 4.726 mm outer diameter. Code 18 000 for track sections, 18 150/18 050 for left/right pointwork.
You can create larger radii and curve transitions with flexible tracks. I use Thiel 2.000 mm kits -this results in fewer rail joints and is significantly cheaper than fixed track sections
 
JimmyB

JimmyB

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23 Feb 2018
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Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

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G

gnm109

Registered
My model railroad has limitations of space in the second floor of my barn although I managed 150 feet of track in a relatively small space. Thus, I'm limited to R-1.
That said, I can run any locomotive with mo more than 4 drivers. That still gives a wide range. I have all LGB units from the little Stainz, several 20232 2-4-0s from different road names and up to the Santa Fe F7's 20570 A and 20582 B.
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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8 Mar 2014
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Yes, LGB allows R1 curves on virtually all THEIR locos, but the subject is specific live steam locos. (and other manufacturers won't all take these curves either)

Also live steam locos are harder to run, since small variations in rolling friction and load make big differences in speed. So where an electric loco might plow through a tight curve, a small live steamer can stall.

Greg
 
funandtrains

funandtrains

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20 Sep 2011
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Croydon, Surrey
If using tight curves avoid reverse curves as these make the problem worse, always have at a loco length or more of straight track before changing direction. If space is tight to can reduce derailments on tight curves by starting with a wider radius section before the tighter curves.
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
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St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Ive just bought my first live steam locos.... Caradoc and Russell.

What track should I be looking at? The Caradoc can run on a radius of 0.6m according to Accucraft website, but Russell being a 2-4-2, is going to need something wider

Im a little (a lot) confused about the different types/codes (R1-5) for LGB for example.

Can someone help and advise which radius curves I should get to ensure smooth running for both locos?

Many thanks.
My Roundhouse Russell runs quite happily round LGB R1 curves but is better on R3, particularly at Speed.
 
Paul2727

Paul2727

Registered
5 Jun 2018
202
41
England
On the subject of tight curves, let just hope no forum members experience the problem shown below. :devil:
Purported to be the result of an earthquake, but suspiciously nothing else in the photo appears to be affected.
Fake or not?
136466_54077ab526cd349eb00af6242aa2f825.jpg
 
Last edited:
P

Paul M

Registered
25 Oct 2016
3,394
302
56
Royston
On the subject of tight curves, let just hope no forum members experience the problem shown below. :devil:
Purported to be the result of an earthquake, but suspiciously nothing else in the photo appears to be affected.
Fake or not?
View attachment 258653
Who's been looking at my line then!
 
P

playmofire

Registered
23 Oct 2010
6,693
130
North Yorks
On the subject of tight curves, let just hope no forum members experience the problem shown below. :devil:
Purported to be the result of an earthquake, but suspiciously nothing else in the photo appears to be affected.
Fake or not?
View attachment 258653
Probably moles.