Curved turnout minimum inside radius for 6 axle diesels?

rg5378 Aug 13, 2011

  1. rg5378

    rg5378 TrainBoard Member

    Hi everyone,

    I am building a small HO layout. I can get more track in and a better fit if I use some curved turnouts. I plan on running Athearn Genesis sd-40 -t2's.

    My question is: has anyone figured out the ABSOLUTE minimum inside radius CURVED TURNOUT that this engine can take? I would work on this problem myself but I don't have any flex track in order to make tighter curves and experiment. (and payday is not until next week).

    I know that I should not plan on running these locos on this small layout. but I like them and my train room is very small. I am going to give it a try.

    Additionally, what company makes curved turnouts with the sharpest curves?

    Thank you.
  2. Southern Oregonian

    Southern Oregonian TrainBoard Member

    My Athearn SD40 and SD45 ran fine when I was using 22" Atlas preformed track. I never had a reason to go tighter but they might have been able to handle it, just don't have them go to fast. I would say that the 40 and 45s would do better then say, a Broadway AC6000W at 18" since their shorter.

    I use Atlas track because I'm lazy and it tends to work well with most of their prefab sections and flex rail. The turnouts I have from them are for 18", but the 18" section is for my 4-4-0 americans and the rest of my layout has exploded to around 41.5" to accommodate my Steamers. If you have the time and are daring enough, you could always try to make a custom one.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2011
  3. Wolfgang Dudler

    Wolfgang Dudler Passed away August 25, 2012 TrainBoard Supporter In Memoriam

    When I started with Hon3 I made a test track to become familiar with radius and engines.

  4. AKrrnut

    AKrrnut TrainBoard Member

    I suspect that a 22" minimum would be the absolute smallest radius you could use. A 24" minimum would be a little better.

    I've used Peco curved turnouts, but determining the different radii can be a little difficult. I've found out that the SL86 and SL87 have radii of 60" and 30", and that the ST244 and ST245 have radii of 37.75" and 22.5". However, the Settrack curves seem even tighter than that! Your radius can tighten considerably once you get past the turnout frogs, but remember to leave clearance room for your trains.

  5. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab TrainBoard Member

    You should be able to get away with Peco's ST244/245 radius curved turnout. I have one on my layout and my Six Axles have no problem going through it. I regularly run SD9s, and the larger rectifier electrics like the E44 and E33. Even though they have weird wheel spacing, there does not appear to be an issue. I test ran my SD45 on it just to see how it worked out, seemed fine to me.

    Though perhaps I am mistaken, but i thought Peco's ST 244 and ST245 have approximately 18" and 20" radius curves.
  6. AKrrnut

    AKrrnut TrainBoard Member

    I picked up the radius info for the Peco ST244/245 from a post on a Yahoo Groups site. This is one of the first places I've ever found that info, since the Peco website didn't post it in the past, and the Walthers catalog didn't have much info, either.

    Either way, a six-axle diesel should be able to make it's way through these turnouts, as long as it isn't going too fast.


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