"Easements for dummies"

nscalerone May 23, 2010

  1. nscalerone

    nscalerone TrainBoard Member

    I need some simplified help in drawing out & laying easements on my newest layout. I've been away from building for quite some time, and in the past, always just "jumped in" to track laying, & made it the best I could.
    This time, I'm trying for the best result possible.........
    I kind of have an idea what an "easement" is, but I really can't figure out how to draw or lay one out, especially on a module with a loop.
    ( loop is 15" radius, on both ends of layout ) Modules are 36" wide.

    I would post picture of trackplan, but I'm afraid that is beyond my limited computer skills............

    Thanks for any & all assistance.
  2. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Easements and Laying a Curve

    An easement is a continuously variable radius for a curve. The radius becomes smaller and smaller as the train enters the curve up until the midpoint of the curve. Then the radius becomes larger and larger as the train exits the curve. Easements can also be used to enter and exit fixed radius curves, but I have never used them for that. Depends on how much space you have as easements do take more model rr space than a simple fixed radius curve. It is just a chance for more, better scenery.

    Here is some info on laying easements. If you use a spline roadbed the easements are much more simple.
  3. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member


    Are you using sectional or flex track? If it is sectional track, you can just jump up a few steps in the radius and use that as your entry into the curve.

    A Kato UniTrak example. If using 15 curves, you can use the 28" radius as the transition curve. and the rest will be 15" curves.

    If you are using flextrack then it is either more complicated or easier, however it is easier in practice.

    Center the 15" radius on your module. Only make 135 degrees of the curve, and end it at the same point on both sides.

    Next lay the track as you would like it leading into the curve. From about 5 inches where the 15" radius curve would have ended you can start the transition. Solder one end of the lfex track to the 15" curve. This becomes the fixed point. Now match the other end of the flex to the normal position track. Now all you have to do is cut the flex track for a smooth connection and the resulting curve is the transition.
  4. nscalerone

    nscalerone TrainBoard Member

    RE: Easements

    "Thank you" - "DCESharkman".........that was just the "handy hint" I needed. In the past, I have just laid 1/2 circle, and then come off it with straight track, but I can definitely see the benefit
  5. PGE_Modeller

    PGE_Modeller TrainBoard Member

    If you want to lay out true spiral easements, these two articles give the required information: "Laying out an easement with MODEL RAILROADER templates", Bruce Bardes, David Stackhouse & Linn Westcott, Model Rairoader, October 1969; and "Transition Curves", John Lukesh, NMRA Bulletin, December 1980. Photocopies will be available directly from Kalmbach Publishing (the MR article) or the NMRA's Kalmbach Memorial Library.

    Greg Kennelly
    Burnaby, BC

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