Question about minimum radius for HO scale

Dave McDonald Oct 17, 2020

  1. Dave McDonald

    Dave McDonald TrainBoard Member

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    Good evening....I normally do N and G scales but am working on a project for HO scale. I have a 24" diameter circle that I want to put flextrack on but need to know if there are any HO locos that will negotiate curves that tight? It will end up being 10" to 10.5" radius. Also, what about rolling stock? Thanks for your input.
     
  2. wvgca

    wvgca TrainBoard Member

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    most 0-4-0 and similar short locos will work, as well as short ore cars [22 foot] and such ..
    best is to borrow one and try it yourself on your track
     
  3. Dave McDonald

    Dave McDonald TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for the reply. Will any diesels such as SW1200 or NW2 work?
     
  4. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    Look at either of the Plymouth diesel locos from Walthers or Broadway Limited.
    BL specified a minimum radius for 10" for their model.
    For rolling stock, try to find relatively short cars with truck-mounted couplers.

    https://www.walthers.com/search/cat...20?is_active_flag=141007&match=AND&q=plymouth

    https://www.walthers.com/search/cat...20?is_active_flag=141007&match=AND&q=plymouth
     
  5. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

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    I think the Bowser PCC can take 9" radius. I remember seeing something about that, but 10" is probably too tight for even SW1500s. The BLI Trackmobiles can probably fit too. They are not very common anymore and might fetch higher prices on eBay, but they are a small, single-truck model. The limiting factor for most models is the universal joint in the drivetrain. It can only flex so much. Small models like 0-4-0 switchers or Plymouths, locomotives with only one wheelbase, can go tighter. You still get to a point where the outer wheel is traveling father than the inner, but you can definitely push it with some tiny models.
     
  6. Pastor John

    Pastor John TrainBoard Member

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    Depending on what you are attempting to model, there are also some exceptionally small models that would also work such as a DeWitt Clinton model train, or various MOW vehicles, speeders, etc.
     
    Chops likes this.
  7. Dave McDonald

    Dave McDonald TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for the replies. My last question is what brand of flex track would work best to bend for this tight of a circle?
     
  8. Chops

    Chops TrainBoard Member

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    I rather like Micro Layouts. The above is a nine inch radius bent from Atlas flex track. It really is a flange grinder using Bachmann trolleys.

    Using a hollow core door, cut in half, I did this Micro Layout using Atlas 15 inch curves, which definitely challenges the rolling stock:



    I read about Micro Layouts in HO being built into pizza boxes and shoe boxes, that actually run, the latter being strictly point to point. Presumably you have
    already consider HOn3?
     
  9. dti406

    dti406 TrainBoard Member

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    When I lived in Toledo, my club had a number of trolley modelers and they would run the old Athearn SW-7 around 10" radius curves with no problems, they could also get 40' boxcars around that curve also.

    Rick Jesionowski
     

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