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third radius points and do i really NEED a second running loop.

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Sean
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hey guys

so to make a long story short, I have finally cleared out a space that will allow me to run a full loop of 00 track. have been plugging away in railmodeller for a few days now working with various plans and one thing that is infuriating me is that there does not seem to be a third radius point available at all,

a standard hornby point is a perfect second radius curve and you can put points anywhere on a bend without breaking the track geometry. the express turnout is some ungodly large size of radius  but it doesnt actually align with any standard settrack geometry.

from what i am reading and all experimentation on railmodeller leads to at least some flexitrack being used. all of the larger peco points seem to suffer from the exact same issue. curved points kind of work but only if you want an inward turnout. ie from 3rd to 2nd radius but there does not appear to be a larger option to get from third to fourth radius.

 

to demonstrate here are 2 track plans explaining just what i am getting at, they also lay the foundation for what im going to ask next...

20852464_Screenshot2022-04-30at00_14_10.thumb.png.ca6564cdfc51164f0199ab1795079cf5.png1835377878_Screenshot2022-04-30at00_14_38.thumb.png.345dec5122f0d725695434f1ed87530c.png

the area im having trouble with is where im trying to put the points within the curves.

in the left drawing i am able to make a perfect loop of second and third radius track without breaking geometry at all as all of the points follow the geometry of the trackwork without issue.

in the right picture however i am trying to recreate the point work on a third radius curve and as you can see it takes a mish mash of extra components to even complete the loop and once you do its basically impossible to hold the double tracking geometry and its not really a true third radius as its made up of components of second and third radiuses and extended slightly with a quarter straight as the 2 tracks were ontop of one another.

 

third radius point work would rapidly solve these headaches but from what i have seen around nothing at all is available. if anybody knows of a solution such as slightly extending a standard point with short straights please do let me know what you've done to get around this problem, or maybe im wrong and one of the larger peco sizes does line up i am open to correction in this case.

 

but then i keep asking myself do i actually NEED the two running loops on this layout.  the wye is essential and leads off to my terminus layout which is based on a rural branch line somewhere and thats really more so what im interested in running and modelling rather than double tracked mainline. furthermore, i just feel like the left plan just flows way more naturally and offers a bit more operational interest whilst whats on the right feels a lot more train setty and rigid as it really is squeezing the last of the last out of the given space.

although the track probabaly wont be modelled to much.i still see potential on the left one for an island station in the middle of the run around loop on the left and a small hopper loading facility on the inner loop of track at the top of the base board. the shape of the outer loops also breaks with the train set convention of a tail chasing oval and offers a bit of variation in the trains route. plenty of places to stable trains also. its not like there wont be able to be 2 on the running line at once.

i cant really have any of these things in the double tracked iteration of the layout. i just see 2 loops where i can run a couple of trains at the same time but otherwise i actually see a layout that i might see as less useful in the long run.

ive always seen 2 running loops as an essential part of a good and large model railway, but i have been seriously questioning that assumption within these plans and what i want to achieve with them.

the footprint for both plans is the exact same size so either fits just fine onto an 8x4 sheet, which is what the grey box signifies on the left drawing.

 

would love to hear what others think 

 


Sean

 

 

 

 

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im thinking the same, it just draws me in a lot more and the right just feels like a twin tail chaser the more i look at it. i think the fact that the wye is flowing rather than being a rigid shape is really helping too.i can already imagine trains snaking through it as another one sits in wait.

 

i see a total of 7 stabling points on that too with plenty of potential to add block detection and train automation so its not really ever going to feel like im running just a single train. My dcc controller only has like 1.5amps of power too so im quite limited in that regard.

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You will have problems with the second plan because the tracks are too close together and passing trains will collide. The tighter the curve, greater the overhang and third radius, which looks about 15" /375mm is hideously tight for anything other than short, four wheel stock. Even if stuff will go round it, bogie stock really won't look right.

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