Reply to "Building New Standard Gauge/O Gauge Layout - Track Choices etc."

Trainlover160 posted:
navy.seal posted:
Trainlover160 posted:
BlueComet400 posted:

Good choice on USA Track for the SG. For SG switches, you can't go wrong with the ones made by Ross Custom Switches. They're more expensive than other brands, but when it comes to performance and quality, no other brand comes close. 

Homasote makes a great sound deadener/roadbed. 

Great space. Keep us posted with photos.

John.

USA all the way. I used std 72 and bought Std84 to make o84 radius on outside rails. Kirk at USA is top notch!!

Joe Gozzo

 

I recommend you consider using Std87 curved track instead of Std84 if you have the space and are planning to run an adjacent Std72 curved track. 

SGMA found that Std84 curved track when used in conjunction with Std72 curved track was not optimum as it created less than 7.5" spacing between the 84 and the 72 mainlines resulting in too many collisions between trains on SGMA's corner modules.  After some research, SGMA changed its original standards and replaced the Std84 outside mainline standard with a new Std87 outside mainline standard.  This track produced a constant 7.5 inch spacing between mainlines virtually eliminating collisions between trains passing on SGMA's corner modules.  As a result, all SGMA members moved outward their outside mainline to accommodate the new Std87 curved track on SGMA's corner modules.  (Note: USA Track sells Std87 curved track and as I recall Ross switches are designed for 7.5" mainline spacing.)

Bob Nelson

Hi Bob,

No offense, I contacted Kirk at USA prior to my purchase. He said the most concentric radius was the std 72 and 84 track. I have been running my 400e on the inside 72, and my largest premier and tinplate O on the outside 84 with no issues. I will not be using any switches.

Thanks,

Joe Gozzo

Joe,

I am not sure what Kirk meant by "concentric radius", but I am surprised that Kirk said that since he was the initial advocate for moving the outside mainline further out based on contact problems he and other members had witnessed at some of our earliest train shows.  At that time std87 track did not exist and rather than simply pulling a radius out of a hat, SGMA members put in a herculean effort to measure and document the overhang and underhang of as many SG trains as we could find to determine what would be the optimum radius for our outside mainline.  Ideally we wanted to eliminate all contact problems between SG trains on SGMA's corner modules.  However, from the start members knew that eliminating all contact would be unrealistic.  Also, whatever became the standard had to work within the physical dimensions of our 4' X 4' corner modules.  As such, std87 track was realistically the largest radius that would work but even it does not eliminate all contact.  However, it does significantly reduce it. 

In addition, Kirk noted that std42, std57, std72, and std87 track produced evenly spaced mainlines, which is ideal if you want Ross to design switches that allow trains to move from one mainline to another such as the Ross #4 Standard Gauge switch.   Lastly, Kirk owned the tooling to produce any radius of Standard Gauge track that club members determined was optimum.  So as a club we weren't limited to std84 track, which was at that time the only commercial track existing larger than std72.

In your situation, contact between your trains on std72 and std84 tracks may not be a problem.  However, at shows SGMA members bring in and run all manner of SG trains from 100 year old rarities to the latest MTH (Lionel Corp) locos.  Furthermore, it's been a SGMA tradition from the start to open up our train show layouts to anyone who wants to run their Standard Gauge trains on the SGMA layout.  As such, SGMA needs to err on the side of caution so as not to endanger somebody's prized 100-year-old family heirloom.  

Lastly, at the start, when SGMA members were developing our initial module standards, installation of any switch on our then std84 mainline was prohibited.  We knew MTH switches were problematic and wanted to have at least one mainline where derailments and contact between trains would not be a problem.  It was only after SGMA members worked with Ross to develop a problem free switch that installation of Ross switches, and only Ross switches, was permitted on SGMA's outside mainline.  This became a SGMA module standard. 

Bob Nelson 

OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
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