Hi, I'm new to layouts and need some experts to comment. I have planned to run two tracks 027 around the ceiling of my basement, approximately 100ft x 2. The curves at each corner can be spaced out fairly wide coming off the straight aways. I really need to know how tight I can have the straight away tracks, center to center along the 30ft straights. Any help would be appreciated. 

Original Post

On straight aways if you are running traditional stuff you could probably get away with three inches center rail to center rail, but if it were me I would go with four as a minimum and maybe four and one half to five if running scale stuff (not that that much scale stuff will run on 27). The problem will be when you get to the curves at the end, you will need a bit more space between them in turns and that means doing one of the two things shown below: top - starting the curve on the inside sooner than on the outside, both with the O-27 radii,  and having more spacing on the straight connecting that end to the other side than on the longer straights, or bottom - both starting the curve earlier and using a wider radii on the inside. 

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Along with what Lee W. says, there are a couple things that can be done with 027 curve tracks to make the curves fit better. First you could use 027 half curves and half straights to open up the curve radius, second you could use a larger curve in 027 track size like a 42 inch curve in 027 profile. Or you could use Gargraves curves with 027 straight track, Gargraves smallest curve is closer to 32 inches than 31, so you have around five inch larger curve if you were to use Gargraves curves for the outside track(the one closest to the wall). All you need for gargraves to 027 track is the 027 adapter pins.

 

Lee Fritz

Philadelphia & Reading Railway, one of the first railroads in the USA, first to have a double track system in the USA.

Thanks, I have a lot of 027 track in 36" pieces therefore my intention to use it. you said scale stuff doesn't run well on it, can you explain. I am open to suggestions on type of track to use, I just wanted to keep the straight sections as tight as I could.

Another thing that I thought of; how do you fix a derailment or stalled engine? You need a small ladder or good size step-stool to reach the area.

Also you don't run expensive trains in an upper level like that, experiance will teach that one.

Almost anything will run on 027 track, it is the curves or switches that will derail it.

 

Lee Fritz

Philadelphia & Reading Railway, one of the first railroads in the USA, first to have a double track system in the USA.

Consider using Marx O-27(34) in the mix too.

 

You may need/want to use easements to get the inside(smaller circle) track away from the outside track approaching and leaving a turn to avoid the overhang from hitting equipment on the adjacent track.  O27(72)-O27-O27(72),  O27(54)-O27-O27(54), O27(72)-O27(34)-O27(72),  or O27(54)-O27(34)-O27(54) as examples.

Rob

First layout?? Before building such a large ceiling layout you might want to experiment with a smaller and more accessible layout first. You can do that in a fairly compact size with your O27 curves.

 

With two tracks on ceiling shelves, the second track will not be easily viewable, especially if you make the shelf wider.

Originally Posted by Ace:

First layout?? Before building such a large ceiling layout you might want to experiment with a smaller and more accessible layout first. You can do that in a fairly compact size with your O27 curves.

 

With two tracks on ceiling shelves, the second track will not be easily viewable, especially if you make the shelf wider.

Wisdom, Ace's advice is . . .   Take some time to play with track and trains a bit first.  It will pay off . . .

Originally Posted by Bobby Ogage:

Track SpacingH

 

 

Minimum standard based on the overhang of running large steamers on 042 curves

 

Thanks, problem I have is that I have MTH double portals to go through four walls with a measurement of 7-3/8" inside dimensions. 

What would be my spacing, I would think at best, 4.5" center to center leave me just under 1" from outside rail to side of tunnel wall?? Any comment welcomed

 

An inch from the outside edge of the outer rail to the wall of the portal should be plenty of room on a straightaway. I wouldnt put it on a curve though. The front end of some engines could hang over more than an inch on some curves.

Trainfever, catch it. /Michael

Thank for everyone's help, as I said before, this is my first layout that is to be a permanent installation. I have been collecting of scale for 20+ years and storing them, occasionally breaking them out to create a small table layout. Never really needed to know clearance measurements. I appreciate the quick responses from this board. I'm new to online forum q&a but find it great. 

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