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Athearn SD40 on 18 Inch Curve Track

Gordon asks:

“Will an Athearn SD40 run ok around an 18″ radius track? I have 22″ curves on my HO layout but plan for an 18″ radius curve. Will it work?”

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4 Responses to Athearn SD40 on 18 Inch Curve Track

  • David Stokessays:

    It is possible to get 3 axle bogies around an 18″ curve, but some work on the loco (and rolling stock) will be necessary.
    You will need to file the back of the corners on the front and rear ends and the front corners of the coupling boxes the get sufficient left/right swing. This is necessary even for bogies where the coupler is attached to the bogie.
    Do not try and couple wagon with body mounted couplers to the loco – they will be pulled off the track as the train rounds the bend.
    Use long shank couplers to avoid the corners of the loco and the first car locking buffers or bodies.
    Close coupling will not generally work on 18″ curves and the effect of the train will appear toy like. Ofcourse if that is the space avaiable then you don’t have much choice.

  • Michael Fostersays:

    David,
    Not sure if this referred to an HO or N gauge, when you say 18′ curves are you talking of an 18′ radius which would give a 36′ curve, that is what I am building my HO at.

  • Steven Attiassays:

    I have a Mehano SD40 that does get around my 18″ curves on its own. It came with body mounted HookHorn couplers, but neither is currently mounted so I could not test it pulling cars. If I get a chance to mount couplers in the next few days, I’ll update this.

  • phil johnsonsays:

    While Athearn’s SD40-2 will go around a 18″ rad. curve, a 50′ boxcar coupled to it may call you nasty names. Ditto also, for those cars with extended draft gear. The same also goes for 2 -2’s coupled. I would suggest 22″ if coupled to anything longer than 40-45′

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