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18 Inch Curved Track Spacing

Darryl asks:

“How much space should I allow between parallel tracks on straights, but especially on my 18-inch curves in HO?”

5 Responses to 18 Inch Curved Track Spacing

  • Morgan BIlbo says:

    What is the other radius? If you are pairing 18″ with 20″, it’s not enough. Use 21″. If you are pairing 18″ with 16″, DON’T. i.e. 3″ should be enough. But test before permanently laying down.

  • Glenn Gardiner says:

    I would suggest you set up temporary, parallel curved tracks and alternate setting rolling stock, of various lengths, on both tracks. Then run/push/pull your longest rolling stock pieces on the opposite track. Glenn

  • Mike Berke says:

    NMRA suggests 2″ (a bit less on straight) OK for 18″ curves, unless you have VERY long cars or articulated steam engines.

    Good luck and happy railroading!!

    • greg porter says:

      I have a 3 foot wide 49 foot long platform(not built yet) going around the parameter of a room. how many radius’ am I able to put in that 36 inch.

  • Morgan BIlbo says:

    Just to add to the confusion. Proto between straight tracks used to be 13′, now it’s more like 15′. Modern cars need more room. On a MR, where you are much smaller and tighter. 2″ between parallel tracks is good. I do strongly urge a bit wider on the curves, especially with 18″. Longer cars will have a wider swing possibly derailing on curves.

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