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Offline Antonio Galimberti  
#1 Posted : 11 January 2019 12:46:12(UTC)
Antonio Galimberti

Italy   
Joined: 07/01/2019(UTC)
Posts: 5
Location: Lombardia, Milan
Hi,
I am newing on train model and layout. Due to small available "area", I have choosen for the Z scale.
Planning the layout, my main points is the minimum curve radius. I know that Märklin specs says 145mm radius, but I want to gather info on minimum allowed curve radius for locomotives and wagons....
This could be helpfull for small layout (like mine), allowing to use the 55mm turnout from Rokuhan.

Searching on web I have not found clear info, just some video of 0-6-0 locomotive on 95mm curves.
I have done some test and measurements on starting kit (done on Rokuhan oval and on an Märklin rail oval with 95mm radius)
Base locomitive tive 0-6-0 can handle 95mm radius, also at 3% slope or more
2 axis wagons do the same
3 axis wagon (passenger wagon of 87040 kit) cannot. I have not check, but they should allow the 120mm

Has anybody make some data or has do some tests?
Thanks,
Antonio
Offline Bahner  
#2 Posted : 11 January 2019 17:05:30(UTC)
Bahner

United States   
Joined: 18/11/2017(UTC)
Posts: 98
Location: California, East Bay
Originally Posted by: Antonio Galimberti Go to Quoted Post
Hi,
I am newing on train model and layout. Due to small available "area", I have choosen for the Z scale.
Planning the layout, my main points is the minimum curve radius. I know that Märklin specs says 145mm radius, but I want to gather info on minimum allowed curve radius for locomotives and wagons....
This could be helpfull for small layout (like mine), allowing to use the 55mm turnout from Rokuhan.

Searching on web I have not found clear info, just some video of 0-6-0 locomotive on 95mm curves.
I have done some test and measurements on starting kit (done on Rokuhan oval and on an Märklin rail oval with 95mm radius)
Base locomitive tive 0-6-0 can handle 95mm radius, also at 3% slope or more
2 axis wagons do the same
3 axis wagon (passenger wagon of 87040 kit) cannot. I have not check, but they should allow the 120mm

Has anybody make some data or has do some tests?
Thanks,
Antonio


I also started Z scale quite recently and had the same questions for the tightest Marklin 145 mm radius curve. The information that I found provided only bits and pieces from all over the web which gave me some indication of what might work and what probably wouldn't.

I had to do my own testing (smallest curve radii and maximum % for the consists that I planned to run on the layout), but since I'm using only Marklin track my results are only good for their tightest radius curve.

Ralph.
Offline Poor Skeleton  
#3 Posted : 12 January 2019 13:45:49(UTC)
Poor Skeleton

United Kingdom   
Joined: 09/10/2015(UTC)
Posts: 124
Location: England, Cambridge
I think I'm right in saying that the very tight radius Rokuhan track is intended for use with their "Shorty" models. If you really can't find room for larger radius curves you might want to look at their range.

For what it's worth, I've not gone tighter than 220mm curves on my layout, and I find them too tight to look really good. It's fair to say, I am aiming for a spacious, uncluttered look, though.

All the best


Chris
Offline Antonio Galimberti  
#4 Posted : 12 January 2019 19:06:30(UTC)
Antonio Galimberti

Italy   
Joined: 07/01/2019(UTC)
Posts: 5
Location: Lombardia, Milan
Originally Posted by: Bahner Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Antonio Galimberti Go to Quoted Post
Hi,
I am newing on train model and layout. Due to small available "area", I have choosen for the Z scale.
Planning the layout, my main points is the minimum curve radius. I know that Märklin specs says 145mm radius, but I want to gather info on minimum allowed curve radius for locomotives and wagons....
This could be helpfull for small layout (like mine), allowing to use the 55mm turnout from Rokuhan.

Searching on web I have not found clear info, just some video of 0-6-0 locomotive on 95mm curves.
I have done some test and measurements on starting kit (done on Rokuhan oval and on an Märklin rail oval with 95mm radius)
Base locomitive tive 0-6-0 can handle 95mm radius, also at 3% slope or more
2 axis wagons do the same
3 axis wagon (passenger wagon of 87040 kit) cannot. I have not check, but they should allow the 120mm

Has anybody make some data or has do some tests?
Thanks,
Antonio


I also started Z scale quite recently and had the same questions for the tightest Marklin 145 mm radius curve. The information that I found provided only bits and pieces from all over the web which gave me some indication of what might work and what probably wouldn't.

I had to do my own testing (smallest curve radii and maximum % for the consists that I planned to run on the layout), but since I'm using only Marklin track my results are only good for their tightest radius curve.

Ralph.


Thanks Ralph,
Probably I will do the same.....
Originally I was thinking to "delay" to buy the second locomotive, but now I will buy it and make tests on 120mm and 145mm curve.
I will post the results, just in case it could help someone.
Antonio
Offline Bahner  
#5 Posted : 13 January 2019 03:12:31(UTC)
Bahner

United States   
Joined: 18/11/2017(UTC)
Posts: 98
Location: California, East Bay
Originally Posted by: Antonio Galimberti Go to Quoted Post


Thanks Ralph,
Probably I will do the same.....
Originally I was thinking to "delay" to buy the second locomotive, but now I will buy it and make tests on 120mm and 145mm curve.
I will post the results, just in case it could help someone.
Antonio


What I found is that for steam locomotives those with three fixed axles are fine on a 145 mm radius (any additional axles on the bogies don't matter since they'll turn in with the curve). I have a five solid axle tank locomotive I bought before designing my layout and while it'll get through the 145 mm radius, it doesn't do it very well. I could imagine that a four solid axle locomotive would work okay with the 145 mm radius, but can't say for sure (I suspect it would have difficulties with a 120 mm radius).

Hope that helps.

Ralph.

Edited by user 13 January 2019 12:23:40(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline stickers66  
#6 Posted : 29 July 2019 03:47:40(UTC)
stickers66

Canada   
Joined: 21/05/2019(UTC)
Posts: 20
Location: British Columbia, Vancouver
Found this thread, so thought I would add to it. I have found a nice little SNCF locomotive, but the only matching passenger cars I can find are the 3-axle kinds. Can anyone tell me if these will work on a tight radius? I can perhaps see it causing problems, because the chassis will overhang the curve, whereas the front and rear axles will sit on the tracks. How would adding a middle axle affect things? Keeping in mind, these cars are short, so maybe it's okay?
Offline Antonio Galimberti  
#7 Posted : 29 July 2019 19:13:56(UTC)
Antonio Galimberti

Italy   
Joined: 07/01/2019(UTC)
Posts: 5
Location: Lombardia, Milan
Originally Posted by: stickers66 Go to Quoted Post
Found this thread, so thought I would add to it. I have found a nice little SNCF locomotive, but the only matching passenger cars I can find are the 3-axle kinds. Can anyone tell me if these will work on a tight radius? I can perhaps see it causing problems, because the chassis will overhang the curve, whereas the front and rear axles will sit on the tracks. How would adding a middle axle affect things? Keeping in mind, these cars are short, so maybe it's okay?


I have done some tests and measures on:
Locomotive Marklin 88955 (3 axes with 7.75mm distance between axes + 1 "floating" axes not motorized)
Locomotive of Marklin set 81701 (3 axes with 7.75mm distance between axes)

From measuements on wheels, they are designed for 145mm radius. I have checked also on 120mm radius with success and also on 55mm turn-out of Rokuhan.

For wagons:
Passenger car set Marklin 87040 (4 wagons, 2 with 2 axes and 2 with 3 axes)

As above, from measurements of wheels, they are designed for 145mm radius. Also the 3 axes cars: the "center" axis is "floating".
I have checked on 120mm radius with success.
On 55mm turn-out of Rokuhan, the 2-axis cars run fine. For the 3-axis cars run but have some "resistance" and may have some trouble if there is a change of directions (we are talkin with 55mm turn-out, with 127mm curve radius)

A final note: I have done the tests also with 3% of slope.
Antonio
Offline stickers66  
#8 Posted : 29 July 2019 22:59:52(UTC)
stickers66

Canada   
Joined: 21/05/2019(UTC)
Posts: 20
Location: British Columbia, Vancouver
Hi Antonio! Thanks so much for this valuable information! With regards to the 3 axle cars, can you explain how this axle is "floating"? Does it have the ability to rotate individually from the front and back axles? Could you possibly take a photo if you have one of these cars? I am nowhere near 120mm, but not quite at 145mm either. I think I am close to 140mm on some of my radiuses.

Edited by user 30 July 2019 08:10:05(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline Antonio Galimberti  
#9 Posted : 01 August 2019 08:26:42(UTC)
Antonio Galimberti

Italy   
Joined: 07/01/2019(UTC)
Posts: 5
Location: Lombardia, Milan
I have attached some photos, I have done with cellphone (sorry).

The middle axis is able to translate laterally, I hope you can see it in the photos.
Antonio

DSC_0267~2.JPGDSC_0269~2.JPGDSC_0268~2.JPG
Offline stickers66  
#10 Posted : 01 August 2019 08:32:32(UTC)
stickers66

Canada   
Joined: 21/05/2019(UTC)
Posts: 20
Location: British Columbia, Vancouver
That looks great. Thank you so much. Those are great looking coaches!
Offline stickers66  
#11 Posted : 29 August 2019 23:56:09(UTC)
stickers66

Canada   
Joined: 21/05/2019(UTC)
Posts: 20
Location: British Columbia, Vancouver
Thought I would come for an update. The layout I tired, with the current train I have, does indeed work! Thanks to everyone here confirming what would and would not work.

With that said, I now am in the process of properly "locking down" the track. I just used a few Marklin nails here and there just go ensure everything would work. Now I will lay down some cork as a track bed and then fix everything in place.

I am using Microtrains flextrack. I quite like this track, but joining any flextrack where the radius is tight is nothing short of hell. My question for the forum is: should I continue to use the Marklin nails to fix the track to the layout, or should I glue the whole lot down?

I'm tempted to use glue since the tight radiuses I'm using puts a lot of stress on the tracks themselves. Basically they really want to spring back into a straight piece if not properly fastened into place. I'm thinking if I glue down it may make joining two sections of track together a lot easier - again, reducing the ability of the track to act like a giant leaf spring.

Thoughts?
Offline Bahner  
#12 Posted : 30 August 2019 03:16:14(UTC)
Bahner

United States   
Joined: 18/11/2017(UTC)
Posts: 98
Location: California, East Bay
Originally Posted by: stickers66 Go to Quoted Post
Thought I would come for an update. The layout I tired, with the current train I have, does indeed work! Thanks to everyone here confirming what would and would not work.

With that said, I now am in the process of properly "locking down" the track. I just used a few Marklin nails here and there just go ensure everything would work. Now I will lay down some cork as a track bed and then fix everything in place.

I am using Microtrains flextrack. I quite like this track, but joining any flextrack where the radius is tight is nothing short of hell. My question for the forum is: should I continue to use the Marklin nails to fix the track to the layout, or should I glue the whole lot down?

I'm tempted to use glue since the tight radiuses I'm using puts a lot of stress on the tracks themselves. Basically they really want to spring back into a straight piece if not properly fastened into place. I'm thinking if I glue down it may make joining two sections of track together a lot easier - again, reducing the ability of the track to act like a giant leaf spring.

Thoughts?


Another option for this tiny Z scale track that I think is in some ways better than cork bed is double sided tape. I bought a few packages from Busch ('Gleisschotterband' Nr. Z 7092) since it already has ballast in a bag in the package, but any two-sided tape that's just a bit wider than the track width will work. The plus side to using this is that the track is held in place by the tape in whatever shape you like (within limits, of course), but I still used Marklin track nails to make sure it stayed put. It also holds the ballast in place fairly well, but I still used a diluted white glue solution to secure the ballast.

Ralph.
Offline d_landen@yahoo.com  
#13 Posted : 30 August 2019 04:46:52(UTC)
d_landen@yahoo.com

United States   
Joined: 02/10/2013(UTC)
Posts: 77
Location: West Texas
Hello

I know what you mean about the flex track. It can be a bit difficult. I did my layout with sectional pieces and I like the the clicking and clacking of the cars going over the sections. I used nails too.

You might have to search the web a bit to find them but there are small clamps which will hold the track sections in place as you work with them. I used ”spur z gleis werkzeug” on a preliminary search thinking Europe may be the likely source location. This could be translated at “z scale track tool” if you prefer a North America search I have seen them before but didn’t pay much attention.

This type of tool may make it a bit easier to work with the tight radius and nails you prefer. Check it out. Here is a possible source. https://www.fohrmann.com...clamps.html?number=01425
Offline Poor Skeleton  
#14 Posted : 31 August 2019 23:15:44(UTC)
Poor Skeleton

United Kingdom   
Joined: 09/10/2015(UTC)
Posts: 124
Location: England, Cambridge
Originally Posted by: stickers66 Go to Quoted Post
I am using Microtrains flextrack. I quite like this track, but joining any flextrack where the radius is tight is nothing short of hell. My question for the forum is: should I continue to use the Marklin nails to fix the track to the layout, or should I glue the whole lot down?

Thoughts?


Flexible track is great in many respects, but can be awkward especially if you have joints on curves - doubly so with tight radii.

I always glue down flexi track using impact adhesive. The instant grab is great, but you have to be quite precise with the laying. I put sheet of paper between the bed and track to prevent it sticking before I'm ready peeling it back as I go.

If you can't avoid joins on curves, bend the rail before to lay. A tin can or similar is a useful former for doing this evenly (owing to the spring in the track you'll need to form it to a considerably smaller radius than you're laying).

Hope this helps


Chris

Offline stickers66  
#15 Posted : 05 October 2019 02:43:09(UTC)
stickers66

Canada   
Joined: 21/05/2019(UTC)
Posts: 20
Location: British Columbia, Vancouver
Little update. My track is down and glued. There was some cursing, but it's not bad. I've soldered some of my gaps and smoothed things out with a file. Funny, the only bit of track causing problems is the Marklin straight feeder track. Ive ordered a a nice set from Belgium that hopefully will run on the curves:

http://www.lokshow.de/sh...MHI&Seite=1&SID=


If it doesn't work I should be able to pass it on at no loss, or keep it for at the office ;)

The gradient and curve is proving a bit much for three cars and the little 0-6-0 engine that came with my starter set. Hopefully the larger engine will do better.

Offline Poor Skeleton  
#16 Posted : 05 October 2019 22:04:47(UTC)
Poor Skeleton

United Kingdom   
Joined: 09/10/2015(UTC)
Posts: 124
Location: England, Cambridge
Originally Posted by: stickers66 Go to Quoted Post
My track is down and glued. There was some cursing, but it's not bad.


If a job doesn't involve some cursing, your standards probably aren't high enough! (If you need help, I have an excellent repertoire of swear-words I'd be glad to share.)

I can't comment on its performance on tight curves, but for pulling power I've yet to find anything that beats 88942/88943. Not currently in production, but there always seem to be some on ebay (which is where I got two of my three from).

Have fun!


Chris

Offline stickers66  
#17 Posted : 06 October 2019 01:25:05(UTC)
stickers66

Canada   
Joined: 21/05/2019(UTC)
Posts: 20
Location: British Columbia, Vancouver
Interesting! my "local" Marklin was suggestion those as well. I was cautious about the 5-axle configuration. But I think because it doesn't have a pilot wheels at the front it's better on tight curves. I'll see how the engine to my set does and then consider the 88942/88943 as an alternative. Saw a nice video on Youtube - a nice little loco!
Offline Poor Skeleton  
#18 Posted : 06 October 2019 18:11:18(UTC)
Poor Skeleton

United Kingdom   
Joined: 09/10/2015(UTC)
Posts: 124
Location: England, Cambridge
Originally Posted by: stickers66 Go to Quoted Post
Interesting! my "local" Marklin was suggestion those as well. I was cautious about the 5-axle configuration.



I also have 88962 which, I think, is the modern equivalent to the loco in your set. If anything, it is less tolerant of tight curves than 88942/88943.

I have a short length of flexi track so if you can let me know your minimum radius I can test run with the 10-wheeler and let you know how it copes.

All the best


Chris
Offline stickers66  
#19 Posted : 12 October 2019 18:14:44(UTC)
stickers66

Canada   
Joined: 21/05/2019(UTC)
Posts: 20
Location: British Columbia, Vancouver
Okay, looks like I flew too close to the sun. My radius and curves are hopelessly too aggressive for anything but a a loco with two cars. I should have paid attention to what I read about putting a grade on a curve. The new set I bought arrived and is stunning. The loco is definitely larger, heavier and stronger, but it seems to have even more trouble since I think it has too much torque. I will have to revisit my layout idea, and likely start over. I will do some testing with a flat sheet of plywood and test various grades, curves and train lengths.

EGovi3rVAAELHh5.jpg

Edited by user 13 October 2019 20:29:04(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline Bahner  
#20 Posted : 13 October 2019 07:40:28(UTC)
Bahner

United States   
Joined: 18/11/2017(UTC)
Posts: 98
Location: California, East Bay
Originally Posted by: stickers66 Go to Quoted Post
Okay, looks like I flew too close to the sun. My radius and curves are hopelessly too aggressive for anything but a a loco with two cars. I should have paid attention to what I read about putting a grade on a curve. The new set I bought arrived and is stunning. The loco is definitely larger, heavier and stronger, but it seems to have even more trouble since I think it has too much torque. I will have to revisit my layout idea, and likely start over. I will do some testing with a flat sheet of plywood and test various grades, curves and train lengths. EGovi3rVAAELHh5.jpg


My very first Z locomotive was the Marklin 88943 (DB_class 94.5). Due to it's potentially tight curve problematic 5 axle config, it was a good candidate to test tight radii and grades with. All by itself, I was able to get it to work itself around tight 145 mm
(5-3/4") radii curves some of the time, but it sure wasn't a pretty sight!

As you mentioned, 'grade + radius' gives the 'effective grade'. I have found grade + radii calculators for HO and N that give the effective grave, but none specifically for Z.

After quite a bit of preliminary testing, I decided to stay on the conservative side regarding grade at 1.4% overall (straights and curves), but since I have an interior branch line on the layout, I do use lots of tight 145 mm (5-3/4") radii. A small tank locomotive, such as a Marklin 88957 (T 12 KPEV), has no trouble hauling 5 - 6 cars up this grade/radii. Running 'backwards' on my Branch line also works, even though it is 1.9 degree grade, but anything over 4 - 5 cars can sometimes cause some noticeable slowing/straining (depending on the weight of the individual cars).

Here you can see this small tank loco running the interior branch line:

Kleinhopfensee Z Track Layout

Hope this helps in your planning!


Ralph.

Edited by user 16 October 2019 06:20:27(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline stickers66  
#21 Posted : 13 October 2019 20:28:39(UTC)
stickers66

Canada   
Joined: 21/05/2019(UTC)
Posts: 20
Location: British Columbia, Vancouver
That's a nice demonstration video. And that's a nice gradual gradient without any aggressive turns. Nice to see the little startup set (not moving) as well. Seems the smaller locos, even though not as heavy may in fact do better on a gradient with a tight radius because by default the handle the radius better. Sheer pulling power it's no contest.

Part of my problem - i love a two level layout! It's just visually way more interesting than just your oval or figure-8. But that said, you have to be realistic on what you can get away with.

Offline Bahner  
#22 Posted : 15 October 2019 06:57:34(UTC)
Bahner

United States   
Joined: 18/11/2017(UTC)
Posts: 98
Location: California, East Bay
Originally Posted by: stickers66 Go to Quoted Post
That's a nice demonstration video. And that's a nice gradual gradient without any aggressive turns. Nice to see the little startup set (not moving) as well. Seems the smaller locos, even though not as heavy may in fact do better on a gradient with a tight radius because by default the handle the radius better. Sheer pulling power it's no contest.

Part of my problem - i love a two level layout! It's just visually way more interesting than just your oval or figure-8. But that said, you have to be realistic on what you can get away with.



So far, I have found that a loco with 3 fixed axles works fine on Marklin's tightest track (R 145 mm). Extra swiveling lead or trailing axles don't count since since they 'go with the flow', so to speak.

If you want to have one single continuous line of track at multiple levels (as opposed to 2 or more separate lines at different levels), have you considered a helix to get from one level to another? I've seen two helixes (one at each end) or a reverse loop at one end to then come back down a single helix that the consist originally went up on.

Ralph.

Edited by user 16 October 2019 06:21:22(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline Poor Skeleton  
#23 Posted : 15 October 2019 22:40:54(UTC)
Poor Skeleton

United Kingdom   
Joined: 09/10/2015(UTC)
Posts: 124
Location: England, Cambridge
Originally Posted by: Bahner Go to Quoted Post
If you want to have one single continuous line of track at multiple levels (as opposed to 2 or more separate lines at different levels), have you considered a helix to get from one level to another?


I have a helix on my layout and it's certainly a useful device, as well as a fun one! However, to achieve a 3% gradient and reasonable spacing between courses, I had to build it at 280mm radius, so I'm not sure this is the answer to stickers67 dilemma.

Cheers


Chris

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