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Old 6th May 2011, 21:40   #1
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 56
Question helix the minimum radius

i'm in the process of planning a new layout and was thinking of adding a helix to get to a second level

what i would like to know is what is the minimum and the reccommended radius for a helix

i ve seen kits and i know noch reccommend one at 11" whick seems a bit small to me but i could be wrong, any help on this subject would be greatly appreciated

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Old 7th May 2011, 00:35   #2
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Default Re: helix the minimum radius

Turning and climbing at the same time are difficult for a train to accomplish. In a helix your climbing grade is defined by the radius of the turn, in order to provide acceptable clearance. The smaller the radius, the steeper the grade. So clearly, the bigger you can make it the better it will be.

The thinner you can make the sub-roadbed (supporting structure) the less steep the grade will need to be. Using 1/4" or even 1/8" material rather than 3/4" could make quite a difference in N scale. Giving up 'finger access' is another way. But both of these require the construction and track laying to be superb to prevent failures.

I think 11" is small, but would work. In my casual day dreaming of an N scale multi-deck layout I usually start at 13" radius - mostly because it fits in the space I have
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Old 12th May 2011, 22:52   #3
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Default Re: helix the minimum radius

This is the helix on my Area 51 Layout. The average radius was 11 inches. Because of the size of the layout, I was only operating short trains. The longer and heavier the train, the larger radius and less incline you will need.

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