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 Question: HO Scale track spacing
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Cletus
Engine Wiper

USA
496 Posts

Posted - 02/17/2009 :  08:43:57 AM  Show Profile  Visit Cletus's Homepage  Reply with Quote
In an HO scale yard, what is the spacing of parallel tracks? Center of track to Center of next parallel track?

I searched the NMRA site, but it all seems associated with curve spacing and I understand why, but for straight yard tracks, I could not locate spacing.

I am sure this was asked before, but search is not bringing up anything.

Appreciated.

Thanks!
Cletus

railmus
Fireman

Canada
1774 Posts

Posted - 02/17/2009 :  08:56:58 AM  Show Profile  Visit railmus's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I think 2" is recommended BUT remember that you may have to use your fingers to rerail cars or uncouple so decide accordingly.

John Kanakos
CNJWS II, Custom Models- Design & Build
http://www.junctionwestsub.ca
NMRA #055691 CARM # 212
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jbvb
Fireman

USA
3217 Posts

Posted - 02/17/2009 :  09:30:41 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
2 in. is scale 14 ft. 6 in. The prototype used as little as 13 ft. in the 1950s and earlier, but yard tracks often had a wider spacing to make it easier and safer workers to walk between cars. The NMRA's focus on curves is because spacing must be increased quite a bit for full-length equipment on model radii.
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desertdrover
Engineer

USA
13185 Posts

Posted - 02/17/2009 :  10:17:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have an HO track spacing tool from MLR Mfg. Co. and it puts the center lines at two (2) inches apart. If that is porotype or not, I don't know. But it leaves the track work looking right and able to operate just fine.

Louis
Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast
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brakie
Fireman

USA
6979 Posts

Posted - 02/17/2009 :  10:48:37 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I like 2" centers for my yard track and 2 1/4 for main.
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emccamey
Crew Chief

USA
931 Posts

Posted - 02/17/2009 :  11:29:33 AM  Show Profile  Visit emccamey's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The NMRA S-8 Track Centers shows an allowable 1-13/16" on true straight tangent. The recommended practice is 2-1/16" for modeling and allowable 'finger' clearance (being 2 times the gauge side 'A' clearance from S-7). Common hobby practice is the nominal 2" on straight track.

Extra center line clearances on curves are necessary and practical for models operating on compressed curvature and having both under-hang and over-hang greater than the prototype would experience.

Note: modern longer equipment are not even allowable on less than 32" minimum radius curves. These are very conservative standards - but are highly desirable design criteria. Using the Class I tables are reasonably adequate for all but the heavy steam and full length passenger operations - where Class Ia criteria should govern.

-ed-

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Cletus
Engine Wiper

USA
496 Posts

Posted - 02/18/2009 :  7:31:17 PM  Show Profile  Visit Cletus's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thank you all for this information. Sorry for delays in the thank you .... for some reason I was not getting notification for posts. And I did subscribe of course since I posted the question. I am getting notices for another thread on this forum. Gremlins no doubt.

In any case, it appeared to me to be right around the 2" range. You all more or less confirmed it.

Thanks!
Cletus
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hunter48820
Fireman

USA
6110 Posts

Posted - 02/19/2009 :  12:04:51 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm along the lines of Brakie. 2" for yard tracks and about 2 1/4" on the mains.


Look out for #1, but don't step in #2!

Andy Keeney
Dewitt, MI
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simon1966
Fireman

USA
2861 Posts

Posted - 02/19/2009 :  08:24:36 AM  Show Profile  Visit simon1966's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I opened my yard ladder up a bit to give more finger room so mine are 2 1/2" on the center-line. This was determined from experimentation as being optimal for the boys to be able to re-rail things. Here is a shot I took ages ago.


Using Peco medium turnouts required a 1 3/4" piece of track to in inserted between turnouts to get the track spacing that I desired.
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