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New Member
Like most everyone else I have limited space but lots of desire..I am 52 (I still can't believe it !!) and need and use reading glass's..My interest is in passenger trains with of course looong cars...I have an area for a layout approx. 4x12 or less to share half of a sewing room...(Spacemouse you have been quite an inspiration for me !!) The advice I am looking for is for my first real layout, I researched and found the Dec 94 edition of ModelRailRoader to build the Soo Red Wing Division,in HO..But again, passenger is my "druthers"..With the limited area to 18/22 inch radius would I be better off in N to accomodate those longer radius's for passenger cars and depots .??


BarryC, I'm thinking you can get away with a 22"radius with passenger cars. My dad's layout has an area that has 18"radius and his Monon passenger cars make it through that area. Again its only in one place, so it doesn't look that funny or not so funny things like derailments occur. I'm sure some of the other guys here will have better advice.


Armchair Engineer
Hi BarryC. Welcome to the forum. I have thought about doing a layout using a tour train like the American Orient Express or the Royal CanadianPacific train as the prototype. I have seen both of these trains and they are a great sight to see. Both are restored antique trains. They use older shorter cars as well as the new longer cars. You can model steam or deisel.Can do a layout fairly cheap as well.You only need one or two trains.And you can model pretty much any kind of scenery you want as they run coast to coast and on the same tracks as all the other trains.From the sound of the layout you want to build something like that should work really good in the space you have.Ron


Hi BarryC and Welcome!
I have seen some pretty impressive HO layouts the size your are talking about. True, you would be able to have more with N scale, but I just can't get the hang of handling that size.

Many will say that you need huge radii for passenger trains to look right. They would be more accurate to say " Look Better." I firmly believe that if you want passenger trains bad enough, then go for it as long as the cars will handle the radius without derailing or snagging on something.;) :)


New Member
Thanks for the replys and the welcome...I have been sitting on the fence between the two gauges for three months !!!!


Fun Lover
Recently I came this close to going to an N-scale layout--the reason, you can get 4 times as much in your space.

If passenger trains are your thing, N scale seems like the way to go. I'm 53, and I use a magnifier/lamp for just about everything I work on. The reason I stayed in HO when it comes down to it, I like painting figures. N-scale figures are just a little too small for me to achieve the results I want--creating scenes people can understand without magnification.

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