Creating Curved Model Railroad Track Templates

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Building a model railroad track from scratch can present some interesting challenges, especially when it comes to navigating tricky landscapes and wide curves. For curved regions of a layout, in particular, experienced modelers know the benefits of using model railroad track templates to take the unnecessary steps out of drawing the path of their tracks. In this lesson, we teach you some expert tips and techniques you can utilize to build curved model railroad track templates that can be used for a wide range of layouts.

Tips for making curved model railroad track templates

The process of making curved model railroad track templates is relatively simple, and it will save you a ton of time and headache when setting lines for curved tracks on your layouts. To show you the proper technique, NMRA Master Modeler Gerry Leone walks you through a step-by-step demonstration for tracing and cutting a 30-degree curve on cardboard.

All you’ll need to make curved model railroad track templates is an adjustable trammel, a splayed cardboard box and a punch. Gerry teaches you how to set the trammel for a 30-degree curve, and then demonstrates the expert technique necessary to trace and cut out model railroad track templates that can be used over and over. Once you’ve drawn and cut the curves, you can poke evenly-spaced holes along the centerline of your model railroad track templates, and then simply connect the dots to create a curved track path on any subroadbed.

As an added bonus, Gerry shows you a little trick for creating S-curve tracks by aligning segments of your curved model railroad track templates. These methods can be adjusted to any size arc you need for your specific layout, all you have to do is hone in your trammel and start tracing! With Gerry’s quick tips and techniques for creating curved model railroad track templates, you can save yourself valuable time forming curved tracks on all your model railroad layouts.

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