Martin Tärnrot

Trackwork: Siding Following Curve

Martin Tärnrot
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Duration:   3  mins

Modeler Martin Tärnrot shares ideas for creating a siding after a curve – varying trackwork to get the same functionality but higher reliability (fewer derailments and less fuss with rolling stock). We typically build our layouts inside rooms, so the sidings are often after a curve, or where the corner of the room is.

If you look at track plans in books or from track manufacturers, they have laid out the turnouts poorly. Martin hopes this video will help you do better trackwork that also suits your preferences. Be sure to also check our other MRA videos on Track.

Note that this video includes diagrams of the designs discussed and shown.


Martin shows a typical siding after a curve in a layout – first there is a left-hand curve and directly after that, a right-hand turnout. This creates a double-S curve, which is a challenge, especially for long cars. The car bodies swing out to the maximum in opposite directions just as they pass over the turnout.


If possible, it’s better to have a left-hand turnout after a left-hand curve. Then you only have one S curve and it happens in the siding away from the turnout. One way to overcome this S curve problem is to add a straight section between the curve and the first turnout. Make sure it’s longer than your longest car.


The drawback with that solution is it shortens the siding. In most cases, you want to go the other way. You want to optimize the length of the siding, then the curve turnout is the solution. The problem with this is, curve turnouts are not common on the prototypes. If realism is important to you, a curve turnout is not a good option.

You can still have basically the same trackwork but using a standard turnout instead. This solution gives you long sidings, helps avoid the curve turnouts, and stays within the same space restrictions for the trackwork.

For more on trackwork planning, we have a full DVD or streaming class available, Essential Considerations for Trackwork.

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