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A reasonable minimum curve radius in HO is 18", although 15" is usable with the right equipment. A half circle to reverse the direction of a train is therefore 36" or 3' across. A space wide enough to accommodate this must be at least 3.5 feet. A better minimum radius is 24" which means a 4 foot wide area isn't big enough. A 24" radius is marginal for full length (85') passenger cars. Multiply by 2 for O scale or divide by 2 for N scale and you begin to see the attraction of the smaller scales.

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