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What can I run on an R150 curve?

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Let’s talk about trains that handle tight curves well. 



I’m thinking about designing a super-narrow layout with a single track and 150mm radius curves at each end. 


I know that my JRK DE10 will happily handle that radius (because I already have some of the curved track) and my entire collection of black industrial freight wagons will also manage it just fine. But I also know that my passenger coaches, my Kokis, and my other locomotives can’t do it. This isn’t surprising—it’s a very narrow radius. 


So I’m looking for either some coaches, or an EMU/DMU passenger train, that will make the turn. Is this feasible, or am I restricted to “tram” type trains? Is this all on a case-by-case basis, or is there something I can look for when shopping?

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Posted (edited)

Kato makes several R150  items. At least two are available for purchase tonight.


C12 steamer   https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10315912

Eizan Electric Railway Series 900   https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10489157      https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10489156

KUMOHA11 400 Tsurumi Line (2-Car Set) https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10367126

KUMOHA11 200 Nambu Branch Line (2-Car Set) https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10330654

KUMOHA12 50 Tsurumi Line https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10330654


Plus any two axle freight cars with Rapido couplers.

Edited by bill937ca
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Posted (edited)

At least one of the TomyTec Bo-Bo chassis (TM-10) will happily go around Tomix 103mm curves.



I recall some complaints about the Kato KuMoHa units not being very happy with their minimum advertised radius.

Edited by railsquid
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I guess the next question is, are you looking for trains that can make the R150 curves or trains that still look ok making them?


If it’s the latter, then I would stick with privately owned “tram-like” trains with short car lengths. Lines like the Eizan or Enoden spring to mind. 


Modemo is obviously the go to for Enoden models. Tomytec did some articulated trains of the Chikuho Dentetsu in Northern Kyushu. You’d need to buy the relevant motor unit for the Tomytec models and there’s no directional lights unless that’s something you want to modify.


These types of trains run through both urban and country environments as well as navigating very tight bends extremely close to buildings. It would give a lot of scope for modeling opportunities.





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Tomix have the mini curve logo on the boxes of all their trains that can do those small curves.


Pretty sure the Tomix website also mini curve section.

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All Tomix KiHa 120 can run on mini curve sections. As katoftw mentioned, there is a list of rolling stock that can handle this kind of radii on Tomix website.

As an alternative you always have the possibility to work with Shorties, which can free you from some space contraints and can make for really fun and beautiful layouts.

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Posted (edited)

3 years ago i made a little test with longer cars, series 12, of Tomix. But this cars had the shorter Tomix knuckle coupler.




But I made a list years ago for Rmin = 150mm too:




Kato C12

Kato C50

Kato C56




Kato DE10

Kato DD13

Kato DD16


Tomix DE10

Tomix DF50




Kato ED19

Kato ED75 / ED79

Tomix EF65

Tomix ED75 / ED79

Tomix ED61 / ED62

Tomix EF58 (?)




Kato KiHa 20

Kato KiHa 58,28

Kato Kiha 52

Tomix KiHa 10

Tomix KiHa 40 (possible!)




Tomix Series 113-500

Tomix Series 115

Tomix Series 211

Tomix Series 209-0

Tomix Series 209-3000

Tomytec - Collection (90%)




Series 35, 31, 12, 14, 24 with Rapido-Coupler (Tomix & Kato)

short Taki types, all Tora types, all Wamu types, Remu5000, Re12000, Ka3000, Tsumu1000, all Yo types!


Edited by lighthouse
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This looks rather pleasant.

JR 415-1500 suburban train (Kyushu color) set: https://www.tomytec.co.jp/tomix/products/n/92248.html

This is another train that, to me, is classically good looking.
JR 415-100 suburban train (Kyushu color) set: https://www.tomytec.co.jp/tomix/products/n/92581.html

Confusingly the older model 415 train was manufactured in 2015 and the new one in 2002. I wonder whether this one would run better.

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FYI, anyone else out there: the following Kato freight cars are all good on R150.


Hoki 2200 (wheat)

Hoki 5700 (Chichibu Cement)

Seki 3000 (coal)

Taki 1900 (Nihon Cement)

Taki 3000 (Japan Oil tanker)

Toki 15000 (gondola)

Wafu 29500 (guard)

Wara 1 (boxcar)
Yo 8000 (guard)


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I think most Tomytecs will. The 20m or longer stock looks a bit weird on them though!

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