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Corner Modules

When I was a member of the Raritan Valley HiRailers modular railroad club, I designed a new corner module.  It uses two modules to turn a corner (each module covers an arc of 45 degrees), and uses preformed Ross curved track with very wide diameters -- O-128 on the outside, O-120 in the middle, O-112 on the inside.  The track spacing is the modular standard -- 3-3/4" from the edge of the module to the center rail of the first track, and 4-1/4" between center rails of the tracks.  This module design places the inside track at 3-3/4" from the edge of the module as well, so that the module can be flipped end-for-end to form an S-curve rather than a corner.  The following diagram shows the various dimensions, angles, and miter cuts.

Here are a few photos of the corner modules under construction.  The first photo shows the basic module.  Eight of them form a complete circle, with the outside and inside octagonal in shape (think of a gazebo).  All of the corners are mitered using the angles shown above and are joined using biscuits and glue.

Here's the reverse side, showing detail of the woodwork.  The module is built of 1x4 pine covered with 1/2" AC plywood and is very strong.  The plywood top is pneumatically stapled to the frame -- the only screws used are those in the leg pockets.  The small piece of wood to the right of the top leg pocket is a glue block which is mitered at 45 degrees -- it's used to force the top mitered joint to a perfect 135 degrees and provide more glue surface.

Here's a detail shot of the pocket for the legs.  It's built of 2x4 blocks with a pine plate, all glued and screwed together. The jam bolt is threaded through a tee nut, and when the leg is inserted and the bolt turned, the leg is forced square and plumb and is held very securely.

This is a module after the cork roadbed has been attached.  You can now begin to see the outline of very wide curves that these modules allow!

Here's the same module after painting and placing the track.  The sides of the outside rails have been painted to simulate the rust that is typical of rail in the real world.

Add some ballast and scenic materials, and you start to get something that looks pretty good!

Here's a photo showing a module with the moldings that hold the plexiglas installed, as well as the new plexiglas that will be used at upcoming shows.  That's an MTH Premier Erie Triplex posing on the module!

The molding is made out of red oak, and is a double-chamfer custom design.

Add a few shrubs and a few trees, and you have a finished corner module!

Last updated: 24 Feb 2023

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