My kids were making this train track of duplo the other day, and this is what they put together. They are still very young, and for them, this is something big. They were really proud that they created this awesome track:
I liked it very much. It is built with 2 types of tracks: curved rails and straight rails (the road crossing is basically the same as 1 straight rail). However, as a father, I also don't want broken duplo pieces, so I wanted to make sure the track is not under too much tension. For example: If you want to make a closed loop, you could put 12 curved rails in a circle, and that's perfectly fine. However, with brute force you could put 13 curved rails in a circle, but the track would be under too much tension, and it's probably not good for the duplo pieces.
I basically have 2 main questions:
Is there any way to quickly see if there is any tension, and why? (I know I could just take one piece out, and put it back in to feel it myself, but I am looking for a more logical way, so I am able to reason it.)
Suppose I want to update the track in the picture to have less tension.
- If you have to take away exactly 1 rail piece (straight or curved), which one is the best, and why?
- If you have to add exactly 1 rail piece (straight or curved), what is the optimal place to insert one?
I am sure this could be calculated mathematically, but I prefer a more quick, practical way.
I found this very interesting site about duplo rail dimensions, which covers the basics of duplo rails. I think it is really useful for this question.
NOTE: This is the first time that I am asking a question, without knowing the answer myself. I am not entirely sure if this kind of question is on topic, feel free to give feedback.