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Carrera tracks

"Smoother, wider, harder"

Carrera tracks are among the major track systems for home use and are the smoothest as well as the broadest and the hardest tracks. It may sound like an advert for a porn flick, but it is true just the same if we compare them with the tracks of both Scalextric and Ninco origin. Among fans, Carrera tracks really enjoy the reputation of having a club-like feel to them, as their surface texture and the snug fit of individual track pieces come pretty close to wooden or routed tracks. There are also a number of slot racing clubs in Germany that race exclusively on Carrera material.

In particular, what contributes to the wooden track like feeling is the relatively low magnetization of the conductive material when compared with other track systems. Therefore, Carrera tracks also make possible drifts that are hard to do on tracks made by other brands. However, this basically only counts when we disregard the possibility of magnet-free racing on other tracks - in this case, we can drift on all other tracks, too, so that drifting is really only an issue when we look at out-of-the-box racing. Now some people would consider drifting in itself to be a bad thing that indicates you will not achieve the highest possible curve speeds (as in real racing). Be that as it may, after all it may be a question of individual taste how how you like to get around your curves.

Carrera track measurements:

All tracks and curves are 19.8 cm wide. In the digital versions, Carrera Digital 132 and Carrera Digital 124, there are single-lane track parts that are exactly 9.9 cm wide.

Typical straight dimensions are:

The standard straight is 34.5 cm long. (Carrera 20509)

The 1/3 straight is 11.5 cm long. (Carrera 20611)

The 1/4 straight is 8.6 cm long. (Carrera 20612)

If you want to plan your own track, the radius of the different curves may also be interesting to you:

If we follow Mr. Slotbaer, the outer radii for Carrera are as found at :

Curve R1 has a 39.6 cm radius.

Curve R2 has a 59.4 cm radius.

Curve R3 has a 79.2 cm radius.

Curve R4 has a 99 cm radius.

So, what does that mean? Mr. Slotbaer is right in measuring these radii, since a full cycle consisting of 12 30° R1 Carrera curves actually has a diameter of 79.2 cm, hence the outer edge is 396 mm from the center of the circle. But as the cars don't really go along the edges of the track, what does this mean for the slots?

With Carrera, each slot is 49.5 mm from the edge, i.e., if we look at tracks that are 198 mm wide, the outer slot in an R1 curve has a radius of 346.5 mm, the outer slot has a radius of 247.5 mm, respectively.

So we obtain the following radii for the slots / the edges of the curves:

Curve Inside edge Inner slot Outer slot Outside edge
R1 198 mm 247.5 mm 346.5 mm 396 mm
R2 396 mm 445.5 mm 544.5 mm 594 mm
R3 594 mm 643.5 mm 742.5 mm 792 mm
R4 792 mm 841.5 mm 940.5 mm 990 mm

According to the Modellbau Koehn website, the radii of Carrera curves are as follows:

CAR20577 curve 1 / 30 ° (for 30 / 90 degree turns)
Outer radius of 300 mm plus 99 mm border

CAR20572 curve 2 / 30 ° for 4-lane expansion
Outer radius of 500 mm plus 99 mm border

CAR20573 curve 3 / 30 ° for 6-lane expansion
Outer radius of 700 mm plus 99 mm border

CAR20578 curve 4 / 15 ° for 8-lane extension
Outer radius of 900 mm plus 99 mm border

The dimensions obtained by Modellbau Koehn are likely to be related to the track center and are therefore quite meaningless for the slot cars.

A very nice overview of all existing Carrera curves and straights can be found at They also include all extension tracks and border pieces, (and they even state the Carrera serial numbers of the border pieces), but they refer to the systems Evolution and Exclusive. In practice, Carrera Exclusive has been largely superseded by Carrera Digital 124, but nevertheless the tracks listed there are all relevant for the digital versions (Digital 124, Digital 132) too.

For fans of digital systems, Digital 124, Digital 132 and Digital 143, there is quite a radical way of expanding your track into an odd number of lanes. Hardcore modelists can use a jig saw and saw curves apart at exactly the middle line. If you dare, you have the benefit of realising a three, five or seven lane track complete with appropriate pitstop junctions. Having done so, you will not be able to use standard track planning software any more, however, as in our experience the standard software does not consider experiments of these kinds when planning a track layout.

Update: cross-section measurements of Carrera tracks

For those who, for reasons of repairing or home-made extensions, need a cross-section with measurements, here it is:

Carrera Track measurements

The dimensions of the cross section appear below. All of the remaining dimensions are calculable by track symmetry.

H = 8.4 mm

Slot depth = 6.6 mm

L = 4.8 mm

L 1 = 16.2 mm

S tot = 198 mm

S 1 = 49.5 mm

S 2 = 4.4 mm

Z = 11.5 mm

Z 1 = 11.8 mm

Z 2 = 28.2 mm

Z 3 = 5 mm

Carrera Track Dimensions

Please click on the image to enlarge it.