Help Please....design a dbl-deck layout in its own Hand-House shed

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tootnkumin

Active Member
Staff member
#41
Not exactly sure of what you are saying?


Yes, was a bit clear as mud wasn't it. What I was meaning (and the main reason for that long train video from the club, and the layout you've shown as an example) it's possible to have more than one mainline without necessarily going to having them built on seperate shelves, accessed by a helix. They can still be at different levels but have interchanges with each at common yards. With a smaller layout of course, you will be restricted to one, or maybe two such interchanges. You can still, as at my club, use a helix to get a little more elevation between the mainlines if you wish. Many of those scenes on that video are less than 18" wide.

The spiral's mountain is hollow shell, but that still has to be supported by framing and that is what creates the difficlties with tunnels and tracks underneath. In the case with the club's one, the tunnels beneath were an afterthought, many years after it was built, so there was no forward planning involved. One track has a dip in it to clear a support, which can and does at times create uncoupling issues in a spot which is hard to get to. If it had been built originally from the bottom up, the top exposed track's supports would have been properly placed.
 

beiland

Active Member
#42
.... I made the lower (height 0") loop of 22" radius so that it would not be directly under the upper (height 4"0) loop, and could be better seen. Personally, I don't like the double separate loop concept at all (especially here were the cross between the two is really one way,
View attachment 61885
What if?
What if those 2 loops were at the same height? Would there be enough space between the tracks (24" & 22" radius) for 2 trains to pass one another,...particularly with the 2 passing in opposite directions?,...and particularly if there some longer passenger cars and/or articulated steam locos? What sort of track separation would be required in that case? Or could there be a 22 & 25 combo?

I use to like to see 2 trains run at different speeds in the same direction on these two parallel tracks on my Central Midland layout,...or 2 trains passing in different directions on these lines,...
Here is how Eric did a similar two tracks around his turntable scene on the Central Midland...
Eric's turntable scene.jpg

Here is how I did it on my Central Midland..
Turntable Scene, 1024pix.jpg
paper layout turntable.jpg
IMG_6883.jpg
 
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#43
What if?
What if those 2 loops were at the same height? Would there be enough space between the tracks (24" & 22" radius) for 2 trains to pass one another,...particularly with the 2 passing in opposite directions?,...and particularly if there some longer passenger cars and/or articulated steam locos? What sort of track separation would be required in that case? Or could there be a 22 & 25 combo?
Not really, particularly no with long equipment. 22 / 25 would work. As I recall that is how the book version of the Central Midland does it. They have two curve sets of 22" radius with a 3" leader on the outside track (which is essentially a 25").

On the other hand as it turns out closer examination of the Lone Pine & Thonopha seems it is a much better design for your space. I didn't realize when I posted earlier that it was really a loop to loop. I futzed around with it for a while today. Should have left more out but once again just wanted to get the idea of how it would fit. I got the elevation of the branch track reversed - It would never work how I have it. The front "town" needs to be down with the branch bridged over it. And of course one can easily do better with curved turnouts, especially with the entrance to the yard. In the end very cluttered.
BELAND Tonapha.png

There is nothing in this layout for having trains passing same direction side by side.
 
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beiland

Active Member
#44
Wow, its beginning to look like my original ideas might just be possible.

BTW....
I am currently hosting a similar discussion over on this 'blog', and as it turns out the designer of the Anon & Muss RR has joined the discussion....

I have ask him to clarify that track configuration at the head of the peninsula,...just in case we are missing something in the 'interpretation'.
This was his reply:
Don Michell said:
It's easiest to explain looking at the schematic. You are correct in realizing the tracks on the center peninsula blob are directly over each other. Basically the black lines represent the lower level and the red lines represent the middle level. Both are climbing upward in a clockwise direction. (Blue lines are an upper level branch.)

I don't have access to the original article and drawings at the moment, but hopefully there was a profile that showed elevations and grades. If not, there are small numbers (unhighlighted) on the main drawing that show the track elevations. For example, just to the left of the box marked "main controls" at the end of the peninsula, the numbers show track elevations of 2" and 6". Elsewhere you'll find that same 4" separation between track levels thoughout the plan.
Don Mitchell
 
#46
Wow, its beginning to look like my original ideas might just be possible.
Or some semblance there of. Look close at the drawings. Both the one I threw out and the one from the other discussion ended up with an isle of only 16" (off the upper right of the center blob). That is tight even for a single person operation.

I'm thinking it might be a good idea to move the stub ended yard to the center area and eliminate the blob loop on it.
 

beiland

Active Member
#47
I agree that 16" is too tight.

I'm wondering if the peninsula shape could be offset from direct center and leaning over a bit more to the 'thinner side' on the left, opposite side from the yard?
Plus, as you mentioned a little earlier the use of some dbl-curve turnouts might help condense the yard,...I have a number of such turnouts.
 

beiland

Active Member
#48
Shelf Brackets

If I can find shelf brackets something like these, or perhaps have some made to my specs,

newbench-2, brackets.jpg

I could utilize them under that whole side of the layout where the turntable and yard scene is. Rather the using the 2' foam sub-roadbed in that area, just utilize 5/8 or 3/4 plywood sub-roadbed attached to those shelf brackets. Why?

Because now my sub-roadbed is at a very minimum thickness that allows tracks underneath it at a minimum drop in height. And those bracket designs (especially if modified a little) allow for some staging track space and mounting of, in that triangular area of the bracket,...snug up under the main track level. I'd be willing to bet I could get 4-5 closely spaced stagging tracks under there?

There is another area where i might want to consider plywood sub-roadbed in lieu of thick foam. At the head of that peninsula blob where the Anon & Muss trackplan called for one of its loops to be located over the other, I would need for that one lower loop to dive down under the upper one. It would be advantageous for the upper sub-roadbed to be a minimum thickness there also.

...just thinking
 
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beiland

Active Member
#49
Helix Link & Vertical Clearance for Modern Dbl-stack Container Cars, Auto Carriers

..excerpt
Helix
I'm imagining the donut shaped helix housed inside a short flat box like structure built of square tube aluminum tubes that can be bolted up to rear external face of my metal shed (to the studs of the shed), and with two 'legs' at its outer edges. I will be able to access the inner hollow of the helix from up underneath. Naturally the box structure that houses the helix will have metal sheeting covering it just like the shed itself. I have all of this alum metal already, and chose to utilize light weight alum rather than heavier and rot prone wood-frame construction.

I am imagining that the lower entrance to the helix will be from a track that is already rising in grade from the blob/head portion of peninsula (in order to pass over other tracks at the root of the peninsula)....so one less level required of the helix itself. It will then rise up to the upper level and enter back into the layout room in a straight shot down the long edge of the shed/layout.
I'm off on another tangent discussion at the moment,...building a Helix with PVC pipe tubing as the roadbed
http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/forum/showthread.php?40316-Building-a-Helix-with-PVC-Pipe

Height of modern freight cars?
With considerations to the helix discussion, and that of any tunnels on a layout, what is the vertical clearance (top of the rail to top of the freight car) that must be provided to allow running these modern freight cars?
(sorry, my cars are all in stowage at the moment so don't have any to measure)
 

otiscnj

Active Member
#50
One of my criteria is always, do I have the skill to build what I've actually designed? If not, then time for a rethinking of things. The people who are members of this forum can be counted on for plenty of ideas. There are some interesting designs posted in this thread. The thing is that you don't want to 'bite off more than you can chew.'

Got a slightly different question-any ventilation to your shed? Just thinking it could get warm or cold at times. Best of luck!
 

beiland

Active Member
#51
......

Got a slightly different question-any ventilation to your shed? Just thinking it could get warm or cold at times. Best of luck!
Got it fully insulated, and it is sitting out of the direct sunlight by being located under the carport roof. I have a ceiling fan in the middle roof and a room size AC unit in the side. I had considered another ventilating fan to use in lieu of the AC, but I'm not sure I will need it.
AC in shed.jpg
AC in shed, outside view.jpg
 
#52
Beiland, I missed your question earlier regarding height of modern freight cars. The NMRA gauge height clearance is 3 5/32" (80mm). But that doesn't provide for fingers. I think that most folks aim for 4" when constructing helixes or tunnels, of which I have none on my layout. I do have highway overpasses at 4" which clears double-stacks and autoracks. Real life autoracks are about 20' tall (+ rail height).

Willie
 

beiland

Active Member
#53
Thanks Willie, I will work with that 4" clearance figure for the helix. i am currently looking at several different construction methods for the helix,...in between some other non-railroad related home projects, and one project helping out a friend with his recent sold warehouse. This has stalled my layout plans temporarily.
 

otiscnj

Active Member
#54
Ashlin Designs, on the web, makes a helix kit(several actually), in several radii. I have no connection to them. I did buy one of their kits for HO (26-28" radii), as I was thinking about including a helix in my layout, however haven't actually built it (the helix) as of yet. Its a bit pricey, but I figured it would save time, and actually work. It is all wood. Threaded rods might be better.

Regarding the ventilation, I only ask, as what happens when you have a dozen people who want to run, or watch your layout. Creature comforts are important, too, to some extent. I wasn't sure what part of the country(or which one) you are in. If you need another ceiling vent, you can always add it later, right?

Looking forward to more posts!
Carl/Otis
 

beiland

Active Member
#55
Ashlin Designs, on the web, makes a helix kit(several actually), in several radii. I have no connection to them. I did buy one of their kits for HO (26-28" radii), as I was thinking about including a helix in my layout, however haven't actually built it (the helix) as of yet. Its a bit pricey, but I figured it would save time, and actually work. It is all wood. Threaded rods might be better.
Here is a few ideas I am considering in building a helix.

Just to help with visualizing the concept. Lets say you had a 5 foot square by 2 foot deep wooden box that had no top on it.

Now lets coil some 1/2 inch dia PVC pipe into that box without overlapping the pipe upon itself,...the coil will grow in height within the box as we coil an ever-longer piece of PVC tube into that box. The box will force the normally straight tube into a nice 5 foot, (60" diameter circle,...30" radius) within the box. (btw, I have a few sources already that confirm that this PVC tubing could be coiled into as little as 24" radius).

PS: The frame structure could be fabricated from wood of course, but I chose alum tubes for 2 reasons:
1) I have some already that I salvaged from an old screened in porch structure here in FL
2) I'm looking for materials that are less affected by moisture, humidity, etc ie, alum & pvc ,...particularly since my helix structure is going to 'outside' of the train room shed.
...more here:
http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/forum/showthread.php?40316-Building-a-Helix-with-PVC-Pipe/page2





Regarding the ventilation, I only ask, as what happens when you have a dozen people who want to run, or watch your layout. Creature comforts are important, too, to some extent. I wasn't sure what part of the country(or which one) you are in. If you need another ceiling vent, you can always add it later, right?

Looking forward to more posts!
Carl/Otis
Its going to be rather tight a tight fit for folks in my layout room. I imagine only 2, or maybe 3, at a time. But that's fine with me. I'm looking to maximize the track coverage in my shed layout.

Now that I have some good alternatives to work on with the helix, I will get back to the layout itself real soon. I think i am going to employ that 48" hoop of alum I found to do a little sketching on-the-floor of what I might be able to get into that shed room.
 
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beiland

Active Member
#57
I had thoughts and plans on putting an exhaust fan in there in addition to the air con and the ceiling fan, but actually its been almost bearable without the air-con due to the fact that it does not get direct sunlight (sheltered by the carport cover), the insulation, and with the overhead fan running. Maybe an exhaust fan under the air-con if things get gassy :rolleyes:
 

beiland

Active Member
#58
Loops on the floor

Now that I have some good alternatives to work on with the helix, I will get back to the layout itself real soon. I think i am going to employ that 48" hoop of alum I found to do a little sketching on-the-floor of what I might be able to get into that shed room.
Decided to draw a few loops on the floor of the shed just to explore the possibilities. Those loops are 48" in diameter. And the center loop is offset over to the left of the shed's floor, thus leaving more room fo the yard/ city /roundhouse scene on that right hand side.
DSCF1182.jpg
View attachment 62309

I'm wondering if the peninsula shape could be offset from direct center and leaning over a bit more to the 'thinner side' on the left, opposite side from the yard?

Now I think if I make the city backdrop very much thinner than on the Lone Pine & Tonopah....as I have said before...
...some excerpts

.... With that in mind I would be interested in that roundhouse scene and city backdrop being located somewhat similar on that right hand side 'blob' of my layout as one enters the layout.

Turntable, City, Freight Yard side of layout.jpg

My city backdrop would have to be just a single layer of very thinly sectioned buildings, and a good painted backdrop. I would still like to have that circular mainline going around the roundtable facility and 'under' the city. I would also like to have that mainline join with the one that would cross the shed's door opening via a nice lift-out bridge

I'd also like to have a small diesel engine service area at the other end of the railyard in front of the city. (perhaps down where the tracks begin to turn in toward the peninsula)?

My peninsula may have to be offset to the left like the LP&T in order to get that yard and city scene in an acceptable manner. But off-center shouldn't be a problem with what I have in mind locating on the peninsula platform itself?
 

Attachments

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beiland

Active Member
#59
Cardboard Mock-up

Yesterday afternoon I was out running a few errands and the thought came to me about the possibility of making some mockups of the lower level shelf(s). How about cardboard mock-ups?
I stopped by a furniture/appliance sales store who told me to come back tomorrow afternoon when they had a truck of new pieces.

The I stopped by a cabinet sales store who said they had just unpacked some items that day. WOW, I found multiple large pieces of cardboard, and white ones at that. I'm looking forward to making some mock-ups of the basic shelf shapes to see what I can fit in that area comfortably.
 
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beiland

Active Member
#60
Turnout within the Helix ?

..... I'm also having some heart burn trying to figure out how to enter and exit the helix without doing some sort of crossover or making the layout a really long loop to loop type. Somewhere I remember reading about an offset helix that allowed multiple entries and exits but I can't find the reference, nor did I examine it enough at the time to understand how it worked.
Is it possible to include a turnout within the helix track structure, without too much concern?

http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/forum/showthread.php?40316-Building-a-Helix-with-PVC-Pipe&p=454021#post454021
 



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