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Here is a rough draft of what I am trying to do. Its a part-shelf, part table-top layout. More sidings will be added, and I plan on using a DCC system.

Starting from the yard a train would run level all the way through the loop. Once through the loop, a train could either go back to the yard or switch to the mountain grade (Red).

On the mtn grade the train works its way around the dog bone, then crosses over the low line, and then runs above the low line on it's own shelf. Once the train gets to the tunnel, it starts down grade, and makes up the final drop on the helix which patches back into the yard.

There will be 2 lift bridges which will be in the up position when the route is not in use to permit access to the house/garage.

I am still trying to figure out what % grade I want to do, but 3% sounds good to me. That thread is located at the link below:

Your comments/concerns please. :)


Diesel Detail Freak
Wow, wait now, if I'm getting this correctly each square is a foot (the ruler says so) that makes the yard/helix area, 8 FEET deep? So you've got 2 foot aisles and 8 feet deep of layout there. I suggest cutting it down, for accessablity issues. I mean, not that its "bad" or anything, but think of reaching 8 feet? Even if its dual side access, 4 feet is LONG. Dual side, maybe 5' fo 6' MAX? I dunno? Unless of course you've chosen to not includ drop out sections in the drawing, and I'm just missing a tad bit of your plan.

Can't wait to see it develop more!


OOOH - Yeah, there will be an isle way that runs between the helix, and yard with another lift bridge. :D I stopped short of finishing that part of the layout. I just drew in the boarders to help show what I have to work with. I'm still trying to nail down the grade, and additional siding.

So what do you think of the 2' isle way? There is only the one, and it's somewhat short, but what do you guys think?


Coal Shoveler
Two feet is the width of my office chair, which is outside to outside of the arm rests. You may want to rethink the width of that aisleway.

Like Josh said, that 8' deep section is way too deep, so your note about the missing aisleway is a relief. But, presuming your aisle will be open to the backside, I'd bulge out the helix to 4' (22" radius curve) about a foot or so (say to the 15' line), and have a short section of 2' aisleway, while the rest of the aisle is wider. That will still give you up to 3' of space for the yard; using 2.5" center to center track spacing, that gives you nearly 14 tracks at the widest point. So, you could give up some yard space for a wider aisleway.

You know what they say; we never stop growing. Instead of growing taller, we now grow wider.


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