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Ive been able to aquire more room recently, and work has slowed down a bit.

So heres whats rolling around in my half empty head, I want to run a double shelf style layout around the walls, 9x9.5. Im going to have the tracks that run up against the walls handle the transition between the top and bottom levels. The Top will be fully scenic'd and the bottom is going to be mainly staging, but I want to be able to expand and finish that level as time and $$$ allow.

My question (for now) is simple, how much space between the shelves? I was think 18 to 20 inches, is this too much? To little? at a 4% grade, with the length of the walls It'll have to go around one time before it gets to either the top or bottom layer (have I confused you yet?), I think this is managable and do able.

My track plan is still bein ironed out.. and its done by hand, so I cant show you, Ya'll will have to wait till construction starts I suppose. Its going to have a small 'city' switching area, a intermodal pig yard and auto rack loading (two very local industries with which i get to visit daily!) and of course staging on the bottom for now

Thanks for the input!!


Diesel Detail Freak
On my dad's (the one linked) the "levels" are 4-6" only because its not truly double decked, but rather a double loop crossing over itself. 9" x 9.5" is rough especially with 22" curves. If you see the beginning of that thread it was a dog bone, but it was too tight. For decks, somewhere between 18" & 24" works, to get enough viewing and reaching space. My own personal (not my dad's thats linked) will be around 18" at its lowest, up to about 23", where the decks cover each other. HOWEVER, I won't link it, because I have alot of planning to do!


Diesel Detail Freak
Well I won't be touching it for a while, he's in Michigan, and I'm in California. He'll be doing the final "cleaning" and setting up the backdrop starting in the new year, by March-April, he should be working on bench work.
Yeah thats a bit of a drive to help out! Id rather be in california as opposed to Mich. specially this time of the year!


If you are planning for only staging to be on the lower deck, 18"-20" separation is probably a luxury you might be happier doing without. If this is HO, 8" or so of clearance is probably sufficient, the key is getting your 1:1 scale hands in there to deal with maintenance and the inevitable derailment.

A 4% grade around curves is pretty steep, since the curves will increase the effective grade. This is especially true with long cars like intermodal cars that will bind a bit more around the curves. I believe you'll find that grade is too steep for reliable operation without a lot of fussing.

In my opinion, you'd be better off with less separation, fewer laps of hidden track, and a lesser grade.


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