First Fall From Helix - Can I protect my fleet?

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B_Kosanda

Member
Well it was bound to happen with the new helix. I had a couple of Walthers cars fall about 4 feet to the cement floor and they took a real beating. I was just glad it was not a locomotive! This occured when I was running a freight with powered helpers down the helix. I've been scenicing the layout and the locos had dirty wheels and were running very jerky.

Is there a way I can protect cars from falling to the floor in my helix? I was thinking it might be OK to hang a net of some kind accross the middle of the helix. One that can be removed very easily to get quick access in case I need to get in there. Any thoughts?

Bill
 

SpitFireV12RR

New Member
I have the perfect way.

Get some Nylon netting from here. Choose your color and size complexity. I would personally go with the S-800 or S-900 on the bottom of the page.
I would then cut a hole in the base of your helix, and staple 1 side of your netting to the base. For you other 3 sides, so that it is removable to collect cars, I would use velcro. Holds well, and easily taken off.

Thanks,
Spit
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Wow, I like that website. I was thinking, for my helix (which will only be about 12" tall" the outer edges in plexiglass, and the interior with something removable, yet strong enough to hold a unit should it derail.
 

Railphotog

Railroad Photographer
I've seen short strips of masonite, about 1-1/2" high fastenend to the sides of the track risers in a helix to stop rolling stock from falling off. It bends easily and can fllow the curved roadbed. Probably could be stapled on. Might be hard to do if the helix is completed and scenicked.

Bob Boudreau
 

Rico

BN Modeller
Similar to the masonite fix, cardboard strips also work well and are easily cut and held in place with tacks. I use the old cereal box type or the kind you get with new shirts.
I like the net idea, definately a good backup to the sides!
Rico
 

RexHea

RAIL BENDER
Rico said:
Similar to the masonite fix, cardboard strips also work well and are easily cut and held in place with tacks. I use the old cereal box type or the kind you get with new shirts.
I like the net idea, definately a good backup to the sides!
Rico
I use regular box cardboard strips or strips of luan and tack/hot glue them in place. They are about 1" above the sub-roadbed. In the large hidden areas of my layout, I used ground cover cloth (like you use around plants) for a net. I staple it on one side and hook it with screw hooks on the other for access. Its cheaper (Lowe's) than nylon netting.

Bill, I feel your pain. I had a Challenger do the same thing, but fortunately bounced off of a box before hitting the concrete...minor damage:eek: .
 

B_Kosanda

Member
I think I'm liking the cardboard strip idea. It is something I could do TODAY and for CHEAP. I'll give that a try. I think you're right, if it was just an inch high or so, that's all it would take. Thanks guys!

Bill
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
We don't have a helix, but do use the cardboard strip guard rails in similar places. I installed ours with a staple gun. It was a quick and easy fix.
 

Brunton

Wyoming native
My helix has wide enough "shoulders" that the chance of anything falling off is pretty small. It may lay over on it's side, but it will stay on the subroadbed.

One of the advantages of having a suspension-type helix, I guess - the subroadbed is extra wide for the suspension rods to thread through, and the extra width also doubles as a safety ledge. Although if I'm very unlucky, a loco or car could derail, bang into a threaded rod, and then be deflected onto the floor - except the trains aren't moving that fast (I hope!).

 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
I don't have a helix, but there is a section of trackwork that's under the upper level and is close to the edge of the layout. I used some spare .030" styrene there, to make a guardrail. It's only about 1/2" tall, just enough to keep the train from falling off. Since it's a straight section, I just want to divert it along, parallel to the tracks.

Kennedy
 

RexHea

RAIL BENDER
Heck, nothing wrong with that Kennedy. It doesn't take much to keep the wild ones from going overboard.;)
 




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