Height for bi-level with helix

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Michael J

New model railroader
I am just getting some background information for future planning.

In a typical two-level layout connected by a helix, how high are the levels above the floor? Are they something like 3 feet for the lower and 5 feet for the upper? Or maybe there is no standard? (I am accustomed to single-levels being around 4 feet from the floor.)

HO scale, by the way, if that matters.

Thank you kindly.
 

Railfan87

Member
Hi Michael,
I don't think there's any 'standard,' however, a separation between decks of at least 12", preferably 16" or more, is a reasonable compromise to allow scenery and structures.

From your chosen spacing between decks, my suggestion is set the height of the upper level where you want it and let the lower come out where it does.

Chris
 

fcwilt

Active Member
On my layout the lower lever is at 27" (storage tracks only) and the upper level is at 50".

I use 1/2" plywood over a 1x4 frame with 2" foam on top. This yields a platform 6" thick.

As a result I have 17" between the top of the lower level and the bottom of the upper level.

There was an article a few months back in MR about such issues.
 

dstern350

New Member
I am trying to build something similar. Did you need full helix to drop from the top level to the bottom? Can you post a drawing or a picture to help me get started?

Thanks
 

fcwilt

Active Member
I am trying to build something similar. Did you need full helix to drop from the top level to the bottom? Can you post a drawing or a picture to help me get started?

Thanks
Who are you asking? What do you mean by a "full helix"?
 

dstern350

New Member
fcwilt , I am still fairly novice- I have seen track plans that drop trains to a lower level using something like long L-shaped curve that grades down, instead of helix. That is what I was referring to. Thanks.
 

fcwilt

Active Member
You can use whatever approach fits the space you have. I had to use a helix since I had no other way to do it due to my limited space, no room for a long around the room run. In my case I needed to rise/drop 23" with a 2% grade and 30" radius turns.To change 23" at 2% requires appx 1150" distance. But given the way the helix had to be arranged (where the tracks entered/exited) I was constrained to N+5/8 turns. So going with 5 5/8 turns I ended up with the grade being appx 2.2%.
 




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