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

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tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Sorry I haven't replied to your question about an oval helix. The difficulty with most helixes is to get as much track in them as possible to gain height with reasonable grades. 2% is considered a max if you want reasonable length trains. What I was suggesting is that you extend it across the width of the shed i.e. a half circle at each end with straight sections between, This gains you more height between turns, fewer turns to achieve that height and relieves the other bugaboo of helixes, the constant inward pressure against the couplings between rolling stock of a continuous circle. As far as weatherproofing for rain, sheeting over the top (with a slope) will take care of that.
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
I see what you mean, don't know why i didn't figure that out,...must have been tired that night that I read it.

I really don't want to extend the helix 'structure all way across the back of the shed. But I am going to absolutely make it at least 30 inches in diameter. That and all metal wheels should make it workable.

I walked out into my empty shed a few moments ago, and I think I have too big of a dream as to how much railroad I can fit into that space. I think I am going to try penciling a few sketches on the wood floor, and see if I can re-sell myself. I am certainly glad I at least purchased the 12 wide shed, as the 10 footer would have been a real problem. At first I thought I was going to have a pretty big layout space to work with ;):confused::eek:
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
Waterfront Scene

.....

I've also got quite a bit of oil tanks & refinery structures. Perhaps those need to go over near the waterfront scene I have in mind for the other 'blob' across the shed door's opening from the roundtable scene??

I just found this old subject thread of mine, with some nice photos on page 3
http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/forum/showthread.php?34473-Waterfront-Harbor-Scene-buildings-barges-tugs-detailed/page3

I've got to remember this as I may have to either cut this into sections to make use of it on my new layout, or perhaps sell this and build another waterfront scene.,....would be a shame to cut this into sections.
 

santafewillie

Same Ol' Buzzard
I've been reading this thread for a few days now, and finally have some time to comment. First, 11' 1” x 15' 1” is not a bad size, granted it will not allow all that you are looking for, but it will be adequate if used well. Steel mills, refineries, turntables and rail-yards are all space hogs, even if condensed. Many of my yard tracks are all about 15' and I can fit 18-19 freight cars/caboose and a set of double-headed SD40-2 diesels on them. Drawing things out on the floor will certainly help you visualize things. If you are going to be a solo operator, then 24" aisles might work out OK, a little tight maybe depending on your girth when turning around. The heights for your two decks are reasonable, I am 5'4" and mine are at 36" and 56"...I have to use elevation helpers to completely access parts of the upper deck. In most places, my upper deck is as wide as the lower, but I also have 32" minimum aisles, so shoulder clearance is not an issue. A blob will work in the center peninsula if the decks along the walls are narrowed down on each side. Consider a stub-ended yard or industrial switching district on the upper level...a harbor/wharf? Lastly, the helix. I too am considering a helix on the outside of the train shed, protruding out on the porch. At the present I am just running two separate layouts and I already have turnouts installed for the future. For now they just serve as spurs to a couple of industries. As a solo operator, a single track helix is all you need if that is going to be your operating mode. I can only run a single train at a time myself, as I operate point to point and have no continuous run loops. Please note however that a helix in a non-climate controlled area, even if varmint-proof, could have issues, especially in a humid place like Florida. I know that you are planning on using lots of metal structural components, but if wood is used as the helix roadbed, the humidity will cause real problems. I would consider enclosing and insulating it and cut a small rectangular ventilation hole in the walls. It could be about 16"w x 8"h and be located close to the bottom of the upper deck to make it mostly unobtrusive. An insulated trapdoor can still provide access from underneath.
Just a few rambling thoughts to keep Toot from monopolizing this thread.

Willie
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Willie, Glad you came in, definitely needs more than one or two perspectives for a questioner to form an opinion and plan that suits them.
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
I walked out into my empty shed a few moments ago, and I think I have too big of a dream as to how much railroad I can fit into that space. I think I am going to try penciling a few sketches on the wood floor, and see if I can re-sell myself. I am certainly glad I at least purchased the 12 wide shed, as the 10 footer would have been a real problem. At first I thought I was going to have a pretty big layout space to work with.
I too have been reading this thread for a while but had no time to ponder let alone make a meaningful reply. But at lunch time today I did and also did some doodling, such that my comment was going to be what you just had a self revelation of. Both the sample layouts you are looking at are substantially larger than your space. It is going to be hard to fit some things in, even as such the track close to the isles will be mostly curved track.

Planning on 24" curves and 24" isles I was able to get two end blobs, and one in the center but there is little "run" down either side except at the back. If you really like bridges one could constantly cross from back to front to make more flowing type track. 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.
 
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Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
...anybody have some software we could sketch up a few of my crazy ideas?
Well, it isn't crazy it is just a boring first draft of what I threw together just to get an idea of the space. Ignoring the issue of entry and exit from helix. Crazy might be to try to do two loops of track in the center blob. But with the tight space they might end up being mostly on top of one another.
beland 1.png

And you know, staring at this after I posted it, I just got an idea for the helix.... Enter and exit at about a 30 degree angle with one branch going into the center blob and the other curves more to join with the track going to the blob on the top.
 
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beiland

Well-Known Member
Thank you gentlemen for joining the conversation

Lets see...
Saw that you posted the waterfront link while I was composing, very nicely done.
Willie
You do realize that I did NOT create that wonderfully detailed scene, I purchased it from an estate sale.

santafewillie said:
Please note however that a helix in a non-climate controlled area, even if varmint-proof, could have issues, especially in a humid place like Florida. I know that you are planning on using lots of metal structural components, but if wood is used as the helix roadbed, the humidity will cause real problems. I would consider enclosing and insulating it and cut a small rectangular ventilation hole in the walls. It could be about 16"w x 8"h and be located close to the bottom of the upper deck to make it mostly unobtrusive. An insulated trapdoor can still provide access from underneath.
Willie
I'm going to keep that in mind. I had already figured I was going to have to make it varmint proof, even with its being located well off the ground level. Perhaps if I run into problems i can add the insulation to the outside of my original 'steel panel helix box', and cover that outer insulation with another panel of steel siding. Fortunately I have extra steel paneling and more foil covered insulation.
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
And you know, staring at this after I posted it, I just got an idea for the helix.... Enter and exit at about a 30 degree angle with one branch going into the center blob and the other curves more to join with the track going to the blob on the top.

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.
Aren't your entry points the same as mine?....or are you going a step further and figuring how I can turn the train around on that upper level in order to come back down in helix in a head on manner?
Helix Configuration (external) rotated view.jpg
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
Well, it isn't crazy it is just a boring first draft of what I threw together just to get an idea of the space. Crazy might be to try to do two loops of track in the center blob. But with the tight space they might end up being mostly on top of one another.
View attachment 61871
I'm going to have to take a closer look at the blob area on the head of the peninsula on the Anon & Muss. I think there may be tracks on top of one another as they make that turn?? I'll try blowing up the photo and looking at detail in that area.
cropped peninsula area.jpg
What do you think, are those dashed lines indicating some track over track??
 
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beiland

Well-Known Member
3rdPlanit software

About a year ago I remember following a layout design discussion where one of the administrative fellows on this forum was playing with a software program called 3rdPlanit. He was producing some very nice 3d images as can be seen over here on these pages..
[url]http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/forum/showthread.php?38830-Help-Me-Plan-My-Layout/page9[/URL]

I'm hoping I can attract him to this discussion.

OK, so after spending some serious time with 3rdPlanit and getting some one on one coaching (Those curved section of benchwork were a bit of a challenge to lay out) I've come up with a very rough interpretation of what I think you've drawn.

View attachment 56370
View attachment 56371
View attachment 56372

A few comments...

1) That lower right corner gets gnarly when you try and keep your 30" radius curve. I did it but it was tricky.
2) As it stands, this would be a very photogenic, and extremely boring layout. Run trains in circles and switch the yard. That's it.
3) That yard takes up a LOT of space. The left side is #6 turnouts, the right side is #4. I also managed to fit in a small engine/caboose area. You could even fit a small yard office between the tracks in the opening.
4) That long sweeping curve is both gorgeous and problematic. That double track on such a wide radius will look wonderful. Again, great for model photos. But it's an awful lot of space with absolutely nothing in it. What did you have in mind for there? When drawn to scale, it gets pretty long and narrow...
 
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tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Those dotted andcombined solid lines around the edge of the blob do appear to be one above the other, the dotted representing tracks within tunnels below the solid, exposed tracks. You can see representations of tunnel portals further up in the narrow part. Bob Harbison, our admin and Forum owner was the fellow that did the other layout in 3rd Planet software. You could PM him and ask him to look in.
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
Aren't your entry points the same as mine?....or are you going a step further and figuring how I can turn the train around on that upper level in order to come back down in helix in a head on manner?
Yes exactly, it is easy to get through the helix in one direction. Making it part of a multi-directional continuous run is quite a different problem so that the train can turn around on the top level and come back with out a reversing loop or wye.
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
I'm going to have to take a closer look at the blob area on the head of the peninsula on the Anon & Muss. I think there may be tracks on top of one another as they make that turn?? I'll try blowing up the photo and looking at detail in that area. What do you think, are those dashed lines indicating some track over track??
Yes. They have two tracks directly over each other, giving them basically 3 loops on that blob. They also branch one of them them at the pinch point making it an "alternate route" reversing sort of track. I was thinking that might be the one to go to the helix. I had even drawn it that way originally but it obfuscated the over all spacing of the whole thing which is what I was going for.

P.S. I have 3DPlanit software. Unfortunately I find it totally counter intuitive. For example after I've drawn a piece of straight track and want to curve, I can't just add a curve. I have to draw a whole circle and then cut it onto the straight!? I just wanted to turn right at 30" radius. What is so hard about that? It is also buggy having spent weeks trying to get it to work I was able to draw a simple oval. The writer insisted the new version was less buggy, easier to use, and over all better so like an idiot I bought that too. I thought I just needed to go through the tutorial again, more slowly this time, but I find the tutorial won't even work with the new version. So something has gone haywire between the OS and the software. I've given up on it three times now.
 
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Sirfoldalot

Curse You, Red Baron!
Staff member
Following this Thread with much interest!
Have to return to the start and read some of the posts more carefully!
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
I'm going to have to take a closer look at the blob area on the head of the peninsula on the Anon & Muss. I think there may be tracks on top of one another as they make that turn?? I'll try blowing up the photo and looking at detail in that area.
View attachment 61874
What do you think, are those dashed lines indicating some track over track??
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....
Re: Anon & Muss
Wed, 2017-06-07 01:30 — donm

Glad you like this plan from my book, but realize it was created to meet specific parameters set by my design client. The article text describes most of them, but essentially it was for continuous running with a few spurs added for interest. Those spurs include 2 tracks near the TT for displayling passenger train equipment.

Also note that the design is at least 25 years old and doesn't match current thinking about prototypes and operation. It will be interesting to see what changes you make.
Don Mitchell
http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/30266?page=1

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'.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
The trackwork at the top end (throat?) of the peninsular and on the peninsular itself, is a perfect example of what I was meaning when I proposed the method of having multiple levels based off one base level, rather than multi levels one above the other. I'm not a great fan of long tunnels where access to the trains becomes difficult. We have a somewhat similar situation under the spiral on the club layout where access to the 2 long tunnel tracks under the main visible one are from beneath and only from inside the scenery structure. Have a derailment or other "happening" inside there and it becomes very problematical, especially for old knees.
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
just in case we are missing something in the 'interpretation'.
So here is my second shot at it. Instead of elaborating on a new direction, I made it a simplified diagram of my interpretation of the original layout (Minus the Branch, and minus the empties-in and loads-out tracks). I squeezed the "throat" down to make it more like the original. Unfortunately the crossing of the ANON loop ended up more "in" the throat instead of at the end of the isle, but I thought fixing that didn't add enough to the discussion or clarification to warrant the effort. 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, Unless you want to use the empties-in, loads-out track as part of the main), but if that is what you really want we can take this in that direction.

BELAND Two Loops.png
 
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beiland

Well-Known Member
.... having multiple levels based off one base level, rather than multi levels one above the other.
Not exactly sure of what you are saying?

I'm not a great fan of long tunnels where access to the trains becomes difficult. We have a somewhat similar situation under the spiral on the club layout where access to the 2 long tunnel tracks under the main visible one are from beneath and only from inside the scenery structure. Have a derailment or other "happening" inside there and it becomes very problematical, especially for old knees.
I've been thinking about that situation in that area also. I had thought it would be nice to have those multiple level, multiple crossing tracks 'contained' in a mountainous structure, along with some nice bridges over little gorges, etc. But one of my concerns was if that 'mountain' was constructed of stacked foam, it would be more difficult (maybe impossible) to access some of those inner tracks.

Maybe a 'hollow shell' type construction (plaster over screen?) of the mountain here would be better? Then you could access the innards of the mountain.
 




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