Multiple Staging Areas & access to them (perhaps via a 'sub helix')

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beiland

Well-Known Member
I did a similar little bracket affair for the other side of the staging tracks. This one is not recessed under the upper deck overhead as much as that previous side. For that reason the very last turnout in the ladder does not require a cable/rod control,...but rather is just within fingers reach.



easy access for any derails...




Per my mention previously both of these brackets are totally under that main deck overhead even while som photos make them look like they are projecting outwardly,...
right had side


left hand side
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
Laying Switches and Track in the Staging Areas


Track laying has started !


Per my original plans I pretty much knew I was going to have to start my permanent track laying with the very bottom of my decks,...the staging level. I have 3 big areas, ....all 8" under the main deck above. My original thoughts were that I would remove the overhead plywood deck sections to have clear access to the staging decks.


But wait a minute, somethings have changed. Why remove the huge main deck plywood deck that contains the turntable, roundhouse, and arch bridge structures? My staging deck plywoods are removable, and relocatable for working on. I cleared off my main deck areas so I could put the staging decks up here for laying their tracks and turnouts.














 

beiland

Well-Known Member
Center Peninsula Staging Turnout Controls


Ok, started laying out the center staging area. Decided I did NOT want to drill those big holes in the plywood deck to accommodate the PL10 solenoids,...but rather going to a manual operation via rods and bell-cranks.


On all of my staging tracks I am utilizing truss-headed screws to hold the track in place,...much like I did in the helix area to attach the tracks to the masonite roadbed.
The bell cranks and their support surfaces are fashioned from my PVC plastic materials. I made the one arm of the bell cranks extra long in order that the rod control arm would have to move a 'considerable length' rather than the very short distance to activate the Peco turnout.




I debated turning the 'hook of the rod' either up or down where it attaches to the bell-crank, .....but chose down to try and eliminated any 'snags' during track cleaning operations.
 

santafewillie

Same Ol' Buzzard
But wait a minute, somethings have changed. Why remove the huge main deck plywood deck that contains the turntable, roundhouse, and arch bridge structures? My staging deck plywoods are removable, and relocatable for working on. I cleared off my main deck areas so I could put the staging decks up here for laying their tracks and turnouts.
Aren't you still going to have to either remove something or go through gyrations to connect the staging sections together, particularity the track segments to each other? Or am I missing something? And it also looks like there might be an issue attaching the decks to their supports as shown by that big countersunk hole in picture # 1 in post # 102?
By the way, I like your rod and bell crank system.
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
The other tracks/turnouts of the central staging area,...

My new manual operation of staging tracks under the central peninsula was finished up with these 3 rod/bell-crank installations. They had to be offset around that square metal piece that represents a vertical support beam of the central decks under the layout.

Keep in mind that these staging tracks are not accessed that often,...only when selecting another train to run around the layout. So having their controls on 2 different sides of the peninsula is not that much of an inconvenience.

1602414748156.jpeg


1602414812938.jpeg
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
Aren't you still going to have to either remove something or go through gyrations to connect the staging sections together, particularity the track segments to each other? Or am I missing something? And it also looks like there might be an issue attaching the decks to their supports as shown by that big countersunk hole in picture # 1 in post # 102?
By the way, I like your rod and bell crank system.
As you can see here my control rods interfere with 2 pre-drilled/planned holes,... :eek:. One of them is a countersunk one that was going to be a hold-down bolt to attach deck plywood to metal beam,...but no problem that bolt hole can be moved to any one of the multiple holes available in those metal beams. The second hole (non-countersunk one) is one provided for an alternate piece of all-thread to support an upper beam of the layout. I can route the control rods around that support rod if it becomes necessary,...the rod arrangement is 'not set in stone'

I'll answer your other question soon,..with photos.
 

beiland

Well-Known Member

beiland

Well-Known Member
Got my center area finished, and my left hand side finished. So yesterday I decided to tackle the right hand side, but first I noticed a slight sag the deck portion that stretched between the center over to the side. I think this may have resulted from the deck piece having set for months in that location WITHOUT and bolts holding it down firmly to the metal support beams,...so it developed a slight bend in the middle,...denoted by circle in this photo
1602590422685.jpeg


Actually I had anticipated the possible that these longer bridging areas might develop some sagging. My thoughts were that it could easily be corrected (assisted) by some sort of hanging support from the main deck above (rather than anything blocking up that wonderful clear space below). So today I will fashion a support for the area.
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
Being able to remove those staging deck sections has been a really good thing,...nor only for laying track on those decks but also for some work on the underside of the main deck in those areas.


https://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/32990?page=18#comment-449779


I can actually get one of my small rolling chairs under there to accomplish multiple task, including the routeing of the hole for the turntable, plywood joint plates, additional bolting, wiring and mounting LED lights, etc. I have 3 different chairs that I can utilize thru out the layout. Sure has saved wear and tear on my back, and knees,...being able to roll around under there.









 

beiland

Well-Known Member
Routered out the hole for my turntable (above that absentee staging deck), and got it installed the other day. Had to do a little additional sanding/cutting as I made the original hole just a wee bit too small. Sure was messy with saw dust,...glad those staging tracks weren't down there.

1604140881068.jpeg


1604140910536.jpeg
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
ROCO 3-way (DCC use?)

I've debated with myself over the use of a Peco or a Roco 3-way turnout to distribute my trains backing down the helix into one of 3 areas of staging. I've now chosen to go with a Roco one to start out with, but I am making sure it can be replaced fairly easily with a Peco one if that presents itself.


So my basic questions are about any problem areas that anyone has experienced with using this brand turnout on a DCC track plan?? I have looked it over using a meter, and thus far do not detect any problems.


It does appear to have metal frogs that are insulated from the rest of the track(s),...and they might even be made live if so desired. Interesting how the frog point itself is isolated away from those rails leading off from it,....thus no wheel shorting going to occur here,..so I doubt there would be the requirement to insulate those frog rails like we do with Peco insulafrog turnouts in DCC application.

Anyone have personal experiences with these ROCO 3 ways?
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
from another forum I got this very negative observations,...
A bad decision.

And still worse to place this antique 3-way switch in the staging area. And even more worse when the staging area is under the layout. And the most worst case when acessibilty is restricted too.

These Roco 2,5mm (Code 100) switches were made in the 1970's when in Germany were the peak time of every manufacturer has it's very own works standards in respective to wheelsets. So these will work fine with "narrow gauge" wheelsets of 1.6mm deep flanges and 14,0mm back-to-back measure. Your rolling stock equipped with these, everything is fine. But with wheelsets according to NMRA S-4.2 ... rolleyes.

O.K. it's your decision, your layout and at least your hassle with these switches. I ripped these 3-way switches out of my former layout before 3 decades ago and never used it again.

to which I initially replied...
Location, accessibility

I'll just address this portion of your observation so far. My 3-way turnout is NOT so hidden as you hinted. Yes it is outside of the main layout room,...in the what is now the 'helix room'. That helix room now has a full size glass door that gives access to the helix itself and specifically the bridges of tracks that connect the helix with the layout. Two photos that give some idea of the accessibility of this 3-way,...
....the original mock-up that shows the 3 way clear of the rear wall of the main shed (represented by the edge of the carpet)


then this one where the 3-way is mounted on the alum bridge that feeds the hold thru the rear wall of the main shed,..


Pretty accessible
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
Roco 3-way testing

Yesterday I set up a test track on my outdoor work bench to do a little testing on that Roco 3-way turnout. I ran the engines thru the various legs of the 3-way both in both directions to simulate the trains backing down into staging, ....and pulling thru the turnout if coming face first down the helix,..... and face forward coming from staging to enter the helix.



I only had 3 longer diesels with 3 axle trucks handi yesterday, and several freight cars. I experienced absolutely NO PROBLEMS with these.
I had a mountain steam engine handi. It also experienced no problems.



I happened to have this little switcher hadi and gave it a try,...at very slow speeds it stalled a couple of times on the dead frogs,...but no derails.


I also had a brand new BLI Trackmobile handi, and it when thru the Roco just find except for some stalling on those dead frogs if going to slow.

I had only one 4 axle truck loco handi, a brand new SF geneses F7. Again NO problem with Roco


I'm going to visit my cargo trailer and pick up a few more locos to run thru this 3-way.
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
More Test

I picked up a variety of other locos to run thru my 3-way,...and make note that I ran them thru all 3 routes, and I ran them in both directions.

I was a little surprised that I didn't have a whole lot of locos with 2-axel trucks vs 3 axel trucks. Here is one, a Proto 2K C-liner that I had added the PRR style antennas onto.



I wanted to make sure those double autoracks would not have a problem with their relatively small wheels and long bodies.


One of my favorite diesels, the DL109. These are really smooth running engines with a LOT of weight,....real pulling machines. I have some extras of these that may be employed as 'helix specials'


There were a couple of locos I was seeking out in particular,...these Spectrum CSX 8-40CW units that have very small flanged wheels and 3 axle trucks that enjoy finding problems areas with track work. I use to use them to find problems on my old layout. I wanted to see if they would be upset by this Roco 3-way.
I ran them separately and finally together with their fuel tender. NO problems.




I did discover one problem with this combo,...the ladder on the fuel tender was just a bit too long and stuck out a little bit,...interfered with the turnout control solenoid




Going to have at least 4 RDC, so I thought give them a try...no problem, and nice running Proto 1000 series


I've got a whole Acela train that will likely occupy one of those staging tracks. Didn't get the whole set out, but thought this HHP-8 would substitute for now.


At an earlier time when I was testing some longer steam engines threw various combo of turnouts placed at the tail end of a reverse curves, I discovered that the trucks on the long range tenders of the Northerners would clip the corners of the solenoids housings. Had to trim the excess plastic tips off these two areas denoted by yellow circles,...
 




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