Hey All,

Well, Dad ended up moving and not being able to use the basement layout you guys helped with.  Now he has a 14 x 20 train house behind his new place and wants a layout.  I posted the first layout and also the newer one so you could see where we were and where we have to get to.

His back is so bad that he only has a 28" reach, so that limits what he can do and there is a bump out on the train house for a desk, so I have to keep the layout away from the chair he will have there. Let me know what can be done with this small space.

Thanks,

 

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New train house layout
Last edited by Kelpieflyer
Original Post

Dad decided to go with this layout.  I hope to get some space somewhere to add a trolley and an engine shed.  Going with Mianne benchwork.Dads Trainhouse 1b Plan View

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Hey Russell,

Good to hear from you! Phew! What a journey!

I suppose the easiest way to clear the basement was to move.

If you use building flats/fronts along the wall at the top of diagram, you should be able to create some space for trolley. I can also see enough space around the inside edge to have the trolley run from one side to the opposite, perhaps, have a couple of stops in between.

If you want to keep it simple, I would change one of the spurs at 7 o'clock to the opposite direction. The trains would run in opposite directions. I prefer that than looking at two trains racing. Depends on Dad's preferences.

I just went to a redo of my machine and I am still getting things configured. I'll tinker with the plan(s) if you like.

The trolley will be cool. Look at Dallee and Azatrax for some ready to go controllers to make it have starts and stops. Then, create the run. I think from city to country on the inner edge would look the best.

Say Hi to Dad and let him know Moonman was asking.

Will do, Moonman.

Feel free to tinker with the plan.  I don't like the sharp curves, but that's where we are since his back is getting so bad.

Well,  I made some changes for the trolley and the spur direction.  Somehow I gotta try and get space for an engine house in there. Thought about trying to get one on one of the spurs in the "yard" area.

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So, do you actually have the Marx track and switches?

That library is in SCARM due to a layout I was working on for Marx333 in Seattle. he had a load of it and a lot of original switches and transformers. It was a fun learning experience to study the Marx system.

Milen requires manufacturer specifications to add a library, obsolete or not.

Do you have an engine house? If yes, which one?

He has both the track and the switches.  We may use Gargraves for the track, but will definately use the Marx switches so his engines with the wide gear wheels will clear the switch in both directions.  He does not have an engine house yet.  Probably will look for one that will work.

Kelpieflyer posted:

He has both the track and the switches.  We may use Gargraves for the track, but will definately use the Marx switches so his engines with the wide gear wheels will clear the switch in both directions.  He does not have an engine house yet.  Probably will look for one that will work.

I asked because I have some SCARM engine houses made to correct size and also use RR-Track that has many buildings already made. That could assist in fitment.

The area that looks the best is from 4 o'clock to 8 o'clock when looking at the 2D track plan. There's space to rearrange things a little and squeeze in a small

engine service are with a train shed.

I'll fiddle a little with it and see what I can do. Are you looking for a steamer type with the raised center roof section that ventilated the exhaust  or a diesel type with a flat roof?

I think you need to evaluate the Mianne lift bridge and your fathers back. They don't lift up as high as you think. Maybe a better solution is a layout in the center of the room with only scenery in the center beyond the 28" reach. Help for your father would be needed for the scenery.

Moonman posted:
Kelpieflyer posted:

He has both the track and the switches.  We may use Gargraves for the track, but will definately use the Marx switches so his engines with the wide gear wheels will clear the switch in both directions.  He does not have an engine house yet.  Probably will look for one that will work.

I asked because I have some SCARM engine houses made to correct size and also use RR-Track that has many buildings already made. That could assist in fitment.

The area that looks the best is from 4 o'clock to 8 o'clock when looking at the 2D track plan. There's space to rearrange things a little and squeeze in a small

engine service are with a train shed.

I'll fiddle a little with it and see what I can do. Are you looking for a steamer type with the raised center roof section that ventilated the exhaust  or a diesel type with a flat roof?

I think he wold want one that could be used for both, so probably a steam engine house.

Wonder if I should use a bridge that disconnects completely from the layout, or one that hinges up completely so he can get through.  He really wants to keep the around the wall layout.

Mianne has made sections that raise up, allowing a person to stoop under.  Even "motorized" if I remember right.

Last edited by Mike Wyatt

Russell, I have built a few lift bridges for a couple of Forum members, Tomorrow I can send you some pictures and a short video of it if you would like!

When it comes to Mianne Lift Gate remember that your layout height dictates how high the gate will go. My table is 36" and I am six foot and have to dip slightly. If the table had been 42" I could walk straight thru with no problems. Seeing your dad has back problems he most likely will NOT want to bend over for either a lift gate or a LOW Layout table. 42" might be in your plans.

Russell,

Don't over think this bridge thing. It as simple as having a board that lifts up. There are automotive hood/trunk supports and furniture cabinet lid supports that are available to gas assist the lift and hold it when up.

There's a few easy ways to get it done - but they are all the same concept.

here's one example by frizzinbee on his layout - look at the March/April time period.

I have a couple of other styles of hinging bookmarked. They all use a gas cylinder. Some have even used storm door closers, but that seemed clunky and a little crude to me.

One that I liked just made the section terrain the same as the rest of the layout. it doesn't have to be a bridge. They have had lift sections for bars for years. It's not a complicated thing. The gas cylinder takes the weight off the lifting motion and holds it open. 

Thanks to all for the ideas.  I'll see what Dad wants to use and build one.  He has to get his train house finished up first, then we'll be off to the races!

I would connect the loops at a later date. Right now, there can be two trains and trolley running at once. The 2 trains move in opposite directions. It will look cool. A third train can parked on the passing siding, if that is set up with a power kill. There are accessories to stop and play as well as some service spurs to play with.

What are the ideas for the 5 o'clock corner? Just a woods or forest look?  

I personally would connect the two loops now. It is so much more easier before you attach everything with ballast or what  ever you plan to use to hold the track down. Also if you put two crossovers facing opposite directions ( they do NOT need to be together) it makes running more trains and also doing real operations a lot more fun. You can move the inside to the outside and vice a versa. Remember in real life you do not see GIANT hands coming down to move trains. I try to keep the attitude that once it is on track I want to move it everywhere there is track without touching it again. But it is really about what ever YOU want. IT IS YOU AND YOUR DADS LAYOUT NOT OURS!

Well, the train house is nearly finished on the inside.  Others who said they would help did not, so my wife and I have been using weekends to get it finished up.  Only have a few more trim items to attach.

I placed the layout on the floor to see if anything needs to be tweaked.  Also going to connect the two loops.

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Last edited by Kelpieflyer

Nice Train building! I also like the 1:1 print out idea. I was thinking about doing that but wasn't sure if it would be worth the paper and ink! I might revisit the idea!

The paper isn't too much of an issue, Mike.  It's the ink that racks up the cost.  If we just want to print the track, in black ink, it might not be so costly.  

Russell, That is a great looking building, nice track plan, and I like how you have it printed out full scale too!  I'll look forward to seeing more now hat I saw this topic.

As far as lifting or dropping the bridge goes, pnumatic cylinders much like the automotive hatch shocks could be used. It doesn't take much air to use them and they can lift a lot. A small compressor from a car with airbags likely wouldn't even need a tank.  The fine reaction speed is as simple as an adjustable valve similar to that on fish tanks air lines.  (try looking at Bimba cylinders. Try a Parker Store too. Get rebuildable ones if you can).  Low volt control solinoids for pnumatics can be had too. (Mac was my fav, rebuilable)  Pnumatics, various pressure valves, and flow limiting are what gives the better animatronics the lifelike movement characteristics, but with soft stops, etc. (when tuned right anyhow)

  I like pnumatics because they are strong, yet not as destructive as a geared motor might be "worst case".  Same limit switches, etc would apply.  I'd only really consider a stepper motor in place of air. 

Very nice depot.

Dan Padova posted:

Nice idea, printing the layout out full size.  How did you manage that ?

Dan,

1:1 layout printing is a feature available in SCARM.

Kelpieflyer posted:

Well, the train house is nearly finished on the inside.  Others who said they would help did not, so my wife and I have been using weekends to get it finished up.  Only have a few more trim items to attach.

I placed the layout on the floor to see if anything needs to be tweaked.  Also going to connect the two loops.

Wow!  What a journey from the basement of the other house.  Russell, after all of this work on the train house, the layout will be a easy task. I think you'll need an "official" sign for the depot.

I would suggest that you try to fit a "kill" track between the switches that join the two loops. Then, you can still operate two trains conventionally or one train on two loops. Some insulated pins, a short cut of straight and a toggle switch would do it.

Thanks for the input on the layout.  Carl,  can you elaborate on the kill switch you are talking about?  He has a Lionel transformer that operates up to 4 different circuits. I have been trying to figure out how to do the switch thing between loops and cant seem to put my head around it.  We will need to have the loops operate separately, which is easy enough, but operating with the loops connected with a smooth transition between loops seems to be more complicated.

Adriatic,  I like the idea of the pneumatics, I'l have to explore that further.

Russell,, here is a pneumatic lift bridge I built. If you are interested in more information let me know!

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I didn't know you ended up with pnumatics Mike. Very cool; nice and slow too. A tank would be a few minutes buzz then silence till the pressure goes low. (and I do mean silence)

Kelpieflyer posted:

Thanks for the input on the layout.  Carl,  can you elaborate on the kill switch you are talking about?  He has a Lionel transformer that operates up to 4 different circuits. I have been trying to figure out how to do the switch thing between loops and cant seem to put my head around it.  We will need to have the loops operate separately, which is easy enough, but operating with the loops connected with a smooth transition between loops seems to be more complicated.

Adriatic,  I like the idea of the pneumatics, I'l have to explore that further.

Do you plain to run long freight trains?When I say long I mean 25 to 35 boxcars.

Kelpieflyer posted:

Thanks for the input on the layout.  Carl,  can you elaborate on the kill switch you are talking about?  He has a Lionel transformer that operates up to 4 different circuits. I have been trying to figure out how to do the switch thing between loops and cant seem to put my head around it.  We will need to have the loops operate separately, which is easy enough, but operating with the loops connected with a smooth transition between loops seems to be more complicated.

Adriatic,  I like the idea of the pneumatics, I'l have to explore that further.

Ok, transformer channel 1 operates the outside loop. Transformer channel 2 operates the inside loop. Channel 3 is trolley.  Channel 4 is Accessory power fixed voltage.

The two loops are isolated by cutting a small piece of track, say 3", to place between the switches for the crossover. A Plastic O27 pin is used in one end of the small straight, on the inside loop side.

Now the power does not pass between the two loops, permitting two train operation with separate handles.

A simple toggle switch (On/Off) is used. A wire from Transformer Channel 1 is connected to one pole and the other pole is connected to loop 2 center rail.

For Transformer channel 1 to operate 1 train on both loops, Channel 2 is moved to zero and the switch is placed in the On position. Now Channel 1 controls the entire layout.

It would also be helpful to have kill switches for the passing siding and the two spur sidings to provide a place to park a train and engines and not have them run.

I could create some diagrams if that would be helpful.

 

Last edited by Moonman

Carl,

THanks for the explanation.  I'll go with that and when I get to wiring, I'll likely need more help.  Dad is going to order Mianne benchwork. We are going to go with 3/4 plywood with homasote glued to it. Track will be attached to the homosote.

Seaboard, I doubt Dad will have that many cars on at once.  Probably 10-15 at the most.

Carl,

THanks for the explanation.  I'll go with that and when I get to wiring, I'll likely need more help.  Dad is going to order Mianne benchwork. We are going to go with 3/4 plywood with homasote glued to it. Track will be attached to the homosote.

Seaboard, I doubt Dad will have that many cars on at once.  Probably 10-15 at the most.

Mike,

I like the pneumatic bridge.  I'd love to get the info on it as I think Dad would like to use it.

Thanks,

Kelpieflyer posted:

Mike,

I like the pneumatic bridge.  I'd love to get the info on it as I think Dad would like to use it.

Thanks,

Russell, shot me an email and let me know what information you would like. I have sent it on to another forum member getting mianne bench work to use with it, he sent it on to Mianne so they could hel with the build.

I agree Mark, but it wasn't my idea. I guess I should have put a copywrite on my design LOL! I sure hope they can help the other forum member out!

mike g. posted:
Kelpieflyer posted:

Mike,

I like the pneumatic bridge.  I'd love to get the info on it as I think Dad would like to use it.

Thanks,

Russell, shot me an email and let me know what information you would like. I have sent it on to another forum member getting mianne bench work to use with it, he sent it on to Mianne so they could hel with the build.

Mike,

Message sent.

Thanks,

Dad wanted the layout shortened a bit to have more room in the train house.  Here's what I did and also added the crossovers.  Not sure if this is the best way to do it yet.  My concern is that on the top and right hand sides the layout will be against the wall.  I think there may be a problem with the clearance of the outside loop and the top right side of the layout.

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Last edited by Kelpieflyer

That looks like it would work. You would have to put the insulating pin between the two turnout sections at the joint to isolate the loops. I don't know with the Marx switches if you get power to those rails from the switch side. You want to check that out.

You can put the switch and jumper wire for all channel 1 operation anywhere on loop 2 center rail.

I get 4.5" from the center rail to the top wall and 3 3/8" from the center rail to the right wall. I would say it's plenty of space for the overhang of any non-scale engines.

Moonman posted:

I get 4.5" from the center rail to the top wall and 3 3/8" from the center rail to the right wall. I would say it's plenty of space for the overhang of any non-scale engines.

I agree with Carl, I believe you have adequate clearance if the measurements in SCARM are accurate enough.

As drawn, the bench work in the upper left begins near grid mark 64.25" on the "X" axis and goes to 231" making the top length 166.75", slightly less than 14'. My guess is it's supposed to be 14'.

The lower side of the entry starts at about 65.75", a 1.5" difference. FYI

In the lower right, it ends at 135.25" on the "Y" axis making the right side length 11' 4". If it's really supposed to be 11', that's a 4" difference and could affect the clearance of that lower curve.

There are 4 pieces of GarGraves "S" gauge flex track in the design. FYI

Thanks for the review.  I replaced the S gauge track sections.  Going to order Mianne Benchwork.  When you guys use pre-made benchwork, do you measure for a little bit of overhang of the base?  We are going to use 3/4 inch plywood with a layer of Homosote on top of it.

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Hi Russell,

I am working with someone now on this issue.

The Mianne will always be 1 3/4" longer than the dimension specified as the size is based on center to center of the cross members. it is half of the leg top on each end and half of the outside cross member.

These were ordered on increments 2', 4', and 8'. The problem this creates is a lot of waste from non-standard sheet cuts.

You can custom order the cross member sizes. I don't know if there is an additional cost.

Decide how you would like the finished to look. Then, discuss that with Tim when ordering.

We decided on a fascia board and will fill the gap on top with a cut filler piece or a piece of trim molding for a raised edge to save the waste of sheet cuts.

I have attached two photos of forum member's builds to show the edge.

On a side note, watching a Nat geo show, I learned the Scottish meaning of the kelpie - kind of scary that you use kelpieflyer!

 

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Last edited by Moonman

Russell,

I ordered a kit from Mianne last month and waiting to receive it.  I took the measuring precautions Carl posted, 1 3/4" longer.  My intent is to have the top board extend out over the edge of the benchwork a few inches and the sides will fit my space nicely.  I use a hodge podge of cut pieces of board, so the odd measurement doesn't matter to me.  I want the front to overhang about 6 inches so I am not kicking the legs all the time.

Most people I have seen have done it like Carl showed.  I have to be different, I know!  

Carl,

Thanks for the benchwork insight.  I'll keep it in mind with my discussions with the guys at Mianne.  The Mianne guy also told me that since Dad wants a bit of space to sit next to the layout that we may incorporate a type of cantilevered design to prevent the plywood from warping over time.  I do like the fascia that is on the layout.  I'll see if Dad wants that.  We have a bunch of 3/4 inch plywood from Dad's old layout that we can reuse.

The Scottish Kelpie is a creepy one....  I have never heard that one before. Kelpie is a name my wife thought up because I like to mess with kelp that washes up on the beach.  Of course, Kelpieflyer can also refer to a Scottish Pegasus or maybe a flying fish or Screeching Eels from Princess Bride?

Last edited by Kelpieflyer
Kelpieflyer posted:

The Mianne guy also told me that since Dad wants a bit of space to sit next to the layout that we may incorporate a type of cantilevered design to prevent the plywood from warping over time. 

I know they offer a cantilevered system for a 2nd level, but I can't envision what they mean here, so I'll be interested to see. I'm also curious to see how they handle the angled section.

Kelpieflyer posted:

Carl,

Thanks for the benchwork insight.  I'll keep it in mind with my discussions with the guys at Mianne.  The Mianne guy also told me that since Dad wants a bit of space to sit next to the layout that we may incorporate a type of cantilevered design to prevent the plywood from warping over time.  I do like the fascia that is on the layout.  I'll see if Dad wants that.  We have a bunch of 3/4 inch plywood from Dad's old layout that we can reuse.

The Scottish Kelpie is a creepy one....  I have never heard that one before. Kelpie is a name my wife thought up because I like to mess with kelp that washes up on the beach.  Of course, Kelpieflyer can also refer to a Scottish Pegasus or maybe a flying fish or Screeching Eels from Princess Bride?

Since you have the 3/4" ply to use, it shouldn't need any support. I would venture to say that you could go a foot on the overhang and still stand on it. Perhaps a support would be needed because of the minimal fastening at the leg tops only. Like Dave, I would be interested in their idea. Some locking triangles on pins would do it.

Phew! Glad to hear it wasn't a reference to mythical beasts.

Screeching Eels! Inconceivable!

  I only know of the "evil" kelpie, a shape shifter, but normally a horse if an animal; an evil spirit that would drown you any way it might manage to.  Am I sensing another story?  

  Some eels do make some noise; more like a pitchy grunt than a screech. Or is that lung fish? 

The only thing you can do about it is make some sushi rolls while the kelp and eel are still fresh... (ha, made you read it   )

Well, I got the benchwork up yesterday.  Now onto wiring.  I plan to have the inner track isolated from the outside and the trolley on it's own also.

Dads_Train_House_Benchwork_1

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Nice touch, matching the legs to the trim. 

If you phase the transformers you only need one common and a hot (3) for each line - pull a bus from end to end and tap into it for track feed where needed.

3M tap splice

You could also add one or two Accessory bus wires for say switch power and light voltages. 14awg also.

Use 12awg for the common as it would carry all of the current of the 3 lines and 14awg for the hot bus wires.

Kelpieflyer posted:

I plan on setting Dad up with remote operation so he doesn't have to be next to the transformer.

Setting it up like this:

 https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...85#81819043047937385

I would like to have three separate power blocks.

 

Well, then you have to get the gear first and that will determine the best way to wire it - the guys gave you all of the combinations of Lionel or MTH gear - the plan I gave you was for straight transformer operation with three transformers on AC output

Last edited by Moonman

Well, I got the preliminary wiring in and finally for the base plywood down.  Those angles were horrible to deal with.  Getting ready to attach the homosote and then track and connect the wiring.  Forgot to take a picture with all the plywood down.

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A sliding T-Bevel finds the angle needed and lets you mark the wood for the cut to match. A handy tool indeed.

Looks nice! it's coming together now!

Moonman posted:

A sliding T-Bevel finds the angle needed and lets you mark the wood for the cut to match. A handy tool indeed.

Looks nice! it's coming together now!

Thanks for the suggestion.  I didn't even think of that.  Gonna get one for cutting the homosote.

Got the homosote down and laid out the 1:1 printout from Scarm.  Everything fits like it's sposda fit.

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Looks good! I did the 1:1 with scarm when I did my layout, sure takes up a lot of paper! LOL But works great!

Russell, The plan looks great on the Homasote!  I'm glad to see the 1:1 printout fits properly!  Yes, it would be a lot of paper, Mike!

Kelpieflyer posted:

Got the homosote down and laid out the 1:1 printout from Scarm.  Everything fits like it's sposda fit.

I recall having to add text to the print sheets manually to create a grid to enable assembly of the pieces. Did that happen automatically? 

Then, I became more clever and left out the blank or mostly blank sections when I set the print parameters. Saved a 1/3 of ream of paper. I teased the SCARM author that this feature was for the HO, N and Z scale guys.

I like SCARM because of the grid layout features - everything can be designed to build out as it should with careful measurement and layout setup.

That should make it easy to place the track.

Kelpieflyer posted:

The program did it automatically.  I unchecked quite a few that were blank to save on paper.

That is sweet! Thanks for mentioning that improvement. I don't recall that ever being specifically mentioned in any update notes.

Time to get a layin' some track.

Finally go the track down, but not attached in case he wants changes.  First run was my Flyer 556 O gauge just to jab him about American Flyer  "contaminating" a Marx/Lionel layout.

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My test engine is a Thomas because he is very useful.

I like how the train room is coming together - trim and table leg colors match - industrial shelving - tasty work!

Do you still have that streamlined Flyer engine that was a restoration project?

Looking very good, Russell.

Suggestion:  When adding photos, edit the thread's title to include the date of the update.  Doing so alerts folks that you've added new material to your thread.

Moonman posted:

My test engine is a Thomas because he is very useful.

I like how the train room is coming together - trim and table leg colors match - industrial shelving - tasty work!

Do you still have that streamlined Flyer engine that was a restoration project?

Moonman,

Do you mean the Royal Blue that I added smoke to, or the old O gauge streamliner?  I have finished the Royal Blue, but not done anything to the O gauge streamliner yet.  Was thinking about using the shell for another S gauge engine since they are 3/16 O gauge engines.

Pingman posted:

Looking very good, Russell.

Suggestion:  When adding photos, edit the thread's title to include the date of the update.  Doing so alerts folks that you've added new material to your thread.

Will do.  I hadn't thought of that.

I plan on adding a one way trolley track with bumpers to run his Lionel trolley.

Kelpieflyer posted:
Moonman posted:

My test engine is a Thomas because he is very useful.

I like how the train room is coming together - trim and table leg colors match - industrial shelving - tasty work!

Do you still have that streamlined Flyer engine that was a restoration project?

Moonman,

Do you mean the Royal Blue that I added smoke to, or the old O gauge streamliner?  I have finished the Royal Blue, but not done anything to the O gauge streamliner yet.  Was thinking about using the shell for another S gauge engine since they are 3/16 O gauge engines.

Actually, I had forgotten about Royal Blue, but, yes the old O gauge streamliner.

Moonman posted:
Kelpieflyer posted:
Moonman posted:

My test engine is a Thomas because he is very useful.

I like how the train room is coming together - trim and table leg colors match - industrial shelving - tasty work!

Do you still have that streamlined Flyer engine that was a restoration project?

Moonman,

Do you mean the Royal Blue that I added smoke to, or the old O gauge streamliner?  I have finished the Royal Blue, but not done anything to the O gauge streamliner yet.  Was thinking about using the shell for another S gauge engine since they are 3/16 O gauge engines.

Actually, I had forgotten about Royal Blue, but, yes the old O gauge streamliner.

I haven't gotten around to the O gauge stream liner.  I have to find so many parts, that I am looking for a beater 4-6-2 with a smoke unit to replace all of it at once.  There is a lot of missing parts, which places it low on the list because of cost.  I'll need a tender also.  I may keep it O gauge since it does have the o gauge chassis with motor and most of the linkage, but no trailing truck

ThomasT posted:

Looks really nice and I like you collections of Oil Lamps

 

Those are Dad's lanterns.  He has 6 lamps or so, but has over 80 lanterns.  Many road names I haven't heard of.

Well, we got the power busses to the tracks and everything works.  All the Marx turnouts have been wired and work.  Working on a bridge for the walk through.  It is 30 5/8 inches, so I'm thinking maybe two truss bridges together would work.  No new pictures as nothing on top has changed much.

Congrats on moving on!  getting the "nervous system" installed is always a milestone! 

My Postwar Lionel trusses are packed. I don't know the length of, but, two end to end will look ok if the length works.

I found an MTH truss bridge that is 30 inches long.  The opening is 30 5/8", so i think it will work.  May get two and put them together for both tracks.

Looks like you changed the layout from the original blue print. It's looking very nice. Nice collection of lanterns.

Its a bit different, not much.  There are about 50 more lanterns in storage.  Don't think he can get them all out.  We did have the great screwdriver incident of 2020 yesterday.  I powered it up and it shorted immediately.  I thought I messed up the power buses, but an errant phillips head was laying across the tracks.  Removed it and all is well with the track wiring.

@Kelpieflyer posted:

I found an MTH truss bridge that is 30 inches long.  The opening is 30 5/8", so i think it will work.  May get two and put them together for both tracks.

The tracks may be too wide together for an Atlas double track Truss bridge. Those are 40" long. 

If you attach a small ledge to bottom of the deck on each side it won't stick out too far for walking through the space. The MTH arch truss is a good looking bridge. There is even a Christmas version with lights.

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