Attached is a PDF document, SCARM file and a number of snapshots from SCARM of a proposed multi-level layout. The PDF document is a detailed description of the layout. It turned out so long that I have posted it as a PDF rather than putting it in the body of the post. I suggest reading this first as it will explain what you are seeing.

Please review and comment. The design is quite detailed and far along, but if someone has a brilliant improvement that requires a rework, then it will be worth it.

Many ideas and substantial help in this project was provided by forum member DoubleDaz, a great layout designer.

The SCARM file is complex with many layers. The PDF document explains the structure of the file. Because of quirks in SCARM some of the 2D views do not show all of the figures. Everything is correct in 3D.

Thank you for any assistance.

Bill

 

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Interesting design.  As you said you're pretty far along.  Personally I would limit myself to at most two levels about 28" apart.  The bottom level would protrude out further from the wall below the top (as it does in your proposed design.)

I've seen a lot of multi-level HO club layouts.  None of them had more than three levels.  O gauge trains are taller.  When you take into account the height of rolling stock, buildings, and a proportional "sky plane" / horizon (look at some landscape-orientation photographs of real trains) you'll see why I feel like you should have 24" between levels.  I also think 24" is the minimum suggested height of a backdrop in O gauge, with heights of 36" or even 48" recommended.

Another thought... your room is large enough that you could create a helix in one corner of the room, and use that to move between the levels, instead of the ramps.  24" might be too much for a ramp, but you can get that with four turns of an O72 helix.  I've tried designing helixes myself, and a typical footprint might be 7'-by-7' or 6'-x-10'.  Usually this track is hidden in a mountain or behind a false wall, and not scenicked.  You can even use it for "staging," i.e., hide a train inside.  I don't personally have the room for one, but you do, so consider the advantages.

It's your layout but I believe you'll enjoy it more with two fully scenicked levels, instead of four stacked tight like an O-gauge club sandwich.

Last edited by Ted S

IMG_20200218_042834~2IMG_20200218_042725~2

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





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I had to post pics first, I'm typing now.....

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





They are 3 0-27 loops. 15" from lower to mid level, then 10" from mid level to table top.(2¾"h black boxes). Shot sitting from 5' away and from about 15" away on the close shot.

Note the increased height of the space down low, but the reveal/non-eclipsed/ seen portion of the rear of each level is about equal.

So sitting or standing ? Because the the higher the eyes and closer you are, the more one level blocks the other. That view angle is important.

I started this with an equal split in mind; but the split wasn't as visually pleasing.

I'm going to fill in only the rear half of level 2 and make a faux curved under-arch from leg to leg (canyon wall type footing...up high on legs) ...to keep the ability to look thru much of level 2 down to level 3 below.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Not a great shot, lol, but this is the view reclined with eyes at about table level(5ft away)  (the boxes will get moved, homespun throttles)

The angle really improves things eh?

IMG_20200218_052306

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





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Images (1)

Hello Bill,

Love your layout and hope you keep us updated with progress photos.

Have a great day,

ThomasT

 

Life is what it is, and if it wasn't it would be something else.....

Thanks everyone.  When I started this process a few months ago the first issue I worked on was a helix vs ramps.  I have built a helix before.  I drew many helix in different parts of the room.  No matter how I did it their impact on space was too much.  The ramps take out so little space in comparison and I am able to get very good slope.  After comparing designs for weeks I settled on the ramp approach.

I understand the suggestion that there are too many levels, and I have been debating this all along.  Also, the height difference between levels is an ongoing consideration.  I have mocked some of this up with wood to see what I could live with.  Note the the lowest level has the lowest height and much of that track will be hidden.  The two middle levels have the greatest height.  Some of the upper levels are cut back for visibility of the level below.  For example level 38 is cut back over the passenger terminal on level 28 for visibility.  As Adriatic says, sight lines are critical.  This number of level dilemma derives from wanting to pack in as much function as possible into the room.  I know I may have to go down to three levels, but still resisting.  No matter how big the layout room is, it is not big enough.  The previous multi-level layout that I built was three levels and it worked out, though the top level was very high.

I do plan to start a build thread once I get started on building this.

Bill

 

Bill,

I picked up on your post last night, but wanted to review the .pdf before commenting.  I think the biggest comment you made is you have done multi-level layouts before, so in my opinion you know what you are getting into and the problems and advantages of your approach.  I'm impressed with the design and want to follow along as you put it into action.  Yes, I can see you are still considering whether to drop it down to fewer levels, but since you have been mocking it up, you will find the right fit for you.

Adriatic has shown us in the past and again here that multi level layouts can work well on a smaller scale, so why not a bigger scale.  

My first impression is that your plan reminds me of Trainroomgary's layout, but with another level or two and more operation based than his since you have the passenger yard, etc.  Also, I don't think he has any ramps connecting levels.  I contend you have plenty of room for ramps between levels.  Also, I like the idea you will have a level for pre-war and clockwork trains.  That provides that you can follow all your interests in one room.

Again, I'm looking forward to following along on your build thread!! 

I must be blind as a bat...but, what is the exact layout size?

Also, I'm on the side of two levels.  O Gauge is big.  Think it through.  

My layout is two levels using Mianne double-deck benchwork.  12'x10'  I'm thoroughly happy.

 

 

RT   

Thanks Mark, thoughtful reply.

RT The room is finished and is 30’ long. The usable width varies from 12 to 15’, described in the PDF file.

Bill

 

 

                slowly working on a 24x48 multi- level layout...

               bottom return loop is on this 9x25 peninsula at ground level...

                         3 main levels,  with multi levels on each level...     

 

 

 

 

 

                                           to the upper level...

 

 

 

 

 

                               there will be various levels on each level...

 

                levels will be connected by a continuous 1 to 2 percent grade,

                                   from ground level to the upper level...

 

 

 

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Last edited by briansilvermustang

Here's a 3 3/4-turn helix in O72 that nets you an elevation gain of 25".  The gradient is a steep but reasonable 2.7%, and the room "footprint" is 6.5' x 10'.  Amazingly it packs 82' of track length, enough to store five full-length trains (staged sequentially, of course, first in-first out.)

If I had a bigger room I would probably use something like this myself!  For your consideration and optional use.

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Last edited by Ted S

Briansilvermustang sorry I am slow to respond, been down with the flu.  Its exciting to see someone else doing an elaborate multilevel layout.  You are obviously way ahead of me.  inspirational.  Please keep us up to date. 

Bill

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