Risers...track elevation? Access gate ideas?

I have settled in my new home in Colorado and have 18 by 13  Mianne Benchwork up, with an open accessible center, as I have been diagnosed with advanced arthritic disease which will make bending impossible in the near future.  I have then place 1/2 inch plywood and 1/2 blue foam over the benchwork.  As I have many 072 required engines I have laid down a rough large oval, with sidings, on the 1/2 inch foam.  To add dimension I would like to rise and offset another oval over it for a second engine to run and also to build bridges, scenery and portals.  It seems excessive to purchase 18.00 dollar 2 inch foam sheets to rise the second level to 7 inches or so to clear the lower loop train.  I have used Woodland Scenic risers in the past but they really are not wide enough to accommodate O Scale track.  What materials and procedure should I use to raise the second loop up 7 inches or so in order to allow  lower trains to pass under?  Tips appreciated.  I also need to address a removable or swinging section for the access gap of 23 plus inches to enter the open center of the layout.  Ideas and thoughts appreciated.

John W Sherwood DMD

Original Post

You could buy 2x4x8's, cut to needed height/length and stand on ends, (on each side of the track, spaced 1-2 feet apart) then lay another section of 1/2" plywood over the top of the 2X4s. After that you could lay acoustic ceiling tiles over the plywood to deaden the noise if you wanted.

Kind of like pic below as an idea:

20180404_223104

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32FEA62A-4CFF-45F3-83BA-00CC2516B2991D2D445F-EC9F-4E34-9EA7-2D2454AE4589477E175C-CE1D-4F72-9BD3-8F541797270BI used MTH trestle supports and built this using Jim Policastro’s example in an earlier thread. Plywood base, soundboard next, and Fastrack. Sides are Masonite with balsa supports glued to the side. Coming back down I used graduated 2X4s with a soundboard base, as it was on the edge of the layout. The inner side is painted foamboard that I just went at with a screwdriver and knife. The outside is just Masonite facia. You can see some of the second level in the second picture.. I have bridges and tunnels I could show pictures of if it interests you.

John

Located in the real Upstate NY

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F5905C12-C4B9-4259-9429-74C56E63815C0A567EDC-2F9C-4FA4-A1F1-8E8C9DE02692DF9C4EC6-5A14-4641-B8A7-189044C63E59B3A0AAD6-279F-45A6-862A-6B9B26F38E487B11C31E-BD1E-4DFC-9371-3AFE4315207BMy layout is U shaped to get long runs and center access. About 7’ x 7’ of one end is covered by the upper level. The main loops under that section and the line going up to it loops on top and goes back to the trestles on a 2’ side elevated section with the three houses on it. I hav 3 storage sidings under each elevated section, plus real estate on top to develop. The lower line can enter or exit 3 tunnels before the “river”. I used concrete wall forms for support. They are 6” and should be 7”. Double stacks are very close running under. 

John

Located in the real Upstate NY

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Hmm, in a world of $400 LionChief Plus locos, $18 per 4x8 2" foam sheet does not seem expensive.   In any case, you do not have to fill the entire space under an elevated section.   For instance, you could raise a 2" thick foam surface on 5" risers to reach 7" in height.   The risers could be wood, foam, or some other material.   I might use strips of the 2" thick foam on edge, for a 2" wide riser of any length up to 8', saving a lot of foam and conserving your $$.

You might consider accessing an internal area layout area using Lionel's 30" Lift-Out truss bridges as has been discussed in other threads.   

To use Woodland Scenics inclines with O gauge, I will sometimes use a pair of inclines side-by-side to get a greater width under Fastrack. 

O Gauge: the IMAX of Model Railroading, and a multi-sensory experience.

I didn't take pictures when I did the elevated girder. I used 3/8" plywood for the base, then soundboard, and Fastrack. The sides are 1/8" Masonite 2" wide that I just used bar clamps to white glue them to the base. I used 3/16 square wood on the bottom, 1/8" square on the uprights, and a flat piece on the top. I pretty much used all my wife's clothespins and white glue to put them on. Everything followed the O60 and O72 curves with no problem with the clamps. I used a complete set of MTH trestles, shimming every other one to match grade. If you have a track plan, I'm sure you can get lots more advice by posting that.

John

Located in the real Upstate NY

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