In order to build my RR, I really want to put it in my basement where I do not have to worry about heat in the winter. It's 3 degrees here in Glens Falls tonight. This way I'm in the house, have coffee, heat, potty and I can hear the phones ring.

However, the best I can do for space is about 17' X 8 or 9'.

I have enough track purchased to do 3 loops around a 24 X 12' space. I'm wondering if a Tiered approach would add a measure of increased interest for such a small space?

Thank you....
Original Post

Tom,

My first thought is the biggest problem would be getting trains from tier to tier (I am NOT a big fan of helixes)! I see nothing wrong with the idea of different tiers. I guess one of the first questions you need to answer (barring the dreaded helix), is how far can you climb in 17 feet keeping a reasonable grade?

Simon
Tom,

I have similar size constraints. My layout is in my crawlspace. I run mulitiple scales on independent loops stacked like a cake. It makes for a nice elevation "compression". Each stack can be independently removed to be worked on and they had to be of certain size to get into/out of the crawl space.

I'm actually working on the second prototype and funny you brought this topic up because as recently as last night I realized I've reached a point that I will have to live with some poor design choices or stopping work, tearing it apart before completion and starting all over on an improved third version.

I can't find my previously posted photo album pics. So I'll post some later maybe it can spark some ideas.
Tom,

A problem with multi-deck layouts in O Scale is that the decks need to be about 2 feet apart to be visually separate. To gain 2' on a 2% grade requires 100'. IMHO, in your space, not practical.

However, a switching layout, a la Lance Mindhim, is very doable.

http://www.lancemindheim.com/

ChipR
Simon, Wits and Chip:

Thank you. This gives me some good idea's. I too dread the helix idea. Too much empty unused space and a lot of hidden run time.

I would love to see a cake layer picture.

If the top tier were 1/2 the width of the bottom Tier and I reduced the height between them to 12" or even 14", I might have a chance, especially way in the back on the bottom tier and I could do it in a 6"-12" wide space against the outer wall... I might be going around the room a few times. Yikes, how do you now get in the room? I really need to think this one through...

Thank you for the thoughts and idea's.
quote:
Originally posted by Tom Burke: Yikes, how do you now get in the room?

Tom,

A few more thoughts:

Considering your space, you are probably looking at a lift out or swing away section near your entry, even if you stay flat. (this is presuming a loop)

What might be the biggest issue is the max radius you can get on your curves, which will determine the size of equipment you can run. Given a 9' max room width, I'd say you are looking at about a max radius around 52 inches. That said, there is NOTHING wrong with smaller engines. I personally prefer them.

Another thing is that tiering your track like on a layer cake is not really going to gain you anything space wise over keeping your track on one level. To gain space you would need separate levels of track on top of each other. It is easier to give the illusion of elevation changes and keep everything flat as opposed to actually having track go up and down. Given actual changes in elevation, I wouldn't want a grade of more than 4%.

I guess the questions at this point are what kind of stuff do you want to run and do you want a loop? (I would!)

Simon
Last edited by Former Member
Have you considered point to point three times around where the entire track plan is one gradual helix?

Occlude the corners somewhat.

To soften the grade use horizontal seperation, bow the long runs so as to pull the track away from the wall at midpoint. More on the bottom level, less at the top level.

A cross section at mid point would have a wedding cake profile.

Use natural demarcations, like hedgerows, escarpments, cliffs to suggest different scenes.

Using a grade over the total length of a three lap run as suggested you will be able to maintain a 1 1/2% +/- grade.

I would us twin small TTs or a run a round at each end, no return loop.

You did not say what kind of floor. Could you consider a 3 step down- 3 step up entrance. Even on a joist supported wooden floor you could do step downs within a 14 1/2" bay w/ a longitudinal run of joists.

Another approach would be switchbacks on either side of the entrance so as to facillitate elevation changes without affecting walk in posture.
Last edited by Tom Tee
quote:
Originally posted by Tom Burke:
Simon, Wits and Chip:

Thank you. This gives me some good idea's. I too dread the helix idea. Too much empty unused space and a lot of hidden run time.

I would love to see a cake layer picture.

Tom,

Since you asked here are some pictures from a previous album. I've done a bit of work since I took these but haven't taken any pics yet. Again space limited and I'm really using this layout as a prototype to practice my layout and scenery skills before taking on bigger things. Also to get my son involved at the same time.

I built it specifically to be easily broken down, fit through the crawl space opening and be transportable.

Please understand that I'm running semi-scale right now and even....gasp!...HO on the same layout table, But maybe it can still give you some useful ideas that can be used with the realism of 2 Rail Scale.

enjoy....

Excellent pictures, thank you.

I was thinking of doing something very similar, except around the outside of the room with the operator being in the center valley.

I don't have any long wheel base loco's. I have Pacific's, NW's, brass 0-6-0's and a brass 2-4-4-2 Loco Workshop articulated. I also have the AN F3 A and B, a Brass Hudson and a PSC GP9. My biggest concern would be my 70' passenger cars.

Nice work.

Thanks...

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