Adding a level

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Kevinkrey, Dec 18, 2007.

  1. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    I am thinking of adding another level, I would take the cheap way, shelf brackets, possibly homemade, maybe hang one foot off the wall. want to know how much clearence I should have and how long the run to the next level should be, I think now is a good time to consider this, B4 I have to rip up a bunch of scenery. Anyway, any help, suggestions, of any sort are wanted. What should I use, how should I use it, I am not sure how to begin. Pleas give any possible help.
  2. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    I would add a power source for the second level and could run 3 locos, so the power is no problem, and the trains would not be reall long.
  3. CCT70

    CCT70 Member

    Are you using DC or DCC?
  4. TCH

    TCH Member

    you would need at least 12" clearance from the lower level.
    to rise 12" would take 25ft at 4% 33ft4" at 3%

    I operate with a grade of about 3% and don`t have any problems

    if you have enough room a helix is possible

    if you have plenty of power and short trains even 4% shouldn`t be a problem. you could even use helpers which could add to operations.
  5. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    I think a helix is the way to go between 2 levels. They do take up some space but i think it will be a better option for you. Plus I hear from guys who have built them they are not all that difficult to construct, just a little time consuming but well worth it in the long run
  6. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    If you have the room, I'd suggest going with a modelled grade, rather than a helix - why would you want to waste the scenic opportunities, not to mention hide expensive track and not be able to watch your trains climb the grade?
    My layout is set up to be partially double-decked and the climb up the grade will be an interesting operational challenge. The top surface of the second level will be 23" above the top of the layout below, and the same width, varying from 21" to 36". The extreme height differential is to accomodate fluorescent light fixtures fastened to the underside of the upper deck - otherwise the lower level will be too dark.
    I run short trains, but most will be doubleheaded, and some may require a pusher, too. I wouldn't want to hide that kind of operation from view.

    In the drawing below, the green area is single level, with the grade to the second level starting just below the word "Cayuga", at right, and running around the perimeter of the peninsula until it reaches the top where the grey begins (above the word "Elfrida").

    In this photo, South Cayuga is out-of-sight to the left, and the end of the peninsula off-camera to the right. The top of the grade is behind those pointy-looking mountains in the centre distance.

    This view shows the distance between levels, with the current end-of-track (the piece of roadbed hanging out in mid-air over the tunnel portal.

    The bulging backdrop is to conceal a drainpipe and an outside corner of the room. The opening will allow me to fasten the partially assembled framework to the wall. The upper level (and the underslung light fixtures) will be supported by welded angle iron brackets, bolted to the wall studs.

  7. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Wayne has a point and I love his layout and how it is set up!!! Im leaning more towards his side now sign1 sign1sign1

    I say if you have the running space to make it work go for the grade and leave the helix out, Wayne made a good point, why waste all the scenic space and hide the expensive track :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
  8. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    The more I look at it, i dont think i have the space, maybe just add track along a wall. I need to do some thinking.
  9. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    If you don't have the room to get the trains to a second level, you could still make an unconnected second level. This would give you the opportunity to try different scenery than is on your current layout, or simply add more scenes related to what you already have. You could operate each as a separate entity, or use cassettes to transfer locos and rolling stock between these "sub-layouts. This would effectively double the size of your layout without using any additional floorspace, as long as you can put up with not have the two sections physically connected.

  10. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    Sounds good to me! My mom parents want me to finish what I have first, so they can see trains run, this would let me do that. I also think I will get bored of the DMIR layout becase it lacks operating interest. I could build a point 2 point switching style layout above the three layout sides that are against walls.
  11. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    that is a brilliant idea Wayne. Now why havnt I heard that before lol
  12. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    If you made your cassett to look like a barge, you could put a lake front at the end of each level and then have locomotives dedicated to each level with cars being transferred from one level to the other as though the two level were opposite sides of a lake with the barge going across the lake with the cars.
  13. ChadYelland

    ChadYelland Member

    Could use switch backs nearly flat to the wall of the layout,, not as handy for operation, but very nice to watch and simple.
  14. wjstix

    wjstix Member

    I'm planning on using two non-connected shelf layouts on the new layout, the recent issue of Model Railroad Planning from Kalmbach talks about this a bit too.

    BTW before making your own brackets, check out the local Home Depot or Menard's or similar store, there are several commercial bracket systems that are available that are reliable and not all that expensive.
  15. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    That is a brilliant idea. Very inventive. :thumb:

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