double decker module

Discussion in 'Modular Layout Forum' started by Union Pacific, Oct 10, 2005.

  1. Union Pacific

    Union Pacific Member

    I am curious if anyone has built aor knows how to build a doublke decker module?? :confused: I am trying to model the Union Pacific and since its so large I watn to make it portable I have this feelinf I might have to move or someting plus I kinda want to show it off :D I have a pretty good I de idea in my head gonna try adnt inker with some ideas todat

    thanx, Ben
  2. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    Hi Ben. :wave:
    One of the major concerns about multi deck layouts is how to move from one level to another. There are a number of ways to do it, helix, nolix, elevators and several more that others are more qualified to discuss than I. A big factor is how much room you have. Grades can be tricky and take a lot of room to achieve a substantial change in elevation. A little more info would probably help the gurus here give you some good ideas.
    Good luck. :thumb:
  3. Union Pacific

    Union Pacific Member

    ok I want to make the bottom lever sorta low maybe 4 feet so children can see the action ( I hated it when they made there layouts to tall when I was a kid :mad: ;) ) the top level can be somewhere at 5 1/2- 6 feet. I want the bottom to be 2 1/2 or so feet deep and the top at 3 feet. I will use a helix as my transition it will be its own module. I want to have a step stool for the top level that can act as my couter balance to keep it from tipping over :eek: ;) . I don't really have to have this all compatable so I can switch module with module It would be nice but not necessary. I am working on some drawings that I can scan on the computer in a couple days when done. I hope this is enough info,

    Thanx, Ben
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Welcome to The Gauge!

    What you are describing is more like a domino or sectional layout, and I suppose it is possible to do a double decker...! By not making it truly modular, you will probably find it easier, as matching one interface is difficult enough - never mind two on different levels.

    Having said that, it sounds like you are getting along with the planning - I am interested to see your drawings. i don't quite understand what you mean by "counter balance" step stool. Having any part of the layout act as a step to take your weight may not be a good idea. It would probably be better to construct a separate step.

    In any case, take a look at the sticky thread at the top of this forum - full of all kinds of links to all kinds of modular/sectional/domino layouts.

  5. TrainClown

    TrainClown Member

    If it was me, I would make the bottom level the wider, and the top more narrow. If it was 5 or 6 feet tall, you wouldn't see much detail if it was 3 feet wide. If your going for a double decker, then why not make it three teer. Bottom would be 3' wide and 32" off the floor, second level would be 16" wide and 48" off the floor, and the top would be 7" wide and 62" off the floor.

    Just an idea.

    TrainClown ;)
  6. Union Pacific

    Union Pacific Member

    lol train clown I will stick with 2 levels for now ;) I think having the bottom smaller wider than the top won't work I will post a drawing of what I mean when I get home from school tonight.

    thanx, Ben
  7. Union Pacific

    Union Pacific Member

    I have finished my plans I will post them as soon as i get home from school :D :rolleyes:

    I will make it 6' tall 4' long and 4' deep I will use connectiors on each end of the top and bottom modules to connect power bus wires and etc. I will have a phione jack connector to connct the digitrax loconet panels. I plan on starting this asap I will *try* and see if I can use a cadd program to design this with dimensions and ets. so far I have had drawings that I will bold on paint. I will scan the corner module design as soon as if finish designing it well off to start on the corner module.

  8. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    If you plan to move this layout at some point, I would suggest that you go for less than 4' deep. Our standard modules at are 2x4, and they are easily moved by one person. Since you have 2 levels, this is automatically doubled already. A 4x4 x 2 levels is 4 times as much as we normally handle.

  9. Union Pacific

    Union Pacific Member

    I was thinking about doing the top 3' and the bottom 2' but I wanted to allow room for big yards I think I can pull it off with some super bracing thanx for your concern though

  10. siderod

    siderod Member

    I hate to be the one to come in and burst your bubble, but from my point of view, that just ain't gonna hold water!

    First the space you have on the bottom module, you would be hard-pressed to do a decent loop, let alone a loop, yard and industries. Secondly, a helix is gain 2 feet, you'll need at least a 4x4 foot helix, with rather steep grades! Thirdly, i'm 6'2" so 6' is just about eye-level for me. In my neck of the woods, i'm abnormally tall...most people that come to train shows, in my experiance, have been less then 5'8" are they supposed to see the top shelf? Another you have a full-size van, UHaul or F350 to haul these modules around in? Not only are they bulky, they're heavy and awkward....and they're going to take up ALOT of space. I've got one 3x4 module, and i need to rent a van to move it without damage....the full-size family sedan wouldn't hold it.

    Yet another point i wish to make is....i remember you saying in an earlier post that you wanted to model the whole UP railway. And you sound in this thread as though you want to model a lot as well. Now, either you don't get out much, you didn't do any background research, or you REALLY believe in massive selective compression, but you've got a slight've got two rather small (relitivally speaking) modules, and you want to model a railway that currently owns and operates over 36000 miles of track.

    You should also be warned that Digitrax does NOT use phone cord and phone jacks for the loconet uses special Cat5 6-conductor wire and RJ12 Connectors....look like phone equipment, but they're nothing NEAR the same when it comes to operation. I would suggest a GOOD read-through of the Digitrax manuals, and a good sit-down to think about what you have, and what you want to get done.

    I hate to come in here and sound all negative, but i feel it needs to be can't be done. A double-level module isn't a safe or sane idea, in my opinion, and your trying to cram too much into the given space. Sit down, think it through, and maybe do a home layout instead of a double-deck module, and do a module to take to the shows and show off there. Maybe only do one of the two....but in my opinion and my experiance, it ain't gonna hold water.

    Andrew Reid
  11. Union Pacific

    Union Pacific Member

    Hi siderod :thumb: :thumb: :curse: :curse: :curse: :curse: :p is how I feel but I can explain a little. 1st: I am going to use more than 1 module or 2 this will be a colaboration of layouts. 2nd: I will have a lower shelf for people (kids small adults etc.) and the higher one will be about 6 feet with a step taht makes it about 5'. I am sorry but I forgot to post my srawings I will posdt them asap (when I get home form school :rolleyes:) 3rd: I pland on making a seperate 4X4 module to hold a helix and I will start out with a corner module and 2 straight ones to connect on the ends. I plan on modleing a Hump Yard on top and an industry on bottom. REPEAT: I will post my drawings asap. that should help clear things up it is possible to make this and I have a neighbor with a small trailer and I have a truck and my other neighbor can get a small "U-haul" typ truck since he worls fro a company that has a million of them:D I do have means of transporting these modules.
    Thank you for your concern,
  12. Geno

    Geno Member

    Nice user name! I like UP, despite it's notoriety at my club and in Socal in general ( I'm not into railroad politics, I just like trains and their paint schemes). If you think it's hard to model it in HO , try O! It's almost impossible to get those nice wide sweeping curves in (belonging to a club with a 2000 sq. ft layout doesn't hurt).

    I'm planning to build a 16 x 20 layout at home, and it too will be a double deck design. My smallest curve radius will be 36" due to space constraints, but most curves will either be 40.5" or 45" radius. I'm a 3-railer, but the track will be Atlas 2-rail NS code 148 with a concealled center studrail. My lower level (30") will have a small classifaction yard, and the helix I'm planning to build will be about 8' in diameter. The upper level (48") will be loosely modelled after the Tehatchapi area and will have a double track main.

    You have a very ambitious plan, but the beauty of modelling UP is that you can do just about anything, as Big Yellow is everywhere. My favorite area is obviously here in Socal, but just about any terrain is prototypical. As far as motive power goes I like the big stuff (SD-90's, SD-70's, Dash-9's), but UP runs plenty of geeps on branch lines, so that's cool too.

    I don't know how many guys you have in your group, but if you're united in your plan to model the whole UP system- more power to you. BTW, where do you plan to set up your modules?

  13. Union Pacific

    Union Pacific Member

    I haven't been on the forum in a while and I am currently MRR disabled :( i am doing model rocketry untill i can get some more money/space I do need to find a club with
    A: room
    B: ambition
    C: UP FANS!!:D :D

    thanx, Ben
  14. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    This thread may be dead from what I've read in your last post, but just in case, I thought I'd chime in here. I would not make a double deck module at all. It would be just too cumbersome to move. Build a framwork to support both decks, but make the decks detachable as two separate modules, or to be more precise in this case two separate sections.
  15. 2slim

    2slim Member

    My first inclanation is to agree with you, but it sounds like Ben has some plans he's worked up so I'll have to see those before I pass judgement. I'm sure the guy who thought up using extruded foam for a scenery base probably got the advice that he was barking up the wrong tree too. I am always interested in viewing or hearing about a construction idea as you just never know where the next spark of creativity might come from!

  16. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Russ, we make carry plates that box two 2x4 foot modules together for transportation, and they are not overly cumbersome. While a double decker module can probably be light enough to handle, you may encounter alignment issues. We have currently have them in what amounts to two-dimensions; I can't imagine how much trouble they'd be in three ;) :confused:

  17. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Our modular club also has modules that "piggy back" for transport, but they are stacked much closer together than would give adequate separation for operation. My understanding was that he was going to build a double deck module that would operate as a double deck and then be able to be transported if he moved. Given a minimum vertical distance of 18 inches between modules, the size for transport would probably be 24 inches by 48 inches plus legs. I hadn't even thought about the alignment problems. I think I would still reccomend a framework to support both levels in operation but two separate modules mounted individually with individual adjustment for alignment. The whole thing could be taken apart and nested for transport if designed correctly.
  18. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    With foam construction, I don't think the weight would be an issue. It is the alignment - and as you point out Russ - the bulkiness would come into play. With a 2x2x4, that might be taller (with some sort of cover on the top level) you are looking at a large volume container to transport.

    If the tow levels are necessary, how feasible do you think it would be to do a helix module? Can something like that be transported well? Or is it really too sensitive to move at all?

  19. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    It would probably be feasable to move, if doors are big enough. I think a helix module would be at least 4 feet cubed in size! I think what might work is to make the layout room into a sort of giant helix. If a layout was "U" shaped for instance, you could do a loop at each end. One end would be a return loop, the other end would be a loop that would start back around the "U" but climb along the wall rising to the top level at the other end of the "U". If the climb was one track wide, it could be done in the back 4 inches of the layout, if double tracked, it would take maybe 6 inches. That part of the layout might need to be sacrificed in the event of a move, but it would get you a long mainline run without a bulky helix to the second level. I could even envision a see through backdrop that would appear opaque normally so that the train went into a hidden section, but would turn clear with lights turned on (back lighting)so that if there were a problem you could turn on lights and locate the train to rerail it, if the backdrop was also designed to swing out of the way for service.
  20. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    "The room as helix" is the "no-lix" idea that is occasionally kicked around on the Trainboard forum, as well as other places.

    Interesting idea.


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