Finding room for hidden tracks

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by zedob, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. zedob

    zedob Member

    for those of you who think that you don't have enough room (we never do, do we?) to build a layout, this is my solution.

    I've been planning this for awhile, but hadn't gotten around to it because of being lazy. Well, sorta. I just never did it because I knew it would be a pain in the butt, but I did and I just acquired an extra 4ft of mainline and 4ft of branchline, so it was worth it.

    my layout is a 1ft wide shelf in the shape of an L. It's essentially a switching layout and I tried to make it interesting, but I was stuck with the fact that my trains could never go anywhere. So, one night while racking my head about what to do, the answer came to me. It was so simple an answer and it created not only one but two places for my trains to go.

    The origianl terminus of my layout at the "foot" end of the "L" ended right to the side of my dresser (the layout is in my bedroom). Due to a electrical recepticle behind the dresser, the whole thing sits away from the wall about 2-1/2". This gap is perfect for a hidden track, but not much more.

    So, instead of a hidden yard, I settled with an over and under scheme. The top track will be my mainline to points elsewhere and the lower track would be a branch line to industries just outside of the immediate viewing area. This way i could have my local frieght come in to the industrial area and drop off and pick up cars(either from my visible industries or the hidden branch track)then turn around and head on out back down the mainline.

    The main disadvantage is the steep grade from the low line to the high line. It won't be seen and I won't be pulling more than a couple of cars at a time due to the lead track at the other end of the layout, but it is heavier than I prefer (5.5%). We will see.

    The last couple of pics show the "benchwork" I built out of 2x2x1/8" alum angle with 1/2' plywood mounted on top and how the two levels of track appear after installation. This project was the biggest hold-up for me to continue because the two track heights set the benchmark for the rest of the layout.

    Attached Files:

  2. zedob

    zedob Member

    Added alittle more to the hidden track and got a layout out of it.

    I'm satified with the trackplan. It seems like it will work. I'm still working on the drawings and will have something up hopefully tomorrow.

    It is powered, but I need to drop feeder lines to a buss. Even so, powering one end works fine. I plan on eventually going DCC, but at this time the layout is powered by a MRC Control Master 20. I only have one loco, MDC Oldtimer 2-8-0 Consolidation, which is DCC ready, but running on DC at the moment. I need to re-gauge the front and rear drivers because they ride up in the turnout frogs. I checked it against my NMRA guage and they are definately out. I'm hoping my wheel puller can be used without disassembling the engine.

    The grade on the back side is steep (5.5%). The loco will pull one car up, but with some more weight on the drivers it will pull the boxcar and the passenger car up the grade. The switch lead at the top of the hill will only accomodate that loco and the passenger car. However, the grade leads to the industrial section of the layout, so no passenger cars will be heading down that track. I may be able to squeeze two frieght cars on the lead track if they are short enough.

    Although there aren't alot of industries with sidings I still should be able to keep busy switching. Having the two hidden tracks allows me to have two trains from totally diff locations meeting.

    Attached Files:

  3. flytox

    flytox New Member

    to Mr.Robin

    Hello Zedob ..
    This is my First try as NewBE to memory of Mr.Robin Matthyro

    ( chiken box !! ) i remember it !!!

    best regards

    roger Flytox / Brussels / Belgium

    Attached Files:

  4. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    A well thought out hidden staging area. I like it!!

    Roger, I sure wish I could keep my cutting mat that clean ;)
    Hint- use an emory board and sand that top piece to fit on the roof. :)
  5. Marxed

    Marxed Member

    thats looking awsome
  6. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    zedob, if you would have split the height difference, ie raise the top track 1/2 the distance and dropped the lower track the same amount you would have had two grades half as steep as the single grade you now have. Either way, it's a great use of formerly wasted space. :thumb: :thumb:
  7. zedob

    zedob Member

    The highline does have a slight downward grade coming from the hidden track, but I wanted to keep the passing siding in front of the station, which is not built yet, fairly level. I plan on hacking off some of the plastic details on my loco and replace them with brass castings, so I should be able to increase the weight over the drivers and get a tad bit more traction.

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