Lower level staging transition...

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by iis612, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. KentBy

    KentBy GN, NP, SP&S

    Another nights sleep, another idea....

    Now this is more specific for my layout, but I am now thinking not to use a wheeled cart, but make it a drawer. About 6 ft long and 24 inches deep. I would use heavy duty drawer slides and only have one feeder track to the sliding table. This would give me 72 ft of storage and no switch work to get into it, saving money and space.:thumb:

    I am working on the assumption that I wouldn't get into the storage area very often. I would have a strip of plastic on the one side to keep the cars from over-running the table.

    Now I only need to dream up how to align the feeder track to the table tracks. Maybe a pair of pins would slide into the table and also provide power to the connected storage track.

    The table could be motorized, but this sounds like a lot of extra work.wall1

  2. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    I recently saw a plan for a layout that had a gradient to a mine, and a line leading into a tunnel on the main level that led to staging under the mine area. There was a lead on the other end that doubled back and did the same thing using a different entrance, through an engine shed or warehouse, IIRC, to bring the trains back into the layout from the hidden staging. Essentially, there was no "transition" at all - the whole thing was incorporated into the natural flow of the layout and utilized the "waste" space under elevations. Unless you knew how it was done, you would never suspect that there was much more to the layout than met the eye.

    I'm working on something similar for my layout, because I, too want the appearance of point-to-point with the advantages of hidden staging and a functional but unseen run-around loop without having to sacrifice actual surface area from the layout itself, and without the added expense and weight of an entirely separate lower level or the hassle of cassettes. As clumsy as I usually am, I would just keep banging into the darned things anyway. :cool:

    Good luck with your plans! :thumb:
  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Do you have room to keep the elevator in place at all times? If so an automotive scissor jack will maintain the same level all the way through it's travel. You could mount it permanently on the wall so the top of your sector plate is flush with the staging yard when the jack is lowered completely. use a level to get the jack perfectly level, and you can then use the crank to raise it up to the layout level. I would install an Atlas rerail section on the sector plate track as well as on the end of the mainline. If the sector plate is designed to move side to side in order to line up with different staging tracks, you would want a rerail section at the end of each staging track. An inexpensive safety lock to keep trains from taking the big plunge would be to install dead bolts on each track and at the end of the sector plate. The kind of cheap ones that are a pin with a pin out one side. You turn them one quarter turn and slide the pin up to lock or down to release and then turn back one quarter turn to lock them in position.
  4. iis612

    iis612 Member

    The elevator, when not in use will be stored along side a wall that does not touch the layout. When in use, it will be needed to move from one end of the layout to the other. Basically traveling 10'. I have been thinking of roughly the same idea as you, in regards to the pin deadbolt. I actually have a few that are gathering dust. I dug them out to see if they would suffice, and they will. I had not thought about the re-railers, that is a definate now that you mentioned it. I had an idea about how to align the tracks laterally with the plate, but I cnot not find the drawing at the moment nor could I explain it clearly if my life depended on it. I will track it down (pun intended) and get it scanned for posting.
    I appreciate the feedback that everyone has offered, and I think it will lead to feasible design. I have to visit a junkyard and see what kind of lift I can get with a scissors jack before I settle on that as the mechanism though.
  5. iis612

    iis612 Member

    I wish that I could hide track inside a terrain feature, but my layout is set in Michigan, and the lower peninsula is fairly flat. Let us all know how your plans turn out.
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    One thing you could use to align the rails between the sector plate and the staging yard tracks or mainline is to check out your local hardware store or home center for steel pins and tubing or washers. Some times a 5/16 bolt will be a nice fit in a 1/4 inch washer. If you line up your tracks and clamp them in alignment, then drill a hole through both the sector plate and the bench work. Take a 5/16 inch bolt and cut the threads off the end, just leaving the shoulder (have the bolt long enough for the shoulder to stick out an inch or so when the head is flush against the inside edge of the sector plate) and then epoxy a 1/4 inch flat washer into the layout. Now when you position the sector plate and push in the bolt ( helpful to have a small taper ground on the very end of the bolt) the bolt into the washer will align everything for you. You may also be able to use a small piece of pipe or copper tubing. Just drill a big enough hole for the tubing to go into the wood and then be epoxied in place. The main thing is to test fit various bolt/tubing combinations until you find the one with the tightest fit without having to force it, or have too much play side to side.
  7. iis612

    iis612 Member

    Russ, I actually had an idea similar to yours, except it was using dowel rod. I was going to place a male end on the sector plate and another male end on the end of the layout, obviously with the respective female ends. I was going with this configuration for each staging track below as well.
    My hang up had been with the dowel betting beat up over time and no longer being stable. The copper tubing, or even a decent diameter smooth stock steal rod would stand the test of time better.

  8. logicman

    logicman Greybeard

    Hi guys!

    I already posted this link in another thread, but I post it again here in the hope that it may help and inspire you:

    sector plate

    If you go for an elevator, these links may help:

    wagon hoist

    More layout ideas

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