Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Southern4449, Jan 18, 2007.

  1. Southern4449

    Southern4449 Member

    On my new layout I am putting in a astaging area.
    With a 2% Grade..2" rise in 8' it is going to take me 16' of benchtop to cut out for clearance for the trains and another 16' to get the tracks at a level to see below the benchwork and then we have to get back up to the benchtop......

    There has to be an easier way...
  2. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    In what scale and era are you working? In normal operations, what's the maximum train length that you plan to operate? Do you need to manually handle the cars and/or locos in the staging area? Any solutions need to take into consideration all of these factors.

  3. Southern4449

    Southern4449 Member

    It is HO scale and the era would be steam to diesel transition. I would like to keep around 20 car lengths and I was not planning on having to handle the cars, but would still need to reach them just in case...
  4. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Okay, a 20 car train of, lets say 14 40'-ers and 6 50'-ers needs about 11' of track, exclusive of motive power, so your sidings in the staging yard need to be that long to avoid fouling the access turnouts, and longer if you're planning on leaving the motive power with the train in staging.
    My layout is an around the room, point-to-point design with two diverging routes. One line climbs while the other drops. Both end at another staging area, one above the originating staging yard, the other below the originating yard. On those occasions when I just want to run a train for visitors, I have a short run-through track which climbs from the lower staging area to the middle staging yard. The elevation difference is 3 1/2" in 100", so a 3.5% grade. Any of my medium-size locos can pull a 24 car train up this grade, if they are doubleheaded. Unfortunately, the set-up is such that I don't need to reach into this area, so clearances are only sufficient for the trains, there is no "hand-room". Determine how much room you'd need to allow access for your hand (above the train), then add that to the height of your tallest car. An eighth of an inch is plenty of clearance for the car, and if you subsequently acquire a taller car, put a restriction on it in your "rulebook". This will add operating interest by requiring you to include routing info for that car, just like the prototype does.
    A lot of my cars are older ones that don't roll as easily as the newer stuff, so my 24 cars would probably translate into more on your layout, meaning that 2 locos pulling 20 free-rolling cars should easily climb a much steeper grade than 3.5%, say 4.5% or maybe even 5%.
    I just went into the layout room and discovered that 3 1/2" of height will allow me to reach over top of and grasp an Athearn 40' boxcar, as long as there's nothing on any track between me and that car.:rolleyes: By the looks of things, the minimum length of your gradient up from staging will be 8', and depending on how much "rerailing access" room that you require, could be longer. However, since the grade is not intended to be viewed for operating purposes, the steepness shouldn't matter. You could also have the mainline duck behind a large structure or other view block, just befor it begins the descent to the staging yard. This would help to minimize unuseable space over top of the downgrade.

  5. Southern4449

    Southern4449 Member

    Thanks Wayne... I will have to do some testing and see what my max. grade is.
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    If your locomotives are good "pullers" 4% or 5% really isn't much of a problem. It looks funny to see the locomotive pulling up the steep grade, even funnier to see the thing jerk a bit going down grade as the worm gear tries to climb over the straight gear, but on staging yard access that is not part of the sceniced layout, you won't see it anyway.
  7. CCT70

    CCT70 Member

    With a steep grade though, the only one thing *I* can think of that you might have an issue with would be uncoupling when the grade straightens on a steep grade, so check that before making anything permanent and adjust accordingly. Nothing worse then having a train uncouple and go rolling backwards on a grade, especially into an area that has limited accessability.
  8. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    What size is your room?

    One of the more inventive staging solutions is "surround staging". While he claims not to have invented it, Mike Hamer has certainly brought it to our attention with his Boston & Maine. Click to see the track plan.

    The beauty of it is that there are no grades, although do do have to make sure that your track work - especially the crossing - is flawless. It has the added advantage of actually making the layout seem larger, as the scenery stops before the (sometimes) obvious intersection with the backdrop.

  9. Southern4449

    Southern4449 Member

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