to make a double deck or not......

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by trainsteve2435, Aug 12, 2004.

  1. hello guys, hope everyone is doing good. im at a point in my layout that if im gonna add a lower stageing yard, i need to do it now. i have never done anything like this before, so i need some information. my current benchwork is 48" from the ground. my benchwork is open grid and also around the room shelf style of 2' wide. should i add a second lower stageing level? if so, how far should the two levels be apart? also, how much running length do i need to get down to it? should it have an up route as well as a down route? any information pertaining to this is very much appreciated. thanks!:rolleyes:
  2. TrainClown

    TrainClown Member

    Hi Steve

    If you look at your plan carfully you will see that all the info you need is there. I made the staging yard one foot below the main level. There are seporate entrance and exit tracks in my design. I suppose you could rig it so both ascending and decending tracks were on the same ramp, but then you would have to have a track going all the way back to the start of the staging yard again on the lower level. I think the way I have it worked out for you is better.

    You could also make it lower than one foot, but then your in for a very long ramp indeed, or some steep grades. The grade I supplyed is 3%. Your trains should run up this okay, but any steeper and you wont pull much of a train up it.

    It may seem like a lot of extra work, but if you ask me, it's the only way to go. Run more trains, and don't clutter up your layout level yard with scores of parked trains. Some trains are more for show and only come out and run once in a while, and without the hidden staging yard, you would have to set these trains on the tracks every time you wanted to run them, plus storing them off the layout. With the hidden staging yard, just flip a switch and up she comes from the deeps. After a run, she goes back down to sleep untill you next call on her. No muss, no fuss.

    Only muss and fuss right now. :rolleyes: ;)

    Let's see what the other guys think? Anyone have a hidden staging yard and want to comment?

    TrainClown :wave:
  3. thanks TC, im still learning to read track plans. ill go ahead and add a lower stageing level now. thanks again!
  4. cprtrain

    cprtrain New Member

    Adding a second level will more than double the length of your mainline and increase operation greatly. Having said that, there are a number of questions that you should ask yourself:
    1) What will the height of both levels be? I recommend using a lower level height that is comfortable to work under and an upper level that is easy to operate on without having to use a step to stand on. I'd also recommend using at least 18 to 24 inches of separation between the levels (top of lower level to bottom of benchwork on the upper level. This avoids the subway appearance on the lower level and allows for scenery.
    2) How will I go from one level to the other? Helixes work well but take a lot of space. One big advantage is that you can then build the 2 levels so that their grades are minimal (this allows for easy switching in yards and industries)and the helix becomes the ruling grade on the layout.
    3) What will my minimum grade be? Try to keep the grades to a minimum. My helix has a grade that is just over 1% but each loop is almost 20 feet!
    4) If you build a 2 level layout, consider widening your operating aisles. It may be common to have 3 or more operators in the same aisle because you can easily have 3 or more trains all moving on the different levels above each other.
    5) Consider using a wireless form of control (either DC or DCC). This avoids having to plug in your throttles. The cords become obstacles that get in the way of the operators. Having to run ahead of your train to plug your throttle in becomes a hassel and takes away the fun.

    I've built a 2 level layout and am very happy that I did.

  5. jcami

    jcami New Member

  6. Shlitz

    Shlitz New Member

    I have considered this option as well and would love a hidden storage yard.

    My layout length is about 25'. 25 feet X 12 inches equals 300 inches. This would mean a 25' ramp at 3% would get me down 9" which is barely enough to get your hand in there to work on it or put a derailed train back on the track.

    These calculations also do not consider the need for 24" radius (HO) turns which also require space. I also don't have enough room for a helix.

    How long is your layout that you are able to do a ramp down a one foot ramp and stay consistent with a 3% grade? Am I missing something else?
  7. jcami

    jcami New Member

    Hi Shlitz,

    If you have a 25' and want to go down 1' this means that your incline would be 1:25. This equals to 4.00% and would be on the steep side in my opinion.

    My layout is only 16' x 4', but I have found a way to 'hide' my helix.

    Your option may be to have a hidden helix as well. In my case, I have just over 12" between levels - to be exact 27cm! But then I have sliding levels to expose the bottom layer for cleaning and other jobs. ( I wish to install catenary masts for overhead operation of my electric locomotives in the future - also on the lower level.)

    It is clear to me now that if my helix has two and a half turns, on a 24" radius, (instead of one and a half, I would get the equivalent of 2x22/7x24x2.5=377.14"

    Over a 12.75" Gross Clearance, this gives a 1:31.43 gradient equal to 3.18 - which is not too bad!!

    In your case (without the sliding mechanism - I assume), you could go for a three and a half turns to increase the space between the levels.

    One point we have not mentioned is that the space between the spiral levels has to be adequate for your requirements!

    Good Luck!

  8. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Shlitz, if your trying to make the lower level hidden staging, 4% is not too bad a grade. You could use a helper to get the trains up out of the staging yard, and if the staging yard lead is hidden, you don't have to worry about what it looks like going down.

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