to with a helix or a non helix

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by scoobyloven, Aug 28, 2003.

  1. scoobyloven

    scoobyloven Member

    i was looking at my train room last night after i got back from the hobby shop with 2 new cases of code 55 flex track that would be used to join my old layout with is 24 x 30 and the new addon with is 12 x 20 and a another level 27 inches above one side of the whole layout with a bigger yard with another trun table and some more sidings i looked into pre fade helix's and the cost around 500.00 for one that would give a 4 inch rise i can build one my slef but was wondering with would be better i seen a non helix used on a club layout but it took up a lot of planing and alot of room i would like your input on this and with i shoud go with
  2. TinGoat

    TinGoat Ignorant know it all

    I had a radical idea, but realized that it wouldn't work....

    Hey scoobyloven,

    I was thinking that for N Scale, you could use HotWheels Track to make a helix.

    Then I remembered that HotWheels didn't make curved track unless it was Super-Elevated....

    And I mean really Super-Elevated!!! :eek: :eek: :eek:

    If you don't have the room for a helix, you could always use a track cassette.

    But in most cases, cassettes are used like transfer tables where they are moved side to side on a smooth surface.

    They usually aren't used to lift trains from one level to another. But with the right engineering, and/or really steady hands, it could be done.
  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    There was an article in one of the Model Railroader special editions a few years ago (either Great Model Railroads or Model Railroad Planning - I forget).

    Anyway, it showed how to make a "train elevator" using a threaded rod to guide and lift (slowly...) the train. The only drawback is that the train would be limited to the width that you would reasonably expect to move up and down. I have also heard about lifts being made with drawer slides.

    $500 for a 4 inch rise seems a bit expensive... There is a lot of stuff out there - a quick search on Google turned up some useful stuff on how to build them yourself.

    Good luck!

  4. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    You'd want to keep the grade at about 2%, so, unless you have lots of real estate, a helix is the way to go. They're not that hard to build. Grade = rise/run X100. In the case of a helix, run= 2 X Pi (3.1416) X Radius, for each complete loop of the helix.
    For a 2.5" rise at 2% you need 125" of run, or a 20" radius helix.
    This would raise the track 2.5" from the start to the finish of each loop, which would be the minimum for HO( you have to get at least that high to pass under the upper end of the loop).
    I'm a model builder, not a mathematician, so check my guess with a calculator. It should be close,
  5. rsn48

    rsn48 Member

    Check these links out. In them I discuss the concept of a "Nolix" - basically an area that is "no helix." I won't repeat the definition since these threads go into the concept. These threads will take you to into the layout design forum where I'm a moderator.

    Tell me the size of the room you have, where the windows, doors, etc are and how the doors open. You might be able to do a nolix.

    I am editing this in, for some reason, I can't post the entire url and the address I do post says no such post exists, which isn't true. So I will start a thread for you at with the threads so you can read it at your leisure. Look for a thread in the Layout Design Forum called "Nolix's - A Reference."
  6. scoobyloven

    scoobyloven Member

    rns48 here is a drawing of the train room with the space i have the layout has all track done and old layout is completed and add on is at 50% done track laid and started on the detal i have put in where the 2nd level would go and where i have room for the helix or nolix in the drawing it shows the add on as 21x20 it is worng it is 12x20 i had a typo

    Attached Files:

  7. rsn48

    rsn48 Member

    Your room is so large you don't need a nolix, you can use a helix.

    If I had this room from scratch, I would place the nolix in the upper right hand area at the right end of the room. I would make the nolix area L shaped. The remainder of the layout moving to the bottom left, then up the left hand wall would be the two levels, with reversing loops at the 4 by 3 area.

    Over time I would also triple deck it. So two decks up and working, with hidden staging in the nolix area. Then eventually a third deck under the first lower deck, maybe only 10 inches down, but the front of the deck would be for staging only. So you would have staging in a bottom deck, staging in the nolix, with two decks separated by 20 inches.

    This scenario would also give you an incredibly long main line since 80 feet of the main (assuming 2%) would be in the nolix alone (excluding double tracking or passing sidings).

Share This Page