Use of Tunnels

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Bob Collins, Aug 2, 2001.

  1. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    I would be very interested to know the thinking you all use in deciding where you will use tunnels. I understand the use of them to take rolling stock off a layout to a staging area, that's pretty clear cut, but do you use them also to separate various sections of your layouts? Do you use them to suggest distance greater that how it looks when you move a train along an open track? Whay other reasons should I be considering in the use of tunnels?

    Anyway, I have a couple of ideas for my layout and I would be very interested in learning more from those of you who have thought all this through!

    Bob
  2. Catt

    Catt Guest

    Bob,I don't have any need for tunnels on my layout.(there aren't any in West Mich.) But I have seen tunnels used to seperate scenes on many layouts.Some real tunnels aren't very long.These short tunnels would be a perfect scene divider if you wanted to model different seasons such as Fall/Tunnel/Winter or something such.
  3. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    Thanks CATT;

    I have in mind having the ends of two tunnels facing each other at different heights. It would seem to me to be much more fun to do it that way rather than to be able to see the direction of each train coming toward the other one the whole way. It does also give me an opportunity to "hide" one train off on a long siding by putting the first part of the siding in a tunnel and then bringing it out into a small switching yard.

    More ideas than brains here, but I sure am having fun. Laid about 15 feet of track today. It is actually beginning to look like a railroad:)

    Bob
  4. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Bob,
    I like to see tunnels, whilst the real logging industry didn't have tunnels due to cost, my Badger Creek has two. One leaves the bottom level, dives into a tunnel and re-appears some 4" higher. Photo enclosed.


    Shamus

    [​IMG]

    NARA Member #24
    http://www.badger-creek.co.uk

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  5. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    I used a tunnel to cover the un realistic sharp return curve at one end of my layout. I also tried to make it long enough to take the whole train, so it looks like the train goes off the layout to re appear on the other side coming the other way. Also I intend to put one of everything on my first layout so I can get practice. One thing though, make sure the inside of the tunnel is easily accesible for fetching derailments and track cleaning.
  6. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    Tunnels

    Bob:

    I have 2 tunnels on my layout. One brakes up the seasons. It's summer on one side and switches to fall on the other. Then I have a large mountain in which the trains go through. That is snow covered.

    Andy

    Attached Files:

  7. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    I really appreciate the responses all of you have made. I think I have a better appreciation for the use of the tunnel.

    I don't have a suitable place on my layout to use a high trestle like many do, so using tunnels may be the best way to create distance and change of scenery as well as provide a suitable method for making trains appear and disappear.

    Again, many thanks. As soon as I have the chance I will take the time to learn to get pictures onto this website. Although as I look at the new and I might add much improved website, it looks like I can now just drag a JPG file to the message??

    Bob
  8. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member

    tunnels

    I'm currently setting up a new layout, and intend to incorporate a tunnel or two. Several different reasons, even tho I don't care for them (track cleaning and derailments) One end of the "L" goes up against a wall, and is 5' wide. I try to get everything in I can to get and hold kids interests. Secondly, I've got a couple shays that can climb pretty good, so maybe a second tunnel higher for them , like the view thgat Shamus showed.

    Like the subject below this about the hobby declining, I use different mean than others, but it is my joy and pleasure too. I try to keep things as simple as possible so kids are overwhelmed by the sight, NOT the complexity. I would love to do extensive tunnels and landscaping, but I get too many that want to do "hands on". I must say, tho, in the defense of that outlook, I have helped a pile of kids get started, and adults too.

    I have, in the past, picked up a bunch of train stuff at garage sales, and worked them over. It is surprising how quick parents, who have looked at $80-90 train sets, drop their jaws when I tell them I can set them up with 2 locos, 8-10 cars, scenery material, bldgs, track and power, for $40-50. Sometimes even less if necessary, just to get them started, especially if it is a parent/child project.

    Any how, When I figure how to get into my tunnels for maint, I'll build them

    Lynn
  9. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Bob,
    Make sure when you build your tunnel that you can get at any rolling stock from underneath should it ever come off. This is why I always use open grid baseboards, and not just a flat top.

    shamus
    [​IMG]

    NARA Member #24
    http://www.badger-creek.co.uk
  10. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    Tunnels

    Bob:

    One thing I forgot to tell you. My mountain is open on the out side of the layout. When I first laid the track, it derailed in it. :( Thank goodness that it was open! :) I even added a 12vdc work light in it when needed.

    Andy
  11. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Tunnels

    Just to let you know, I used this "Dual Tunnel" setup in order to hide the Helix that allows the "mine train" to change levels. The train enters from the right side (under the window) and then comes back into view at Kelly's Kaverns portal. Then it goes back into the mountain, finally exiting toward the left. It works Great!!! Also Andy is Absolutly Right!! Make sure you can get under the tunnel, I left that part out, only because I have boxes stored under the platform, and I am regretting it!!!! Let us know what ideas you come up with! :)
  12. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Here is the Pic :)

    Attached Files:

  13. George

    George Member

    Hello Bob!

    As you can see, everyone's got a different purpose for a tunnel. Beyond adding flavour to the layout, they're extremely useful for everything from hiding sharp unrealistic curves and staging yards, to providing more space for an urban scene.

    Take a gander in The Archive. I wrote a ditty in there about what you can do with them and some tips to consider while constructing them.

    ATB,

    George. ;)
  14. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    Hi George;

    Many thanks for your input. I will take a look at your postings in the archives and see what you have to say. I think I have a concept worked out in my mind what I want to do, now how I'm going to do it will be the challenge :)

    Bob
  15. Virginian

    Virginian Member

    We have several tunnel sections on the club layout, two at one end and one at the other. Two of them lead down to a lower level staging yard. as in real life they are a means of going under "mountains".

    My 'plan' for my N layout includes at least two tunnels, both based on prototype...the Mongomery Tunnel under
    Christiansburg Mountain in VA., the other in the Mountains near Mullens. I have photos of the first, and faint memory of passing through back in the mid sixties. I'll have to do some research on the second. . I don't plan on total 'proto', but I'd like to 'approximate the real' .
    Building the mountains is going to be one of biggest kicks, I think.
    Love the photos,guys. good luck, Bob...hope to see pics when you've built your tunnel.
    VGN
  16. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    Shamus has been kind enough to tell me how to get pix on the site and I will give it a try one of these first days, although I have nothing to show about tunnels at this time. I think when I can show what I want to do you will see clearly why I though it looked like a neat idea.

    I have also been paying close attention to what all of you have been saying about making certain I have access to the inside of any tunnel.

    Have had company much of this past week so the layout has been drawing some dust. Will get back to it on Sunday as I am ready to set another double crossover into place. Then just a couple of short sections of regular track laying and I will have completed the perimeter track, about 55' in all:). Will then start to put in the base for the yards and then "the wiring:eek: I think I finally have it pretty well figured out, but I will reserve any judgement on that until we throw the switch, so to speak.

    Bob
  17. Catt

    Catt Guest

    Our local tourist railroad is going to add a tunnel.:) There is one place on the railroad that goes through a cut. They are going to set up an old quonset (sp) hut over the track in the cut then fill the cut to the top with dirt.They will use a wooden portal at one end and a concreete or cut stone on the other end.This will make them the only railroad in West Michigan with a tunnel. :D :D
  18. billk

    billk Active Member

    Is that a case of reality following art, or what?
  19. George

    George Member

    Let's hope they "flank & bank" the sides of the odd structure, so it doesn't look like one of those old styrofoam tunnels sitting on the rug!:p

    Then again, it would be kind of funny to see a replicant of the old classic styrofoam tunnel on a 1:1 railroad, wouldn't it?
  20. choochooron

    choochooron New Member

    I have an interesting tunnel from one large room to a connecting smaller room.. we actually went through a 9in concrete wall to form the 3 ft tunnel. The approach to the tunnel going East is about a 1inch grade on a slight curve, straighting out through the tunnel to the smaller room. Part of the mountain scene is on the wall and the other part is actual landforms using the old chicken wire, plaster cloth, and gypsolite technique. This was taken from the old 1953 Lionel catalog and it really looks great! Hope to send pictures soon....thanks

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