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Discussion Starter #1
hi gang! new guy here, with all the goodies from my old layout (never finished, but lots of running time :) ) as mentioned in the intro thread, this will be mid-'50s pennsylvania, so i can run steam, diesel, and electric. i have been "given" a corner of the basement, which includes a shelf on two floor-to-ceiling shelving units (2x4 and plywood). the main table is the inverted-U shape, with the shelving units at the lower right and center left of the drawing. there is also a small floor-to-ceiling shelving unit top center. i can use a shelf on that one as well. i plan to put 2x2 cleats on the walls, 1x2 framing, 2x2 legs, and 1/4" to 1/2" plywood for the top (whatever i have lying around). i will be covering the plywood with 2'x4' ceiling tiles, fissured-side up. this worked very well on the last layout, since i could not find homosote.

anyway, the things i want on the layout include:

engine yard with turntable and roundhouse

freight yard (flat)

pax station and bank building to represent a city (i have the union station and baileys bank kits)

a small transfer and storage facility

a small trucking company

the two large shelves will have hidden staging yards

i would like to be able to run two trains "round-de-round" while working the yards, so i was thinking of a two-track dogbone setup, with the engine yard inside the loops on the right end and the freight yard on the right side, either against the wall or the table edge. the "city" stuff will go on the left side of the U. the trucking company could go on the small shelf top center, and the xfr/storage facility could go in the upper right-hand corner, either off the main line or the freight yard, depending on where the yard ends up.

btw, the left side shelving is about 6" higher than the main table.

any thoughts, suggestions, comments, yelling, epithets?

ps: i am not completely ruling out a removable duck-under to enable a complete loop.
 

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TrainMan,

Sounds like a fun project. Smart of you to think through the overall layout / plan / theme before jumping in too far.

A few guys on the forum have written threads (maybe 9 months ago or so?) about flip-down bridges to close off a U-layout to a full loop. Something like that might work well for your layout. A bit gimmicky, and it'd take some care and fiddling, but it might open the options for "round the layout" running. (Use the forum's SEARCH tool.)

If you're hidden staging yards is 6" above the main layout level, how are you going to transition between the two? That's quite the steep vertical rise/drop, especially given you're limited runway. Not saying it can't be done ... but just think through things carefully. You gotta think about "grade", i.e., rise/run ... 1% to 2% is normal ... 3% is getting steep ... 4% or higher might significantly limit what you can pull. If the shelf height is a given, would you want to raise your table (main layout) height up by 6" to level the field?

Keep us posted!

TJ
 

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Discussion Starter #3
i guess i should clarify the height issue. the shelving on the left side is 6" higher than the shelving on the right. i guess i could slope the whole layout, or split the difference and make it a 3" rise to one shelf and a 3" drop to the other. or raise the right-hand shelf 6". lotsa choices.
 

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If my math is any good, I could slope the main lines from shelf to shelf and get under 2% grade. And leave the main table level. We shall see...
 

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TrainMan,

If you run around the "U", you have about 30' of track run between the two shelf areas. a 6" total (or 0.5') transition would require a grade of 0.5/30 = 1.7% grade. So, I agree with your math.

However, that would require a sloped grade around the full perimeter of the U ... either groundcover slope or trestle slope, etc.

If I were in your shoes, I'd strongly consider bumping the low shelf up by 6", and make the base level of the high shelf, U, and (now raised) low shelf all at the same datum height. From there, you can rise locally as needed for any 3D layout depth you'd like to create.

Your other option is to keep the high shelf and the U layout all at the same height, then "trench in" along the right wall of the U a ramp going down to the low shelf. That'd be steep if you still have to drop 6", but better if you had to only drop a few inches (i.e., if the low shelf was raised about 3", splitting the difference).

TJ
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah, I think I will raise the low shelf and build it all on a single level. Too many issues the other ways. Thanx for the advice.
 
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