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Just acquired a shed with 10X8 space for train layout. Oddly, I want two layouts: (a) my HO Era-2 German layout {that I had to tear down - moving} and (b) an OO scale British Great Western {that I want to try}. The question: do I build a double-deck round the walls or do I try two equal 5X8 with one six inches lower as they both traverse the foot wide overlap at the five foot mark. Obviously the other three walls will carry +/- 20" decks so I can fit in the two donuts. The advantage of the round-the-walls is, of course, longer runs but the disadvantage is less scenic opportunity on the lower deck. The disadvantage of the two 5x8 is obviously less operating potential but the advantage is greater scenic opportunities. I'm not asking for help designing the track layout (German & British are both different from USA), but I would appreciate any thoughts, especially based on experience, of the two options. Oh, btw, can one REALLY use LED rope lights from China for a 20-24" wide lower deck?? Thanks for taking the time to read this odd question.
 

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This may be a dumb question, but aren't HO and OO compatible? Couldn't you just make one layout for both? What's the reason you want to have them separate--different scenery?
 

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Yes, HO & OO both run on the same HO track. Beyond scenery, the real issue is that trackwork is quite different on prototype consequent of how real trains operated. For example, right-hand running (USA & Germany) vs. left-hand running in UK. Or, almost universal ban on "facing" turnouts (switches) on UK main lines. So, little things like which side of track a semaphore signal would stand is totally different. And, of course,totally different rail. Germany like USA - flatbottom rail resting on ties held by clamps; UK "bullhead" rail held off ties by raised clamps with ballast to top of ties but space visible under the rails. I'm not a "rivet counter," but there are really quite visible differences between a UK and USA/German layouts.
Thanks for your interest in helping me think this through.
 

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Well, I learned some differences between how German and British railroads are operated!

I would think having two 5x8 layouts, one atop the other, with only 6 inches between them would make it nearly impossible to see anything on the lower layout. It also seems difficult to fix anything, like a derailment.

Have you thought about making these layouts L-shaped? Maybe each has 1 wall to itself and they share a third? Maybe each one gets half the third wall, or one goes above the other but spaced farther apart than 6 inches? Or maybe they run together on the shared wall, with one up in some mountains and the other in a valley below?

Perhaps a diagram of the space would be helpful. For example, there must be a door and maybe windows or storage space to design around.
 

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I had another thought for you...a few people on the forum have put a layout on pulleys so they can store it near the ceiling and keep it out of the way for other projects below. Maybe you could do something like that and have these layouts one atop the other, just raise the upper when you want to use the lower.
 

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Eljefe has put forth some good ideas there.

One thought occurred to me...since I like the round the
walls tracks for greater length...to achieve maximum
Scenic development for both layouts, how about having the HO
take the top layer on one wall and the 00 take the top
layer on the other wall...the ramping would occur on
the other 2 walls...

Might want a drop down or lift bridge at the door. If so, plan
on an insulated section both sides of the bridge that would go
dead when the bridge is 'out'.

My around the wall single track main is in room about 10 X 10.
I managed a peninsula in the middle which could on yours accommodate
a spur from each layout.

I suppose the rope LEDs could light the lower but the best such
lighting in my opinion would use the Strip LEDs that come 300
on a role and operate at 12 vdc. They can be cut apart in 3 LED
sections and placed for best advantage. They are easy to wire
and are ideal, also, for car and building lighting.

Don
 
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