After getting some feedback on the forums, I had to decide how to correct issues that have been plaguing the layout from the start. As the layout shape is an E and there’s only one helix, the lower right corner next to the door there becomes a dead-end for all 3 decks. Ideally, if there was another helix at the end of the other arm of the E, this would not be an issue, but I did not want to put a helix around the column, so…
I’ve been struggling to figure out what to do about getting to and from upper levels. That is why the section in the upper left corner of the plan (that nobody ever sees in the photos) is still undeveloped. Originally in my N Scale plan there was supposed to be a helix there, but now with H0 that helix is a bit bigger and that tipped off the scale for me, even though N scale helix was almost as big, square footage wise.
The helix for H0 is going to be a really modest one, barely adequate by any standard. A 24″ inner loop and 26.5″ outer, with an average grade of 2.3%. I wish that grade was 2% or less but there’s just no room to make it an oval or make it a bigger circle without sacrificing aisle and benchwork space. I might see if there’s some room for a triangle but knowing that I need a 24″ turn curve that might be out of question.
Another option is a gradual around the wall climb, a no-lix. Problem with that is I would either have to give up the walk-in aspect of the layout and put a swing gate at the entrance, or make trains turn back and go through the same scenery twice, on a different track. Either methods use more precious benchwork space all around the layout, unlike the helix which hogs the corner with its 20 sq. ft.
Past two days were so-so productive, or maybe I just expect too much. At first, it took a long time to derive a satisfactory cross-brace design. After that it was a matter of fabrication, measuring and cutting metal studs and track to size, fitting, measuring more, levelling everything. Did I mention levelling and measuring?
After yesterday afternoon’s progress with installing stringers on the North wall, today started rather slow, with chores and house things to do. But it quickly transformed into a full-blown railroad building session. By midday all stringers were installed, and by the the late afternoon all the metal track around the perimeter of the North wall has been completed.
A pleasant surprise, on this snowy day happened in the evening when a mailman showed up with a big box. The package with all the supplies for building the Staging level has finally arrived.
It is going to be a busy and hopefully productive Holiday season. Since I’ll be off work for couple of weeks, I can focus on finishing the construction of the Staging level benchwork and lay some track down, if all goes well.
There’s a lot of track to be laid down and wired, as well as turnouts to be tested and fit into place. One thing is for sure – I’m not looking forward soldering hundreds of feeder wires to all the flex track… 😉
Note: This is a living document. It will change as often as this railroad is tweaked and tuned.
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The following is the most recent design for the Staging level. For posterity, the previous entries will be kept below.