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double-deck layout

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  • Member since
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  • From: Edegem, Belgium
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double-deck layout
Posted by marctje on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 4:31 PM

I'm thinking to build a double-deck layout in my basement but i'm wandering about the height between the two decks, can you give me some idea about the height.

thanks

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  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
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Posted by SpaceMouse on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 12:04 AM

Depends on your space and ability to get trains from one level to another, but generally speaking, half a meter.  

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 1:28 AM

Most I have seen are in the 14 to 16 inch range.

If you are considering a double decker, I would strongly suggest you mock it up in full size first and try to work on it, reach into it, and see how much is actually visible.

I have known a couple of people that really ended up regretting the double decked approach, but for many it is a great choice.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by gregc on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 6:56 AM

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 8:19 AM

 I'm doing 16" between the top of the lower decka nd the bottom of the upper deck, which works out to about 20" railhead to railhead.

 There is no one answer. It really depends on your preferences, your height, and the height of anyone else you expect to be able to enjoy your layout. The only way to truly figure it out is to mock things up. A shelf unit with adjustable shelves, or even wall mounted shelv tracks, is a good planning aid. Worst case, you can stack boxes, or stack boxes for the lower level adn then cut piece out and glue/tape them together to make a table to sit on top for the upper deck, with varying amounts of clearance.

 All the dimensions affect one another, which is why planning first is so critical. the higher the lower deck, the higher the upper deck will be, or the smaller the deck separation with be. Everything too low, and the uopper deckw ill block the view of the rear of the lower deck, etc. The depth of each deck affects what remains visible at a given elevation. So mock it all up, figure out what works best for you. Even two people whose eyeballs are the same height above the floor may have different ideas on what they want.

 I'd really rather not go two deck, but I can't come close to getting the layout I want in the space I have if I don't. So double decked mine will be. After much planning, I figured the deck heights that suit me the best, witht he fewest compromises (and with a multi deck layout, there are always compromises - you'll never have any deck at your most ideal elevation as that will put the others either too high or too low to be usable). 

                                                     --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by nealknows on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 9:26 AM

The one I just built I has 16" from the top of each base. I used 1"x3" for my framing so I have 13 1/2" open area to reach under the upper level. Since it's around the wall, my upper level is 18" wide and lower is 24" wide. Since I'm height challenged it works well. FYI, lower level is 38" off the ground and upper is 54". My other layout I built it with 12" between levels, but back in 2005 I wasn't thinking about the reach on top. 

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Posted by davidmurray on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 9:35 AM

In my opinion another consideration is whether or not you will have multiple operators at time.  Two decks could mean more operators, but will require wider aisles.  If operating alone, no problem.

 

 

David Murray from Oshawa, Ontario Canada
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 11:08 AM

rrinker
It really depends on your preferences, your height, and the height of anyone else you expect to be able to enjoy your layout.

I think maybe this is why I do not like double decked layouts. I am 6' 7" tall, and these were all designed and built by "normal height" people.

rrinker
Everything too low, and the upper deck will block the view of the rear of the lower deck.

They are all too low for me, so it seems.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Pruitt on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 11:36 AM

My old layout in New Jersey had a deck separation of just over 20 inches.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 12:12 PM

My partially double-decked layout varies from about 21.5" to 23" between levels (top-to-top).  The variance is due to elevation changes on the lower level, as the top surface of the upper level is all at 59" above the floor.

Wayne

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 12:20 PM

My layout has two decks separated by 18" (lower 34", upper 52").

The lower deck is essentially a shelf layout 18" deep by 50 feet long. That is the scenicked area. There is a pretty long extension (about 28" deep by 20 feet that contains 'hidden' storage/staging and return end loop). Not really hidden, just not fully developed.

I made an eye-level diagram to show sight distance at my 66-inch eyeball height of the lower deck, and it showed that I could not see much more than 18" into the lower deck from the center of the 48" wide aisle. This has since been proved by actual practice.

My personal setup. Your mileage may vary. Hope this helps.

Robert 

LINK to SNSR Blog


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Posted by hornblower on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 2:14 PM

Since you'll be the person working/operating your layout the most, set an upper deck height just below your armpit.  This will allow you to comfortably reach into the upper deck without the need for a stool or ladder.  I am only 5'-8" tall so the upper deck of my layout is a nominal 54" high.  

The necessary separation height between the two decks is fairly dependent on the depth of the upper deck.  The deeper the upper deck, the greater the deck separation needs to be to allow all of the lower deck to be visible from a standing position.  Also keep in mind that less deck separation will require wider aisles to maintain similar visual access to the lower deck.  The upper deck of my layout is 24" deep.  With a 3" deep upper fascia, this requires a railhead-to-railhead separation of 18" to allow me to see the bottom of the backdrop of the lower deck (nominal 34" high) while standing at a distance of about 2 feet from the fascia.

Finally, the lower deck height of 34" allows me to work on the layout while seated in a rolling desk chair.  I do not use rolling chairs during operating sessions as they tend to congest the aisles (even my 48" wide aisles) and the operating durations do not seem to cause problems for standing crews as most of the lower deck industry switching (and time spent) occurs near the fascia.  This is even true for one of my operators who stands 6'-8" tall.

Hornblower

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 6:34 PM

SeeYou190

 

 
rrinker
It really depends on your preferences, your height, and the height of anyone else you expect to be able to enjoy your layout.

 

I think maybe this is why I do not like double decked layouts. I am 6' 7" tall, and these were all designed and built by "normal height" people.

 

 
rrinker
Everything too low, and the upper deck will block the view of the rear of the lower deck.

 

They are all too low for me, so it seems.

-Kevin

 

 That's exactly the problem. At 7" taller than me, you would want to have my measurements raised by at least 7" overall. Unfortunately, in my basement, even with 7 1/2 foot celiling height, that ould mess up the deck to lighting spacing for the upper deck - another reason for my chosen heights is that it allows an additional cap with a valance over the top deck exactly as far above the top deck as the top deck is over the lower deck, meaning the lighting will be even between the two decks. If one deck is closer to the lights than the other, I'd have to fool around with differnet amounts of lighting to get an even lighting, and while my top cap isn't going to be right up against the ceiling panels (so I can stick the lighting power supplies up there among other things - hence the electrical outlets near the tops of the walls you see in my pictures), it's not 7" below the ceiling, so I couldn't just raise it all up for someone of your height. 

 The upper deck would probably be OK, the top cap likely wouldn't block much of the view, if any, but most of the bottom deck would be hidden unless you bent over. Or maybe rolled around in a chair.

 I know some people are going to complain that the top is too tall, since most of the people I know are shorter than me. 

                                        --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
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  • From: Edegem, Belgium
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Posted by marctje on Sunday, October 11, 2020 8:24 AM

Thanks everyone 

i think that i should give my thoughts about the planning.

the place i have is a bassement, you can find my plan here under

 kelder maten sorbrechtshofstraat by Marc De Groulard, on Flickr

i want to make shelfs about 1m50 long and 70 cm deep

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Posted by gregc on Sunday, October 11, 2020 4:17 PM

are you planning on building a helix?   a 30" radius helix requires 5'+ or 150 cm

otherwise, you need ~150' (~4600 cm) to rise 18" at a 2% grade with ~half the route level for sidings and spurs to swith cars one w/o the cars rolling.   am I right that your longest wall is ~580 cm or ~19'?

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

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