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To add a deck or not add a deck, is that a question??

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To add a deck or not add a deck, is that a question??
Posted by NWP SWP on Thursday, November 09, 2017 8:39 PM

What is your opinions on the pros/cons of multi deck layouts?

And the pros/cons of single deck layouts?

Modeling the combined lines of the Southern Pacific, Western Pacific, and Northern Pacific after a fictional Depression Era merger forming the SouthWestern Pacific and NorthWestern Pacific Railroads. SP, WP, and NP operations remain independent but also operate alongside NWP and SWP equipment.

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Posted by 7j43k on Thursday, November 09, 2017 8:57 PM

My problem with multi-deck is psychological.  I'm supposed to be pretending I'm looking at a little world.  When there's another little world floating above the former, I think it might be irritating.

Another problem could be working on the different layers--lack of headroom, in the widest sense.

But a VERY big plus would be the extra railroading.

 

My compromise would be to only have the "other" layers be for staging yards and other off-stage trackage.  They then aren't pretending to be part of the model world.

It should be obvious that I am not speaking from experience about the multi-level concept.  Others who ARE will likely have things to say.  But them saying THEY don't have a psychological problem with layered worlds does not mean that I won't.

 

 

Ed

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Posted by NWP SWP on Thursday, November 09, 2017 9:18 PM

Ed that's a VERY valid point stacking does result in less realism while on the other hand you get practically twice the railroad in the same space. Also I think this is much more obvious with layouts featuring three or more decks. I'm just trying to get opinions from those who have experienced each type of layout.

Also one way to get the best of both worlds is to set the second "deck" higher up on a sceniced mountain therefore allowing you to double your mainline while maintaining realism.

Modeling the combined lines of the Southern Pacific, Western Pacific, and Northern Pacific after a fictional Depression Era merger forming the SouthWestern Pacific and NorthWestern Pacific Railroads. SP, WP, and NP operations remain independent but also operate alongside NWP and SWP equipment.

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Posted by Track fiddler on Thursday, November 09, 2017 9:24 PM

I live in a three dimensional world.  That's enough for me.

My model railroad has to be the same. 

Adding a second level to my life or My model railroad would be a bit more than I can chew.

True sincerity

                 Track Fiddler

 

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Thursday, November 09, 2017 9:28 PM

My current build layout has two levels, 18" apart. The upper level is a little too high (52") for comfort, and the lower level is a little too low (34").

Two levels double the area, but I'm not entirely sure it is worth it. I'm very satisfied how things are turning out, but check back in a few years for an update.

Robert

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Posted by NWP SWP on Thursday, November 09, 2017 9:33 PM

Modeling the combined lines of the Southern Pacific, Western Pacific, and Northern Pacific after a fictional Depression Era merger forming the SouthWestern Pacific and NorthWestern Pacific Railroads. SP, WP, and NP operations remain independent but also operate alongside NWP and SWP equipment.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, November 09, 2017 9:36 PM

I would never build a double deck layout for myself.

.

Every double decked layout I have ever seen has had the lower deck suffer from serious neglect.

.

However... if you REALLY need to have distance between your cities, or just a long mainline run... a double decker might be the only way to get what you want in the space that you have.

.

-Kevin

.

Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by NWP SWP on Thursday, November 09, 2017 9:45 PM

Like the club I'm in the process of joining they have a double deck area and a single deck area and a total 1000 ft of mainline. I think that again a great compromise would be running the mainline higher up on the scenery therfore giving more run while maintaining a single deck type layout.

Modeling the combined lines of the Southern Pacific, Western Pacific, and Northern Pacific after a fictional Depression Era merger forming the SouthWestern Pacific and NorthWestern Pacific Railroads. SP, WP, and NP operations remain independent but also operate alongside NWP and SWP equipment.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, November 09, 2017 9:49 PM

I thought about this as I was building my layout.  Now I wish I would have done something different for the staging part.  I share Ed's thoughts.  I build, and take apart, the trains I run right up front, on the main line.

I still can change things,  just haven't figured it all out, to blend it in with I have. 

Mike.

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Posted by Track fiddler on Thursday, November 09, 2017 9:57 PM

 I could imagine an under level from the main layout for staging and storage for your running stock and locomotives so they don't collect dust.

A place where your train left industry and left the scene for a while and then came back.  (maybe empty)

That would be cool

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Posted by NWP SWP on Thursday, November 09, 2017 10:08 PM

Here's a great example of multiple mainlines stacked in a scene.

Modeling the combined lines of the Southern Pacific, Western Pacific, and Northern Pacific after a fictional Depression Era merger forming the SouthWestern Pacific and NorthWestern Pacific Railroads. SP, WP, and NP operations remain independent but also operate alongside NWP and SWP equipment.

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Posted by Track fiddler on Thursday, November 09, 2017 10:14 PM

.

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Posted by NWP SWP on Thursday, November 09, 2017 10:40 PM

Modeling the combined lines of the Southern Pacific, Western Pacific, and Northern Pacific after a fictional Depression Era merger forming the SouthWestern Pacific and NorthWestern Pacific Railroads. SP, WP, and NP operations remain independent but also operate alongside NWP and SWP equipment.

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Posted by railandsail on Friday, November 10, 2017 7:21 AM

NWP SWP

Do you have that much room?

That's not exactly double decked.

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Posted by railandsail on Friday, November 10, 2017 7:39 AM

I'm currently working on designing a double-deck railroad for my 'train shed',...

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/264616.aspx?page=3

 

I found another interesting trackplan that I wanted to spend time investigating prior to making a decision as to which one to build. I started a new subject thread on that other plan so as to not confuse matters by mixing the 2 up.

Interesting Plan, Tupper Lake & Faust Junction
http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/p/3004238/reply.aspx
http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/p/3006861/reply.aspx

(Sorry I don't know what I am doing wrong on this forum, BUT I am having trouble posting links to other discussions....the software here is different than any other 8 train and boating sites I participate in   ):    )

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Posted by carl425 on Friday, November 10, 2017 8:46 AM

railandsail
Interesting Plan, Tupper Lake & Faust Junction

This plan, IMO, is an example of the old "nothing but track bowl of spaghetti" layout that multi-deck layouts were invented to fix.  By going to a second deck you get the mainline run of a plan like this but still have the opportunity to maintain scenic integrity by not having trains run through the same scene more than once.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, November 10, 2017 8:50 AM

It all depends on what you want.  If you want more layout are and running, multi-deck will go a long way toward achieven that in a give space.

And the pros/cons of single deck layouts?

Pro's: are lots of extra distance running, bigger "world", operations operations operations.

Con's: More expensive and complexe to build.

My problem with multi-deck is psychological.  I'm supposed to be pretending I'm looking at a little world.  When there's another little world floating above the former, I think it might be irritating.

As for psychological factors, thats an individual choice.  If you want to give up say, twice the mainline because it's irritating, of course thats your choice.   Lots of things are irritating but absolutely worth it in the big picture - thats life in general!

Another problem could be working on the different layers--lack of headroom, in the widest sense

Thats largely an engineering question.  Build bottom levels as much as possible before moving to upper, as much as possible to avoid access issues.  Ask lots of questions so you can maximize the benefits and minimize issues.

This topic is timely for me as I have torn down a 10x18' layout that had two levels on one side - it was a good learning experience and hopefully I'll be able to take those lessons into a future layout.  If all goes according to plan, will have a larger space in a basement with room for a multi deck layout.  I can envision two levels with a staging underneath the yard in the space availalbe.  It will be a major design challenge but I enjoy layout design so that will be an interesting and fun process hopefully.  I have saved most of the benchwork from the last layout which is in modular sections to incorporate and hopefully have a head start.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by maxman on Friday, November 10, 2017 9:06 AM

7j43k
My problem with multi-deck is psychological. I'm supposed to be pretending I'm looking at a little world. When there's another little world floating above the former, I think it might be irritating.

Having operated on a couple different multiple deck layouts, I would say that if you are following the train and paying attention to what you are doing you tend to "not see" the other decks or what's happening on them.

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Posted by NWP SWP on Friday, November 10, 2017 10:33 AM

Now does two decks work for mountain scenery? 

In my opinion this layout is very well done even though it is a spaghetti central track plan.

http://spcascade.com/Track%20Plan/TrackPlan.html

Modeling the combined lines of the Southern Pacific, Western Pacific, and Northern Pacific after a fictional Depression Era merger forming the SouthWestern Pacific and NorthWestern Pacific Railroads. SP, WP, and NP operations remain independent but also operate alongside NWP and SWP equipment.

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Posted by 7j43k on Friday, November 10, 2017 2:34 PM

NWP SWP

Now does two decks work for mountain scenery? 

 

If you're doing a two-level layout set in Iowa, you've got a situation getting from one level to the other.

With mountains, it seems like that's solved:  a bunch of the layout IS the way you get up to the next level.  In this case, you might have a section of the layout that is two level, and another section of the layout that is the climb.  And would be one-level.  Sort of a split-level house idea.

 

Ed

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Posted by hornblower on Friday, November 10, 2017 5:36 PM

One thing I often see on multi-deck layouts (as well as single deck layouts) is insufficient aisle space.  Two decks means a potential for twice as many people to try to occupy an aisle (and pass each other) at the same time.  Three decks means three times as many people in the aisle!  No, a 30" aisle is not sufficient, especially when you consider that many of us have diameters much larger than that!  My own double deck layout has 48" aisles and even that can get tight at times.

Hornblower

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Posted by railandsail on Friday, November 10, 2017 6:49 PM

carl425

 

railandsail
Interesting Plan, Tupper Lake & Faust Junction

This plan, IMO, is an example of the old "nothing but track bowl of spaghetti" layout that multi-deck layouts were invented to fix.  By going to a second deck you get the mainline run of a plan like this but still have the opportunity to maintain scenic integrity by not having trains run through the same scene more than once.

Can you show me some relatively small layouts that DO NOT have the trains running thru the same scenes several times ??...particularly it they are going to make more than a couple of laps around a layout.

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Posted by railandsail on Friday, November 10, 2017 6:55 PM

hornblower

One thing I often see on multi-deck layouts (as well as single deck layouts) is insufficient aisle space.  Two decks means a potential for twice as many people to try to occupy an aisle (and pass each other) at the same time.  Three decks means three times as many people in the aisle!  No, a 30" aisle is not sufficient, especially when you consider that many of us have diameters much larger than that!  My own double deck layout has 48" aisles and even that can get tight at times.

I think there is a subject thread about the number of 'lone operators' there are out there,...many more than one would think. And that single person requires aisles that wide,...please!
 
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Posted by nealknows on Friday, November 10, 2017 9:20 PM

My layout is double decked with a helix. My lower level is for staging sets of trains. 9 tracks, plus I have a storage track around the bottom of the helix. Also 4 stub tracks on the lower level below the peninsula. I look at it as a play or show, it's not part of the main operation of a session, it's there to assist. We're in a model world, not a real one, unless you have real railroaders running trains during a session, but that's for another topic at another time..

On my layout, and maybe others, the helix is not part of the operations, so to speak. We look at it as trains going to or from another destination. All of the industries and passenger stations are on the upper level. Now on one wall before trains go up or come off the helix, I have a 'commuter train' station and across from it my commuter train yard. The railroad has continuous operation as I have a track mainline that goes around the top of the helix.

It works very well for me. A couple of lessons I learned. Biggest one is to make sure I have adequate spacing between decks. This layout has 12". Also, need to have the upper level not as wide front to back as the lower level. We have a retirement home, and I am starting a layout there as well. Helix, point to point and 16" from top to bottom. Also, width on the lower level front to back will be 24" and the top will be 18". Can't do more for one main reason - I'm short!! I need to be able to see and reach, or the use of the short person assist unit comes into play (small plastic step stool Smile ). 

Just my perspective..

Neal

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Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, November 10, 2017 11:03 PM

My layout is partially doubledecked, with the grade between levels on a peninsula.  As maxman has mentioned, when you're operating on either level, the other more-or-less disappears. 
The one drawback that I've discovered is that many of the manually-operated ground throws on the lower level are now difficult to reach, and I'll be addressing that using Bluepoint switch machines operated manually from the layout's fascia.  The lower level is operated from a rolling office chair, the upper level while standing...

...and a long-ish train descending from the upper level...

The upper level has some track in place and is useable, although not fully operational...

 

Wayne

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Posted by NWP SWP on Friday, November 10, 2017 11:29 PM

Wayne that's a pretty great looking layout. Thanks for the advice.

Modeling the combined lines of the Southern Pacific, Western Pacific, and Northern Pacific after a fictional Depression Era merger forming the SouthWestern Pacific and NorthWestern Pacific Railroads. SP, WP, and NP operations remain independent but also operate alongside NWP and SWP equipment.

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Posted by trainnut1250 on Saturday, November 11, 2017 2:16 AM

I have a medium sized double deck layout (triple deck actually, third lower deck for staging). See the link below my signature.

In my mind, the best reason to go double deck is for operations based railroad fun. You get a longer run in a space which is great for operations. Once through a scene and a sense of having traveled down (or up) the line.

My layout has twelve large scenes on two decks that are connected by a helix. I am very happy with the operational aspects of the layout. The compromises in design associated with double decks didn't really bother me too much. I have been able to build a realistic layout within those constraints.

If you aren't in to OPs, I don't recommend double deck layouts. Even then I',m luke warm on the idea unless you have experience building layouts and know what you are getting into. They are very tedious to build and are much more than twice as much work as building a single deck layout.

The cons are: there can be difficult design issues, tedium in construction and the builder will need layout building skills that are well developed. All of these issues are surmountable but not without a fair amount of effort.

 

Guy

 

see stuff at: the Willoughby Line Site

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Posted by railandsail on Saturday, November 11, 2017 3:56 AM

DoctorWayne,
Your layout (and photos) are inspirational.

BTW, is that all one train in that photo?

And, is it just the camera lense that makes that grade appear substantial?

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Posted by carl425 on Saturday, November 11, 2017 9:09 AM

railandsail
Can you show me some relatively small layouts that DO NOT have the trains running thru the same scenes several times ??...particularly it they are going to make more than a couple of laps around a layout.

One of the main points of multiple decks is to be able to make multiple laps around the room WITHOUT going through the same scene twice.  Do you have access to the MR track planning database?  There are many examples there.

Another good resource is the annual "Model Railroad Planning" magazine that MR puts out.  There are lots of more modern planning ideas presented in these.

 

I have the right to remain silent.  By posting here I have given up that right and accept that anything I say can and will be used as evidence to critique me.

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Posted by railandsail on Saturday, November 11, 2017 10:54 AM

carl425

 

 
railandsail
Can you show me some relatively small layouts that DO NOT have the trains running thru the same scenes several times ??...particularly it they are going to make more than a couple of laps around a layout.

 

One of the main points of multiple decks is to be able to make multiple laps around the room WITHOUT going through the same scene twice.  Do you have access to the MR track planning database?  There are many examples there.

Another good resource is the annual "Model Railroad Planning" magazine that MR puts out.  There are lots of more modern planning ideas presented in these.

Apparently I do not have access to the track plan database as I can't enlarge those track plans.

Can you just show me two smaller layouts that don't have the trains going thru same scenes but once

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