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

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Posted by RR_Mel on Saturday, November 11, 2017 11:21 AM

I really never thought of my HO layout being double decked.  I have a continuous double loop with the second loop inside the first loop with a total of 111’ of track in the loop.  The first loop starts a 3½% grade to 10” in my mountains then drops back to the main level through a partially hidden 32” radius helix also at 3½%.  I have a double crossover that allows a continuous single loop over the 3½% grade as well as a continuous single loop at the main level.
 
It was a must to have mountains and tunnels, a wye, a reversing loop, a trestle and an Howe open Truss bridge with a double crossover on my layout.  I accomplished all of that in my layout.  This is a CAD drawing of my layout.
 
 
Would this be considered a double deck layout?  For me this has everything I wanted in a layout.  Keep in mind that it was conceived and built in the late 80s/early 90s as a DC layout long before I considered going to DCC.  To me it’s a single train operation but with a bit of challenge I could run one train on the lower loop and one on the upper loop but the double crossover is prime collision territory.
    
 
Mel
 
Modeling the early to mid 1950s SP in HO scale since 1951
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by 7j43k on Saturday, November 11, 2017 2:11 PM

RR_Mel

 
 
 
Would this be considered a double deck layout?
 
 

 

I do not see one world floating above another.  So, no.

 

Ed

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Posted by carl425 on Saturday, November 11, 2017 2:17 PM

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

Bob Sprague has some nice examples on his website.

https://www.bobstrackplans.com/

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 NWP SWP on Saturday, November 11, 2017 2:34 PM

Mel, a two deck layout has two separately sceniced levels.

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 gregc on Saturday, November 11, 2017 3:04 PM

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

read Tony's book (has good thoughts for any layout)

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

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Posted by RR_Mel on Saturday, November 11, 2017 3:38 PM

7j43k

 

I do not see one world floating above another.  So, no.

 

Ed

 

I didn’t think that my layout was considered a double decker, but to me the mountains are a separate world from the flat lands.  Over here when Bakersfield is 110°+ and the near by mountains are 75° to me that’s two separate worlds.
 
Mel
 
Modeling the early to mid 1950s SP in HO scale since 1951
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by railandsail on Saturday, November 11, 2017 4:01 PM

carl425

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

https://www.bobstrackplans.com/

 That is a VERY interesting site that I need to spend some time on looking at some of his layouts.
 
 
I'm beginning to think we are talking cross-purpose or whatever we might call it? For instance on that layout I am attempting to modify into a dble decker I realize that the train running from the starting terminal to the destination terminal does NOT pass the destination terminal until quite some number of loops around the layout have been made. So yes, it does not 'past thru' that designation terminal on more than one time, the time it arrives there. But it has passed thru a number of other scenes around those perimeter tracks any number of times chosen before it makes its final arrival. It just can not help but to do so while running the train for more than one single lap around the layout.

Isn't that what we are talking about? For any amount of train running on a relitively small layout the trains have to pass thru some scenes multiple times??
 

paraphrasing the designer, Leonard Blumenschine....

The layout has two 'terminal locations', Tupper Lake and Faust Junction. Start from either terminal, follow the main line (ignoring the crossover at Big Wolf for the moment), and when you end up at the other terminal you'll find yourself putting your loco on a common turntable that links both terminals,...even though the terminals are distinct from each other in character and function, and are located more than 2 scale miles apart.

Whether a train makes one lap, or repeatedly uses the 'accidental crossover', it is always headed for the other end of the line, and it never has to pass directly through its destination or origination point along the way while building up mileage.



   
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Posted by railandsail on Saturday, November 11, 2017 4:29 PM

carl425

 

https://www.bobstrackplans.com/

 



If you guys keep feeding me good reading material, I'm never going to get back to drawing,...
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Posted by railandsail on Saturday, November 11, 2017 4:31 PM

carl425

Bob Sprague has some nice examples on his website.

https://www.bobstrackplans.com/

 



If you guys keep feeding me good reading material, I'm never going to get back to drawing,...
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Posted by doctorwayne on Saturday, November 11, 2017 7:02 PM

NWP SWP and Brian, thank you for your kind comments.

railandsail
...BTW, is that all one train in that photo?...

Yeah, one train.  Somebody had asked in a post somewhere about how many cars a loco (diesel, if I recall correctly) could pull.  I had just finished adding a little more weight to my Bachmann Consolidations, and decided to see if it had improved the pulling ability.
I don't have much level track except on the partial upper level, so decide to build a train there and see what the loco could pull.  I kept adding cars (some free rollers some not-so-free, some to recommended weights, a couple under-weight, and quite a few over-weight. 
The train stretched from the far wall in this photo and into the curve in the foreground...

...and continued around the same curve, in the foreground below, all the way into the curve at the distant wall in this photo...

....41 cars.

Since most of the cars needed to be placed back in their boxes below the lower staging yards...

...I decided to run the train down to that area.  The locomotive did need an assist from a couple of Athearn Mikados to get up the grade that leads to the yard shown in the photo above.

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

No optical illusion there, Brian.  The grade is 2.5%, about 45' worth wrapped around two reverse curves (the bridge partially visible in the upper midpoint of the photo is part of the other curve).

Wayne

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Posted by railandsail on Saturday, November 11, 2017 7:21 PM

So I guess you are pretty confident you don't have to access the underside of the layout where you have those shelves for the boxed freight cars??

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, November 11, 2017 7:24 PM

I built a double deck layout once, decided afterwards I was not really happy with it.

Now, the only "double deck" thing I would do would to be build a "regular" layout at say 48", and have a shallow, shadow box type lower level, with no switching operation, just open running mainline, at about 30" off the floor, 14" high and less than 12" deep.

My current layout project is modular for a future move, and is designed so that this feature might be added later.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Doughless on Saturday, November 11, 2017 10:21 PM

If the goal is to run laps around the layout and bypass terminals in the process, a layout doesn't need three tracks around the deck/room, 4 tracks, or 8. 

It only needs one.  You can do 8 laps on one track.

Since the 3, 4, or 8 tracks will be piled up on each other, the train will always look like its going through the same scene anyway, so there is no real advantage to having more than one track, IMO.

Some plans say there are 2.5 miles between stations, but you dont notice that because the tracks and the stations are right next to each other.  The author is talking about if the plan was unfolded to form a straight line, the tracks would extend for 2.5 miles.  That's a lot of track to fold up into a small layout.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, November 12, 2017 12:40 AM

railandsail

So I guess you are pretty confident you don't have to access the underside of the layout where you have those shelves for the boxed freight cars??

 
There's not really much under there, Brian...a few wires running from the main line to the switches on the fascia, and from there to the individual tracks.
The boxes for the rolling stock are easy enough to remove, and the shelves on which they sit can be lifted out, too, although they were left unfastened in case I wanted to adjust their height, not for under-layout access.  
While I'll not likely be buying or building much more rolling stock, the shelves are deep enough to handle twice as much as what's visible. 
The wiring on the layout is very simple:  common rail right out of the Atlas book, with fascia-mounted switches to kill the power to sidings and either or both tracks where the mainline is double track - essentially passing sidings and/or run-arounds when a local train is "working" the industries in each town.  There's only one powered turnout on the layout and the turntable on the lower level is manually operated (the big finger).  Track power in the two modelled engine terminals is controlled by fascia-mounted toggles and/or rotary switches.  I've motorised the turntable on the upper level, but may revert to manual operation, as indexing "by-eye" is quicker, with less wiring. Smile, Wink & Grin
 
Wayne
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Posted by railandsail on Sunday, November 12, 2017 7:24 AM

doctorwayne

   There's only one powered turnout on the layout and the turntable on the lower level is manually operated (the big finger).  Track power in the two modelled engine terminals is controlled by fascia-mounted toggles and/or rotary switches.  I've motorised the turntable on the upper level, but may revert to manual operation, as indexing "by-eye" is quicker, with less wiring. Smile, Wink & Grin

Wayne

Great, and what has turned out to be your favorite method of manual turnout control?
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Posted by railandsail on Sunday, November 12, 2017 7:34 AM

DrWayne,

You have added so many great photos to discussions on this forum,...so I thought I really should have a folder where I am saving those photos.

But alas that damn Photobucket crap has invaded again. I save the photo image from your posting, but it does not let me access the photo on my computer??

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Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, November 12, 2017 9:39 AM

railandsail
...what has turned out to be your favorite method of manual turnout control?

Originally, the turnouts were all controlled with Caboose Industries ground throws (except, of course, the motorised one (Tortoise) that's under a bridge.  A friend gave me a number of turnouts that he no longer needed (some still in the package), and among them were some Micro Engineering and Pecos, both with the integral spring in the point mechanism.  I've since modified a number of turnouts (mostly Atlas) with springs, which allows me to add Central Valley switchstands, which look much better in photos. 
A number of now-difficult-to-reach (due to the addition of the partial second level) turnouts will be modified to work through Blue Point switch mechanisms, using control rods and knobs on the fascia, which will allow use of the CV switchstands, too.  The staging areas will retain the Caboose Industries ground throws, though, as they're all accessible and very reliable. 

As for the issue with photobucket, I was unaware that photobucket was that niggardly in respect to photo sharing. 
I originally had a free account there, like most users here, I think.  However, I was finding that my monthly bandwidth allotment was being used-up within two weeks or less, and after pestering photobucket for a while, they finally sent me a transcript of useage.  Apparently, in addition to photos shared here and on a couple of other forums, various search engines were also harvesting my posted photos.  When someone searched for, f'rinstance "boxcar photos", the results might include 10 or 12 of my photos, and everytime someone viewed them, it used some of my bandwidth.  I eventually got a paid subscription to photobucket, and when they changed their policy, was allowed to "grandfather" my sharing privileges for a slightly increased renewal fee.  If I renew at that price next August, my sharing will continue until the end of 2018.  At that time, I can either cough-up the full fee or have all my posted pictures disappear. 

I can neither afford nor support that policy, so my pictures here will disappear.  I do belong to another train forum where posted pictures can come from hosting sites such as photobucket or flicker, etc., but they also allow attachments, which is a useful fallback for me.  I may consider going to another hosting site, but not at the present time.

I do appreciate all of the kind words from folks here, and hope that they can wade through my words which come with the pictures.  I'll likely continue posting here, but with no photos, the word content may increase dramatically....you know, the "picture is worth a thousand words" thing...Stick out tongue

Wayne

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