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Multiple Staging Tracks & access to them

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  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: Northern CA Bay Area
  • 3,748 posts
Posted by cuyama on Tuesday, April 03, 2018 11:37 PM

Doughless
What's the normal way?  Build a center support then provide access around the outside of whole thing?  Accessing 2 feet around a 4 foot helix would require 8 feet of space.  That's a big footprint of floor space.

I've designed dozens of layouts with helixes -- most of which have been built. They are usually against a wall, often in a corner, and access from below through the center for at least a portion of the helix is typical. 

  • Member since
    February, 2009
  • 692 posts
Posted by railandsail on Thursday, April 05, 2018 11:15 PM

Continous Staging Tracks rather than just Dead Ends

previously by Brian
By varying the short straight track sections prior to those multiple curves we can get greater spacing between their centerlines, and greater spacing down the 'fairway' (the straight track sections down the (each) side of the shed....)

My original idea was to have those 2 staging areas on either side of the room, consisting of 5 tracks each, simply extend to the end of the room and dead end there. Staged trains would be backed into each of those 10 tracks (5 tracks x 2 sides), ready to pull out forward and enter the staging access helix to go to the main layout deck. That dead end of those tracks would be at the end of the shed opposite the helix end of the shed,...that is the door end of the shed.

The gentleman who is welding up my brackets ask me, "why not make another removable bridge across the door entrance to join those two sides of the dead ended staging tracks, then the trains could pull forward continuously thru the staging tracks?"

That's not a half bad idea. If I provided such a removable bridge between the dead ends of those 5 tracks down each side, it could offer the alternative to utilize the staging in such a fashion if so chosen in the future. I think I will provide that option.

Drawing to come.

  • Member since
    February, 2009
  • 692 posts
Posted by railandsail on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 7:07 AM

As I said, drawing to come. Here is my current sketch.

 

Lets start with getting to the staging area(s). There is a track right next to the wall on the left hand side of the shed at the rear corner that enters the OUTSIDE curve of the track helix. It begins its descent inside the shed just after it crosses over that last major bracket supporting the main level deck. By the time it reaches the 9 o’clock position on the helix it is at a -1.5”. It subsequently drops 1” for each quarter turn around the helix, ending up at -7.5” at the 3 o'clock position, and subsequently -8” at the 3-way turnout at the entrance to the 3 area staging. That is a little less than a 2% grade (1.8% I believe).

Now it can branch out into 3 directions, ...5 tracks on either side, and an undetermined number down under the straight peninsula. At the head of each side track(s) there are 4 Peco medium radius turnouts that feed 5 tracks that ALL make the same 24” inch radius turn into the straight sections of the staging.


 

 

Those 10 straight sections (5 each side) of staging make turns at their 'tails', and can either dead end at the bracket that is located to either side of the big door, OR there will be a lift-out bridge provide that could connect the 5 tracks continuously. The radius’s on those staging track tails are progressively built in 24”, 26.5”, 29”, 31.5”, and 34” so as to maintain a 2,5” centerline between themselves. Other than in the 4 corners of the layout, the shelf depth required for these generously spaced staging tracks is only 14” from the wall.

 

The staging level deck will be constructed of the same 3/4” plywood I purchased for the main level deck, and will be supported every 24” by a combination of metal brackets fashioned from the same 2” square, and 1.5” angle iron I am planing on using for the main deck above it. That is probably 'overkill', and the staging areas may just utilize the angle iron material.

 

 

Not yet shown in this dwg is a central spine support down the peninsula built of the 2” square tubing to be very minimalistic yet strong.

The helix itself will be 'housed' in a trapezoidal shaped box formed on four sides using some 1.5” square alum sections I salvaged from some screened in porch/pool structure here in Florida. They will intersect with some 64” steel circles I am having bent up from 1.5” angle iron. Those two steel circles (one top, one bottom) will be joined by 12 vertical post made up from 1” square alum sections I salvaged elsewhere. It should be strong, and rigid.

 

 

Alum siding will be attached to the outer perimeters of the framing and the top cover. There will be some sort of trap door in the bottom to keep pest out.

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