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Nolix versus helix in N scale

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Nolix versus helix in N scale
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, September 15, 2002 11:46 PM
This is a copy of posting I did in the Layout design sig at Yahoo! groups. If some of you here are contemplating a double decked N scale layout, I would suggest you follow the threads I have listed below. The following is what I wrote:

About a year ago I started a thread on Nolix's. In it I discussed
the history of the concept as coming from a John Armstrong design
that was never built - the Athabaska... something... can't quite
remember now.

Some members here were interested in the design concept but I had
nothing to illustrate what I had in mind. I am just beginning
construction of my own now.

Below are two threads in Trainboard in the layout design section. If
you follow the threads and read them all it is self explanatory.

http://www.trainboard.com/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=33;t=000176

and


http://www.trainboard.com/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=33;t=000173

Due to the reduced radius on N scale - 16 inches of N is about 30
inches of HO - the nolix idea I think is more adaptable with less
space requirements in that scale. Particulary if you are in N and
are looking a double deck construction, you will find these links
interesting and perhaps move you from building a helix, to
constructing a nolix.

Rick Nicholson
aka: rsn48


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Posted by dknelson on Monday, September 16, 2002 8:10 AM
the nolix was in an article on Jim Money's partly built Athabaska layout featured in Model Railroad Planning a few years ago. Sorry I cannot be more specific -- the issue in my car at the moment!
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Posted by Sperandeo on Monday, September 16, 2002 3:32 PM
John Armstrong used the name "Nolix" on his plan for Jim Money's Athabaska RR in the 1998 edition of MODEL RAILROAD PLANNING. It was a name for a place, however, not a thing. There was just a long grade out in the open connecting the lower and upper levels, i.e., no helix, hence "Nolix." This wasn't the first instance of this kind of design, as John used similar grades between levels in his earliest double-deck designs published in MODEL RAILROADER many years earlier.

So long,

Andy

Andy Sperandeo
MODEL RAILROADER

Andy Sperandeo MODEL RAILROADER Magazine

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Posted by RobertB. on Monday, November 29, 2010 9:10 PM

Could you re-post those links, I copied and pasted them and nothing would come up...

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Posted by Blue Flamer on Tuesday, November 30, 2010 10:07 AM

RobertB.

Could you re-post those links, I copied and pasted them and nothing would come up...

Likewise, and I usually don't have a problem with pasting links.

Thanks.


Blue Flamer.

"There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness"." Dave Barry, Syndicated Columnist. "There's no point in being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes." Doctor Who.
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Posted by cuyama on Tuesday, November 30, 2010 10:45 AM

Note that the original MR Forum discussion renewed by Robert B. is over eight years old.

The original poster in 2002 was very enthused about the concept of a "Nolix". He started many threads promoting the concept on other forums, including Trainboard. It may have been so long ago that the referenced links no longer work due to changes in software over there. (And more changes are are coming to that forum, so these links may not work for long.)
http://www.trainboard.com/grapevine/showthread.php?t=68706
http://www.trainboard.com/grapevine/showthread.php?t=68709

A Nolix is simply a long lobe of layout with a turnback curve that allows enough running length for track to climb between two decks.

Some layouts can use this, but most layout rooms do not have the space.

For example, assume a 14" elevation change in HO between decks at a 2.5% grade (before transitions) and a 26" radius. The Nolix lobe would need to be about 22 feet long (close to 50 feet of running length out and back on the peninsula).

Sadly, there is no free lunch. Climbing between decks is a simple matter of rise over run. You can spiral that run into a helix, go out and back on a peninsula in a Nolix, or go around a room one or more times in an around-the-room helix.

Because of the smaller minimum radius requirements, the Nolix concept tends to work a little better in N scale than in HO scale for a given room size, obviously. But the run is still the run ,,,

Byron

Tags: Nolix
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Posted by dinwitty on Tuesday, November 30, 2010 11:41 PM

Having built a long hidden track for the club I was in I despise my train dissappearing for an extended time.

A nolix does not have to be the shown design you can twist and turn it around. I have the same issue on my shelf modules and with multiple railroads its a challenge. But I think I solved it.

The simplest nolix thought is the Tehachapi Loop, tho it doesnt go between levels but I have seen many magazine layout plans incorporate it, its a great track length extender, its scenickly interesting. Extend on that idea, and you can go between levels with no or little hidden track. The Virginian and Ohio I think had a design that ran across 2 peninsulas it raised and lowered the track maybe about a good 12 inches, the club I was in virtually duplicated it, it has some hidden track, but the train dissappearance was short. It could have easily pushed it to another level if designed in.

I like to try to keep my train in view as much as possible. 

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Posted by cuyama on Tuesday, November 30, 2010 11:57 PM

dinwitty

A nolix does not have to be the shown design you can twist and turn it around. I have the same issue on my shelf modules and with multiple railroads its a challenge. But I think I solved it.

The simplest nolix thought is the Tehachapi Loop, tho it doesnt go between levels but I have seen many magazine layout plans incorporate it,

Yes, you can certainly bend a climbing peninsula. Or go back and forth several times, increasing the width, as on the V&O. It's still a big ol' chunk of layout. Again, the length of run needed to climb a given distance at a specific grade does not change, no matter how you curve it around. That was my point.

The John Armstrong design that debuted the term "Nolix" was one long turnback climb, as I showed.

The real-life Tehachapi Loop is a one-turn helix, so somewhat by definition, it's not a Nolix. (At least not the way the Original Poster was using the term eight years ago or Armstrong before him.)

But the nearby Caliente horseshoe curve is a bit more like a Nolix as described in this thread.

As is suggested on this plan.

It is true that there are a number of different ways to gain elevation on a model railroad. I am not sure that it is meaningful to term any clmbing track that is not a hidden multi-turn helix a "nolix". But then again, even John Armstrong only meant it to be a humorous pun place name -- others have turned it into a concept.

Byron

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