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Nolix (not a helix)

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  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,205 posts
Nolix (not a helix)
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, August 14, 2003 1:40 PM
I'm one of the few guys on the planet flogging this idea, but slowly people are beginning to catch on. First a helix is a giant slinky, like the toy you played with as a kid, the springy thing that would "walk" down stairs. Basically that is a helix design. The purpose of a helix is to move your trains up a level, so if you have a double decked layout, your train goes up the helix to the second higher level.

The problem with a helix is it eats space, looks like a blob, and trains can disappear for a significant time. But even so, recognizing the compromises, people opt for helixs.

In N scale, there is another idea which will eat up more room length wise, but not width wise. N scale can get away with much smaller curves, for example, a 16 inch radius. So you can have an area dedicated to raising the trains up to a second deck but live with less compromises. The first compromise you make is that your train will go through the same scene twice. There will be hidden track but about 60 to 70 percent less than in a helix. So a nolix (no helix) is what this area is called, named after an area that John Armstrong designed for a client - who didn't want a helix.

I am supplying you a link to one person's layout who has used this idea. In another six months, I hope my "nolix" area is completed and I will be able to supply pictures:

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

This link will take you to the trainboard forum, but to a thread specifically on "nolix" design. Embedded in the thread is a link to a chaps layout who is using this idea.

By using a nolix, you are extending your visible mainline, instead of having all of your track no visible in a helix.
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,205 posts
Nolix (not a helix)
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, August 14, 2003 1:40 PM
I'm one of the few guys on the planet flogging this idea, but slowly people are beginning to catch on. First a helix is a giant slinky, like the toy you played with as a kid, the springy thing that would "walk" down stairs. Basically that is a helix design. The purpose of a helix is to move your trains up a level, so if you have a double decked layout, your train goes up the helix to the second higher level.

The problem with a helix is it eats space, looks like a blob, and trains can disappear for a significant time. But even so, recognizing the compromises, people opt for helixs.

In N scale, there is another idea which will eat up more room length wise, but not width wise. N scale can get away with much smaller curves, for example, a 16 inch radius. So you can have an area dedicated to raising the trains up to a second deck but live with less compromises. The first compromise you make is that your train will go through the same scene twice. There will be hidden track but about 60 to 70 percent less than in a helix. So a nolix (no helix) is what this area is called, named after an area that John Armstrong designed for a client - who didn't want a helix.

I am supplying you a link to one person's layout who has used this idea. In another six months, I hope my "nolix" area is completed and I will be able to supply pictures:

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

This link will take you to the trainboard forum, but to a thread specifically on "nolix" design. Embedded in the thread is a link to a chaps layout who is using this idea.

By using a nolix, you are extending your visible mainline, instead of having all of your track no visible in a helix.

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