Thursday, April 29, 2010

Going up... with a helix

My HO scale Wabash Railroad is built on two levels, connected by a helix. The helix is a 30' radius with 4" between levels which gives a grade of just over 2%. Construction is straight forward. A series of plywood arcs were cut and slots cut in the ends for a biscuit joiner.

The roadbed is Homasote ripped to width and slotted to allow it to be bent to the desired radius. A series of 1 x 2 verticals have small angle brackets screwed on at the correct elevations and the roadbed is laid on top. Track is laid as the helix progresses. The helix and the staging yards are the only commercial track being used.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Benchwork construction begins

My new layout is based on Wabash Railroad operations in Ontario, Canada during the 1950s. Building a new layout is an adventure. Particularly when an old layout is in the way. Some clever planning was required to get things to a point where work could progress forward. 2 new walls were built to support the layout sections in the middle of the room.

The layout levels are all supported on commercial shelf brackets. A fast and simple solution. The basic benchwork is then a 1 x 2 framework which rests on top and then 1/2" plywood subroadbed and Homasote roadbed. Here are some photos from the construction phase.