Helix question

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by t. alexander, Dec 10, 2002.

  1. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member

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    Hi all,

    To get a scenic feature to fit I have designed the helix on my plan to spiral in as it reaches the upper elevation. The radius at the bottom is 22" and 20" at the top. The entire Helix will be hidden in a hollow mountain.
    On paper I can't see a problem but don't recall seeing a helix do this in plans I've looked at.

    t.
  2. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

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    Hi t,
    I cannot see a problem with your idea, except to ask why, if it is hidden, do you want it to spiral in as it reaches the upper elevation. You say it will be hidden in a mountain anyway.

    Shamus[​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  3. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    Hi T, The only potential problem would be construction. without having given it any thought, my first reaction is a different method of construction from what I used would be required, or better workmanship! If your scenic consideration requires the 20" at the top, why not make the whole thing20"? 20" will result in a pretty steep grade but I think you are running short trains, correct?

    Gary
  4. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member

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    Hi Shamus, the reason for the radius change was to get room for a trestle along the back wall as the track exits the mountain tunnel. Where I was going to change at the top fell on the back side, away from view.
    BUT Garys' responce immediatly had me singing the Scarecrows' tune from the Wizard of Oz,.. "If I only had a brain..." :D.
    Gary, I am running short trains and smaller loco's.

    I have two plans I'm working on for a 11'x10' area. I'll see if I can get them on here for some opinion's on what to keep, change or throw out.

    Thanks!

    t.
  5. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

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    Hi t,
    Okay, I see now, if you are having trouble find track plans, there are a number on my website for a room size of 14' by 11'

    Shamus[​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  6. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member

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    Thank you Shamus, I have looked at your plans, #5 was the one I was eyeing the most. My second plan sketch looks similar in shape.

    t.
  7. Bill Stone

    Bill Stone Member

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    Okay: My 25 centimes worth.....

    The smaller radius has 2 side effects. The steeper grade as mentioned, AND the fact that the sharper the radius, the harder your locos have to work to pull their train. I'm just guessing, but I think the net effect would be that a 3% actual grade would be the equal (in loco pulling ability) to at least a 4%, on a tight- radius helix.

    A helix is a whole lot of work to build, and I'd hate for you to get it done t., only to find that you were limited to one-car trains going up.....

    Bill S
  8. rich maiorano

    rich maiorano Member

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  9. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member

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    Rich, thats a pretty nice plan, I liked the looks of that area.

    I am reworking the helix area. I'll loose some dramatic hieght without it but think I can gain some other interests there. I don't have a scanner or a puter program so I can't put it on here. (maybe after Chistmas though!?).

    I have a 10' X 20' room but am keeping the layout to a 10'x11' space because I need elbow room for model building and tinkering in general and if I move chances are better that I'll find a spot for it keeping it smaller.

    My railroad is freelanced and the layout will feature two seperate areas, a big city that is going through a large scale construction, similair to Boston's "big Dig" only taking place a hundred yrs. back. and a smaller quarry town which is doing all the stone cutting and finishing for the project. The big city scene is posing a challenge because to get the full effect this section of the layout needs to be viewed through the cut. Not looking down into it.

    t.