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Reading Lines GP35 #3647

Middletown, Pa

Friday 11 May 2018

Staging Deck Development has begun...

So given the cold & wet weather that has descended on Melbourne today I decided to finish off the day in the warmth of the house and begin designing the staging level for the layout.

One of the things that has been missing when we have run operating sessions has been a staging area to represent the "other" parts of the east coast and in particular the interchanges with the other railroads that are working on the layout too.

So in preparation for the end of the signal installation on the layout, I started today on the design of the staging area.  It will sit below the main deck and will be accessed by either a 26" Radius Helix, or a Nolix on grade running along the back wall.

The staging area will consist of six (6) tracks and one run-around track all connected to a reversing loop.  The reversing loop will allow for trains to enter staging and then run-around and enter the yard ladder closest to the loop, this will allow trains to be staged ready to head out on the next ops session.

The staging tracks will all be PECO Code 100 - Streamline.  The helix will be 26" Radius, 52" Diameter, 2.27% Grade, 4" height between each deck, 6 Rings in total and will be 24" in height.  The staging deck will be plywood top and simple L type legs supported onto the concrete floor and secured to the timber wall framing.  Underneath this will be storage.



  1. Finished with the soldering iron, you are once again breaking out the hammer and saw. Nice progress. Staging will add greatly to the op sessions. The reverse loop being easily accessible looks like a good spot to fiddle the trains when needed.

    Is there a particular reason why you gave up some staging track length by placing the upper ladder a short distance away from the helix exit?

    Second question... is it just the drawing or do you have the helix entrance and exit in opposing directions? How does that work?

  2. No not quite Alan, but very close. Just planning the next phase of the build. It was good today to break out the jigsaw to cut some radius templates though!
    The reverse loop actually sits above my old workbench too so I'll be able to do repair in place as the cars go past.
    Just the way its been drawn to give some fiddle room for the helix placement if I need to shift its position if needed, if the length of the staging tracks can be extended they will be.
    As for the helix entrance its just the way it ended up looking, I've added the top deck plan for reference so you can see where the mainline from Carlisle Junction enters the helix behind the backdrop.

  3. Oh, that makes so much more sense. Thought you were building a magical helix. :) Like the idea of allowing for some additional helix positioning space as well. As always, well thought out.

    1. No David Copperfield helix on this layout Alan... :P
      Always good to have some "fudge" factor. ;)