Question Multi-level layouts

markm Oct 3, 2019

  1. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

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    I was wondering if anyone was doing multi-level layouts in Z? If so, what sort of spacing is used between levels and what sort of transition (if any) is used between levels.

    Mark
     
  2. Z&US-Models

    Z&US-Models TrainBoard Member

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    Hi Mark,
    I'm actually working on my own home layout with 4 levels in total (still have to make pictures! so here's a quick slice drawing)
    The layout is L shape 450cm x 220cm see actual plan.

    -Level "0" (hidden tracks)
    -Level "+6cm" above level "0". I use 1cm thick wood plate, so I have 5 cm spare in between (Era is 1950 so no High rolling stocks!)Counting 3 mm of coark wood and 2mm for the tracks I have 4,5 cm left in between.
    -Level "+3cm" (hidden as well)
    -and Level "+9cm" above level "+3"

    I have slopes (2% max) that go from 0-->+3cm, +3-->+6cm and +6-->+9cm

    Hope that helps!;)
    Charlie
     

    Attached Files:

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  3. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    Wow, we're gonna' need pictures of this as you build!(y)
     
  4. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

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    I agree with Kurt.

    It seems that the spacing between levels is a bit tight to be able to add scenery and lighting to the visible levels. In HO it seems like people use 12-15" between levels, suggesting 4-5" (10-12cm) for Z. I've not aware of anyone doing multiple levels in Z, which is why I asked. Also I'm running out of floor space for the layout I want to build, so I've started thinking about building up.

    The other thought I've had is to have no invisible levels, but to split a level into visible/ invisible and use the hidden portion for transition.


    Mark
     
  5. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Supporter

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    When we visited Altenbeken, there were several multi-level layouts. Spaghetti layouts. You might have seen Mr. Dave's Goldenhawk layout at NTS and such. Most of these where tunnels and bridges, rather than 'levels' where there are several feet long and many inches or more of space for scenery you would have on a a single level. Note, the levels can be closer if they are more eye level. Look down or up changes your perspective, meany more separation,
     
  6. mdvholland

    mdvholland TrainBoard Member

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  7. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    That's a nice little layout with a great Western theme. I like it!

    2 trains running at the same time.(y)
     
  8. Curn

    Curn TrainBoard Member

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    I don’t think your shelf spacing is going to scale the same way unless you are also scaling the shelf depth as well. I would think for a 5 inch level spacing your shelf depth would have to be about the same size. You will still need access to reach in and work on the layout.

    Matt
     
  9. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thanks for the input. I'd been going over some numbers and wasn't happy with the results so I was wondering what others were doing, if at all.

    If I assume a 2% grade and the NMRA modern standard of 32mm clearance, I need 1.6m or a little over 5 ft. just to have to cross one train over another. This is doable it in less than 3 ft. if the two track grades are opposing. But to go to a new layout level, I'd need to create a helix I'd need a minimum radius of 250mm just for the track to clear the previous level and at least 5 helix levels to get to a new layout level. It seems like an operational nightmare. I was just hoping there was something I missed in this analysis.

    Mark
     
  10. Dave1905

    Dave1905 TrainBoard Member

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    I have generally found that the depth of the lower shelf should be about the same as the vertical OPENING between the shelves if the scene is to be visible and have scenery. The opening needs to be bigger or the lower scene shallower the lower the bottom scene is. The lower the scene, the wider the aisles should be to allow the operators to "back up" to see the scene. Also I have mentioned the opening, that doesn't include the thickness of the upper level benchwork. If you want a 12" deep scene, figure about a 12" opening plus 3-4" benchwork on the upper deck so that is a 15-16" separation between track levels.

    With Z you could get shallower scenes so you can get closer decks. The risk there is you still need to allow room for human hands (which do not scale) and power tools (which do not scale) to get in to do assembly.

    I have never worked in Z but the viewing angles are pretty much independent of scale.
     
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  11. Z&US-Models

    Z&US-Models TrainBoard Member

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    Doing a straight slope with 2%grade, this was the perfect spacing for my layout size. And because half of it is meant for a city, rather flat, and the other half for a wilder area.
    It really depends on the shape, size and style of yours.
    Otherwise, yes one could use a helicoidal slope for larger spacing. Space is rather limited but enough to leave some space for wiring and accessories (servos, lighting, decoders) as the tracks aren't everywhere.

    Charlie :)
     

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