Rebuilding the Iantha Branch, again.

Discussion in 'General' started by Iantha_Branch, Sep 15, 2019.

  1. geep07

    geep07 Member

    The helix on my layout is 32" rad. @1.9% grade. I limit the length of cars on a train to 17 + caboose due to length of passing sidings.
    Having a train length of more than the length of one spiral is questionable rather than achievable. A lot of tangibles come into play here.
    Glad that you are realizing your limits on the type of layout design and what can work into an operating scheme.

    Looking forward to your progress and best of luck.

    Ozarktraveler and modeltruckshop like this.
  2. gstout

    gstout Member Supporter

    Can you replace the helix with a lo-o-o-o-ng grade?

  3. geep07

    geep07 Member

    Good suggestion, I agree.
  4. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    I had looked at that when I was making plans before this build and decided I didn't have room for it. The second level is about 18" above the first level, so it probably would have taken a twice around the building to gain enough height.
  5. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    I've settled on a track plan for now. It's similar to to what I had last summer. I moved things around a bit to allow for longer holding tracks than the previous layout. The rest is similar to previous designs.

    Attached Files:

    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  6. geep07

    geep07 Member

    Based on the photo of your helix, it appears that you have a lot of ceiling height clearance between each loop. You can get another lap in there and lower your grade by readjusting each height of each loop.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2021
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  7. geep07

    geep07 Member

    In my opinion you're making a quick decision on tearing down the upper level in haste. You should follow through your original concept and try to rectify the problem rather than tear the upper level down.
    You learn from faults not mistakes. Give it another try!

    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  8. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    You have very valid advice. I know the timing of this thread makes it look sudden, but this has been brewing for 2+ months now. Like I said, I've spent more time trying to work out issues than I have operating.

    And as I've also eluded too, there's other factors at play beyond having operating issues with the helix.
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  9. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member


    What are the train lengths you're trying to put up through your helix? What radius does the helix use? What is the grade?

    I had no design/operational issues with a 22" radius helix on my tri-level layout I had back in the mid-1880s to late 1990s. I remember pulling 20 car trains up it with no problems.

    I agree with John: Saving your investment in time, lumber, and track is worth exploring. Determine why your trains are derailing and see if the resulting issue can be addressed. If I were in your situation, destruction of a portion of the layout would be my last resort.

    Good luck!

    Rob R likes this.
  10. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    It's 26" radius, which is slightly more than 2%. As far as length goes, I kept my trains just short enough to not wrap back on top of themselves in the helix.

    I appreciate everyone's concern. As I've said, this was not a rushed decision, and I've tried everything I could to resolve the issues I was having, and my decision to take off the 2nd level had more factors outside of the helix issues.

    The lumber won't go to waste. I can store it and use it in future layout. In a few years, my wife and i plan on building out in the country, which will give me more operating space.

    The track won't be wasted either. This is why I invested in EZ track instead of flex track. I knew this bigger space would be a learning experience for me. I knew I would go through a few designs before finding something I liked. I can rebuild my layout as many times as I want without any waste.
  11. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Andre, I did not know you had been modeling so long!
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  12. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member


    I let it slip about my time traveling machine, didn't I?

    gjslsffan likes this.
  13. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    You, are subject to, and worthy of, a Liberal application of modelers license. I time travel every time I got on a locomotive. My Grandpa made every trip with me. I always felt he was on my shoulder, sometimes I set a gob of air.
    Especially when I was a new hog head.
    I needed that/him, I still think he is with me to this day. I am good with that, he was a good man. I hope to be as good as he was.

    It is your MRR. I am glad to see you do with it as you see fit. I look FWD to seeing your progress posts and images.
  14. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    It's been right at a month now since I changed up my layout. So far I am really liking what I have with this layout. After spotting some cars on the industry spurs, I noticed the mix of industries I had could work with what was located in Springfield, MO, minus the coal mine I have tucked into the back corner (I may end up replacing that with something else in the future). While my track plan does not resemble any prototype, I've decided I could apply Springfield industry names to help give some illusion of real operations. I also found a way to hide a storage track behind what I'm going to call the Anheuser-Busch Elevator so I can simulate the interchange with the MoPac. I managed to cram in a small yard to represent North Yard to handle traffic to and from the industries. Since I decided on Springfield for a location, I was able to assign train numbers to simulate traffic leaving Springfield.

    Overall, things are coming together nicely. I'll post some pictures below.

    Also, I don't know why I hadn't done this in the past, but I went into Anyrail and saved a PDF of the track plan that is much more clear than the screen shots I've been posting for those that want to view it.


    Attached Files:

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  15. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Took a few pictures tonight.

    Attached Files:

  16. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    It appears you have no dearth of motive power. A long ways from the few you had when I picked up that SD45 for your mom as your birthday present.
    gjslsffan and rjthomas909 like this.
  17. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Yeah I might have have a slight addiction...

    That SD45 is in the edge of the 3rd picture. It's paired with another SD45 and a GP40-2.

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