Friday, 1 September 2017

Fisher Bahn II Developing a Track Plan.

Developing a Track Plan: 

There is a plethora of published  information regarding track plans, some identifying an exact location geographically or historically, and some plans simply a reflection of one's intuitive imagination.  I chose the latter.

My last layout (http://goo.gl/LebzJ4) was also a "figment" of my imagination. I attempted there to capture the four seasons, from autumn, winter, spring and summer with the scenery as it wrapped around the layout. The layout was a double mainline with two reverse loops and a helix. The staging yard was 9" below the main level and the upper level was 10" above the main level.  31' ramps connected the staging yards with the main level. The helix under "the mountain"..(which also covered a central vac) connected the main level with the upper level.  Details of that layout are published at the website: Eurorailhobbies.com ( ERH Top Pages-->ERH Gallery--> Alan Fisher's C track layout)

Time and longevity limitations now dictate a more abbreviated layout. Grandkids and neighborhood kids can't wait another 14 years to see a completed layout!

Theme of the new layout:  (As planners, we must be as specific as possible )
  1. Alpine setting: Bavaria, Austria, Switzerland
  2. Seasons: Autumn, and winter
  3. Terrain: Mountains & hills. Plateau for city and industrial areas.
  4. City Center with major Bahnhof; Industrial and manufacturing facilities.
  5. Monastery, Cathedral, Old walled city-- located together on an elevated plateau accessible by foot, car or by local tram. (Much like Nuremberg where we were stationed with the Army.)
  6. Many bridges
  7. Swiss type stone viaducts in mountainous regions.

Track Plan Priorities:
  1. Single main line with one way traffic.  ( Bi-directional for access from Bahnhof to Monastery.)
  2. Staging yards: to hold 6-8 lanes with main line "through" route. ( have to keep those most favorite  trains running thru the layout! )...and each staging lane long enough to hold a consist of 7 passenger cars.
  3. Helix connecting the staging yards to main level:  Grade: 2-2.5% Using R-4 and R-5 track.
  4. "Up" track on helix enters the main level 4" above grade. ...allows lots of connecting bridges and serpintigenous track patterns adding interest.
  5. The elevated track descends to the main level on a 3% grade to enter the main layout with access to the Bahnhof, city, and industrial areas.
  6. Tracks then merge to a main "down" line back to the staging areas.
  7. Automation of the main line with a "block" system to allow multiple trains to follow each other on the main line, with 3 or 4 trains visible at the same time.
  8. Automation of the staging yards.
  9. Expose part of helix for viewers- to add interest.

Bench work:
  1. Aisle ( 2') access around the entire layout!
  2. No lift outs or access panels!
  3. Height: 42".  ( easier to wire the layout )
  4. No more than 4' wide at any one point...allowing access to all areas. ( huge mistake on last layout....had to connect two A frame ladders with plank spanning a 7'+ area to install lights, buildings, etc...never again! )
  5. With my last layout, construction of bench work required about 1.5 years! Not enough time left, so I decided to pre-fab the layout...more on this later.

Next: the track plan.



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