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Mickey,

For outdoors raised or ground level is a matter of choice. For indoors I would definately have it on raised benchwork. It is easier to view, easier to work on and protected from being stepped on. This becomes more important as you add detailing to the layout. You don't want ol' Fido running off with an expensive item either or, worse yet, rushing Junior off to the hospital because he swallowed something.

The most common benchwork height for indoor railroads of any scale is around 40". I wouldn't go below 36" unless there is some special consideration for doing so. Heights above 42" or so will require a stepstool or small ladder to work on comfortably. Some people prefer up to about 48" for a more eye level view and of course your height whether tall or short will influence the best height for you. My outdoor RR is nominal 40" height and while I can work on it for a couple of feet in depth I must use a small ladder to work efficiently on something 3 feet or more in depth. I am 5'-11".

Whatever height you choose build the benchwork solid and don't skimp on material. It is after all the foundation upon which your empire sits and the better it is the better everything will operate.


Here's my outdoor RR at 40" (nominal) height. Helen is 5'-10" tall.
 

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Al,

The plan looks quite good. Just one suggestion for your consideration...

It looks as though you are designing the RR mostly as a "run and let 'em go" type. If that is the case you might want to consider double tracking that rear bridge. It'll be a real bottleneck should you ever want to have two trains at once running around the layout unattended.
 

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Posted By Al McEvoy on 02/02/2009 8:25 PM
Richard, My apologies for not making the drawing better. That bridge is actually a double decker. Look at the 3D renderings. There are two completely separate loops of track in this plan and the outer loop is elevated almost 10" to 12" higher than the inner loop. The bridge at the front (the back is where the door to the outside is located) of my basement is there to span a gap between shelves on either side. The area at the bottom of the stairway needs to be 3 feet wide at the minimum so I did not have room to do more than a single width of track there. Yes I know - the outer loop of track appears to be floating in the air on the 3D pictures because I have not figured out how to add topography under the track at that height off the floor. (RR-Track is quite vague on how to do that...).


Al



Ahhh! Now I see the light! Very nice!
 
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