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Hello everyone,
 
Okay, here is my question. What is the maximum grade and minimum radius for a helix that would elevate a train between 2`- 6`` and 3`- 0``. Also, how about the clearance needed from the track head to the underside of the track above? I would want to run some double stack container cars since I think that would be the tallest? Train length would be about ten cars long.   Hope this is enough info to start with.
 
Charles
 

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Answers ... in my opinion ... clearance needed is minimum 10 inches for double stacks plus the height of raodbed and track - if you assume 3/4 inch plywood then 11 and half inches of gain per helix turn are needed.

Minimum radius at 5 feet pushes it with double stacks and other modern cars but is likely the rock bottom minimum ... 6 foot or bigger radius is better.

The grade then is easily worked out and would be just under 3% ... an almost 1 foot rise for each helix turn of close to 33 feet.

If you build it smaller and tighter you ask for trouble with big modern equip-ment.

Regards ... Doug
 

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Richard,
That loop is awesome.   How come many of your pictures are in the snow.  It don't snow that much on this side of the bay.  The snow actually makes your layout look even more alpine.
A number of us from our club want to come over and see your layout this spring.  Do you know when you will be open yet?  I hope to see you in Arizona.
Paul
 

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Richard,

If you do have an open event, could you let me know, too?  I'm just north of you in Lancaster.  Love to see all those bridges with trains running.  

Mark
 

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Gee THANKS guys.
Openhouse usually the Saturday before mothers day.
Which means I need to race home from the Garden Railway convention and hope it looks good.
Not much snow this winter. Snow hides all the flaws. Most of my ground is 6 inch rocks at 4 inches on center.
I can only use a pick axe on my hill. No shovel. I was going to call it Rock s & Roots RR.
 

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Posted By Richard Weatherby on 02/27/2008 2:56 AM
Here is my helix using 10 foot diameter USA or Aristo track.  It passes under its self using a 13 inch by 13 inch clay flue liner.


This is the first one of these I've seen in large scale.  The Alaska RR had a historic prototype in what was known as the Loop District about 50 miles out of Seward. This one is somewhat reminiscent of it. Excellent work !
 
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