I am planning a new version of the Tyco US-1 Trucking table top layout that Doug, Rod and I took to Gaydon this year:
My plan is to add an extra circuit with a gradient, to enable six trucks and two trains to be on the move at any one time:
The issue however is height: The high level piers that Tyco provide come in three different sizes with a top height of 57mm, which is fine for road flyovers, but not enough to clear a RailRoad.
I have never had enough genuine Tyco piers, so had previously used Life-LIke racing piers, in particular rises 2 and three, which gave a combined height of 115mm,. Best of all it is possible to cut the lower tie bar out, to allow the roadway to have a railroad running along, underneath!
This all seemed fine at the time I was using it, until I wanted to reach it with a gradient, then it looked unnecessarily high. So plan A involved reconfiguring the Life-Like Piers using Rises 1 and 3. Now I had a height of 87mm. This was good, as the interactions with the trains were now a lot more close up and really looked dynamic.
However, Life-Like piers are rather clumsy looking things and one big issue was that the width of them was much wider than the Tyco roadway, preventing two tracks being parallel to each other, and one rising or falling next to a high level circuit.
I considered getting some Tyco style 87mm piers made out of MDF, but then I found that if you stack multiples of original Tyco piers together you can create an 87mm height! (3 x middle rise or miidle rise + third rise).
Better still, I found several lots of original Tyco piers on e-bay, including these from Slot Car Central: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/24pc-1975-TYCO-TycoPro-etc-HO-Slot-Car-GRAY-TRESTLE-Track-SUPPORTs-Unused-1-5/401190397619?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649
Needless to say lots were bought and I found that by combining 2 x 2nd rise and a first rise an intermediate pier could also be made to bridge the gap between Tyco's 57mm and my 87mm piers. The gradients looked good and the trucks could cope with them too.
I probably have enough plain piers to do the whole layout, HOWEVER that left the issue of the hooped piers....
The Life-Like piers were still too wide and too clumsy, so I began exploring options for some slimmer and less clumsy hoops. In the end I settled for assembly from 1.5mm Birch Plywood which will be laser cut. I did some schoolboy scribbling and a clever chum with CAD interpretted my efforts and did this for me in CAD format and also as a PDF:
View attachment Birch Plywood_1.5_600mmx300mm_Hooped Piers.pdf
There are enough parts here to make 22 of my hooped piers. Each hoop needs two of the trapezoid sides, one of the rectangular tops with the 11mm hole and two of the thin re-inforcing strips to keep the aembly square and rigid.
Today the CAD file was sent off for a quote..... Fingers crossed!
I will let you know how I get on!