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Hello all,

After some posting about track plans in the Scorpius topic i found it time to post my definitive plan for a permanent track and share its developments with you.

We recently bought the neighbouring house, which made all my earlier plans for a permanent track useless - because now things have changed: a spacious spare room will become available after the renovation of the neighbouring house is done.
The idea for this room is to turn it into a room for leisure and play. This means things like the wii, 2nd tv and/or beamer , table football and - hanging from the ceiling - a permanent slot track :)

So this is the room available:



It's quite spacious and finally all things i have in mind for a good track can be realised.
As i said, it's to become a digital track, powered by Scorpius wireless.
My track system is vintage Fleischmann, which is from the 70's but still in perfect state. Fleischmann gauge is 9 cm. (track width 18 cm.) which means i can freely combine and add with other 9 cm. gauge brands like Polistil and Ninco.

The basic idea for a permanent track has always been a street racing circuit on an industrial wasteland area. Think of things like sheds, deserted ring roads, overpasses, warehouses, car scrapping, and - railroads.
I'd love to combine a street racing circuit with my Märklin Gauge 1 railtrack. This means a sort of ring railroad with lots of oppurtunities like a shunting yard, dead end tracks to collect trains, etc.

First i sketched my ideal race track. It took me countless hours of puzzling, but finally this came out of all the brain breaking work:



I like long straights combined with corners and curves which are hard to master - so many different radii, corners going up and down, slow corners, speed curves. I have managed to include nearly all curve types available: Fleischmann R1, R2 and R3, Nico R2 up to R5, and an occasional Polistil 60 degrees curve.

From the start the first lane changer give the oppurtunity to take the inner lane in a sweeping curve to the right, followed by a tight hairpin (Fleischmann R1) curve which leads to a long curvy overpass/viaduct over the shunting yard, where the name "the Esses" seems to be appropriate. Just before these Esses you can choose to use the 3rd LC and take the inner lane for this left turn.

After the Esses the road leads down to the first long straight, where the third lane changer provides the option of overtaking. The long straight ends with a short bend to the left, after which the fourth lane changer is necessary to take the innermost lane in the curve that follows. If you stay in the outermost lane nothing happens, if you take the middle lane you'll end up on a tight single lane overpass that leads you back to the innermost lane - a nice detour for those who missed the right lane, a rally-like bypass, just for fun.

This road spaghetti comes together for the second, tilted, somewhat roomier hairpin curve - just before you approach this curve you can take the fifth LC to gain track benefit. The curve leads up, sweeps over the railroad an curves back down, where the sixth LC gives another oppurtunity for taking the left lane. Via a tight near 90 degrees turn you enter the approach of the banked "Avus" curve, which can be driven nearly full speed (the right outer lane in this banked curve drives the best btw).

After the banked Avus curve the road leads down and the second long straight begins, cut in two by a slight yet tricky R5 curve which prevents you from hammering the pedal down totally. Than the 5 metres long straigh really gets on, equipped with two LC's for overtaking.

This speed straight ends with a long turn to the right, entering wide, tightening in the middle and widening at the end again. Just in time for the pitlane entry, where both lanes can enter the pit - the outer left lane however has to take the detour fly over to reach the petrol station that functions as pit and garage building. The pitlane rejoins the main track after turn one,
in two lanes so there's no need for lane changing in the pit.

For the lane changing i'll be using the Scorpius Lane Brain technology. For tight sections i will rely on the Ninco XLC, but for the longer and faster straight sections i decided to use the double length Carrera LC's. These have a wider gauge (99 mm.) but can be cut down to Ninco gauge (90 mm.) quite easily i learned and experienced. More about that in the Scorpius Wireless subforum.
Only possible for single lane changers of course. I cut up 2 Carrera R->L and 2 L->R LC's for this purpose. Luckily the old Pro-X LC's will do fine for this, i'll throw out the Carrera chips anyway, i'll only need the track pieces, solenoids and flippers (where Carrera's are superb quality i think).



After this sketching i tried to design the railroud around the race track. This is what came out:



A long circumferent railroad, with two main assets: a shunting yard and two truss bridges in the middle, permitting me to let multiple trains drive on their own seperate circles.
The train control will be digital (Märklin Delta), there's no need for separate sections - but i think i'll find the many options to drive around multiple trains on different tracks quite pleasing and entertaining.
The shunting yard is designed to host shunting puzzle games like the time saver or the inglenook. The train track is primarily meant to be nice scenery for the race track, secondary it can be joyful to be playing with the trains, and third: heavy metal gauge 1 trains are simply nice objects to look at, especially when driving around the track - one has to appreciate the metallic click clack sound of metal wheels on metal rails.

An in the end: the total view when the two are combined:



Here it all comes together. What i like most is the interaction between railroad and racetrack. the two long straights form a motorway-like middle section, where the two train truss bridges can overpass perfectly. I happen to have two of these Marklin truss bridges which can span 90 cm., just enough to reach over the main straights.



Between the straights there's room for railtrack very close to the road, where the road becomes a sort of platform and the trains can be loaded and offloaded (hmmmm, what about slow driving loaded Fly truck slotcars driving around as ghost cars on the track? Can be done...) :)

Scenery: i'm thinking of a scenery where realism is ok, but certainly not mandatory: ability and oppurtunity to play comes first. I have some Marklin gauge 1 buildings like this loce shed, which can fit in nicely i think.



So, the plan is there. First we have to do the renovation of the house, and next summer is the plan to build this permanent track. So i will have months of fiddling and finetuning the design, but the real test will come when the building itself will start. So more to follow in the coming months...

Merc
 

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Greg Gaub
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15,416 Posts
I'm amazed that you'll be able to change elevations so rapidly with the train like that. You must have some clever elevation changes planned, where slot track is rising and falling counter to the train rising and falling.

Also, WOW! That'll be amazing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Mr Flippant, you're so right about that, and correctly noted one of the weak elements in the design i haven't figured out completely :)

The basic idea is that the circumferent railroad lies at around 8, 9 cm. above table level - like a railroad track that lies on an embankment.
From that level switches can go downhill to the middle of the table, on reasonably gentle slopes of ca. 5%
Still way more than normal real world railroads would accept (where around 2% would be max), but for gauge 1 trains it works well.

The track can also rise towards the truss bridges, at around the same slope.
Where i need a long slope, the circumferent railroad can rise a little in itself - there's enough track length there to do so.
To pass over the race track i need about 9, 10 cm. headroom (low overpass, enough for normal cars but not for busses or trucks of course)
To pass over another, lower railroad i need about 15, 16 cm. of headroom (average railcar is 12 cm., loco exhaust pipe on some trains is 14 cm. in height).

Besides, the railroad track is supposed to be an industrial track: tight R=600 mm. radii and switches, not meant to be for long carriages or long trains - but primarily for shunting locos (shunters in english?) and so on.
I have worked out all slopes within boundaries, with the exception of the upper right connection - there i have around 1m of track length to fall 8 cm. and one other 1m. of track to rise 8 cm.
That said, i must add that the first idea was not to make bypasses or short cuts: the main idea was a ring railroad with switches to shunting yards and track inside.
After that i figured out the possible fun of alternative routes to take , and connections to make like in the upper right corner, which is as attractive as it is troublesome :)
Knowing i made a difficult connection there, i still like the possibility of making that upper right switch...

The race track itself is not supposed to be level at all. In the drawing you can see track parts are dark grey (low table level) or fading out to white (high level) - i think slopes and gradients can make the track and turns more interesting. Needless to say i'll find many ways to "fold" the race track above or under the railroad track where it's needed. The actual build will tell: paper is patient, the proof of the pudding is in the eating :)

Merc
 

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Greg Gaub
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15,416 Posts
I don't envy the chaps having to reslot cars or rail cars in the middle. I hope the entire table will be fairly low, especially since the cars will be lower still, and inside the trains. Grabbers can do a lot, but you'll still have to scenic that thing.
It'll be fun to see your POV video of the design. ;-)
 
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