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This 102" x 78" L shaped layout was custom built by the talented folks at Rasch Studios in 2011, taking two professional craftsmen 6 months to build. The layout has a very high level of detail. It was never put into use and is still in the crates as shipped from the builders. Rasch says their layouts are built well enough to be turned upside down without any damage. Being pros, they do things the correct way, such as running power leads every few feet, running a power bus line for lights, hand made trees, perfect trackwork, etc.
[added Dec 3] I finally uploaded a track plan. Sorry it took so long. Drawing is not my best skill.
[added Dec. 2] Here is a general description of the track plan:
- The Main level consists of two level loops modeled as a double track mainline. I would call it a "bent dogbone" shape. All the mainline turnouts are powered Kato turnouts, meaning the operator doesn't touch the layout. The yards, sidings are manual turnouts. A powered Kato double crossover is near the center of the layout. There is a small freight yard, stub end two track Passenger terminal, powered turntable, 2-3 industries to switch and some passive signals.
- The Upper level is a level single track mainline that runs through a mountain, many bridges and then a small town and siding. After the layout was completed, we decided to add a 36" x 36" extension featuring a nonpowered bascule bridge and waterfront area. If you look closely you may notice the wharf area and sidings are low profile rail.
- The Main level and Upper level are connected by two ramp tracks that allow trains to continuously run across all the mainlines, Upper and Main level. The ramps are about 4% grade, but with double-headed engines, N scale trains can handle it. It also adds the possibility of Helper engine operations. This is why the layout was named after the Saluda grade.
- The lower level has a wide radius helix running down to a balloon yard that will hold 4-6 trains. Trains enter the helix by a track between the passenger station and the mainline. They return by a tunnel nearest the front inside corner of the layout. Functionally speaking, the Helix level is big reverse loop to the main level. This is electrically necessary. We had the choice to make the helix a double track, but instead decided that it could better serve as a single track return to/from the balloon yard. If you want: take out the switch at the top of the helix and you can make it a double track helix.
There are many possibilities:
1) Use both main level lines and the upper level for continuous running of three trains. Most of the video was shot in this mode.
2) Run one train on the main level and use the double crossover to treat the second loop as a big passing siding. One train can handle switching while another runs continuously.
3) Since the helix contains a very long run of track, a train can be entering or leaving either of the other levels while all the rest of happening. This layout could very easily require two operators.
* IN RESPONSE TO QUESTIONS I HAVE ADDED THREE CONSTRUCTION PHOTOS THAT SHOW AERIAL VIEWS, SOME HELIX DETAIL, AND THE LAYOUT SECTION JOINTS *
- Up to Three Trains can run continuously
- Two Levels with connecting interchange (lower is double tracks)
- DCC or DC capable
- Kato powered turnouts on mainlines, including double crossover
- Expertly lit and some signals for nighttime running
- Harbour Area and other opportunities for switching
- Weathered buildings including some wood craftsman kits
Many more details - too many to list...
TRAINS, MOST VEHICLES AND BACKDROP ARE FOR DISPLAY PURPOSES AND ARE NOT INCLUDED.
Layout is in three crates as delivered from the builder. Was never set up due to a change in my plans. The video was filmed in the final stages of construction and includes many more views of the river harbor area, which was added late in the construction.
I also had a professional wood craftsman build a base to hold the three sections. The base alone is gorgeous cabinet quality wood with sliding tambour doors to give access. This base adds 6" to the layout dimensions. International Buyers please check with me before bidding.
Shipping to 48 states via FedEx freight or equivalent is included.
You'll need two men to handle setup, then install some short straight tracks to connect sections and bridges, shine up the rail tops and you are ready to go!
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