Multi-Level vs Multi-Deck
I have recently modified my original design for the "next" layout. I am modeling the Lyndonville subdivision of the Canadian Pacific in North East Vermont, now the Washington County Railroad run by the Vermont Rail System. A Map of the route can be found HERE.
My railroad interchanges with the Maine Central (MEC) and the LVRR (Lamoille Valley Railroad) in St. Johnsbury. My new plan dropped everything south of St. Johnsbury which will lead directly to staging and will instead include the portion of the MEC including the moderately sized paper mill at Gilman VT and the interchange with the B&M at Whitefield, the current subject of my 2x3 practice layout. This will let me run two locals, something I think would make my layout more fun for multiple operators.. something I did not have when I first started designing this.
There are two ways to do this:
1) I can run the CP line north into a large helix gaining 12"+ and create a double deck layout with the MEC below and the CP on top. If space was no issue it would be a no brainer. The down side to this is an excessive amount of mainline in hidden track and greater construction complexity. I could also do a split helix where the MEC descends and the CP ascends since St. J remains single level.. but that seems way too much work.
2) I can run the CP line noth into a small helix, get 4" of height and eventually being 6"+ higher, and run it behind the MEC ROW. I would use vertical seperation, scenic blocking, and care to make sure operational areas do not overlap. This would be easier to construct and require less hidden track. The down side is I will have the two lines somewhat unrealistically in the same scene.
I am curious how people feel about operating on a multi-level layout vs a multi-deck layout. My design is still sincere. Trains will move in a consistent east to west direction and only be in the same scene once. However, lines that do not run parallel in reality will be visible in the same scene at time.
It is my hope that with creative scenery operators will remain focused on their train and not find the juxtaposition of the lines jarring.
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