A helix is the ultimate model train elevator. Large or small, short or tall, there is nothing quite like watching a train climb above itself like a giant snake. A helix is sure to be a center of attention on any model railroad.
A helix can also be an intimidating construction project for any skill level. No matter how large, a helix can be broken down into very manageable pieces. If you can build a conventional grade, you can build a helix. The secret is all in the planning.
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Even a construction as crazy as a helix is not without a counterpart in the real world of railroading. Get inspired from these amazing feats of engineering.
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Planning is truly the key to a successful helix. Planning in three dimensions can be a challenge as you balance radius, grade, and space.
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Building the Helix
Step-by-step, turn-by-turn, a helix can rise to great heights. Although they appear complex, a helix is built on simple constructions. Establish a strong base and an even grade on the first tier and the rest is easy!
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Laying Track in a Helix
Round and 'round they go. Smooth track is essential to enjoyable operations everywhere, especially in a helix. Low clearances between tiers can make access and maintenance difficult, so get the tracks right the first time.
Read more.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
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Wiring a Helix
Put power in the tower. There's nothing different about wiring a helix than the rest of your railroad, but there are a few tricks to make it easier.