N scale helix – Eric’s

Eric has been in touch again with his N scale helix.

You’ll remember him from this fine layout.

Now have a look what he’s doing!

“Hi Al

I’m afraid Wensdale had to go while I redecorated my bedroom, but Wensdale is being slowly reborn in a new format, gone just having two tracks but now we have four, two at higher elevations and two below so I am sending some pics of New Wensdale in the raw. Ignore the old scenery on the wardrobe walls.

To enable the four tracks I have raised the N scale helix up a level so that I could run the lower two tracks below, unfortunately after trying various ideas I can’t link the higher level to the lower tracks but hopefully that won’t detract from the ability to now run four tracks together.

The engine shed and sidings on the raised level are also usable when the four tracks are running as they link to a second control unit. Note the controls on the last picture. The two controls will be the lighting controller the next six controls run the tracks.

Note that all tracks are accessible in readiness for possible problems and any scenery added will be removable for access as in my old layout. After the many comments after my old layout about getting to the layout and did I have an access hatch well now you can see the basics in all their glory 🙂


model train laying track

model train laying track

N scale helix

N scale helix

laying track n scale

laying track n scale

laying track

model train

N scale helix

N scale helixwidth=

A huge thank you to Eric for sharing his N scale helix. I do love seeing the work in progress stuff and reading what the plan is.

That’s all this time folks. Don’t forget the ebay cheat sheet. I find it bizarre how some days there’s not much to ponder over, and other days some absolute steals.

Anyhow, keep ’em coming.



PS Still mulling over the Beginners guide? Don’t be shy. It’s here..

49 Responses to N scale helix – Eric’s

  1. Paul Schofield says:

    That’s some layout! Can you send a trackplan of how it all connects now?

    All the best, Paul

  2. Robert Stone says:

    Is an overall track plan available?


  3. david howarth says:

    That looks great , and what a fiddle yard you have built …think I could do with something that size …time to rip mine up again ?? …Dave

  4. Lawrence says:

    What a beautiful layout. I would to have this. You ddid a wonderful job.

  5. Wayne says:

    WOW, God I wish I had space like that. That layout is Amazing. Good luck finishing it and injoying it after you finish.


  6. marvin K says:

    Please please let us watch the progress. Great work!

  7. Dave Dawson says:

    What scale is your layout? Is it N

  8. John Bennett says:

    Hi Eric, is your layout available to watch on U Tube? If so can Please provide a link to your channel. A Track Plan would be great, along with Dimensions.
    Kind regards.

  9. Peter Jones says:

    Looks a fine plan Eric with loads of track to show some great train movements, looking forwards to seeing the next stage

    Pete “The Mackem” in Sunderland

  10. Rod Dunn says:

    Nice job ! Can’t wait to see the finished (?) Layout.

  11. christine says:

    Very nice.

  12. anthoney king says:

    Love that new layout i did decide to do some thing similar but with out the circular down wards i will share with the fans at some point my progress but mine is painfully slow
    i think yours is gona look Great keep posting as love to see it come to life

    cheers Paul

  13. ian impett says:

    very very good. we are never satisfied for long. it’s the hobbie

  14. Don J says:

    Erik == You are one lucky son of a gun to have such a large space and to fill it with double track mainline and train yards. Keep up the good work and supply more pictures when you can. Donj

  15. John C says:

    Wow. An amazing layout. Well done.

  16. wow wish I had that kinda space to work with….
    really kool to see the ‘innards’ of the works….interesting
    the helix is awesome
    too bad the upper and lower cant connect someway
    and that ain’t a ‘fiddle’ yard..its a ‘cello’ yard….LOL…
    great layout
    keep it runnin fellas

  17. eric7 says:

    Hi all
    The layout is in N and the space taken is around 7ft wide and nearly 5ft deep. John my old layout is on YouTube. Sorry but not done a plan for this one …yet.
    Dave that was my other reason for building mine this way but you know what, I put all the trains on the other day and still don’t have enough sidings:-)
    for my old Wensdale layout. Thank you for the encouraging comments and a big thank you Al for the service you provide to modellers everywhere.

  18. Tim Morlok says:

    Eric, great looking progress on your new layout! Have you tried using a curved turnout at the lowest point of your helix to continue the inside track down to the lower inside track? Good luck. Tim

  19. Leonard says:

    Nice track layout. I look forward to viewing your progress.

  20. Wayne Wallace says:

    now that peaks my interest. Will copy you on this one…..
    I can only imagine.

  21. Bedros Anserian says:

    Erik well done, specially the various layers it’s a beauty. Will wait and enjoy when the work is done and you will post us your new pictures.

  22. paul Otway says:

    can’t wait to see it completed

  23. Emil says:

    I like what you have done so far. Like to see the complete layout when finished. Now my question. I am running HO scale, have a 4×13 lay out, I took notice to your the circular ramp. How do you figure the up and down grades for the ramp?

  24. mike vassar says:

    nice layout Erik.

  25. You have one out standing lay out. Best of luck.

  26. Brian Buckle says:

    Really great layout. Lotsa fun when its all finished…
    I am interested in the controllers visible under the bench in the last photo.
    Can you post the name / capacities of them. Also where you got them please.

  27. eric7 says:

    To the person asking about the helix. The grade is around 2%. The helix comes complete with the risers needed and uses 3rd and 4th radius curves, mine is N but they do a OO version and engines hardly notice it’s there I’ve run a 7 carriage diesel up it and it showed no strain.
    I will endeavour to keep Al updated with pics and some videos when getting more finished. Once again thanks for the comments and your interest.

  28. Rod Mackay says:

    Looks like you could get a connection in between the high and low levels at the corner in front of the helix area, with a single track leaving the outside of the curve just opposite the last coach of the train in the final picture, and running down to join the outer line of the low level just behind where the door opens to. The large timber support in that area could be replaced with steel studding or a horizontal brace from a leg inside the curve of the low level. I can’t quite see but \I’m guessing you could get a crossover in round the corner the other side of the dividing wall, in the main part of the room. There is a precedent for running both ways on one line of a double track route in this way – they do it for Falmouth branch trains entering Totnes, and for Penistone line trains entering Huddersfield. The gradient on the link-line would be steeper than the rest of the layout, but this can be interesting – again there are some precedents – the single track link between Wakefield Westgate and Kirkgate for instance. You might need to send down an assisting engine to bank a train up the gradient – all good fun!

  29. Rod Mackay says:

    Sorry, my mistake, the Falmouth branch runs into Truro, not Totnes. Oops.

  30. eric7 says:

    To Brian B The controllers are from Gaugemaster and are on their website even thought the two square units are around 25 years old they are still on sale. Between them I have 8 variable 12V ~ track/lighting controls, 4 * 16V for points etc and two 12V I believe they are rated at 1 amp.


  31. Brian Buckle says:

    Thanks Etic,
    I will get on to Gaugemaster.

  32. Brian says:

    Beautiful Layout. Looks like a lot of work but the result is superb.
    CAn you send a track plan please


  33. Kenton says:

    Looking good!

  34. Wally Daffner says:

    Looks like you are using Kato unitrack. If so, how well is it working? Thanks. (looks good so far.)

  35. Richard Fath says:

    I like your idea of using threaded rod along with threaded connector for setting elevations on your helix. And the plastic blocks for risers anchors with X & Y screws is another good idea. Both great innovations.

  36. Bob Godi says:

    Why do we not see ON30 on the EBay Cheat Sheet?

  37. Robert Mize says:

    WOW, that is a great layout. It will take a while to get tired of this. Can’t wait to see what you do next.

  38. When Eric said “two, then four. tracks” I had no idea what he was talking about. WOW–now I see! Where can one put in more sidings? It does look as if the helix reaches the upper level very well. Eric—will you be running this layout all by your lonesome???

  39. Steve Joyce says:

    Man is that going to be some layout when it gets all scenicked

  40. DJfromNJ says:

    Maybe I’m “dain-bramaged,” but I would like to see Eric’s track plan. I find it difficult to comprehend the layout. All the partial pics look great, and are a tease to what lies in Eric’s master plan. Heck, your work has Dangerous Dave thinking. Good luck!

  41. Hugo Budzien says:

    I assume the landlord frowns on tunnels thru walls

  42. Will in NM says:

    Eric, I like the modifications you’ve made to your track plan. I salute you for having the guts to tear up a perfectly nice layout to make it even better. I don’t know if I could do that after building all the scenery. You have sure gotten a lot of action into a relatively small space. Keep us posted with your future progress and thank you for sharing your “in process” photos.

  43. Erick says:

    Pretty Neat.!!!!

  44. Brian Olson says:

    Even more proof that a layout is never done!

  45. Andrew Aves says:

    Goodness gracious Eric, your prolific dismantling and rebuilding are more frequent than mine.
    Great work and hope it works out as expected
    Andrew in Oz

  46. TJK says:

    Can’t wait to see that yard filled with rolling stock.
    Nice job.

  47. Dallas Franklin says:

    Eric – I do not have the experience that you and 95% of everyone else contributing to this forum but have an idea, without seeing your plan, for you to link your two levels. The description would be too long for here. If I could get your email address I could proffer my suggestion direct. With your permission, perhaps Alistair can give me your email address.

  48. William Workman says:

    Hello !
    I’m sure I’m not the first person to say this ? Would these nice Gent’s please tell what Scale of train it is . Or maybe you could add it ? some of the pictures for me is hard to tell HO from N scale .

  49. robert dale tiemann says:

    my eyes crossed trying to keep up with all the curves, wow. very nice.

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