The Owens Valley Subdivision is my 7th N scale layout, and my first mushroom style layout. Most layouts I had built up untill now were in a house that I was renting. Now that I've bought a house, this layout (in one form or another) will be around longer than all the previous ones. Although my last 4 layouts were designed for operation, this layout will be the first to acctually have operating sessions. My 2 previous layouts were in a room size of 18.5' x 11.5'. Both of them were double decked (42" and 62" heights). With a room addition in 2017, I doubled my room width and decided to try a mushroom style layout.

The layout room size is 18.5' x 27.5'. Even with this modest amount of room for N scale, I was still hard pressed to include everything that I wanted in my "dream" layout. But after the compromises, I was still able to keep most of what I wanted. My preveious layouts were double decked, and after going that route, I ended up being unhappy with the compromise of deck heights. With this layout, the height of railhead is 52" from the floor. The facia on the back side of the mushroom level hangs down 4" from the framework, so that makes a visable separation of 16". This separation gets smaller as the lower level travels around part of the room on a 1.6% grade, where it meets the helix at a level of 60" above the floor. The helix is comprised of 4 and 3/4 loops, where each loop gains 2.375" of rise, to help make the final 12" needed to meet the upper level track.

All track used on the layout is Atlas code 55 flextrack, with handlaid turnouts. The smallest turnout size is a #6. All turnouts use the rail from a piece of flextrack so that it all matches. Turnouts are built in place, and built to suite the situation. All turnouts on the main line going to passing sidings are no smaller than a #10. Any other turnouts off the main line are no smaller than a #8.
Minimum visable main line and siding curved radius is 20", and bigger where possible. Minimum branch line and hidden track radius is 18". All other curved trackage is as large as possible in respect to the situation.

Control for the railroad is Digitrax Digital Command Control. The layout is broken up into mutiple circuit breaker protected blocks. The layout is also divided into 20 blocks for detection, with LED's on the Dispatch Panel to show occupancy. For now, basic signaling will be used thru the switch machines.

I don't like to draw trackplans and then copy from them, I like to get the space up and then lay the track as I go. I will have some of the important features already figured out, like where the passing sidings will go, and where the yard will be located, but I feel that it is alot easier to "draw" the track plan "full size". Once I finish all the trackwork on the layout, I'll revise this page to include the trackplan. For now, here is the benchwork plan for the layout.



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