This site is dedicated to my model railroad, the HO scale Virginia Midland Railroad. This layout comprises a 12X9 room with two levels. The upper level is complete and the lower level scenery has just begun.

I do a handful of train shows in the Virginia/Maryland region with Makin Tracks.
I also can help you find that freight car/locomotive or other hard to find item.

Email: virginiamidlandshops@gmail.com
You tube videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/Virginiamidlandrr/

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Helix overload... But it's done!

Well it's complete!  Took me a few days but the helix is complete and runs well!  I hope it runs well throughout it's whole lifetime.  Knock on wood!  It was not the toughest thing I've done in model railroading just time consuming.  You cannot take any shortcuts because they will come back to haunt you.  Somethings to consider when building one:
  • A kit: the Ashlin Designs helix kit was a time saver and went together well.
  • Space: the helix is on a 5' high platform taking up a 6' by 7' space.  I did put shelves under it so I could store stuff. I can forget parking a car in the garage.  We never did.
  • Track: 15 pieces of flex track in the helix from level to level.  I used Atlas code 100.
  • Lumber: about $100 worth of lumber.  I did use MDF board for the platform
  • Time
 The next step is laying track on the lower level.  I got the day off tomorrow.  Hope to put a dent into it.

This is my flat lower level loop.  The helix lower level ends about 2 o'clock and has to run all the way to here.  The sliding doors are kept closed since it's about 45 in the garage.

Overall view from the garage steps.  Alot of work for 10 inches of drop! 

A view of the track doors to the layout.  Need some touch up paint and to level the lower door slide.

These finishing washers are perfect for holding track in staging areas.  I used them exclusively on the helix.

Access hole.  Standing on a stool I can access the helix for maintenance/cleaning.  I also can easily open the track doors.  They will stay closed when not using the helix.


  1. Helix looks great, you will suprised on how much time it adds to your run from deck to deck. The distance allowed me to put in fictional passing towns on the timetable between the model levels.

  2. Thinking of putting a simple CCTV camera to track the progress of the train. I could easily hook one up to the small TV I have in the room. The line being modeled is a 35 mile line west so it will give the perception of a long run.