I am an Australian who has been interested in model railroads for most of my life. Since pre teenage years I have built model railroads. I am a member of the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) and have qualified as a Master Model Railroader. In 2019 after attending two conventions in Chicago and Salt Lake City I decided to completely remove my current N Scale layout and all the frame and start again. I will keep you updated on progress and share experiences and ideas as it progresses.
Here is a summary of what has been done so far:
The room was always a fully sealed room, with tiled floor, sealed walls and ceiling, plus air conditioning.
Taking the old layout to the local top was a "crime".
The new frames and lighting have been completed. The frame is 12mm plywood on both levels. The top section is supported on shelf brackets. The brackets have 12mm plywood sleeves on top which are routed to allow the LED strips to slip through.
The base level is supported on a cantilevered box frame.
Lighting is LED strips.
Around the layout there is a low voltage bus wire supporting 12V DC, 5V DC, and 16V AC.
The main bus wire for the layout is 20amp household multi strand cable (black / red). This supports the 8 sub busses around the layout.
There is no helix between the levels but rather a double loop in the peninsular (see photo left) at about 1.5% grade.
About 3/4 of the track is laid. The track base is 3mm cork for the mainlines and 1.5mm cork for the yards and sidings.
Mainline switches are mainly Fast Tracks #8 - an experiment that I would probably not repeat. The majority of the switches are Atlas Code 55 #7, controlled by servo motors. Some of the switches that are easily accessed are controlled by DPDT slide switches. There are also some Tortoise slow motion switches.
There are 8 power districts each with it's own circuit breaker.
Each Power district has an "on-Off" switch on the fascia to isolate that section if needed.
The lower level has drop down fascias (hinged) which enable all the wiring to be at the front of the layout for easy access.
The upper level has a 75mm fascia and in some sections there is a 75mm cable duct that hides the upper level controls and wiring.
Druthers and Must haves
Drop down fascia
DPDT Slide switches
Track laying - cork, wiring etc.