Kootenay Kwickie: Making a helix more interesting

So, my regular readers will know that I added a masonite wrap to my helix last year, mostly to stop trains from falling out and smashing into about 14 million billion pieces on the floor. However, since my helix is a full 4 and a third turns hidden (that’s one and a quarter scale miles, kids!) a train running at the scale speed limit will take about three minutes from when the caboose disappears to when the locomotives pop out at the other end. This is a long long LONG time for an operator that doesn’t even know if his train’s stalled!

Solution: Plexiglas. It’s somewhat pricey, but absolutely worth it for such a long hidden run. I bought the smallest 1/16″ sheet that would work for $30. If you’re wondering what thickness will work for you, it’s a safe bet that you can bend it to a radius of no less than 350 times the thickness of the sheet.

Cutting: I used my mitre saw, and took it slow. If you take it fast, you’ll probably chip it.

Securing: Drill pilots holes and FER CHRIST’S SAKE DON’T USE WOOD SCREWS. I got impatient and used wood screws, but round headed screws would have prevented this: 20130609 2

Yeah, I had to redo it.

Anyways, once done, voila! You know precisely where your train is! For full effect, you can paint the track black, or even add LED strings for illumination!

20130609 1

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