Several large sheets of 1/8" Masonite hardboard were used to completely wrap the helix. This thing looks pretty imposing now!
Here is a top-down view. In the far right side of the photo you can see the track exiting the bottom of the helix. It then wraps around the back to the yard you can see at the far left.
It is now time to connect the main line to the helix. A turnout was built to connect the two tracks of the helix.
This is just an updated photo that shows about half of the layout, taken from within the closet.
I am attaching the wrap-around Masonite board in the helix exit area, mostly to protect any equipment coming down the helix too fast.
The double track of the helix has now been connected to the mainline turnout. You will notice that there is another turnout behind it. I plan to put a reversing loop on top of the helix to make it possible for me to turn equipment.
Here's the view from within the closet of the helix and its connection to the main line.
I painted all of the fascia panels with a flat black latex paint. What is not readily visible are the infrared detection circuits I built to report the train movements inside the helix. On the front of the helix' Masonite board (far right in the photo below) are twenty LEDs that turn on when a train passes through the corresponding infrared light path. For more info about these circuits, see the
When all screw holes are filled and sanded down, the fascia looks quite nice once painted.
This is the area with the smaller river on the left, and the helix on the right.
And this is the back of the helix.
This was a spur-of-the-moment project, to scratchbuild a tunnel portal in place.