For some background see the January 1st post "Mocking Up Adena Wye" which explains the function and planning for this area.
This is a really deep scene, much deeper than you might typically find on many of the multilevel "shelf style" layouts I follow in the model railroading press. As you can see in the photo below, the section of wye track in the front spans over 6 feet from the NKP Caboose on the right to the lower left corner where the track rejoins the basement wall benchwork.
After spending a good amount of time brainstorming, googling ideas and browsing Tony Koester's "Designing and Building Multi-Deck Model Railroads", I found a solution.
Like others have done but in a different way, I would combine a metal track shelving system and the popular L-girder wood benchwork construction. I came across a formula from Lynn Westcott's "How to Build Model Railroad Benchwork" regarding l-girder maximum spans. I can't find the information to link it, but based on a L-girder built from a 1x3 with a 1x2 flange, I could span the 5 to 7 feet needed with minimal deflection. Weight shouldn't be a problem anyways since my roadbed and scenery material will be pink foam, it really only needs to support itself.
A few weeks ago I built the L-girders and today I finally put them into action.
First was to attach the shelf track standard for the other wall around the corner from the Adena wye, as seen below. I bought a long standard to use for the lower level in case I wanted to create another span from that location as well.
|Measure and double check 8 times, cut once.|
|Ugly but it got the job done.|
It's just as sturdy as I had planned and somehow everything turned out pretty darn level according to the 4' bubble level!
As an even bigger plus everything still lines up with the plans.
For this phase building the L-girder span was really getting the hard part out of the way first. Everything else should be easy following conventional shelf style layout construction.