At this point, our train has completed one turn around the helix. Where you see the lead loco, the train will pop out of tunnel 2 and come out into a short shadowbox scene (the area has no cardboard barriers along the sides of the track). On the right the train will dive back into another tunnel (tunnel 1) and complete another trip around the helix to arrive at Winston Junction.
This shadowbox scene will allow operators to check the progress of their train as it progresses up the two tiers of the helix. As I have mentioned, I dislike hidden trackage, so this shadowbox scene negates one of the disadvantages of a helix: they can swallow a train for what seems like an eternity.
This location is roughly half-way up the two tier helix. Much of what you see here will eventually be covered by scenery. The track the locos are on will be scenicked as a "shadow-box scene" where the train briefly pops out of a tunnel on the left and then goes right back into another tunnel portal on the right. This gives operators a chance to see their train while it is on the helix. The corrugated cardboard "walls" keep any derailments on the helix down to a minor incident. Without these walls, a derailment on the helix would mean a long trip to the concrete basement floor. I only recommend such a trip for your equipment if you are short on scrap parts!
At the top of the photo is the upper deck near the Dillard area. The two door bolts are the Dillard east end switch controls. This area is complex with the many levels of track interacting, so to make the construction/final planning process easier, we removed several square feet of sheetrock on the partition walls and made a sort of "picture window" between the layout room and the shop area (where the helix and staging tracks are).
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