I checked with friends and on-line acquaintances about the dimensions that they used and their relative success for viewing and operating. My mandate was not to be too low for my lower deck, lest my cranky knees and back punish me for sheer stupidity. I did know that the relative depth of my decks would be modest, between 8-20" which would minimize the necessary vertical separation. A cardboard mock-up on bookshelves confirmed that.
And key to all of this re-thinking was that ultimately the objective was to double the mainline, not double the layout. ROW areas might be as narrow as 8-12".
The sections were lowered from the existing ledger strip at a consistent dimension through the use of an autographed piece of scrap wood. More on that valued pine spacer below.
So, there you go. In for a penny, in for a pound. My modest single deck with the cramped towns was growing up. Yet I do keep hearing my mother's admonition from my childhood,"Your eyes might be bigger than your stomach."
We'll have a quick 'Friendly Friday' for the start of Memorial Day weekend and then get back to major construction next week. Geez, am I really doing this?
BONUS: RHETORICAL QUESTION OF THE DAY...
Did you know? When a friend relocated to North Carolina his massive B&O layout had to be dismantled and tossed into a dumpster over the course of several weekends. I picked through the used framing with the intention of keeping the B&O lineage in my bench work, while paying homage to this former layout. The scribbling on one piece said, "Thanks Jim. Magnolia Cut-off. Henry Freeman."... And my wife says that I'm not sentimental!