Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Model Railroading Tip: Planning Your Model Train Room

From the website, Model Trains for Beginners: Model Railroading Tip: Planning Your Model Train Room
Thanks to Rick of Stirling Heights for sending in this great tip about how to plan a model train room.

Sometimes we overlook the simplest way to do things and end up doing it the hard way. This tip will help make planning your model train room much simpler…
I am in the process of designing my layout. I still have some decisions to make about whether to base it on modules, sections or a more permanent type of table.

My wife gave me a choice of space in the basement (bigger layout, but dirtier location) or the spare bedroom. In the spare bedroom are some bookcases, file cabinets and a desk that cannot go anywhere else in the house so I have to keep them in mind when designing for that space.

To help me plan how to use the space better I am using a paper and pencil planning method.

Using grid paper at 4 squares to an inch and a set of plastic track planning templates at 3/4′ to the foot (KISS Methods Inc produced the templates I am using) I created a floor plan of the room.

Then I measured each piece of furniture that has to stay in the room and made scale cutouts of them on yellow Post-It notes.

Next I used green Post-It notes to create scale cutouts of standard modules to NMRA and Free-mo standards.

By rearranging the cutout templates I can try out different configurations without having to move furniture around.

My thoughts so far are a peninsula layout down the middle of the room with the file cabinets (2 drawer lateral cabinets) under the table and the desk being put on wheels so it can slide out from under the layout table.

The bookcases are 83″tall and need to be left around the perimeter of the room.

I could also cut down the bookshelves to a 36″ height and that way I could do an around the room layout using either modules, sections or traditional benchwork with the bookcases, file cabinets and desk all fiting beneath the layout.

I have appreciated all the tips you send out and thought that maybe others might benefit from this tip.

Keep up the good work! - Rick H, Sterling Heights, MI

Thanks Rick for the tip and the encouragement. That is definitely a tip I will use in the future and will help many readers.

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