New train room - need ideas!

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by ExtremePCs, Jan 22, 2006.

  1. ExtremePCs

    ExtremePCs Member

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    Hi all,

    Here is a drawing of the room I have to work with. I'm looking for ideas on where to place my benchwork. This will be for an HO layout and I'm leaning towards a mining or logging industry.

    I don't have a track plan in mind yet. I want to see what kind of benchwork I can fit in this space before I decide on one. Please let me know what you would do with the space available.

    Thanks!

    ExtremePCs[​IMG]
  2. martyv

    martyv New Member

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    Extreme PC,

    The only advice I would give you would be to make the layout modular so that you can move it in case that well tank or furnace needs replacing you can move the layout easily. Modular does not mean only 2'x4' sections. Mine are a variety of sizes.
    Hope that helps.

    martyv
  3. ExtremePCs

    ExtremePCs Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion! Have you (or anyone else reading) used the Woodland Scenics "Mod-U-Rail" kits? Just wondering if they are good or not.

    Thanks again
  4. unclemole

    unclemole New Member

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    just make sure that you can access all sides of the table at all times. its a lot easier to work that way... for me n e way....
  5. abutt

    abutt Member

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    I would suggest you confine the layout to "around the wall". That way you can always reach anything on the layout. Don't attach it to a wall, but have it free standing and build up your background with plywood sheets.
  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    They don't design furnace rooms with model railroads in mind!
    I agree with the shelf layout idea. Do you have to stay clear of the water softener area? I think you should leave the the little square beside the furnace clear.
    Are those clearances you've drawn or just box sizes for the furnace and water heater? See how much room you need to leave.
    I would like to see a single track through the watersoftener area if you get the clearance.
  7. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    They don't design furnace rooms with model railroads in mind!
    I agree with the shelf layout idea. Do you have to stay clear of the water softener area? I think you should leave the the little square beside the furnace clear.
    Are those clearances you've drawn or just box sizes for the furnace and water heater? See how much room you need to leave.
    I would like to see a single track through the watersoftener area if you get the clearance. It could be the break between the logging/minimg area and the outside connection.
  8. ExtremePCs

    ExtremePCs Member

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    Nope... They sure don't! :) The only issue around the water softner area is with adding salt. I need to get the the salt bin every 2-3 months. The options I am considering are making a lift out section to cover the area, or the more drastic one of moving the water softner and well pump next to the water heater. Shouldn't be too big of a job... I'm pretty good at plumbing and electrical work. That would allow me to do a fairly large L shape... something like 4x10 x 4x8 and still have room to walk around.

    Just need to clear it with the boss (aka wife) :)

    Thanks for the idears.
  9. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

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    I think abutt is right, around-the-wall is best. If you try for a 4' wide table against the wall, you can't reach across it. Seems about 30" is the recommended max. Keep it plenty high and go over the tops of those tanks. The furnace I'd stay away from, but you can maybe work around the water heater. As you know, someday it will need replaced :D
  10. babydot94513

    babydot94513 Member in training

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    Keep in mind that whatever you do that access to the water softener and furnace is a on-going maintenance issue and your benchwork will need to allow flexibility.

    JD
  11. belg

    belg Member

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    How about something like this,
    [​IMG]

    Attached Files:

  12. Dingo69

    Dingo69 Member

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    You could actally do it right against the "HW" wall and have a break in the middle to walk through or even under as no doubt the table near "HW" would be so close it would make little difference.
  13. abutt

    abutt Member

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    Is this your entire basement? Is the doorway coming from a garage? Area seems small. I don't think a water tank is a heavy maintenence item, but a jet pump is. That's sucking water up from a well rather than a submersible that's pushing water up. They're noisy and tend to fail.

    If this is your only area, I would consider an "L" shape moduler urban switching layout, one leg along the 10' wall, the other in front of the door along the approx 11' length with a duck-under. I'd construct it with modules of 2 to 3 foot lengths, 18" deep.
    Don't forget, you trap something like a hot water heater, and you know what's going to fail! Burner service people would have no trouble ducking under the entrance...besides they love model rairoads.

    Any other kind of "free-form" layouts are going to require very tight radius curves in HO. With the 18" depth you wouldn't even have to power your turn-outs, just use hand-throws. That's what I do with an MR walk-around control.

    Good luck, and keep us posted.
  14. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    If you can move the hotwater heater to a group with the pump and water softner, you will clear two good lengths of wall. If you can connect them with a removable "bridge" section, then you can do a point-to-point in this area.

    I would also second (third?) the idea of a modular layout - maybe not in the "portable" sense, but at least the "movable" way. That is to say that if necessary, the layout can be taken apart and moved to prevent damage or provide access.

    You can build your own modules much more cheaply than the WS Mod-u-rail modules, but that does require some planning and carpentry. See some useful links in the Modular forum (click the link in my signature).

    I have attached a diagram of what I mean. You could do something similar if you moved the water softner, but I don't know if you can move the pump - if not, you will still have two obstacles in addition to the furnace.

    Andrew

    Attached Files:

  15. ExtremePCs

    ExtremePCs Member

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  16. ExtremePCs

    ExtremePCs Member

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    Actually I would be moving the water softner, salt bin and well tank next to where the water heater is now. The pump itself is in the well... just the electrical is on the wall. All I would need to do is cut in a T fitting and run some pipe and wire.

    Thanks for the suggestions!

  17. abutt

    abutt Member

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    Andrew's idea is a good one. I'd stay clear of the water tank because it might be too high. But you certainly could have enough elevation to go over the softener and salt barrel, and of course move and run behind the water heater.

    On the other hand, a true model railroader would jam the kids and playthings into that little room and go to it in the BIG room. But wives do get in the way of that kind of forward thinking.
  18. ExtremePCs

    ExtremePCs Member

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    LOL... If I did that, I'd have the whole garage to work with becuase I'd be living in it :D I did actually consider using the garage, but there's no heat, plus I use it for my other hobby, woodworking. I don't think trains + saw dust would make a good combo.

    I'm going to start on the benchwork this weekend. I'll post pics. Thanks to everyone for the ideas!


  19. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

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    room preparation?

    Not to dump water on any enthusiasm about building benchwork...but are there any room preparations that should happen before work begins? Just checking...

    And please share your plan/design whenever you have it 'finalized'. Looking forward to seeing the progress!

    Galen
  20. abutt

    abutt Member

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    Which concept are you going with? Please keepus posted. The confined space plus some of the machinery to overcome is a challange. We're all with you.