I have a 14 ft x 10 ft train platform ... totally occupied by track/switches/trains.  My room size prevents growth of the platform size ... need aisle along side of platform to access stuff behind the train platform.  Wanted to add some buildings, etc to layout.  What to do?

After some thought and review of many train platforms, opted to add a dropleaf to one end of my train platform.  Size of dropleaf is 17 inches x 10 ft.  The 17 inches is a compromise that enables me to squeeze between end of platform and nearby wall while still giving me a reasonable size for placement of buildings, etc.  The dropleaf itself when in dropped position enables me to fully access/remove/etc stuff now stashed behind the overall train platform.  Yes, will need to remove any buildings positioned on the dropleaf before lowering it, but that's a minor nuisance for the once a year or so times that I need to do so.  Haven't wired the added buildings for lighting yet, but that too will be a minor quick-disconnect whenever I want to remove the buildings for lowering the dropleaf. 

Thought I'd share some photos of what I have done for anyone who is landlocked by room walls but would like to add some buildings/scenery along the edges of their platforms while retaining easy removal of same for accessing stuff behind/around their platforms.

I used 3/4 inch Baltic birch plywood and glued 3/4 inch thick oak strips along edges for added shelf stiffness.  My dropleaf is in two sections ... each section is 17 inches x 5 ft.  Used two folding shelf brackets for each section and am pleased with their performance ... https://www.amazon.com/gp/prod...00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 ... bought the 12 inch size -- easily lift/drop and rigidly lock into place in upright position. 

So, here are the photos ... the buildings were placed quickly just for photo purposes so will likely be shifted/updated in coming weeks.

 

Regards,

Tom

 

 

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Nice job.  I am thinking on doing the same thing on the side of my layout.  I have several structures still in the box that I liked when I bought them but ran out of room to display.  The shelf bracket should work for me.  Mine will only be 6 foot long.

J Daddy posted:

Nice. But do you have to take everything off before you drop the leaf?

Depends on how much aisle width I need.  I will likely mount the buildings in a way that they can be left on the dropleaf or easily removed before dropping the dropleaf.  If after dropping the dropleaf, the height of buildings encroaches on the aisle width I need for taking stuff to/from behind the train platform, then will have to remove some or all of 'em.  With the dropleaf in raised position, the distance from edge of dropleaf to wall is 14 inches.  The aisle is only 30 inches wide when the dropleaf is fully lowered ... so, an 11 inch high building would cut that down to ~19 inches ... just 5 inches wider than with dropleaf in raised position.  Will only remove buildings if I need the full aisle width.

Question ... what are your ideas for quick-disconnecting the buildings from the dropleaf if/when I want to do so?  I don't care for hotgluing them.  Could come up through the bottom of the 3/4 inch thick baltic birch shelf with couple of screws into base of each building, but that seems cumbersome.  Need some way that's quick and easy to release yet still holds the buildings in place if I want to drop the dropleaf with buildings still held in place.

I'd probably have some pins that go through the table and are secured under the table.  Perhaps you could use something like a large washer and a cotter-pin to hold them in place.  For lighting, a hole with a fixed connector mounted flush with the bottom that you'd just plug the lighting harness into.

With this setup, you could just reach under and pull the pins and connectors and then lift the buildings off.  On our modular club layout, many of the buildings are on small landscaped foundations that all lift off with the building.

Just thinking out loud - you could mount all the buildings to a separate 1/4" thick board that simply lays on the dropleaf w/o being connected to it (maybe Velcro strips  if you're concerned it might move around). The electrical connections underneath could be with quick disconnects like Power Pole connectors so that you could just unplug them and lift off the board.

Rescued Trains posted:

Tom, Great idea and execution. Did you ever think of rotating the leaf up so you wouldn't have to remove the buildings?

Steve

No, haven't considered rotating leaf upwards.  Rotating leaf upwards would facilitate not removing buildings.  However, one downside would be that couldn't run my trains on their close-by track with leaf in upright position as buildings would extend out over several rails of track.  There may be times when I want to have the leaf out of the aisle for extended periods which would then shut down my train running if the leaf was in upright position.  Will stay focused on working with my current approach and deal with the buildings in leaf 'down' position.    Others might look into that as an option for their future drop/raised leaf scenery space considerations.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

I'd probably have some pins that go through the table and are secured under the table.  Perhaps you could use something like a large washer and a cotter-pin to hold them in place.  For lighting, a hole with a fixed connector mounted flush with the bottom that you'd just plug the lighting harness into.

With this setup, you could just reach under and pull the pins and connectors and then lift the buildings off.  On our modular club layout, many of the buildings are on small landscaped foundations that all lift off with the building.

I like the pins/fixed connector approach. 

You mention also that on your club modular layout, that many buildings are on small landscaped foundations that lift off with the building.  That also sounds interesting wherein I might make tailored platforms for each building/scenery but standardize the locations of pins/electrical connector for each platform in same locations to mount them on the shelf.  Then the shelf holes would all be the same pattern where I could easily switch building/scenery platforms around on the shelf from time to time . 

Wonder if you/others might have some photos of one or more buildings that are mounted on small landscaped foundations with pin/electrical connectors?   I am envisioning something like a mini-diorama mounted on, say, ~1/8 inch thick Masonite or something like that.

Tom

Thanks for sharing this very creative way of expanding scenery on your layout.  The first thing that came to my mind was to allow access to basic basement appliances like furnaces, water heaters and the like, where you only need access for servicing them maybe once a year.  And from the responses so far, you've created a new discussion from which we will all benefit.  I love this forum!        

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