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Stangtrain - thanks for the response. wow 32 x 12 would be a great sized layout and I can see how it could get to be a bit much. Mine is 13 x 9 and a little short given I am trying to have at least one of three main lines with 72 inch curves in order to run a Burlington Zephyr and Milwaukee Road EP-2 (both MTH). I have walls on 3 sides, so I have to use lift outs for access. Wish I had another 4 feet so no more lift outs, just a big dog-bone type configuration. I have not been able to "get" to point to point modeling - I like running passenger trains too much, so its loops for me.  Jeff  

After having some medical issues I moved to a 65 and over apartment but had little room for my O gauge trains. I decided to pack them up  and right now I'm looking for a dealer to take the whole thing. I really don't want to sell what I have piece by piece so I have been willing to sell it all to a dealer. It's about 35 or 40 containers.

But not wanting to not have trains I decided to build a ho layout and now I'm in the process building my new layout on part of my mianne benchwork that I have had for the past 14 years. 

May not be my dream layout but I'm still having fun,


David 1, I Completely understand the curve balls life brings forth to us as we get older. HO trains are nice, Years ago I had some Stewart Hobbies Sante Fe F units that ran beautifully. The only reason I got back into 3 rail is TMCC. I didn’t know about DCC. Now that I’m practically 76, over the next 4 years I’ll be drastically downsizing. In Lancaster Pa., there’s an upscale assisted living retirement center and they have a room with a large O Gauge layout, it’s cool. Many of the men get together each evening and work and run their trains having lots of fun. Happy Railroading Everyone. 

I'm not actually downsizing rather trying to thin out. It's been many years of building and collecting and now am at a point where I either can't find what I know I have or can't move around because of so much that I may not ever use. So little by little I have been selling what I haven't used in years or new items that I will never use. As long as I can make it up to the attic train room I won't be actually downsizing, just thinning out.

@sidehack posted:

I'm not actually downsizing rather trying to thin out. It's been many years of building and collecting and now am at a point where I either can't find what I know I have or can't move around because of so much that I may not ever use. So little by little I have been selling what I haven't used in years or new items that I will never use. As long as I can make it up to the attic train room I won't be actually downsizing, just thinning out.

At 57 I am not thinking about downsizing, I am still expanding! 😜🤪

Sidehack, I like your approach, I wish more folks would thin out instead of complete liquidation (unless that is what you want to do or have to do). We do not need 100 engines and 500 freight cars, plus 75 passenger cars. Start out by selling off 25%, when you have met that goal, re-evaluate and sell of another percentage. Do that until you have the equipment you want to keep. If you do keep it until you die it will be easier to sell what’s left. The family can strip the layout of what they want and call a dealer for the rest. You can pay someone to junk out the rest of the layout and be done with it. Your family would rather you be happy the rest of your life, and if they see you took steps with final disposition, you should be fine.

 A person spends decades building a layout, enjoy it until they carry you away. 

At 62 I'm finally working on the larger (for me) layout that should be 6 x 12 when finished. My plan is 3 tables each 6 x 4. They should fit in the back of  standard pickup truck when we downsize again. Now I have everything in a two car insulated and climate controlled garage.

I'm still working, going to dialysis three times a week and waiting on a kidney transplant. In the meantime I've sold all of my baseball cards, comic books and video games. I still have a few other collections that will go first. That creates a slush fund for the railroad.

I have a lot of train sets in the original boxes. They take up a lot of storage space. Plus another 100 or so freight and passenger cars. That may be a problem later on.

My wife made it a point to get me a new train set every year for Christmas. I finally had to convince her that I had enough trains, imagine that?

Once the decision is made to downsize and sell all or parts of a collection, consider an auction house that specializes in trains. After an ordeal with medical issues, I prepared a list of my Rock Island collection of trains made by many manufactures and placed all of it (except for three mementos) with Stout Auctions. They came to my house (and garage and two storage units), hauled it away, took pix, prepared descriptive text, and promoted the online sale.  The entire collection (8 pages of it) was sold in a weekend to other hobbyists, then they sent me a check.

Mike Mottler    LCCA 12394

I downsized in 2004 when we moved......from 14x26 to 6x16 starting in 2011.

Now, since the house is 20+ years old, we have been going room by room upgrading, modernizing and refreshing.....I will upsize in a 20x30 attic room which will be ready sometime in 2021 (retiring in December).

This will give me a chance to "downsize" the collection a bit.....I have stuff that I know I will never run.....and, that will go on the block.IMG_0215old city picscans17a-2

Then the newer and smaller footprint (2011-)....





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Downsized from 1:29 to 027 when we moved from a huge house with attic , in NW IL to a TOwnHouse in SC .... 

moved to a bigger place and have a 12 x 16 room .. building a more scale , 3rail layout , now .... most likely a shelf ....


im more of a Railfan than an operator , so , a nice doublectrack shelf for me to sit back and watch is up my alley ...


@Jim M Sr posted:

Every time I try to downsize, I end up with more trains!
I have a problem!

Now with retirement looming, planned house sale, and a move planned, I hope I can truly down size!

Have started again selling off little and never used accessories first.

I have the same problem!!

We aren't sure when we will move, but since I retired a few months ago, the only thing keeping us in this house is my mother-in-law lives very close.  Whenever she passes or has to go to a home, we will be looking for a a single floor house.

My downsizing is like a fat lady on a yo-yo diet.  Lose some, gain some, lose some, gain some. lose just a little, gain a whole lot more, forget about losing and flat out fill the basement.

I am in another downsizing mode right now, age and health is creeping up on me, so this time it is an all out purge.  Kind of a liposuction downsizing.   Selling off fully 1/2 of my collection. 

The first sell off portion will be at the Strasburg PA O show Oct 17th.   Pricing to totally empty my tables.

Thought on Downsizing is the preliminary to recycling or finding new participants. I have a neighbor who has been collecting flyer and S scale trains and toys for most of his adult life.  We often have had the “talk” about the inevitable. As we age the conversation is shortened each visit or communication. He says that his wife will just rent a dumpster when he is gone (how harsh). His adult sons have no interest, nor his daughter. My two adult kids, not interested,  my granddaughter just loves the plasticville (she is 6 years old). I already consider all the plasticville hers.
so, to complicate matters we adult owners of electromechanical junk ( which I state with full endearment) have Tentatively decided to leave entire collections and layouts to one another in the possibility of one or the others demise.  Btw, reside in the same neighborhood.  So, this  was an initial relief to our wives!  but there is that inheritance wife (based on who goes first) eventually will have to deal with two (maybe three) collections.
Because there’s a third friend who wants to get in on what he calls the Postmortem train lottery! Lol, that kills me! LOL, he has my former  layout and the postwar Trains, accessories collection when I transitioned to 2 rail.  Plus he has added quite a bit since 2005!  I have recollected the PW Lionel and made the same layout simplified since.
After all is said and done, there will be visitations from reputable Auction house or dumpster companies! Lol.

Most of this is just in jest of course. Should something like this happen we have vowed to arrange with auction house of spouse or relatives choice to rid the burden from each other’s family. Please make  the check Out to family member.  We have agreed to keeping One predetermined Item from the Individual collection as a remembrance, question remaining is for how long? And any of this can be revoked at anytime by surviving family. 

Can’t take  it with you, But maybe it will make someone else happy.



I guess I downsized right from the start due to space limitations.  Wait...does that even make sense?

Long have I wanted to have a huge RR empire like those that frequently grace this forum.

At age 69 and with 10 years of retirement behind me, traveling and other interests have limited train time to 3 months a year.  With that being said, I find my 30 year old modest layout and train situation to be currently perfect for me.



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