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I love seeing pics of carpet and floor layouts.  I'm talking about things that somehow are coexistent within the normal human living quarters.  Ones you maybe only get permission to setup at Christmas time or some other occasion.  Also interested in any concessions, trades or collateral you have to give up in order to do your layout. 

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IMG_0382IMG_0665I have a carpet layout for O  and a permanent table layout for N. The O setup has three loops that go around the whole room. Only a small portion is shown in the photos and that is the part that has buildings. The outer loop is for subways only and goes under two furniture chests using tunnels. The subway loop has three stations, one of which is completely hidden under a furniture chest and can only be seen on my tv using a built in video cam.



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Last edited by N5CJonny

My "temporary" floor layout five years ago evolved into a 23' x 23' around-the-room floor layout which is still in place. Most of it runs under HO layout and shelves and work tables and bookcases, with just a couple step-over places on back aisles. A long 8% grade up one wall connects to an O27 layout on tables. The room has a center stairwell which serves as a convenient "control pit".



The track arrangement has had some enhancements since this 2012 version.


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Last edited by Ace

Set this one up for Christmas 2015 and the kids liked it so much that it is still up and used daily!  Christmas in July right?  I think my wife is starting to accept her  train loving men as she told a guest the other day, "...might as well leave it up at this point..."

Middle track to the bridge in the back is elevated about 1". Magnetic crane and generous supply of plastic coated paper clips off to the right.  The 4 year old can figure out the switches to navigate the trains from loop to loop - usually without incident (if his 2yr old brother obeys the slow, stop and go commands).

2015 Christmas layout


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Wow! You guys are inspiring!  Now, I'm ashamed to post anything of my carpet layout except that 1. I have no shame and 2. I just spent considerable time creating a track layout mock-up in response to a query from Aussteve in one of my posts a while back.  The layout diagram was necessary because my digital camera doesn't have a wide enough angle lens to pick up the full layout and it was too cloudy to set up the SLR film camera today.

My main problems are lack of space and the need to pick up the layout to clean the living room.  I love those You-Tube videos of carpet layouts in "tiny houses".  Yeah right!  My living room layout doesn't leave much (translation: any) room for guests' feet when seated on furniture. This is frustrating because I'd love to have friends over without having to ask them to sit like a pretzel inside an 0-30 loop, which is basically what I do.  After I purchased MTH-to-Lionel adapters and started a spur toward the dining area (top of layout), it freed up my thought process and suggests that I can indeed add a much desired wye sometime under the love seat. Or maybe I'll create more of an around the rooms kind of layout and get rid of the double loop that takes up so much space?

Because I have to pick-up the track to vacuum, I don't have any real layout accessories.  That's why I'm so blown away by the previous posts. Instead of nice buildings and so on, I set up photographs in plastic display stands of varying sizes.  I swap the photos in and out to change my location, train station, industry, tipple, etc. The unused photos are stored in the back of the plastic frames.  One idea that I'm toying with is cutting some Homasote to fit into the negative spaces in between the track.  I could then create and set up dioramas/vignettes in them that can be changed or swapped out for the season or setting. But again, with limited space, the only place to store them should I become so ambitions would be hanging on the walls in the basement!!

Other challenges of a carpet layout in a small house: uneven carpet surface and a sloping floor that causes my (low-end) Lionel RTR steam engine to slow down and speed up.  I once set up an Inglenook Puzzle that was a lot of fun, except that the cars kept rolling on their own revealing a dip in my hardwood floor!  I now stick a coffee stirrer into the screw holes on my track to act as a "brakeman" when a light weight car on a siding decides to go on walk about.  Now that I'm expanding into the dining area, another challenge is aiming the remote at that MTH line-of-sight DCS thingie from a considerable distance when running my MTH RTR engine.

So, how do you guys keep the dust, hairs, and lint off your track?

Tomlinson Run Railroad

Photos:  Basic layout with three sidings (a standard twice-round MTH layout plus a right-hand siding add-on).  Current layout, where as a test, I swapped an inside siding to make an outside one that extends into dining area using track adapters and Lionel track. Not all track is shown.  Sample "layout" photo.

Update: Adding some photos of my just repaired RS-1, showing scenery changes, too.


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Last edited by TomlinsonRunRR

Mine is set up in what's called a bonus room on the second level of my house.  At one time there was furniture in there. Now only flat screen TV and stand. Eventually the TV will be wall mounted ( necessary evil to watch the news and  German football)   and plan on installing shelves.  Now I do have a new layout planned for the garage. So room reverts to original use or become S gauge layout. But then it will come off the floor. Since I have a wood base, I have used shims to insure evenness. Cleaning, with two dogs,a cat and three kids is a must. Vacum at least twice a week. Use upholstery attachment to go over track, mainly at the entrance to the room as well as the mats. Track cleaning, just like any layout as needed. The new mats I have been installing are real resistance to dirt, but if need be, I can pull them up and treat with resolve carpet cleaner and then throw them into the washer. The reality is the only real difference between my layout and others is mine doesn't have legs attached to the wood base.

Not an actual layout, but I did manage to lay down a circle of 072 track the other day (for the 10 yr old son of the golf pro I work for at the local GC):


What I noticed quiet running on the carpet is with the sounds cut off all I heard was the clickety-clack when the engine and caboose went over the track joints and a soft whirring noise of the wheels against the metal rails.

After about 5 minutes of this I started wondering if I should dismantle the 36" high benchwork that's just beyond this photo to the left and above and simply lay the tracks down on the carpet.

This was the 2nd time in over a year I've run DCS and TMCC, that's an Atlas Seaboard GP9 with PS2 guts.  When I installed PS2 I didn't cut a hole for the charging jack and took it apart this time to do so (also replaced the NiCad battery with a NiMh battery pack I had on hand).  While inside I removed all the spare wiring that came with PS2 electronics (from a RK F3) to make some room in the narrow carbody of the GP9.  Found the 3 wires from the tach were squashed underneath the motor frame, surprised it even ran.

Other than having to get down on the floor to run trains and the need to keep it clean (I'll be 65 end of the month), I think a carpet layout would be a great idea.  The low noise level is a BIG PLUS.


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Thought you might enjoy these photos and the videos.  I started with door, then 4 x 8 and then got permission to use an end of the basement for a larger layout.  Pretty much of a beginner at this so I got hooked on MTH's Realtrax and DCS system.  So (with help from a lot of forum folks) I came up with a layout but wanted to see how it would work in  the space I have before I actually planned the benchwork. 

So here it is, more or less in final form and the video shows some trains running. (The weird purplish tinge in the photos is from some LED bulbs in the track lighting fixture I bought--still trying to figure out how to remove them.  Blue tape demarcated areas will be access areas in the benchwork planned for the layout.) 

I'm always  grateful for any comments, suggestions or criticisms of the layout.  I'd still like to include some sort of switching "puzzle" or area in the South loop but haven't much of a clue as how to do it.  Thanks in advance.


 North loop 9-2015South loopview to northview to south


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Video of several trains runnning

Ok, I guess I'm a little late to the party with this one,   but I figured I'd post some details of my 'temporary' layout.

This all started a long time ago with my parents, when we would set up trains for the holidays. Typically we would start setting things up around Thanksgiving, with the idea that the layout would be complete by Christmas (it usually was). As we added trains and track, it got more and more involved. To this day, I still follow the same basic idea. It's still temporary. I like to design a new layout every year. It's always a challenge to see if I can top last years layout in terms of looks, operations, and so on. The layouts tend to cover the entire living room, hallways, and even my home office.

Since it's a pretty major production every year, I've put a lot of effort into streamlining the assembly process:

  • I run DCC, so there are no track blocks to worry about. This also lets me run a wide variety of accessories with minimal additional wiring. I use an NCE 10 amp radio control system, so everyone is free to walk around with the remotes while running. The power supply and command station can go anywhere convenient.
  • I use Gargraves track, which looks great and is very reliable, even over long runs. I have pre-wired a number of track sections with power connectors on them, and built up a large assortment of power cables in different lengths, so hooking things up is just a matter of picking the right length of cable and plugging it in.
  • I use Ross Custom switches, which are just awesome. I have a lot of the #4s, a couple #6s, a lot of 072s, and a couple #6 curved switches. Each switch has it's own independent DCC controller that I designed (more on that in another post...), and are both powered and controlled via the DCC signal from the track. The are completely plug and play - installing them on the layout is a matter of laying them out just like any other piece of track, with no power or control wiring needed.
  • I have converted all my rolling stock and most of my locos to Kadee couplers. Apart from the amazing look and operation of the Kadees, this also has the advantage that only one permanent magnet uncoupler track is required to service the entire yard, elmiinating wiring for the electromagnetic uncoupler tracks.
  • The track gets laid on a 1/2" black foamcore roadbed. I have precut standard lengths, curves, and double and triple track sections, and large sheets for the yard and major interchanges. The track is screwed into the foamcore a couple screws per section, so the finished result is very flat and level, and doesn't shift around at all.

 All told, it normally takes about 3-5 days to get everything fully set up. Teardown is very quick, easily done within a day.

Here are a few pics of last year's layout:

Mainlines leading into the yard. The uncoupler servicing the yard is about where the yellow box car is. The two mainlines go around the entire living room and into my home office.


Main yard and backdrop. I guess this was taken Christmas morning, as there are not usually stockings sitting on the tracks...


Yardwork. The switch controllers in this pic are an older version of my DCC controllers. The building in the background houses an accessory decoder and a junction block for the track power wiring.


Mandatory tree loop! For anyone who is into Legos, I should point out that Lego minifigures and most of the building kits are just about O scale.


And the track plan for this year's layout, which we will begin setting up in a few weeks! Light and dark blue are the mainlines in the living room. Green is the reversing loop in my office. Red and pink are the main and secondary yards.



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btw: Hello Putnam Division, back in 1971 I ran my post war stuff in a tiny room on the floor in NYC in front of my Custom bass amp stack too! Good thing the amp was padded for the five floor walk up, and down no elevator! I recognize the trains, amp, but what is the fender cabinet from? 

All Great Floor layout photos!

Nice thread.



THOR73 that is an impressive floor layout.  Even more so if you are married, have kids or pets. 

There was a carpet layout video posted a year or two ago that was 027 track if I remember correctly.  It had a couple of trains running around the tree and the living room furniture.  At some point it then went down a hallway and into a bedroom for a tour under the bed and then back to the living room.  Does anyone remember that one?

Here's my carpet central.  Hogwarts shows the addition of a second main, while the PE is prior to that addition.  I don't vacuum under the track... I do so around it and actually vacuum the track itself.  It is mainly a baseboard runner so it's out of the way.  Main buss is under the house with feeders coming up through the sub floor.  

Mark Boyce posted:

Suzukovich, Volphin,  they are all really nice!!

Mark thanks, considering it's been a while since I have run any trains. Had to pull up a section of track and have yet to repair the issue. Just too much other things going on. At lest I'm pretty much done with the Humvee. Need to replace rear differential that going bad. Anybody think trains are an expensive habit try former Military Vehicles.



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