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I had my nephew build these for me after seeing what fellow forum member Alex M. had done with his layout. With wheels on it they can be swung away from layout if work needs to be done under it.F73A985F-8CF4-4D32-B848-5DAA1AB32737CC8816F8-97B0-4C9D-B26A-DA976934C4740A6AABC1-F7E9-487D-97F5-1242CA5E7F29CF1E5B00-24A7-4AF1-9DAC-50ECAD3317AC

Those shelves look great, any issues with the two tracks per shelf and reaching the back row?

Also, is that a custom built test track on top?  I need to make one of those and curious how that was done?

@Don Beck posted:

After looking at all this, I'm too embarrassed to show my lowly aluminum shelves...all I can say is that we are sick, sick people to collect all of these toys...oh my LOL

I am even more embarrassed to show my lowly aluminum shelves, especially since they were used when I bought them.  Approximately 1/2 of them were turd brown in color, so I had to repaint them white.   

@steam posted:

Very nice ideas, thanks everyone!  

I never thought of using molding, that's a great idea.  

About how often do you have supports to prevent much sagging?

Fairly close as the moulding is quite flexible. I use 'L' brackets with the piece against the wall placed UP so that it is not visible below the shelf - the trains themselves obscure the bracket easily. You could also run some small quarter-round against the wall to add further support and use less brackets.

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Last edited by c.sam

I am even more embarrassed to show my lowly aluminum shelves, especially since they were used when I bought them.  Approximately 1/2 of them were turd brown in color, so I had to repaint them white.   

Nation WIde Lines - Not to worry, with the vast quantity and quality of beautiful train items here, rest assured that no one is scrutinizing your shelves!!!!  No foul smells here either....  :-)

Please note that I did not repost ALL of his photos; just one to reference my comments thus saving everyone useless extra scrolling when viewing this thread!

Last edited by c.sam

Here is review of how I built my train shelves, complete details at OGR link below on post 36.  It shows details for shelves under windows too.

Train Shelves - Economical, Wall Friendly and Moveable

Three wall, easy to build, economically, wall friendly and moveable train shelves were made in the 1980's and were installed in a hall ways and/or a spare bedrooms of three prior houses and the current house.  Each shelve is made in two sections each to allow moving thru doors and up stairs.  They also stand on the floor and are held to the wall by two 1" x 1" angles screwed into a wall stud per section, meaning only two small holes in the wall are required.  The shelves are backed with 1/8" Masonite, with some strips of white felt glued to the back, to protect the wall.  The shelves have router grooved surfaces to hold the train wheels and keep the cars and engines from rolling off.  The design has one wider 1" x 6" wide shelve, one half way up and one wider 1" X 8" top shelf to allow display of wider accessories or other items in addition to the typical train cars and engines.

Construction is 1" x 4" straight pine #2 lumber with grooves routed in for train wheels.  It is usually less expensive to buy 1x 4 x 8 ft long #2 common pine boards at Home Depot and picked through them to find straight boards.  Knots are not that important to me as they can be filled in and painted over.  The length of the shelves can be any you like up to 8 ft with this type of shelve boards.  I place the shelves with a 4 1/2 in open space between each shelve.  Mine are 7 ft 2 in tall and have 16 shelves with the bottom one 3 1/2 off the floor (about the height of my baseboards).  They are nailed together with two 2 1/2 inch finish nails per shelf each end and have 1/8 " Masonite, nailed with 3/4" roofing nails every 6 inches on each shelve, on the back to keep the shape square, keep the shelves from sagging and to keep from marking wall.  Pieces of white felt are glued on the back of Masonite to keep from marking wall also.

I filled knot holes and nail holes with DAP Plastic Wood Latex Based Wood Filler, Natural and primed the shelves and backing Masonite with Kilz primer probably oil based but would use latex now.  I chose to paint the shelves glossy off white latex paint.  I think the light color makes the train engines and cars show up better and makes the room brighter and more cheerful.  I use a 3 in x 12 in piece of clear Saran Wrap on the shelf where an engines go to keep the white shelf clean of grease from the wheels.

View of one shelve shown below   The 8 inch wide shelf is shown on top and one 6 inch wide shelf is in the   middle with the picture framed pictures and milk car and cattle car accessories.  There are some powered track to operate the accessories and operating cars on this shelf.



Last edited by Choo Choo Charlie


My dad custom made my shelves. The shelves are 1x4s that he ran through a dado setup on his radial arm saw to produce slots spaced for the wheels. The backing is bead board and the edge trim is off-the-rack stock from Menards. The colors are standard paint colors from Lowes that match the original green and cream Lionel Hellgate bridge.  I have four of these shelves (all of different sizes) on the available wall space in the train room.


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Last edited by Rider Sandman

Like most hobbyists, my modest collection includes many more trains than can be accommodated on sidings at my layout for "parking" until called up for service. I allocated the four spur sidings on the layout to the LionChief trains for my great grandkids - THOMAS series trains plus a Dinosaur train.

Now that some of the youngsters have grown older and are less enamored with trains, I intend to "take back" some (maybe all) of those sidings for my trains that can negotiate O42 curves. The "deluxe" O-scale trains that can't travel across O42 curves will remain in place on display shelves -- probably forever, unless I win the lottery and can afford to significantly expand the size of the Train Room.

Photos attached.

Mike Mottler    LCCA 12394


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  • E-W Platform
  • N-S Platform
  • Dino Pk Overview
  • MHM with Trains 2

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