Skip to main content

There is nothing like having a basement like a gymnasium for a model railroad, with a tremendous amount of space and no impediments.

If you don't have such a perfect space, I say don't let that stop you.

I have a half basement. Here is what I did to expand my layout:

20190111_062741

20190111_062720

I tunneled through the wall!

As a result, I think my layout is more interesting because the trains go places: they leave the playroom and roll through the laundry room, and then return to the playroom in my basement!

Now, tell me what you have done to overcome an obstacle or obstacles to build your layout.

LOL, Arnold

Attachments

Images (2)
  • 20190111_062741
  • 20190111_062720
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Fortunately, I was blessed with a large basement. Unfortunately, it’s not all “mine”.

Here in the Atlanta area, I can think of two layouts that tunnel through walls. Eric Siegel (Eric’s Trains) has tunneled through several walls in his basement. There’s also a nice HO layout based on the Colorado Joint Line that has a section of the mainline passing through a bathroom.

Curt

It really wouldn't be a true subway without a bit of tunneling!  But, really what it does is serve as the only connection point between my two layouts... one in a finished room in the basement, and the other in the open space outside the room, that is not consumed by heaters, doors, windows, stairs, etc.

PXL_20210202_034150379

Attachments

Images (1)
  • PXL_20210202_034150379
Last edited by Brad Trout

How about those of us who, for whatever reason, are stuck with 031 curves and 022 switches, to say nothing of those with 027 curves that I had for the 1st 4 and a half decades doing this hobby?

Are we going to let our tight curves stop us?

No way!

First, speaking of 022 switches, I would not trade them for all of the newfangled switches in the World. My 022s are supremely reliable, durable and fixable and, IMO, the most charming of all switches.

What about those gorgeous Allegheny and Big Boys engines and 21 inch passenger cars out there?

If I ever get any of these enormous, gorgeous and expensive models, I will save them for the wide radius curved circle/oval of track around the Christnas tree or Hannukah Bush!

As far as the tight curves around the main layout, I think of them as a challenge to motivate me to have perfect track work. I have a long way to go to accomplish this goal, but baby, I have never been more excited about achieving it. I want zero derailments on my tight curves by the time I begin my 7th decade, which is now on the horizon.

In the meantime, how I revel in running my switchers and other small locomotives that easily navigate my tight curves, especially when running so slow and smooth on DCS. Here is my favorite at the moment:

That's an MTH PS3 B-6 Steam Switcher.

Arnold

Attachments

Videos (1)
20210405_210841

We moved the heater out from the wall to pass behind it.  Then the tank style water heater was replaced with a Reinni tankless heater mounted in the corner to allow an additional town and yard.

The former rec room turned staging room got riddled with holes to provide passage.

A non weight bearing cinder block wall was torn down.   The walls of the former basement inlaw quarters  were ripped out.  This opened up 1986 square feet in a Tee shaped basement for the trains.

IMG_8487

Above and below are off scene staging and off scene  engine turning facilities for three dead end branch lines.

IMG_8159IMG_7919The water meter was raisedIMG_7932

Attachments

Images (4)
  • IMG_8487
  • IMG_8159
  • IMG_7919
  • IMG_7932

Obstacles? Nah.

Believe it or not this is a basement modification add on feature adapted from a basement design for my former train cave.  I got this idea from John Armstrong when he was considering a large buried pipe jutting out from a corner in his basement under ground  to serve two levels of staging.

My situation at the time was a stand alone building needing two levels for passenger tracks at a 42" high and 55" high level.  Five tracks on each level held a lot of cars.

I was all ready kissing the max allowable square footage but the code inspector allowed this because I still was 1 sq. ft shy of the limit.

A concrete filled 8" Sono tube buried below frost line held the far end.

Passenger terminals 002<--Thinking outside of the box

Attachments

Images (1)
  • Passenger terminals 002
Last edited by Tom Tee
@Tom Tee posted:

Obstacles? Nah.

Believe it or not this is a basement modification add on.  I got this idea from John Armstrong when he was considering a large buried pipe jutting out from a corner in his basement under ground  to serve two levels of staging.

My situation at the time was a stand alone building needing two levels for passenger tracks at a 42" high and 55" high level.  Five tracks on each level held a lot of cars.

I was all ready kissing the max allowable square footage but the code inspector allowed this because I still was 1 sq. ft shy of the limit.

A concrete filled 8" Sono tube buried below frost line held the far end.

Passenger terminals 002<--Thinking outside of the box

That is cool. I'd love to have seen the look on the inspectors face when you told him what it was for.

Do you have pipes, exhaust tubes, appliances, etc., that you think interfere with you having the layout of your dreams?

Consider embracing them. Pipes and the like can be part of your industrial complex that your trains service, and just might make your layout more interesting. This is what I have endeavored to do in the laundry room division of my layout shown in the video below:

Attachments

Videos (1)
20210421_162603

We also had interference with the electrical service panel in the corner of the basement.  The benchwork for a freight yard would have restricted the door to open.

So it was necessary  to raise the box 12 inches.  However that height would put us out of compliance with the electrical code.

To satisfy that issue we built a raised floor in front of the panels for accessing the breakers.

No well thought out plan goes unpunished.   As it turned out the layout got expanded.  The yard was moved 25' around the corner down the next wall and the service panel was totally bypassed by a sweeping curve with a couple of lift out arch bridges.

Arnold - this is a fun topic!  I also want to acknowledge with you that you're not alone with limited real estate.  I do have room for 36", though, so I am able to look at some medium locos.  One of the primary benefits of Lionel trains is the ability to turn in a small area, while having big trains.  If you have room for 72" curves you have room for 2-rail O.  But what I wanted to share was my "low profile" access to the water main for the house.  It is held in place with gravity (the wedge at bottom) and magnets along the sides.  Takes less than half an inch to pull away from the magnets and lift up for access.  (And yes, I tunneled through the wall!)

20210312 Water Shut-Off120210312 Water Shut-Off2

Attachments

Images (2)
  • 20210312 Water Shut-Off1
  • 20210312 Water Shut-Off2
Last edited by Hannibal-St Joseph RR

When working on

@Tom Tee posted:

One of the obstacles I had was the max. sq. ft. limit in my township.  That is why I used 45 degree angled corners.  The space out side of my 84" radius curves was wasted anyway so why not angle the corners so I can extend the overall length of the building several feet.

Plus the "raised dog house" gave me 36 square feet of yards.

@Tom Tee posted:

When working on

One of the obstacles I had was the max. sq. ft. limit in my township.  That is why I used 45 degree angled corners.  The space out side of my 84" radius curves was wasted anyway so why not angle the corners so I can extend the overall length of the building several feet.

Plus the "raised dog house" gave me 36 square feet of yards.

Hello Tom,

Could you please post a photo from the inside?

I imagine many of are curious as to what it looks like!

Thanks

Add Reply

Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×