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I got on this jag to find all of the Lionel beer train.  I found a car here, a car there, and all of them had their boxes except one.  I am not a box guy, I'd rather find a boxless car that one with it.  When I decided to dismantle my layout and move it from an 11X14 loft where I could only stand up in the middle of the room and stoop everywhere else,  to the  14X16 space below it where  I could stand up from cornet to corner, a box for that lone beer car became a need to keep things safe during the remodel.  I then realized that the USPS Flat Rate Medium Mailer, the 12 X 3 1/2 X 14 1/8 inch was an almost perfect fit, with a little cut and tape required.  Well, that realization was not really enlightenment, it was that I just got a 4 bay hopper sent to me in that same USPS box and saw how well a fit it was.  The attached pics show the procedure, they are just for an idea of how to do it, you can make measurement adjustments to suit your needs.  Another trick I have is to use those open top fruit boxes that carry individual boxes of various fruits and berries.  Places like Sam's Club has tons of them, they are heavy duty cardboard, usually waxed, they stack and interlock, have openings for you hands, and for most Lionel stuff, they are the perfect height to store a bunch of cars or engines such that you can put another box of them above them and they do not put any pressure on the cars in the lower box.  They also have deeper versions you can use for taller cars or locos.  If you use those Harbor Freight 19X20 movers dolly, they fit perfectly on there, and you can roll a stack of them in an out of places,  like from under your train table.    I do lay in a  19 inch long  1 X 4 in the middle to help support that first box,  and you can store complete trains by category, and just pull that box from the stack when you are ready to run a particular train.  And lastly, if you are into keeping your hobby magazines, this particular USPS mailer can also be modified to make a magazine storage box like the cardboard ones you see sold in office supply stores.  12 months of most magazines will fit in the 3 1/2 inch space, some might be a bit tight.  Bi-monthly and quarterly mags, no problems.


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The Apples and Pear Euro Boxes available in the Produce Dept are perfect for storing your trains in too. Ask them to save you some, even if they already cut the tape and flattened them, you can get a roll of packaging tape and make them good at new again. I have a lot of my trains stored in them. Rectangle and high enough for one level of several items, sturdy enough to stack and store without fear of collapse.

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