A couple of months ago, I introduced myself to this forum.  I had mentioned that I was going to build a layout in the basement of a building that I own.  I've decided to call it the Peabody & Merrimack Valley Railroad or P & MV Railroad for short.  I worked on AnyRail 6 for a while.  I'm having trouble embedding photo's in this post.  I usually use Photobucket but it isn't working so I attached the pictures below.  If anyone can help, that would be great.

I got inspiration for this layout design from the B & P Southwestern Railroad, http://www.bpsouthwestern.com/  I'm going to be using Lionel Fast Track.  See pictures below in the attachments.

The big furnace that you see is no longer there.  If you want to get a better look at the basement and how it's layed out, you can watch my YouTube video here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvBxP8E9zJo&t=4s 

I'm planning on starting to set up the tables this week.  I have a Facebook page that I created just for this layout so that people can follow the progress.   I will be providing updates on a regular basis, so be sure to check it.  The link to my Facebook page is below in my signature.  I'm excited for this layout and I'm hoping it will work out the way I'd like it to.


Photos (3)
Original Post

I am not a very good layout designer, but hopefully some of the folks around here that are good at this will come by to comment. 

It looks like a nice, large space and a good plan. I like the yard off in the other room too, yards are nice to have. Sounds like you have thought things through pretty well too. Good luck and I will be following along to watch things progress. Please keep us posted and add lots of pics as you go.

I suggest you give some thought to lighting before installing track and scenery. I don't like the spotlights. There are a variety of options. Flourescents come in many different types, for example. Think about lighting that can be changed with electrical switches. Also think about installing a drywall ceiling, over at least a part of the layout. It will be impossible later on. If not consider spray painting the ceiling beams. And putting led lighting underneath the layout.


Thanks for the feedback.  I will give the lighting some thought.  I can't drywall the ceiling because I have to leave the pipes exposed in case they have to be worked on and the ceiling is low as it is so adding drywall would probably lower it even more.  I was thinking of covering some of the ceiling with black plastic.  I might add fluorescent's  but not directly over the layout and put them on a separate switch.  I do like the track lighting I put it over the tables.

What did you mean by "putting led lighting underneath the layout?"  Does that add a lighting effect from underneath the tables?


So I've been weathering my Lionel Fastrack.  I learned about it on YouTube and I decided to give it shot.  I'm happy with the results.  I have a lot of track to weather so it will take a while.  I posted a video on YouTube on my channel explaining how I'm doing it, https://youtu.be/XFdqkpNH3ho

I've just posted a new video with the latest updates to building my layout.  It took me over three months to weather the Lionel Fastrack but I'm finished and the track is layed.  Here is the link to the video:  https://youtu.be/_XHFcup6d7s

I haven't updated the progress of my layout on this thread in a while, so I thought I would do it with pictures.  I just finished painting the mountains on the main part of my back drop (which is over 25 feet long!).  For the clouds, I used the New London Industries stencils.  The next phase is building the elevated section of the track and then wire it all up.  

Be sure to follow me on Facebook and my YouTube channel in my signature below.



Photos (15)

I wonder if blue plastic is available for the ceiling. Looking at the fact you have pipes it probably would be a good idea to use Lionel or some form of modular system to make moving the tables out of the way for work and avoid damage far easier. Possible to do now, impossible without severe damage and work later

There is always something new to learn and greater understanding in the quest for wisdom.

You ceiling may be too complex, but they have ceiling tile that doesn't use the standard drop, the tiles are held by flexible strips that allow the tiles to be popped in (the track is flexible, in other words, and is screwed to the joists). It basically doesn't take any space, and allows easy access above it. My basement ceiling is low (7'), and what I did was use tongue in groove with screws (If I need to get to something in the ceiling, it isn't that hard to take down). if instead of tongue in groove you used thing boards and screwed them into the joists (ie the boards touch but don't lock together), you can take them down if need be by unscrewing them. If you stain/paint the wood, the screws will be the same color so won't stand out. 



The person who dies with the best toys dies a happy person

I realized I hadn't posted a progress update on my layout.  Progress is slow but coming along.  I still only have one loop up and running but I'm getting closer to wiring up and running my second loop.  That will make the layout more exciting to watch because I will have two trains running at once plus I will have trains going over and under each other.  Below are the latest pictures of the progress of the layout.  Keep  in mind, since I haven't posted in a while, some of the top pictures are about a year old while the bottom pictures were just taken a couple of weeks ago:



Photos (42)
Kirk R posted:


Looks awesome!  Some of your elevated sections are on plywood.  Is it 1/2", and more importantly, how wide is the board?  I plan on an elevated O72 loop for my layout.

Kirk R.


I use 1/2" plywood.  On the narrowest elevated sections, the plywood is 5" wide so that there is enough room to install ballast on either side of the track.  Hope this helps!


Add Reply

Likes (5)
The Track Planning and Layout Design Forum is sponsored by

OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653