I've been blessed with the possibility of building an actual building to house my model railroads. This is nearly 25 years in planning, and this is the first time where it seems like something that can be grasped. I believe now is the time to reach out here in an attempt to gather insight and wisdom from those who have gone before me.
The plan for the model railroads themselves are well established, but I would appreciate input on the structure itself. The attached picture is an overhead draft of the train room, and does not take wall-width into account.
The general plan for the structure is a 40x60 metal building. Half of the building (roughly 30x40 minus wall-width) will house the model railroads. Above the train room ceiling will be open space used for storage (accessed from the other half of the building). So, I'd be starting with a big, empty rectangle with no support beams in the way.
And yes, I acknowledge that this is a dream of many on this forum, and I am not gloating in anyway. I am thankful for the opportunity to proceed with this dream, and most thankful for a wife who is supporting me through the process. And I'm thankful for the collective experience on this forum - frankly I'd be foolish not to take advantage of your insight.
So, I'm interested in your thoughts on things like: flooring material, ceiling material, ceiling height, lighting, HVAC, security, door width, etc... Finances are certainly limited, but inspiration isn't, so be free with ideas. For example, I dreamed of an in-ceiling lighting system over the layout that would allow me to mimic different times of day on the layout, complete with the colors of sunrises and sunsets, the shadow effect of clouds passing overhead, and twinkling stars at night. Great inspiration, but somehow the $million needed to design and install a 1200 square foot programmable LED ceiling is lacking... But maybe individual programmable dimmable LED bulbs in cans or on tracks (the ceiling kind) would be affordable and worthwhile?
As I'm working with an architect, I'd like to make any plan adjustments that would benefit the train room before any work actually begins.
Thank you most kindly for ideas and insight. It is a pleasure to be here ~