Model Train Table

After you and your model train layout get kicked out of the dining room and relegated to the basement or garage, you will begin to realize that you need a table (or bench work as it is also known) to put your layout on. This can be an intimidating part of the process for some people. If you are handy with a saw and hammer and used to working with wood, this probably won’t faze you, but if not…well read on.

Bench work for model trains can be made of various materials, and be of various sizes. A table for an N-scale layout can obviously be much smaller and lighter than bench work for an O-scale train system. The expanse of the scenery will also dictate the size of the table. Since scenery is generally made of light materials, it generally will not dictate materials of construction or how sturdy your table needs to be. The weight of the train and track will generally help you specify that.

Do you go to train shows to show off your layouts? If so, you may want a portable table that you can take with you. That may just mean ensuring that the legs are collapsible and that the size is such that it can fit your vehicle. But it also may mean that you need to build the bench in sections that can be bolted together and taken apart as needed.

Commercial bench kits are also available to buy if you have the extra cash or don’t want to take the time to build your own. As with everything else, they come in a range of sizes, prices and quality so be sure to do your research before parting with your hard earned money. You get what you pay for.

Not a woodworking expert? You probably know at least one, if you think about it. Ask for their help to build the bench in return for you teaching them about something you are expert in – model trains perhaps? If you don’t know someone, you could look on Craig’s list or in the newspaper for a handyman or out of work carpenter. If you go this route, you will need to have a pretty good idea of what you want ahead of time including the size, shape, height, materials, etc. because you will want to get a quote up front and to give you a price, they will need to know what they are going to build.

Access to your train is another consideration. For larger layouts, you will not be able to reach the entire track from the outside edges of your table. You may need to ensure that there are access holes in the center of your table so that you can crawl under and pop up to get to those middle sections of your layout. Another area you need access to is tunnels. While you can put access holes in the sides of your scenery to enable you to reach into the tunnel in case of a derailment, you might want to think of having these access holes beneath the tunnel to make them less visible.

So don’t just go out and buy a folding table at Wal-Mart to use for your model train table or you will probably be disappointed. Take some time and give it some thought and create a table that will last.

Article courtesy of  “The Enthusists Guide to Model Trains”

Construction Planning For Model Train Layouts Explained

The hardest thing about construction planning on model railroad layouts is where to start. The project can seem so huge, it can seem daunting. Well, as the old Chinese proverb goes, “there is only one way to eat an elephant – just one bite at a time.” Constructing model train layouts is just like that. Take little steps at a time and do not bite off more than you can chew!

Model railroading is not a fad that you will grow out of in a few weeks. It will become a lifetime passion. Most model railroaders spend decades perfecting and expanding their train layout. So, you are not competing in a race to get your layout finished. It is better to take your time and do things well. Break your project down into small tasks and do each one carefully and thoroughly. You will experience fewer operational problems and avoid the frustration of when things fail to work properly.

Start by researching the section of full-size railroad that you will be modeling. Document it physically and operationally, and then scale it down to fit in a reasonable layout space.

The options are endless, but you will need to take the available space you have into consideration.

There is no point in trying to replicate hundreds of miles of mainline track if you only have limited space available. Your available space may also dictate, to some extent, which scale you decide to model.

Click here for lots of clever model train layout ideas

Popular themes to consider include: an engine terminal, shunting yards, a horseshoe curve, town scene, industrial theme, or even an important railroading location from history. Researching your ideas before you get started can be a lot of fun and help you avoid making unwanted mistakes.

Careful planning may lead to better or even best results. Constructing a layout for a model railroad may be tough. You have to be considerate on the space and style of the layout you want it to appear. As advised, doing some research could help to gather important inputs to make your model train layout more appealing.

A model railroad layout needs to look good at a first glance, but it also needs to stand up to close inspection and scrutiny. The point is; spectators will get up close to your model train layout and they will start to spot the small details the longer they stay. Adding detail to your model railroad layout can be the difference between an average layout and an impressive layout. Take your time and do things well.

Join Robert Anderson’s popular online Model Train Club to get lots of clever model railroad ideas to help you build the model train layout of your dreams!