Do you have a home layout, belong to a club or both?

Discussion in 'The Caboose' started by Russ Bellinis, May 5, 2006.

  1. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I started to post this as a response to a thread in the dcc forum, but decided it is more appropriate to post it here. I also think this might prompt some fun discussion. I belong to a moduilar club and also hope to build a home layout. My planned home layout was postponed when my youngest daughter oved back here from chicago, and moved back into the spare bedroom. she was married a couple of weeks ago, coincidently the day after my wife and my wedding anniversary; so I now have a spare room again.

    I look at some of the "basement empires" featured in the modeling mags or here on the gauge and realise that I will never have that much space to model in since we generally don't have basements in California. One reason we don't have basements, besides cost savings, is that typically in Ca. the city utilities are run 4 feet below grade. If you dig a basement, your basement will be 4-6 feet below the sewer.

    When the spare bedroom was vacated, my wife allowed me to have the top of a 7' x 9' L shaped bookcase along two walls of the spare room. She wants it to continue to be available as a guest bedroom. I'm really not comfortable trying to model in a scale as small as n, so in ho I will have an industrial switching layout. I think that in that space I can have a layout that will be challenging and provide a lot of enjoyment, but I can't run long trains or have a continuous run. That is where the modular club comes in. When we set up the modules, we always have a large oval with a continuous run on the two mainlines and switching on sidings on various members modules. Our layout this weekend at the Fullerton Railroad Days will be 16' x 44'. That is probably on the small side for one of our set ups. A lot of the club members have home layouts, but participate in the club set ups because they can run long trains on the club layout that they can't do at home.

    A couple of asides- I wonder if Southern California has more garden railroads than much of the rest of the country per capita. I suspect we might due to the year round mild climate and the lack of basements.

    Second aside- At the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds in Pamona, there is an outdoor layout on a part of the grounds about the size of a football field. It was originally built in the early 1930's by two brothers who were both machinists to standard gauge. All of the locomotives and rolling stock were scratch built to what we would call fine scale standards today. The brothers wound their own electric motors and all parts of the locomotives were machined from scratch except fasteners. Some of their original models are still on display and they are fantastic, but the problem was that when they broke down, there were no parts to repair them. The original builders passed away 40 or 50 years ago. A few years ago, the organization that overseas the fair and fairgrounds asked one of the garden railroad clubs to come in and redo the layout to make it operational. It has been redone with LGB track and is operated by a garden railroad club. I mentioned a couple of parragraphs up that guys joined out modular club to run long trains. Another local club that goes to many of the shows we display at is the Del Oro Pacific large scale club. I was at the fair one year and saw one of the guys I knew from the Del Oro Pacific. We got to talking and he said he joined the garden railroad club at the fairgrounds because he wanted to run long trains and the modular layout was too small! I guess I've rambled on long enough for now.
  2. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    Nope, not at this time
  3. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    I had a layout in the garage but as I live in Phoenix, that was not acceptable in the summertime. I built it in the winter so my tracks were all straight and purty. However, when the garage heated up and the track expanded.... looked like they were laid by a drunk. Plus it was hard to keep clean. Still a learning experience. Then we acquired more junk and the layout in the garage ceased existence. N scale I might mention. Now, I have two boys (4 years old and 1 year old). I'm also a stay at home dad and taking care of them is my job. Therefore, I had to come up with an idea for a layout that would allow me to work on it inside near them. I'm sure you have seen many pictures of my coffee table layouts as they are plastered everywhere all over this site. However, that does not allow for any kind of running except short train, continuous operation.
    Thus the need to join a club which I just recently did in November of last year. Now I can enjoy the ability to run those great long snaking trains!
  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I have my own layout and I belong to a club that doesn't have a layout.
    I have mine in a 16 foot square room in the basement , but on bookshelves around the outside. The middle used to be for seating and workbench, but it now holds my wife's Lionel layout, and she's talking about expansion!
  5. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member


    Home layout in what used to be my 1 1/2 car garage, which I remodeled to be a train room. I insulated both the ceiling and a couple of the exposed walls, and routed A/C into it. No way can you survive without this down here (or Arizona...)! No clubs down this neck of the woods (tip o'Texas...), so I model solo.

    Gus (LC&P).
  6. Clerk

    Clerk Active Member

    I have a fair size layout in my family room in my mobile home. No clubs in this dinky town.
  7. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    I belong to the Niles Depot Historical Foundation, in which there are two large layouts (HO and N) in which I operate on (I own N as well as HO stuff) and Have fun doing so!

    I also have a 4X8 layout in HO (search for Mission Valley & Pacific thread, or just type in "Arguello") Occasionally, I work on a 2'1/2X6' coffee-table layout that I've had since I was four, (i'm completely rebuilding it now) So that's what I do!
  8. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    Both, I have an 11.5' x 6.5' layout in my arpartment.
    I also belong to the Muskoka Model Railway Club, they have an 8'x16' modular N Scale layout and also a permanent HO 12'x42' layout.
  9. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    I have a 6' x 30" HO module that joins up with my club's 18' x 36' modular layout. I now own a 4' x 5' N scale layout. My club's permanent layout is a 60' x 20' double deck HO scale layout thats about 90% complete in scenery.
  10. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    My home layout is a 14"x5' switching layout based on John Allen's timesaver. It's 90-95% scenicked (depending on whether or not I decide to add another small structure.)

    I too belong to Russ's club...(Orange County Module Railroaders, ) in fact, he mentioned The Gauge to me at one of our meetings. I'm sure glad he did. I don't have too many long trains to run on our club layout, but have had great fun running my Powhatan Arrow, complete with N&W class J 611 and smoothside cars in tuscan red, on the predominantly SoCal themed layout. It's nice to see that 4-8-4 get out and stretch her legs a bit at high speed. There are a few others who are informally called the 'black diesel bunch' that model eastern roads, although one is a Santa Fe modeler with an interest in the Penn Central. Go Figure!

    Sadly, I may be moving away from SoCal to SW WA. On the one hand, I'd be leaving all the great connections I've made down here and will really miss the numerous shows like Fullerton RR Days, the high traffic BNSF main line with many Metrolink trains. On the other hand...there are many opportunities for railfanning and modeling connections where I'd be headed. Close to the Chehalis/Centralia, Mt. Ranier Scenic, BNSF tracks up the Columbia from Portland, that great layout just featured on Tracks Ahead a few weeks ago in Tacoma, etc.

    And of course, there's the gauge for staying in touch with you fine folks!

  11. zedob

    zedob Member

    Just a home layout. Well, ok, not quite yet.

    I used to belong to the Silk City MRRers in Manchester CT years ago (30), but haven't belonged to a club since. I haven't found any club layouts locally, but there is the Amherst Club and the members have one heck of a modular layout, however, I'm not interested in humping a module around. I might join them because each month they have guest speakers, which would be interesting to check out.

    I'm more of a loner when it comes to MRRing. Not that I don't enjoy others modeler's company, I just enjoy working by myself. I get enough interruptions during the rest of the day.:rolleyes: Working on my railroad is MY time.

    Of course, I can't tell announce1my wife that.
    Uhhh,...just jolking baby.:D
  12. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Yup..I am a member of a N Scale club and HO club..I am redoing my home layout.
  13. BrianK

    BrianK Member

    Just started and have nothing yet and belong to no club. Due to lack of space I'm planning on building a modular layout (3 x 2 modules) that when expanded is 9 x 4 feet and fits down to 9 x 2 feet when I'm not playing with it. That way I can work on a module without taking up half of my room and when my modules are complete, I can expand it and run the trains.

    Hopefully it works out. I'll start a thread on it when I'm more confident and actually start the benchwork for the modules.
  14. kmorris

    kmorris Member

    Charter Member of the Delmarva Model Railroad Club with has HO, N, NTRAK, O Scale, O Tinplate, and G. Also added a loop of Standard Scale.

    Building a 2'x16' or so HO Scale switching layout in my attic in a modular fashion since I might have to move soon.

    The HO layout at the club models B&O and I model Santa Fe at the house, so I am
  15. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Good to hear those folks are still at it, been about 10 years since I visited "The Attic"
  16. ausien

    ausien Active Member

    Yes, no,.... yes I do have a home layout, in N scale, no I do not belong to any club as such.
    I used to belong to one, but when politics gets in the way off MRR then its time for me to catch the train out of town....I like fun, friendship, not argueing and carrying on like spoilt kids... thats why I have 4 or so friends that run trains, but we dont give our selves the title of a club, we call ourselves ENGINEER`S
  17. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Just a home layout - 12' X 8' F 1:20.3 Gauge :) It's basically a couple of ovals, so minimal switching, but I build structures more than I run trains :D :D
  18. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Gee, I thought I replied to this thread already. :oops: :oops: Oh well, that's standard for people my age.. It had better be.:D :D

    Anyway, yes I have a layout at home, N scale. It started off on a door and when we moved into our new home about two years ago, it took a year before I got back to it. It is now U-shaped and about 7' x 7.5' and is less than half complete.
  19. CN1

    CN1 Active Member

    Yes. No.:wave:
  20. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I forgot that I had mused in my iroginal post about whether there were more garden railroads per capita in Ca than other states. I asked the garden railroad folks at the Fullerton railroad days, and they semed to think so. I suspect they might be right since we don't have snow except in the mountains, and we don't get the extreme heat that you would find in Az, and we don't have basements.

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