how high?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by sgtcarl, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. sgtcarl

    sgtcarl Member

    I have seen many comments on the size of layouts. I have been reading a book my wife picked up at the library, and while it is devoted to N scale, (I run HO,) they seem to almost insist a layout should be at least shoulder high, if not eyelevel. I have considered 30", but that may not be high enough. I have a bad back, and bending over for any length of time is out of the question. Any suggestions?
  2. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Make the table height to suit you. Your the one running trains all the time (and working on them). I have a bad heart and need to sit a lot, so I made mine 45" high to allow me to sit on stools when I operate, then I can slide the stools under the table out of the way.

  3. My future layout is going to be 40" high,I also have back problems and that heigth will be good for me. Steve Church Milwaukee Road Iowa Division
  4. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    I'll go with all of the other "bad back, bad heart" folks. You're the guy who is working on it and operating it. I've seen pictures of layouts built for wheelchair access and other conditions. Possibly the only exception would be modules which by their nature must match another module.
  5. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    My HO layout is 48 inches off the floor. The height was originally determined by the need for a duck-under which I've since removed. I think I'd make it even higher if I were planning a duck-under again! :)
  6. willist

    willist New Member

    I'm 5'8" and my layout is 54" high, I feel its the perfect height for me.:thumb:
  7. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    I have mine at 32" high. High enough for me to reach the back, low enough for the grand ankle biters to see it.
  8. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Several considerations:
    Convenient height for working on during construction. Height for working under after construction.
    Height for operating trains, rerailing & uncoupling, other access.
    How do you want to view trains? Eye level or a bit (lot) above? Who else has to view. If you have to set it for sitting, it's probably OK for anyone else except the smallest (and they can be provided with a high chair).
    For operating, I think at least 6" below your arm -- and that is over telegraph poles and other obstructions.
  9. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    make it what ever hight you lie. I will make some comments on other things I have learned. Make bench work no deeper than arms length generally 30 inches. leave plenty of room to get around it I have some rather tight isle ways, 24 inches in 2 places. and no duck under if it is a most use a lift out section instead of duckunder. the reason I tell you of what to avoid is I had a stroke last year. I was in good health a couple months before the stroke my family doctor made the comment that if everyone was like me he wouldn't be needed.
    the duckunder would be impossible for me to negotiate. I already had lift out, my tight isles are a problem as I don't walk very good now and have issues getting around in my train building . As far as height goes I have a lower level which is about 30 -36 inches high. it is difficult to operate that level. None of this was a problem a year ago but now if I had it to do over it would be different. just something to think about, some day you might be in a wheel chair.
  10. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    I'm 6'3, so I set my last layout at 58". The trains looked great to me, I had stepstools for the yard-apes if and when they came by, and working underneath was great - I had a low-slung steno chair that I could scoot under the layout with. It was around-the-walls, with (as previously mentioned) no depth greater than 30".

    The bird's-eye-view might work for some people, but I prefer to see a model railroad from closer to where the scale people would see it. Take a look at Doctorwayne's photos, and then imagine how they'd look, and ask how effective the illusion would be, if you were looking down on top of the scenes instead of into them.
  11. abutt

    abutt Member

    My fifth layout now under construction is my chest height. This seems to be pretty much what most on this post agree on. The look and scale of everything is better when you're looking at it, not down on it. Even the "tin platers" will tell you...get it high enough you don't even notice the third rail. BUT, each builder to his or her's own feelings. That's the joy of the hobby.
  12. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    The top of my benchwork is 48". It is that height so that I could get two legs out of a single 8-foot board. On top of the benchwork frame are 1x2s and risers and sub-roadbed. So, the top subroadbed is 50 3/4" off the floor. Also, my layout has grades and will have tall scenery, so the top of highest track will be about 60" off the floor, and the top of the secenery may be about 65". That's still well below eye-level for me, so no worries there.

    My example illustrates that the height of the scenery should also be considered when choosing a benchwork height :)

  13. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    My layout is an around the room type that gains altitude as it goes, starting at a low point of 36", and, when the second level is built, ending at 60". The height of the upper deck determined the height of the lower, as sufficient clearance was needed for hanging fluorescent lights under the upper level while still leaving room for scenery and tall structures on the lower level. The lower level is operated while seated on free-rolling office chairs, and, as Les notes, leave as much aisle space as you can. Entrance to the room is a simple lift-out. Here's a Layout (room) tour if you'd like a look.

  14. viperman

    viperman Active Member

    The support legs on my layout are 36". Nice and easy to work on. Sure, I have a bit of an aerial view, but I don't mind it
  15. DeckRoid

    DeckRoid Member

    I made my layout 48 inches off the ground. But it wasn't for a bad back or a bad heart. I did it because it was easiest to fit 8 foot 2x4s into my truck. When I sit on my barstool and control my trains, they are mostly at eye level. And my Mt. Lookatthat looms over me and it kinda daunting. I think I need to put some bears, deer and my sasquatch on it.
  16. mikebalcos

    mikebalcos Member

    My layout is 32" above the ground. Being a Filipino, it's at the level of my waist. What I like about this height is that it makes reaching the center of an 8'x4' easier. When I stand up, I see a bird's eyeview of the layout. And if I sit down, I get to see the layout at a low angle. However, I experience difficulties in making low angle photographs.
  17. mikebalcos

    mikebalcos Member

    Oh, btw, I think small children viewing your layout is not mentioned. Wouldn't it be nice if you get small children to see your layout and then probably entice them to the hobby? :)
  18. 90MACII

    90MACII New Member

    Make it the height that works for you.these guy`s gave you some good info. I hope it turns out well for you.
  19. sgtcarl

    sgtcarl Member

    How high? redux

    Thanks, 90MAC II.
    I appreciate your comment. BTW, welcome to the forum! :wave:
  20. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    A few years ago I took my 5 yr old grandson out for an afternoon of open house tours. One that we went to had his entire layout about 36 inches high. this was a large layout. Very little scenery as it was still under construction. but it was running.It was up stairs and when you enter the layout you come up through the floor. On each side of you as you come up is a large yard. Fantastic visual entrance. But as I said it was about 36"high. so as an adult I soon was looking down as from an airplane. My grand son was at eye level.
    He loved it, he followed trains all around the layout. We stayed there for a long time.I had trouble getting him to go. It was fantastic for kids but left a little to be desired for me.

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