Model Trains in my office...

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by alanalan, Apr 4, 2006.

  1. alanalan

    alanalan New Member

    I want to apologize if I butcher any terminology or if I seem overly naive. I never had a model train as a kid, so I don't really know the lingo.

    But, anyways, the company that I work at has recently moved into a new, snazzy building. Surrounding about half of our office is a small catwalk. The catwalk is about 10 feet off the ground, about 1 and a half feet wide, and about 200 feet long. The catwalk is fully decorative, but we thought it'd be great if we could get a model train running on it. Unfortunately, none of us know the first thing about model trains and after looking a little bit on the web for more details, we were left at a little bit of a loss on how to start. If we can convince management that this is a good thing to do, the money for the trains will probably come out of our own pockets. So I'd prefer not to have to spend that much money up front if it can be helped.
    So, anyways, I had some questions.
    1. Where do I start? Like what size train would be a good size? If you look at the pictures, there is a piece of cable holding the catwalk up, how would I make sure that the train isn't too big?
    2. Am I going to have some issues wiring this all up? Any gotcha's I should watch out for?
    3. Where can I go about getting relatively cheap tracks that would be pretty long? In general how much is this going to set me back?
    4. I thought it'd be coolest to have the track a complete loop so we could put more than one train up there... about how much space will I need to have the trains be able to turn around?
    5. Trains... Track... is there anything else I'm missing that I'll need to look into?
    6. Any hints about the more hackable items? The long term plan would be to have some kind of webcam or something on the train, so I don't want to paint myself into a corner if there's a direction I can go now that'll make that task easier in the future
    7. Pretty much what is going to go wrong so I can try to prepare for it:)
    Thanks a lot!

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  2. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    that looks like a perfect place for a G scale layout. Big, durable... Does the catalk iself make a loop? If so, it would only be a matter of getting track to follow the catwalk. You will probably want to lay some wires parallell to the track to add feeders every 10 feet or so. Another good option is three rail lionel. It is still big enough to be seen.

    As for potential problems - noise. The catwalk is metal, and may rattle with the train. You may want to look into something that can be layed underneath the track to keep it quieter - some kind of rubber mat, old carpet squares, etc.

  3. Iron Horse

    Iron Horse Member

    If you don't want to spend alot of money, you are getting into the wrong hobbysign1

    I think the most expensive thing would be track, if you utilize the whole 200 feet. Go to this site Internet Hobbies Here you can see the size difference in the trains. I think O-scale you could turn around the train in that hallway, G-scale (LGB) you would probably need a bigger area perhaps? Try asking this question in the G-scale Forum. My answers to your questions (I am sorta guesstimating..)

    1. G-Scale or O (lionel) Scale, also I think G scale would be quieter than O scale, but if you don't run the trains that fast, it probably won't matter.

    2. You will probably need a place to put a power pack and running feeder wires would be a good idea (you can't just attach 2 wires to the track in one spot). Also, G-scale trains can be made to run off batteries (remote control) eliminating wiring / transformers but you would probably need to access the locomotive more often to replace batteries, etc.

    3. Dunno. Bachmann Track is cheaper than LGB (which is made to run outdoors), but There are other brands I don't know much about. For that much track (if you don't buy it used) I would say probably minimum $500 for the trains and at least that much for the track, guesstimating 500-$2000 either scale.

    4. answered above
    5. Power Pack or Transformer, I wouldn't use one that comes with a trainset, Look at MRC Power Packs. Also materials to fasten the track to the walkway and or base you are attaching it to.

    6. "they" (i love that term) make remote cameras that can mount in boxcars or something. AFAIK, You don't need to plan anything ahead of time.

    7. The worst problem you could have would be a 7-8 vertical drop of your expensive trains due to a derailment (the problem gets slightly worse if they land on your bosses' head)........You will probably want some type of guardrail or clear plastic to keep them on that catwalk.

    8. Good Luck......this was my 1st post here so I hope you can read it.

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