Mounting O 3-Rail to Walls & Ceilings

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by idahoairships, Jun 2, 2006.

  1. idahoairships

    idahoairships New Member

    Greetings from Beautiful Boise...and apologies in advance for the ignorance...

    When I was a child my family visited a restaurant (I believe it was in the Los Angeles area) that had a large train set running through it. I believe the train actually delivered certain drinks and condiments, so it was probably of a pretty fair scale.

    I have decided to do something similar in my home (with the tentative blessing of my wife, and with enthusiastic support from my children), except without the food delivery capability. In order to build the system, though, I will need to run track (3 rail O) along walls and suspend it from the ceiling.

    However, the ceiling height on the first floor of my home ranges from a minimum of 10' to a maximum of 24'. I will assume that O systems will not tolerate much vertical this true? For example, I can see where an 8:1 or steeper grade might be a problem...

    Second question: Does any company make either wall-mount brackets or ceiling suspension (perhaps in adjustable lengths) accessories for O track?

    Third question: If one runs some 250' of 3 rail O track, what might be a good choice of transformers/power controls for a single train with a single locomotive pulling perhaps 12 cars? I know nothing of this volts/watts disgronification business...

    The train itself is all post-war Lionel...

    Input greatly appreciated!
  2. Marxed

    Marxed Member

    your most likely going to have to fabricate the stuff, but that shouldn't be to much of a problem, just browse home depot for some ideas.

    remember when you have grades, trains go slower up hills and faster down hills, your train might need increased power to go up hills and reduced power when it comes time to go back down the other side, it's going to go flying, and too much speed will put the train on the floor. i know with a six inch grade with a standard lionel tressle, you need to adjust the power going up and down the hill, expecially if you have turns around. 14' is an insane amount to change between.

    for power, over distance, the track should hold decent power the whole way around if it's new. you can also put a second or third power lockdown on your track, and run all the lockdowns to your transformer to distribute the power of wanted.
  3. Matt/Wisc

    Matt/Wisc New Member


    May I suggest that you check out the the web page and topic I suggested in the "Need Advice on G Gauge Layout" thread.
  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I saw an ad in the latest Classic Toy Trains for a suspended layout material. Not sure how it really works. but it looked like some of it is suspended from the ceiling.
  5. spankybird

    spankybird OTTS Founder

  6. idahoairships

    idahoairships New Member

    Thanks for the advice-I do appreciate it very much.

    Concerning the shelf brackets...they would be out of place as the rooms involved are somewhat elegant/upscale. What I've done is hire a gentleman who is an aircraft parts fabricator and is able to mass-produce some suspension devices. My intent is to not be limited to running the track along walls, and I would like to have no base on the track so that it is "see through" beneath. The track is all Lionel and I like the rather bare look.

    However, it appears that derailments could be a problem...something I had not considered worth worrying about. The suspension "swings" will be spaced too far apart to provide fall insurance (the various track pieces will be secured together, to be sure) that's what we're working on now-a way to prevent trains diving to the floor.

    We have a couple of ideas...I'll post anything worth sharing. Thanks!
  7. Grant B

    Grant B Member

    A few thoughts when I was thinking about the same thing when I was remodeling.
    If your home is new or at lest modern looking this doesn't apply.
    Mine is from 1896 so it would be great.
    A dish rail was a horizontal rail which attached to the picture rail which was situated right above the doors about 6 feet up the wall. The dish rail came out 3 or 4 inches and had dishes and nick nacks on it..... perfect for track!

    The main yard/city was going to be on a very large entertainment center 6ft x 2 ft; mirrors being used to see it better.
    I planned to go through walls and comeout in the middle of a picture (a tunnel) etc; would have been great. Wife didn't think so at the time and she later recanted that statement when I tool over awhole room.

    Good Luck and it sounds like fun
  8. idahoairships

    idahoairships New Member

    Heya, Grant!

    Sounds like a very nice setup...thematically correct within context. "Unfortunately," this home is new (2 1/2 years old) with very contemporary features...lots of granite, wood moulding, stonework, and wood flooring. We're considering using heavy gauge black wire to support the track from the lower portions of the ceiling but are still in the dark as to what to do on the very tall ceiling areas. The project may actually die a frustrated death...

    But there's always plexiglass, which can be cut in complicated shapes and heated/warped as necessary...
  9. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    why not hang it solid, maybe make fancy wrought iron hangers, so it will not swing, then no worries there, can still use the plexy class base.

    im trying to talk my soon to be wife of the same thing you are

  10. Billman730

    Billman730 New Member

    I find that friends who did this forgot it was up there in a month or two. Also the super scale trains seem to stay on the track wide stance lighter weight at 4 inch above the rail stabilitymay be why they are seen at restaurants and public places the most. Partly for safety and reliability? I wonder.
  11. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    You can make a curly cue thing, helix? to raise the track where you want to gain a foot or 3.
  12. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    A plexiglas wall on the side of the support would keep the train from falling in the event of a derailment. Using a wide-diameter curve helps too. Since I switched to O42 track, I've still had instances where a train derailed, but it never went airborne. I wouldn't put O27 curves up on the wall, but O42 or O54 should be just fine if you can live with the extra space they need.

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