shipping a layout?

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by gringo, Jun 23, 2006.

  1. gringo

    gringo New Member

    I have to move, and I can pack everything into my car, save for my layout. It's door sized- any ideas on how to ship it? Post office? Or maybe some trucking company (thinking they can just add it to an existing load or something).

    Just looking for the cheapest way to ship- timeliness of delivery isn't a major concern right now. Just need to get it to it's new house.

  2. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    I would be more concerned about how you're going to pack it up rather than how you're going to ship it. How complete is it? Do you have a lot of plaster scenery, are you going to leave lots of fragile structures on it, how heavy is it right now? These are some of the things you need to ask yourself.

    To start with, you don't have many options for shipping. There are weight and size restrictions so I think you can forget about the Post Office, FeEx and UPS. Talk to a freight company or even a national moving company. They will probably give you advice on how to pack it, or even do that job for you. Those would be my two choices on shipping it. If you know the size and weight and where it's going, you can get them to give you an estimate.

    I've shipped a lot of stuff in my time, how it's packed will make all the difference as to what condition it's in when it gets there.
  3. gringo

    gringo New Member

    I didn't get any farther than laying some track- there's no plaster or anything else sticking out. So it's the size of a door, maybe 7 inches thick. I could just pull out all the track and start over, but I'd rather not...
  4. sputnik

    sputnik Member

    Yeah, what he said.

    I've moved my 2 1/2' x 5' layout in two interstate moves now (although I have yet to check on it's condition after the most recent move a week ago). I built a crate for it (, and the movers loaded it along with the other furniture.

    Regardless of assurances or how many fragile stickers you apply, the layout will be handled by the likes of forklifts and trucks bouncing over rough roads. If it's not packed well (IE, fragile buildings removed and packed separately), it will arrive a mess. As it is, some scenery will inevitably shake off.

    For an Interstate move, this will cost a bit to ship it by itself. Either you will have to get lumber and build a crate for it (which takes money, space, tools, and time), or get them to build it (mo' money). The heavier it is, the more it will cost, and the stronger the crating has to be.

    Depending on how far along you are with this layout, I would at least look at the possibility of salvaging what you can from the layout, packing it in normal boxes that can be shipped ala UPS, and starting over at your new destination. In my case, there were already movers moving things. But if it were a matter of only the layout moving, as far along as my layout is, I would consider salvaging items and doing it over again. The fact that there are some items I'd like to change and/or do over again makes it even more desirable to do that (most modelers have things like that about their layout that they wouldn't mind doing again). Anyway, that's just another way of looking at it.

  5. zedob

    zedob Member

    First off, you didn't mention the distance it has to travel.

    How much does the terrain and track grade vary? Since you have no scenery,per se, you could lay a sheet of foam over everything and add filler pieces of foam to compensate for the irregularities. If you want to bullet proof it, lay a sheet of plywood on top of the foam. That way nothing sharp can penetrate through. Then wrap the beast up with stretch wrap from Staples or Office Depot and send it on its way.:thumb:

    Then again, moving is always a great way to build the "newer and better" layout.:D :thumb:
  6. sputnik

    sputnik Member

    I was futzing around with my last post while you posted this one...

    I understand your not wanting to start over, but will it be worth at least $40 in material and time to crate it, and at the very very least $100 to ship it? Not that it isn't, just realize what it's going to take.

  7. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Hey gringo,
    I would pack it exactly like zedob recommended! Then I would put a couple of blankets (or pillows)
    atop of the car and tie it down. Just make sure the FRONT is held down and can't lift in the wind
    or you may have a flying layout!!:D :D ALso that it cannot shift side to side. I don't know about your
    vehicle's suitability for this , but there's been a lot of stuff transported on car roofs!!:D How far
    ya gotta go? And how fast do you want to drive?
    I would not recommend this to just anyone, but being a mrr, you have the ingenuity and mechanical
    aptitude to pull it off!!:thumb:
  8. hooknlad

    hooknlad Member

    Hiya - Perhaps you can check with some care rental companies - from time to time they will actually hire someone to relocate some of their overflow stock to another state. Maybe you could check and see if they have any vans they need to have relocated. This is not an uncommon thing - sometime when you goto rent a car, they offer you a deal like this to help them / you out. just an idea.
  9. If it's just track on a board why don't you wrap it up in newspaper and cardboard and tape over it and ship it that way. Or go to the U-haul store and see if they boxes big enough for it. I actually think you could ship it in decent cardboard. Freight companies ship most of their stuff in cardboard boxes of some sort.

    Try Consolidate Freightways or a similar company. You can deliver it to some terminals yourself and go pick it up yourself with a truck or something. See about backhauling. It's cheaper that way. Some truckers after dropping of a load will gladly ship anything at a good price instead of driving back empty.
  10. Delamaize

    Delamaize Member

    Trucking co is your answer.

    Well man, you best bet is going to crate up your layout, and ship it by a truckign company, that isn't cheep but it is cheeper than the alternitives, be sure to make the crate really sturdy and mark it "fragile as eggs." I shipped a 2.5' X 4.5' Layout from San Antinio Tx, to Ft Rucker, Al. that way.
  11. gringo

    gringo New Member

    Thanks for the responses, guys! For the record, I've got a Nissan 240SX, and I'm driving it from Miami to Chicago- I'd consider racking it on the roof, except that my roof is tiny! Probably easiest just to tear up the track and trash the benchwork- I can always make a better one next time!

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