Train shelves

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Soul Embrace, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. Soul Embrace

    Soul Embrace New Member

    since i don't have the room to do a layout i decided i wanted to but shelves in my room to put my trains on. the selves are about 6 feet long and about 2 feet deep and i plan on having 2-3 of these on my walls. the trains won't be running just for looks and i don't want to just have the trains on the selves. i know i don't have a lot of room to work with but i would like to have a few buildings and on at least one selve to have a bridge.

    have anyone here done this or have any ideas you could share with me i would appreciate it.

  2. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    A 6' by 2' shelf is large enough for an operating switching layout, if you are interested. For that purpose you may want some smaller locomotives, 4-4-0, 0-4-0, 0-6-0, for example, or diesel switchers. If you are interested in N scale, it's plenty of room for an operating layout with continuous running. If you haven't considered it, take a look in the N scale forum.
    For display only, your options are unlimited!! Look in Model Railroader or right here on The-Gauge for layout photos and some building ideas. The shelves could have different locations; one ould be city, one rural (with a passenger train passing thru), one in the mountains, etc. Or the the shelves could have different time periods! Old West (water tankm, small town scene, transitional era (steam and diesel, with a turntable, yard and roundhouse), and Amtrak! How cool would that be!
  3. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    If you have that much shelf space, you could certainly have operating trains. There are heavy duty shelf brackets available which would make it possible to have a very sturdy system without the need for supporting legs. Just make sure you locate the wall studs and attach your shelf brackets to them wherever possible. If I remember correctly, the brackets that I'm speaking of are available at Ace Hardware. I used them to make a wall mounted writing desk for my wife so she could get her wheelchair under it without having to deal with legs on the desk.
  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Are the shelves in a row, stacked in one unit or scattered? You might find it possible to make the units removable so that you could join them together to run trains.
    Or you could consider them dioramas. (someone defined a diorama as a train layout where nothing runs.) I think there are a couple of books on building dioramas although they are usually smaller than 6 feet.
    So search the forums for "modules" and "dioramas".
    I have an interesting station layout for about one foot by six feet, but it needs an extra three feet or so for train storage.
  5. Soul Embrace

    Soul Embrace New Member

    thnaks everyone for the replies.

    these selves will be non running trains i want it to be just for looks. i thought about doing N scale but i alread have 2 engines and 17 cars in HO so that will save me a money since i wouldn't need to buy trains. i also have plenty of track also, mainly all i will need to buy is the buildings and other stuff.

    right now i only have one self on the wall that i will be moving to another wall. i don't want to have the selves pushed togother. i was thinking of doing two selves and having two different scenes. one scene would be a train full of open hoppers, since i have about 8-10 42' open quad offset hoppers. so one self i would like to do an industrail sence. the other one i would like to do a town scene.
  6. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

  7. Soul Embrace

    Soul Embrace New Member

    well i just messured the self's depth and i feel kinda stupdi now cause i way over guessed the dept. instead of being 2 feet deep it is 8 inches deep, don't know why i thought it was 2 feet. sorry for gving you all the wrong messurements.
  8. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    I think a 8" deep shelf could still allow you to have an N scale "timesaver" switching layout.
  9. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    8" deep is still deep enough for an HO scale switching layout!
    All of these are suitable for static "display shelves," but it's just as easy to run a couple power leads and turn them into operating layouts. By allowing provision for later connections, you can turn three 8"x72" display shelves into an 8"x18' doozy of a shelf layout later!

    For a narrow shelf layout like this, you'll probably want to do building flats against the back rather than actual 3-D buildings, except maybe a couple of small ones in the spots where you don't have track. There are specialty low-profile "building flat" kits, or you can saw up an inexpensive kit to use as flats, or buy modular building pieces and use them to build flats...or you can even use photos pasted to your backdrop to represent buildings.
  10. Soul Embrace

    Soul Embrace New Member

    thanks for the replies. like i said before i want to do a display self (non running layout) and i really don't like switching layouts. if i was going to do a running layout i would want to do one that has a constant running train. i like to watch trains run instead of having to do a lot of track switching. if i ever get the room to do a full layout i would do it in a way i could set the train to run and then just watch it run. these selves are going to be about eye level maybe a little higher and i want them to be so they are running through a town or industrail yard.

    thanks again for all the replies.

  11. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Still, it's not much harder to make a non-functional 'display layout' that appears to have some sort of purpose--thus industrial spurs, yard tracks, etcetera. And it's not much harder to power a "non-functional" display's fun to watch trains go round and round, but it can also be fun to just watch 'em go back and forth. Heck, I do that sometimes...
    Just a shot of my 12" deep shelf layout in action...

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