Here’s my story about the basement train layout – Barry Palmer (age 62).
This layout is in HO scale. I purchased these trains and supplies almost (20) years ago. I had just started building a layout back then but then went through a divorce and since then have never had enough room to build another layout.
My Grandson Porter is almost (6) years old and is absolutely fascinated with trains. I asked him a year ago if he would like my train and help me build a layout in his parents’ basement for his Xmas and birthday present and he didn’t even hesitate with his answer.
My daughter Nikki (Porter’s mother) has also taken an interest in the building of this layout which we started in mid January and just completed it last week.
I mentioned before that they live 1-1/2 hours from me so I would travel to their house and stay 2-3 days maybe twice a month to work on it.
The total hours spent on it were approximately (140). I’m retired but have both a (30) year engineering and an (11) year General contractor (construction) background so I am quite detail oriented and have all the required to do this kind of project.
I designed the entire layout and track plan based on the buildings that I had from my collection over the years. I made the trackplan basically an upper and a lower loop with a couple of sidings and spurs with mechanical turnouts and analog controls to keep it simple as he’s only almost (6) and mainly enjoys the trains travelling around their respective loops. I put an MRC sound system on it so he can make the appropriate sounds to add realism.
The layout is designed with the ability to add at right angle to the farm end another 4 x 8 portion that would include a double helix to get from one level to the other. The outside will have stained door casing at the top edge and black or gray curtains to the floor to hide the under part and make it look like a piece of furniture. The street light are functional but we haven’t installed the interior building lights yet.
Many of the items are scratch/scrap built. The gas station canopy and gas pumps I created from all scraps.
The asphalt road and sidewalks are made from residential roofing products with the sidewalks painted gray and the road lines are yellow and white tape cut down to strips approximately .040 wide.
The signage my daughter made on the computer.
The chainlink fencing is created from window/door screen cut on the diagonal and I use air gun nails from my construction tools for the posts.
Most of the trees are made from real tree branches with Woodland Scenics’ clump foliage applied.
Most of the mountains and there’s a lot of them are made with cheese cloth from a crafts store and boxes of Plaster of Paris to keep the budget down in-lieu-of plaster cloth.
Once again, I thank you for all your interest and publishing our various stages of development. My Grandson, when he gets older will have theknowledge that his train layout was published and seen by modelers all over the globe.
And don’t forget to leave a comment!
Or perhaps you’re sitting there scratching head, “Thinking, how do I start a layout like that?”
Well, course I’m biased, but this will sort you out, step by step.