I got interested in trains because my grandfather Davis was a Union Pacific railroad man from age 17 until retirement as a very senior engineer in 1960.
As kids, my brother and I had Lionel steam and diesel engines, and eventually HO gauge.
Off and on over the years I’ve gotten back into the hobby, and built a few layouts, including a well reinforced board that we put our live Christmas tree on.
We’ve moved across the country a few times, and it’s made the trip with a little repair and redo. I’ve really enjoyed your Model railroad layout plans blog, and hope my contribution is interesting to others as well.
A couple years ago I wanted to do something different for our gift exchange at Christmas for my son Brian, who likes N gauge. He didn’t have a board, and he lived out of state, so I decided to build a “freelance” modular board of my own design.
It needed to be very light weight, since we were going to haul it 800 miles on the top of our SUV, but big enough to have some fun with. I used some of the same woodworking ideas I’ve borrowed and modified, including using folding leg braces so it can be put up and taken down quickly. I really like doing pocket screws to hide the funky look of straight screws. It also needed a lightweight crate for storage and transportation.
It has three modules, with two sides bolted to each one, plus a top with minimal bracing. The whole thing weighs about fifty pounds.
A couple minutes to unbolt everything –
From below, the legs fold up and lock in place. It’s a 1/4” plywood top with bracing, plywood legs, and 1 x 2 finished wood for table edges. Note the thin wood strips that are suspended below the underside – they allow wiring to be quickly draped around the underside for quick and easy setup and takedown. Here’s how the legs fold up underneath.
And the legs unfold and lock down like so –
A closeup of the locking leg brackets and the pocket screw construction –
There are two end modules with legs, and a shorter center module that’s supported by the ends.
When it’s all together it’s about three feet wide by seven feet long.
Naturally Brian is trying out his UP passenger with diesel A/B – I think they are F7’s?
And now on to Bill. Here’s the post about his Lionel layout. This time, he talks us through it:
“Al. After you published my photos and story about my Lionel Fastrack Layout a number of people who commented mentioned that they would like to see a video. So I have created one.
It is about 5 1/2 minute long. I called it “Bill’s Yellowstone Valley Railroad”.
A huge thanks to Robert and Bill.
I know some folk struggle with finding space so I thought Bill’s post was a good answer to that, even if it is just to run some trains. It’s all about taking small steps and getting started.
And talking of getting started, the Beginner’s Guide is here if you want to start your very own journey today.
That’s all for this time folks.
Please do keep ’em coming.