Large Scale Central

Suggestions for this storage area

I am looking for suggestions as to how to layout the tracking yard and storage. Below is a portion out the planned retirement house basement that has been assigned to me. I plan to run the trains in and out of here with a pass thru opening which will have a closure to seal the outside weather. It is NOT a 2 foot door, just an opening in the wall with whatever width I need up to the 2 foot. The top (north) section is 2 foot wide where I will run the trains in/out via 2 lines going thru the opening with a very little space on the west side to squeeze thru if I need to mess with any sort of problems. It will be built up to waist height (or other suggested input) which will match the base elevation of the outside layout. I get allocated that 7 by 2 foot run AND another 12 to 14 foot of the depth. In that area I want to have the ability for the trains to loop and multiple sidings for storing the trains and cars. I have 12 steam engines and will have a freight, an ore, a log, a passenger and a work consist to park on separate tracks plus some shorter engine parking sidings. So I’m trying to figure out how close the sidings (if that’s the correct term) tracks could/should be and the lengths for storage. My initial thoughts are to come in on the west line and loop back with the storage sidings in that 9 foot area and then loop go back out on the east line. I will have a lifting bridge so I can get into the middle of all this. My goal is to not have to take cars and engines on and off the tracks except when I take them upstairs to work on. Suggestions please.

As I think about it more, the freight consist will be maybe up to 10 cars at roughly a foot per car. The mining will be maybe 10 ore cars at 6 inches, the log will be probably 10 cars plus the steam donkey car at probably a foot each, the passenger will be 4 to 5 cars at a foot. So I’m looking at some pretty long storage lines, but maybe that’s not that long?

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What’s your minimum radius curve?

To save room I made a transfer table on one end of my staging yard. Still allows for trains to be run around but doesn’t take up a whole bunch of ladder track area.

All of the Bachmann steam engines claim 8’ diameter but I want to make it as much as possible given the space to work with.

You may want to have a removable section of track to isolate the track indoors from the outdoor track. It is very rare, but I read that one modeler had a lightning strike that got to things on the inside track. NOT GOOD!
Just something to think about, David Meashey

Good thought that I had not thought about.

Another option might be a pivoting fiddle yard. No switches.

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Thinking I might get one of those layout design programs. Want one that really intuitive to use as I don’t want to learn another difficult program that I won’t use that much. I saw Anyrail and it looks fairly easy.

Mickey, thanks for asking for thoughts.

My main reaction, fwiw, relates to the narrowness of the space. If I’m understanding correctly, 2’ x 7’.

That won’t meet code for anything other than a hallway to nowhere. And if you make any layout shelves through there, you’ll be too squeezed moving along them, or have too short of arms to reach into that space from the end.

My first suggestion would be to deepen the closet by 2’ to the masonry wall, and make others happy for the added space. Then, down past the closet, jog out the wall to the left, resulting in a wider (though shorter) recess for layout planning.

Second suggestion is to leave everything as-is, and build a full storage yard into the 2’x7’ space. But build openable panels on the stick-built wall (and maybe the rear of the closet) to access it.


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So here are a few of my initial ideas. All the walls are fixed and not movable. I have to fit what I will have. I’m figuring I can get 2 lines width per foot, is that workable? In the entry way of the 2 by 7, that will leave me a foot to wiggle in if anything goes wrong. As a guest room, it is possible I could add an access opening in the rear wall of that closet if I had to. That platform will be supported off the wall so I will have plenty of toe room. I plan to have the incoming lines straight as possible and possibly add re-railers if needed. I know it’s tight in that one space but there are no other options at this point. I’m trying to avoid S sections as I back cars on to their storage track. Please excuse my drawing as this was just a down and dirty with my finger. So curves are not exact, smooth, etc.

I thought this was new construction, sorry for wonky ideas.

Regardless, you might consider putting in a full-length door in back of the closet and perhaps on the right side of it. Then you should be able to make a full-width (2’) shelf for track there, and have a way to build it and handle any operational issues.


Speaking only for myself, I wouldn’t want to build a 1-foot slide-by shelf of any sort… I might get hung up, and…


It will be new construction but the plans are set and based on the floor above, the ground slope, etc., to add any extra footage would mean slicing a foot in the entire house and we already have a total square footage and cost issue. That east wall is actually a retaining wall as this is a walkout basement in the mountains.

This is based on LGB R3. Not sure if it helps.

One thing to take into consideration when planning track separation is what equipment will you be running. My indoor has very close clearances and minimum track spacing. I can fit Fn3 rolling stock, C-19 and 45 ton locomotives, but that 45 tonner is very close in spots as are the window shades on the C-19s.

I tried to run an Fn3 K-27, but there were too many places it did not fit.

I’ll take a few pics and measurements and post up later.

I will be running the K-27, C-19, 2-6-6-2, possibly the Connie if I don’t sell it and the smaller steam ones. I’m thinking the K-27 is the one to worry about. So I want spacing to make it work then the others will.

Actually that does. I was going to swing the sidings over further but I can see the advantage of not adding the extra bends will cause fewer problems.

It is. It will negotiate turns that cause it to swing way wide of the outside rail and depending on what pilot you have on, that could be a killer. The C-19s will be the next most demanding. On my RR, there are a few places the C-19’s can’t go, but they fit almost everywhere and negotiate an S bend through two Aristo Wide (10’ R) switches.

Here are a bunch of pics with measurements to show the bare minimums for the Bachmann C-19. Here #8 is tucked in a siding while #4 is on the run-around. The main is the next track left of #8 and against the wall is an industrial siding…

To say the clearance on the run around is close is an understatement. A few sheets of paper slip between the shades…

The spacing between the main, siding and run-around…

And between the industrial track and main…

The C-19 will negotiate this tight crossover shoving or trailing cars. Not all my cars will get through and around the next curve…

This doesn’t answer all your questions, but might help.

Yes this helps. So 2” on each side of the the track (4” between the closest rails) will barely clear but better be going slow. I probably should work on 2.5” to 3” to be safe. So if my math works right for the two lines coming in that 7’ stretch, I need a total of 11.5” to 13” since the one side will be clear. Does the K-27 work close to the same as the C-19?