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Retired, I'm just starting to plan a layout for my shared garage
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks
I'm John.
Thanks for having me here and I look forward to nicking people's ideas and putting in some of my own....

I was born in Pleck, Walsall in the English West Midlands.
I got into trains at senior school and had a Hornby layout until my move to Australia in 1973.
With retirement in 2008, I started a layout but dismantled it when the missus retired 3 years ago as we planned to downsize and move.
The move is now complete so I'm in the planning stage for a layout and am looking to pick the brains on here for info.
First - what height should the baseboard be at - I see there's a thread on that so great!!!
 

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Baseboard height is a purely personal thing and it also needs to take into account where a layout is physically located.

Personally, I prefer a height around 900mm. It's high enough that:

  • You can get under it to work on wiring
  • Put a chair next to it so you can watch trains at eye level (if that is your thing)
  • It is above the reach of the youngest children (but you'll never have it high enough for the reach of the cat!)

and it is low enough that:

  • You can reach over it to work on (this depends on how tall you are as an individual)
  • You can reach over it to attend to rolling stock etc
  • Older children can see it

Some people mandate a baseboard height close to their eye level when standing. Personally, I think that is too high and is impractical to work on and reach over. The only thing it is good for is watch trains at eye level while standing. I prefer to sit and achieve the same thing at a lower level!

Most layouts I have seen are just under 1M give or take.

Hope this helps.
 

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Retired, I'm just starting to plan a layout for my shared garage
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for that Graham - much appreciated.

I'm with you on that - I've been reading a US book on baseboards (Model Railroad Planning 2022) and I was starting to get the impression that a height of at least 122cm was normal.

It would however have a benefit of having having heaps of storage room under the boards.

John
 

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In depth idiot
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The pros and cons as they apply to you need to be weighed up to arrive at what is best.

I have gone for 1.3m as the layout necessarily has 'duck under' access, and while I can get under easily now, should the family bane of arthritis have a go at me in later life, I will be able to 'scoot under' using the wheelchair that successively served my late mother and late mother in law. I have a neat 'rolling step' unit got decades ago, that enables me to work with the track at waist level when that's required, and operate sitting on bar stools for eye level viewing.
 

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I support Graham here, 900 plus a bit means standard kitchen units slide under and I use some older ones for loco storage, generally the reach is 1 metre but less on the sides and deeper at the station then I have a couple of stools I stand on so can reach everywhere, the duck under put me off whilst I recovered from GBS so I am OK now but standing up again well not as fast as I j used to be.
(unusually no photos available - I'll take a few)
 

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C55
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Hi John and welcome.
How about another possible approach, with a shunting puzzle, about 4-5ft long, maybe 1ft wide and you can place it at any height you like, for either use, maintenance, or construction.

I also found it a useful step in getting to grip with what I liked and some modern techniques which might be useful.

Julian
 

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Retired, I'm just starting to plan a layout for my shared garage
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Many thanks for your comments everyone - they are very useful. I can see I'll have to look for a rolling step - something that a few minutes ago I never knew existed....
 

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In depth idiot
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There's a heap of product that goes by that 'rolling step' description. Mine is a ply box with a sprung castor wheel in each corner that allows the step to sink onto bump stops when I step on, so no rolling about and stable when in use. (Not a commercial product, made in house for a manufacturing operation on a site where my late FiL was facilities and plant manager: got for free in a clearout ahead of re-equipment.)
 
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