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Loco & Rolling Stock Storage - "What are the Options ?"

16821 Views 39 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  34C
Loco & Rolling Stock Storage - "What are the Options" ?

This is a topic which is likely to be encountered by almost all railway modellers, irrespective of scale / gauge & certainly does not it seem to have any one simple, correct or standard answer . Perhaps it does & we have just not found it ?

Having briefly discussed this with LF&T; we would like, on a joint basis to canvas the thoughts, views & ingenuity of the MRF membership, to see what solutions can be found, are in use, are in mind, etc. These may be existing, new or adaptions on a theme, the initial intention being to collate what's out there at present, & then perhaps depending on the response, move forward from there.

By way of some background information & as food for thought; we would offer the following;

Current Thinking on Outline Spec;

So far is: to try to conceive the simplest possible storage module that
• minimises/eliminates the need for handling the model during transfer from storage to track and vv
• can be easily stacked and packed away in drawers (removing the need for dustproofing) without wasting space due to voids.
• is 'linear' - it can be cut to suit the length of the model it houses.
• allow contents to be checked visually
• has an inner surface that is not abrasive to the model, yet restrains it if the storage module is tilted/inverted.
• has stop ends to prevent the model from rolling out

So what might it be made of? Off the peg rectangular transparent extrusion - with removable end plugs? Or a stout card/3mm ply IKEA style flatpack faced with some fabric that enables it to be folded (like a file box) so as to house and restrain the model?

That said the following may assist in adding some meat to the bones;

Selection of Links of possible source material / ideas + some thoughts / comments;

Here are some links to current available systems / products, no doubt there are others (?) :

MPD storage boxes - RJ's DC Concepts approach.

Eurobahn here - which actually has rails inside so the train can be driven out. (* will add this link to next post)

Then there is the display rack system Trainsafe here : expensive but maybe the principle may be employed using acrylic extruded rectangular tube. Trainsafe can be bought in the UK @

Joachim Messerschmidt (everything from full size 50s bubble car to a WW2 109 available from stock?)
37 Nightingale Drive
Towcester Northants. NN12 6RA
Great Britain
Phone: +441-327-352581
Fax +441-327-352581
email:[email protected]

Q? - Costs - could a "cheaper / more readily affordable" alternative version be developed ?

Q ? - Could you contrive a far more minimalist IKEA style interpretation of the principle that one might just lift out of a drawer and offer up to the track ?
… the moment we were basing the approach on a system or systems which could fit within storage drawers, such as those shown below - but without the "boxes" !;

Property Wood Rectangle Floor Flooring

Rectangle Wood Stairs Flooring Floor

This may not be the right starting point. Nothing here is precious or cast in stone. Hope this sets the grey matter running & very much look forward to your input. After all we all want ready, easy & regular use of our loco's & rolling stock, but with minimal risk of damage to them, in the process.


LF&T & Norm


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Interesting concept/thread - we use storage boxes from Model Baseboards (I'll try & post a picture later) but do like the "Train Safe" system - this incidiently is (IIRC) in 2 versions - a "solid" one that gently grips the whole train which can still be driven on & off when the sides are released & a clear display one that is not suitable for trainsit. We did look at the logistics of producing our own at one time but it was not viable cosr wise.

I'm sure that the combined talents of the "MRF Crew" will come up with some good solutions.
One other thought is the use of a cassete fiddle yard set up, so the loco/stock has a cassette moade for it (I think it appered in BMR a few months ago) but it can also be used to transport, store and protect loco's and stock very cheeply and efectively, mine don't fold down, but have fabric 'sleaves' converted from pillow cases that slide over the whole cassete which reduces handeling of loco and stock to vertually none, except during maintanace and servicing (Ive got my rolling stock to attend to before long)

Also because of the cassette being the fiddle yard it is really easy to interchange when on a layout, all mine having a nickle/silver wire to leading from the track of the cassete, connecting a pair of crocodile clips (soldered to the layouts power dropper) means it takes seconds to change them around, also making it easier to turn a train on an end to end layout
Aha! Literally an "Out of the Box" bit of thinking about the topic!
Many thanks for that suggestion Sean.
Could I ask if it would be possible to post a pic of the fiddle yard arrangements you describe.

QUOTE (Long funnel & tiresome @ 12 Nov 2012, 09:20) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Aha! Literally an "Out of the Box" bit of thinking about the topic!
Many thanks for that suggestion Sean.
Could I ask if it would be possible to post a pic of the fiddle yard arrangements you describe.

Grateful to Norman for starting this thread. I must admit I am struggling with a mish-mash of solutions, none of which really satisfy the requirement.
May I echo LT&T's request Sean.
I will do, it may be a bit later today, as the computer is sulking, i can put the drawings up to if you want too gang?
Hi Guys'

Thanks for the responses to date, they make interesting reading already. I would suggest as many pictures as possible in terms of replys / ideason this one would be ideal, as they will tend to provide far more understanding than words - I mean look at all that blurb in the intro alone; amazed anyone read it LOL !

Just to confirm the thread is a joint effort by LF&T & myself, well about 99% LF&T todate LOL !!!!

Anyway hope the grey matter keeps churning up ideas; & thanks for the links to the IKEA units, which look to provide excellent drawer shells. Its how we crack the next part in terms of "carrier / protection & ease of use"; to then remove all those boxes ?


QUOTE (Norman Byrne @ 12 Nov 2012, 16:18) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Just to confirm the thread is a joint effort by LF&T & myself, well about 99% LF&T todate LOL !!!!
Lies, and Statistics - the true figure is below 50% - and also the idea began with a PM from Norm

Anyway he has asked me to post the missing link in his opening post: Eurobahn link here.
Here is another link to the Eurobahn site but it seems to be more pictures of the Trainsafe kit
It seems to be the same Trainsafe product that Eurobahn is listing on its site as a vendor. But it does look eye wateringly expensive stuff.

From my perspective, the best idea so far seems to be the DCC Concepts cradle which you place over the track and simply drive the loco that lives in it out onto the layout and vv. I got one free from DCC Concepts when RJ posted back my Duchess from Perth after installing a sound chip (which included a function for wheel slip when starting a heavy train).

My problem is that I now want one for each of my 35 locos - which comes to over a Grand in GBP.

But might it be possible with a bundle of basic corrugated cardboard storage modules (on the flat-pack box file principle) ?

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QUOTE From my earlier post:
But might it be possible with a bundle of basic corrugated cardboard storage modules (on the flat-pack box file principle) ?
A first effort:
Product Rectangle Font Line Parallel

A home made module out of corrugated card Velcroed around a ply base that has a bit of old track attached.
Shewn with a timber jig/cradle that links it to the track, enabling the loco to be driven out and vv.

I imagine this might be stored in something like that IKEA set of drawers ebaykal kindly linked us to in post #6

OK folks: would you please mark this out of 10 , perhaps if you can spare the time, with a pithy SWOT (strengths and WEAKNESSES) analysis .....



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Hi LF&T,

You have been burning the midnight oil, what between sorting out picture uploads & drawing up the above sketch very impressive.

I would offer the following comments / thoughts;

1. A transparent / clear top section does give the benefit of being able to view the stock whilst in its carrier / craddle ? Or perhaps one side panel window maybe ? Obviously the marker pen on the card is another alt. but nice / useful to see the content probably.
2. Is the corrugated card likely to deteroriate / breakdown along the joints / folded edges through use. Could maybe reinforce these edges with some form of tape on the inner or outter face or both for added strength ?

Other than those minor observations a great starter for 10 I would say.

As I understand IKEA for one is happy to give away its excess / used packing materials, some of these include quite rigid edge protection U shaped through sections, which might form the base section to which the track could be added - will sort out a pic.

....... is the way forward to adopt a "Blue Peter" lets make one up approach; which perhaps as many peeps that are interested might have a go at there on version / idea, to then compare notes ? Anyone interested ?

Great stuff tho' LF&T - you deserve an early night tonight LOL !


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Hi again,

Brian it would be great to see the storage boxes you use / mentioned, when you get a chance to post a pic or 2.


I'm not an expert on this, but any design using plastic (eg old packaging materials) to hold plastic models firmly in place might need thinking about if intended for long term storage. I've just brought some items down from the loft where they've been stored for some years and a plastic box has permanent dents in it from where a dissimilar plastic was wound round it and has interacted with it in some way. Just a thought.
Hi Wheatley,

Thanks for the input, thats just the sort of things we are trying to compile / list. As we are certainly "no experts" ourselves - but we are willing learners ! I think the perrished elastic band syndrome springs to mind here !


Would this prompt your thoughts..........but not as big, ....just the.. principal.......... under the layout.
They must be getting hard to find now, but I use an old library card catalogue, with thin foam rubber lining the drawers; two locomotives per drawer. It's very sturdy and has a convenient flat top surface for piling up less valuable objects. There will be members of this forum who have no idea what I'm talking about!

Hi Andrew,

I think I know what you mean - sounds like a great "home" / storage facility; but as you say very rare now. Any chance of a pick for both younger members & us older ones too ?

I take it you just lift the loco's / stock out of the drawer & place on the track & vv ?


Hi DT,

Now thats not only thinking out side the square, but what a feature. Although the capsules would have to be pretty big to handle some of the larger locos / engines.

It does strike a real chord with me though, as it was a project I worked on. So if you want to do a mock up, I can let you have the drawings, you will just need to scale it down a bit LOL !

Good to see the "Grouped" grey matter is starting to get going - where it will take us who knows - but thats all part of the fun eh !!!!


QUOTE you will just need to scale it down a bit LOL !

Ok think of the mill water wheel, scaled down...under your layout........2 cassettes per board, obviously the boards rotate individually, to stay horizontal
whilst the wheel turns, indexed and controlled, like a turntable, similar to the one I have posted on Big Dave's thread...........
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