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

16829 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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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 (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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Norm's been hustling me
He's just PM'd saying "OK Its high time you put your box cutter where your mouth is" about this project..

So here is the first post about where I have got to in making my "low cost box". - and it is not good news.

Basically I want to emulate this clever £30 MPD storage for my 30 odd locos:

by trying to use the approach of IKEA style flatpack boxes just costing pence:

And so far I have notched up failure: Notice in the first photo the total failures:

Mark 1A based on my design posted above, was cut from a Sony TV box and was triple layer corrugated card. It simply was too thick and wouldn't bend.
Mark 1B was thinner double layer corrugated card but was cut too tight around the loco.

At this point I measured a number of my eclectic range of locos and decided it would be better to use a 6mm ply base 40 mm wide with a piece of code 100 track mounted on it, then"liner" down the interior of the box to give a 1mm overall clearance to the loco.
So shewn in the left foreground is Mark 1C. On the right the trial loco is the Compound, one of the widest @ 38mm.
About all you can say about it in terms of my earlier spec., is that it provides sturdy protection for transporting the loco when secured with the hook and loop tape.

But it is still too tight for the loco to be driven out - because the cardboard won't stay square - and the hook and loop tape won't stick to the box (which looks like a dogs dinner).
Notice too my attempts to cut openings in the box - I've revisited the Comet 1 jet disasters in that the square window develops stress cracks at the corners hence the LNER syle shield shape (which the loco cab handrail can snag on).

Marks awarded: 3 out of 10
Remarks: "could do better"

I'm off to bed "perchance to dream".... in corrugated cardboard ?

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QUOTE (Wheatley @ 17 Nov 2012, 11:24) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I think this idea might be a bit more space-efficient than the London Eye concept:
I worked for years in a tower at Newcastle uni that had a Paternoster lift just like that.
I could bring the kids in at half term and they would spend the whole week joy riding on it round and round (no Health & Safety in those days).

But eventually it all came to a grizzly end when it crushed a woman visitor from E Europe as it passed around over the top. Not understanding the principle, she panicked and jumping up and down she caused the car to jump off the (worn) guides.

OK folks, thats enough 'off piste' lets go back OT.
OT means 'Outdoing Toddy' in posting up a record of my modelling failures

So here is Mark 2B (Mk 2A got binned after it had me slice away at the top of my thumb while at the same time trying to explain to bossy Grand daughter what I was doing with her brother Benji's 'train set')

a neater box than Mk 1 - with a different way of

opening up to reveal the poor old guinea-pig tender drive compound

here the 'great leap forward' is revealed: the expensive bit of code 100 on a 6mm ply base has been replaced by triple thickness corrug cardboard with slots to 00 gauge cut in that are edged with tinfoil. The Compound can now be driven off (via my yet to be constructed cradle) onto the track.

Brilliant .... or what?

Well actually...

SWAT analysis:
all the bull
t I've just spun you
plus the box is now nice and big, with the capability to be linered down to give a 1mm clearance to the loco.

Weaknesses: the revolutionary 3 layer corrug card faced in tinfoil is not "stoker proof". It clearly won't withstand frequent loading and unloading - a more durable cheapo electrically conductive spec is required.
I've ducked the problem of cutting openings for visibly identifying the loco because they snag delicate bits of detail.
The hook and loop tape I'm using is wickedly fierce. It requires a huge amount of effort to pull apart, with a real risk that the whole shebang may fly off and dash itself to pieces on the floor.

lets give it 4 out of 10
It is not half way there yet in terms of the spec. I set myself.


PS These are the dims I'm working to (red the biggest, blue the smallest)
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Thanks Norm for your encouraging comments
QUOTE I would say your own marking is somewhat on the harsh side
It really is because it is not yet half way to "doing what it says on the tin"

But I'll have another go after supper tonight while SWMBO watches TV. I fancy having a 'stab' (pun intended ?) next at making the launching cradle.

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Don't be conned by free give-away orange boxes from Tesco plugged on a rival thread - just look at the latest developments here: an over-priced drive in cardboard box (still the lovely Mk2):

Train Wood Rolling stock Railway Rolling

I've now had a stab at a launching cradle to hold the amazing Mk2 box

Train Vehicle Light Rolling stock Building

shewn in this drive on/off trial done on the bairn's trackmat (sorry don't have a video camera).

Wood Floor Flooring Hardwood Rectangle

Here is the loading cradle that fits over the track

OK it works (after a fashion), but it is far from "stoker-proof" yet and the rig is much too long. The next version of the cradle that locates over the track will be shorter with the box locating part cantilevered. At present it needs far too long a straight bit of track.

Well folks...."back to the asylum"



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QUOTE (Norman Byrne @ 26 Nov 2012, 10:52) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi LF&T,
Well I would accept DT's kind offer - All Funds gratefully accepted eh; in the name of progress of course LOL !!!!

I would also say your latest efforts have definitely increased that points score - the extruded craddle handles look very much like the ones from down under ? & just the job.Um....
thats because it is RJ's !
Lets just say I have it beside me for "inspiration"

Dragon's Den, is that the one with Sugar? Well he's always ripped off other folks ideas - so I might well be in with a chance.

QUOTE Is the track loading / placing section on a slight slope, or is that just my eyesight ?yup, learn to trust yer eyesight. Its on a slope so induces no end of wicked wheelspin. You have to be real quick on the emergency stop button!

Hands up who's for the free clemantines box instead?

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QUOTE A sort of vertical cassette set up. Any chance you could post a copy of the pic you have found maybe ?
Would it be this you were thinking of Wheatley ?

this is the link to the site ://
There is one in a model shop window in Valletta, Malta.

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