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

16825 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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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 ?


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.


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 !


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 !!!!


Hi DT,

I will bring a long a set of London Eye drawings for you to the Newhaven Show - a mock up early next week would be fine LOL ! No Pressure !!!!!

I still think as many pictures relating to stock / loco storage would be ideal from everyone that would like to contribute.


Hi Wheatley,

Thanks for the further input - I would say the London Eye was somewhat tongue in cheek, although a DT mockup is still being sought LOL ! The patenosters I know are still very common place in Europe, worked on a few projects in the last few years where they have been still operating in existing buildings.

Well LF&T - I take my hat off to you in terms of effort & the detailed coverage / reporting of your exploits & endeavours. Also have to say some of which did make me giggle, in particular the mental picture being created by the image of your intombed loco not being able to be extracted from its corrugated cardboard "wrapper" - & we won't even think about how blue the Northern night air may have become LOL ! But seriously great effort. Can't wait to see MK3,4 & ........ !

Also as if I would even consider hassleing your good self LOL !

I am going to see what bits & bobs are lurking around here to attempt some form of mock up, will keep you posted.

If anyone else would like to join in the fun, that would be great ?



PS. A table tennis table work bench now thats great recycling in anyones book LOL !
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Morning LF&T,

I now know you are a "night owl" or is there that much of a great North / South time divide, as those times for me at least are big ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ lol !

Sorry to hear about the war wound, hope nothing to serious, & also no claret on the loco, lucky you picked that colour loco to use maybe !

Great work once again; I would say your own marking is somewhat on the harsh side, maybe we should "ask the audience" - but it certainly worth a lot more marks than that in terms of effort, & ingenuity on the tin foil stakes, is certainly in the category of "one small step for LF&T, ONE ............"
The box looks much more user friendly, than the previous MK's in my view. No probs on the "viewing windows" could go for the old thick marker pen, or a printed pic of the engine / rolling stock fixed to the box perhaps. Or just play lucky dip - what will be running today lol !

Again great effort Mr. Night Owl !!!!!!


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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. Is the track loading / placing section on a slight slope, or is that just my eyesight ?

Keep up the great efforts, really well done.


Hi Wheatley,

Thanks again for the further input. I do not have a copy of the book, but have got a pretty clear pic of what you mean, I seem to think I have seen something like that in a magazine or bookmany years ago, or at least the same approach. A sort of vertical cassette set up. Any chance you could post a copy of the pic you have found maybe ?

The other real benefit of that sort of arrangement being its "small" space needs in terms of width, which is often the more precious dimension, with "dead" space above / below often being available & wasted.


As it's coming up to December; answers on a postcard are allowed; Only to fill the missing spaces -




7'ish & forgotten


Would suggest a closing date, but not yet ........................

Many thanks LF&T + the marketing "Name" (dont say it or else .........).
But do pull your fingers out - so to speak !!!!!! xx
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Hi again All,
This is now a very old thread, but thought it might be worth redirecting having given both the time that has now passed, the way things in the modelling market place have moved on, and also what Forum members have now shown on various threads, such as use of the “full train” clear storage cassettes as seen on Alanoes layout thread; plus others no doubt.
In preparing to make this update, came across the “Nelevator” system, which seems to have been around since the mid 2010’s, a link to which follows; The Nelevator: the automatic fiddle yard for model railways

..... this would appear to be along the lines of the system mention in post #97 above by Wheatley in the original thread responses. Looks like a serious piece of kit ...... could not see anything on the cost front ..... maybe just as well lol !
As for Norms Loft Layout, storage in the main still remains in the under baseboard drawers, with most rolling stock yet to be de-boxed;

Anyway, hope this thread generates a similar level of interest to the original, and look forward to seeing what is now being used / available, on this key aspect of the hobby.
Thanks for now, Cheers Norm
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