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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

Many years back I started a model railway, but sadly lifes events took over and it never made full production. Now though, I am in the very fortunate position of having a big workshop garage with plenty of room to start again. The space still needs to be flexible though, and I was wondering how suitable a couple of fold up table tennis tables might be as the base. So long as I don't go too high buildings/scenery wise, I reckon I could fold them up to give me space back as required. (You seem to get about 12-15" of a gap when both halves are folded up) The question is, can anybody think of any good reasons whay I wouldn't use one? (I've actually got room for two, end on end, so should be a decent size overall.)

Cheers

Richard
 

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Here are a few thoughts against this idea

1. It is likely to be a rather flimsy arrangement.
2. You would have to remove all rolling stock every time you wanted to pack up and put it back the next time. The first time this happened you wouldn't mind but after the third or fourth time you would be fed up and less likely to get it out again.
3. Without a hole in the middle where you can stand you are going to have a very obvious oval set-up which you would need to disguise. You would probably want a hidden section in a tunnel or behind a backscene to store trains. The former would make collecting up at the end of a session even harder.

As an alternative, I think that you would find it much better to make a layout going round the walls of the workshop or garage. This would only to need to be about 18" to 21" wide for OO scale, even less in some parts. This would still give you a large area in the middle. You could have storage cupboards above and below the layout.

hope this helps, Robert.
 

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much like the NMRA britregion modular concept?

I still have a module......from....15 years ago????

for removeability, why not a rectangular polo, which can be raised to the garage ceiling when not in use?

Pulleys, ropes...and even possible to electrify using a cheap, 12volt vehicle winch?
 

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It really depends what your view of the hobby is.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with an oval though. It is the most common form of modelling.
I'd prefer if possible though like Alistair a pulley system to one that lifts up against a wall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hhhmm, doesn't seem quite such a good idea now. I am concerned about water getting on it should the roof leak (it's a good roof, but getting old), however there is nothing stopping me putting a cover over a pulley setpup is there. I shall give that some more thought. Many thanks for the feedback.
 

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I was the first one to reply on this thread and I immediately jumped in with the negatives. I am sorry if this put you off completely. I have been giving it more thought and there are ways round other difficulties if you can deal with the first, i.e. make the set-up rigid when set up.

The only folding table-tennis tables that I have seen have no support at the corners and I think that this will be necessary. Perhaps you could make some detachable legs or trestles. The quicker these can be attached and removed the better as if it takes a long time it will put you off doing it. You might also find that the table surface is too flexible and needs strengthening.

Having done the above, there is a way that you can make all stock quickly removable and replaceable. Set the track level a little above table level by about 20mm. Then along one side you can have the fiddle yard as a sort of tray with several tracks which can be taken off and stored on a shelf. Providing you don't want more than about six trains, they can all be accomodated on this tray at the end of a running session. This arrangement would also have the advantage that some scenery could be below track level which always looks good and adds to realism.

The great advantage that your tables would give you is the shear size if you use both. If they are full size tables then each will be 2.74m by 1,525m so together will be 2.74m by 3.05m or 1.525m by 5.48m. The first would be good and the second really impressive. If you go ahead with this idea there will be lots of details to sort out such as reliable joining of the tracks at board edges but there will be answers to this and other problems on the forum or post specefic questions.

Good luck. The bottom line is - build a model railway in one way or another. Once again, sorry if initially I was off-putting.
 

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Don't proper table tennis tables fold up into a sort of bottomless U on thier own integral wheeled frames?

Regards
 

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All this reminds me of the 'layout in a paste table' series of article in scale trains mag...??

I would avoid a 'table tennis table' personally...for rigidity problems...plus, difficulties of access to anything in the centre...[without the threat of demolishing things in between?]

A layout which ''folds' into two, creating a box, is useful for removal and storage....but needs hinges on extended mounts...my son's layout is thus.

The main headache is, planning the locations of various scenic items so as not to foul each other when the layout is folded away.

Stock removal is a pain, yet if the layout is not too ambitious, not a difficulty.

Recommend a few ''re-railers'' or whatever they're now called, to speed things up.
 

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regarding ''ovals'' which are excellent, if only for relaxing.......and also, if laid out right, provide the 'mileage' between stations.........

An idea I spotted years ago, in...Model Railroader?????.....was an extension of the 'Timesaver' switching layout scheme.....the idea being, to start with the 'Timesaver' trackplan...to operate and sustain interest....then insert this plan within an ''oval'' configuration.
The idea was, to use one of the multitude of ''through route' options available with this plan....as the connection to the oval.

when not content with trains circulating, the actual Timesaver part can be used as the switching [shunting] puzzle??
 

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My layout IS on a tabletennis table. In fact it's two layouts, each 9x 2ft 6in separated by a near full-length scenic divider, and each layout - UK in OO + US in HO - linked with the other for continuous running.
Yes rigidity is a problem, and I've added extra bracing underneath, although I have to say it isn't perfect. The table top is also covered with 6mm MDF sheeting, which further adds to the strength. 9mm would've been better, but it's better than the layout I had before. [ none ] We go with whatever we can fit and afford.
I wouldn't like to be dismantling it though. It stays put.

Mike
 

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The current issue of Hornby Magazine (November cover date) has an article on layout ideas for areas in the region of 6' x 4'. It might give you some ideas.

David
 
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