Saturday, January 28, 2012

Loading Up for the Great Train Expo

I am loaded and ready for the Great Train Expo that begins today in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  Although the layout is 10 feet long, I transport it (as well as my previous layouts) in my mini van.  It is made to carry a 4x8 foot sheet of plywood, so other than about 1.5 feet of layout sticking out the back, the van works well.  I built a simple wood frame covered with cardboard to shelter the exposed area while I transport it.  It's only about 18 miles from my house, so while not ideal, it gets me there successfully.  If anyone reading this is planning to attend the show, please stop by and say hi.


  1. Is the layout always stored in the garage? And what's the overall height of it?

    I'm thinking of maaaybe putting my current modular layout on the back burner to build a version of Marias Pass so I can, you know, actually complete a layout in my life time... but I would want to do it inside the house where I actually have a room for it.

    Of course, the problem with this is the front door is only 36" wide or so. With the frame construction you used do you see any problems resulting from titling the layout on it's side to get through the front door should the need arise (like to move again)?

  2. Oops. By height I meant from bottom of the fascia to top of scenery, so with the legs folded.

    1. I thought about just that when I designed the layout. 10 feet is a lot for one section but I hate seams. Knowing that the size would limit where the layout could go, I deliberately made the backdrop no more than 16" so that when the layout is turned on edge, it measures no more than 25" and can easily go through a common 28" door opening. I do plan on selling the layout, and while some people won't be able to manage the length, I didn't want to make it impossible to fit into a room or home.