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n-scale carport railroad

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  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 302,278 posts
n-scale carport railroad
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, July 23, 2003 7:14 AM
after years of planning and dreaming of building a model railroad, i think i am about ready to start. my concern is that i will have to build it in the corner of my 2 sided double carport. it will be an n-scale rr bulit on a fold up shelf that will be stored in a cabinet as air tight as i can get. will dirt and moisture be such a problem as to defeat my dream? i live in south georgia and our humidity is about 90% or better 9 months out of the year.
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 302,278 posts
n-scale carport railroad
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, July 23, 2003 7:14 AM
after years of planning and dreaming of building a model railroad, i think i am about ready to start. my concern is that i will have to build it in the corner of my 2 sided double carport. it will be an n-scale rr bulit on a fold up shelf that will be stored in a cabinet as air tight as i can get. will dirt and moisture be such a problem as to defeat my dream? i live in south georgia and our humidity is about 90% or better 9 months out of the year.
  • Member since
    November 2001
  • From: US
  • 1,720 posts
Posted by MAbruce on Wednesday, July 23, 2003 9:36 AM
I'd be concerned about the climate conditions. Humidity can reap havoc on any layout.

I can think of a couple of things to consider that would help reduce the effects of the humidity.

First would be to construct your layout using materials that would be less susceptible to temperature & humidity changes. Foam would be one of them. But if you want to use wood, seal it first with a primer.

Second, store your equipment (loco’s & power packs) in doors so the humidity won’t get to them when not in use.

That’s all I can think of. I’m sure others will chime in with more suggestions.
  • Member since
    November 2001
  • From: US
  • 1,720 posts
Posted by MAbruce on Wednesday, July 23, 2003 9:36 AM
I'd be concerned about the climate conditions. Humidity can reap havoc on any layout.

I can think of a couple of things to consider that would help reduce the effects of the humidity.

First would be to construct your layout using materials that would be less susceptible to temperature & humidity changes. Foam would be one of them. But if you want to use wood, seal it first with a primer.

Second, store your equipment (loco’s & power packs) in doors so the humidity won’t get to them when not in use.

That’s all I can think of. I’m sure others will chime in with more suggestions.
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 302,278 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, July 23, 2003 4:55 PM
If the layout folds up, you'll need to remove all rolling stock from the layout every time you are done with it and then replace it all the back onto the layout the next time you use it, unless you get clever and design it with a hinge so that part of it stays horizontal and you can "park" all your rolling stock on it that part.
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 302,278 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, July 23, 2003 4:55 PM
If the layout folds up, you'll need to remove all rolling stock from the layout every time you are done with it and then replace it all the back onto the layout the next time you use it, unless you get clever and design it with a hinge so that part of it stays horizontal and you can "park" all your rolling stock on it that part.
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 302,278 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, July 23, 2003 6:09 PM
Seal all your electrical connections with liquid plastic tape to offset rust/oxidation of your connections.

The thermal expansion/contraction of different materials could cause a problem. Temperature swings in an insulated, somewhat climate controlled garage are noticeable - a true outdoor layout would see more.

I don't think you can use glue for an adhesive. You will need to use an indoor/outdoor type of adhesive for track, roadbed, etc.

Solder every possible rail joint because of oxidation and expansion/contraction.
Dont just have empty insulating gaps, use plastic insulators.

I wouldn't use wood for structures, that will expand and contract as well.

I don't think it is impossible, but your maintenance will probably be 4x that of an indoor layout.

I would keep it simple - no big yards or a switching maze. Just a point to point or oval with a small support yard and a few industrial sidings.

Good luck!


  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 302,278 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, July 23, 2003 6:09 PM
Seal all your electrical connections with liquid plastic tape to offset rust/oxidation of your connections.

The thermal expansion/contraction of different materials could cause a problem. Temperature swings in an insulated, somewhat climate controlled garage are noticeable - a true outdoor layout would see more.

I don't think you can use glue for an adhesive. You will need to use an indoor/outdoor type of adhesive for track, roadbed, etc.

Solder every possible rail joint because of oxidation and expansion/contraction.
Dont just have empty insulating gaps, use plastic insulators.

I wouldn't use wood for structures, that will expand and contract as well.

I don't think it is impossible, but your maintenance will probably be 4x that of an indoor layout.

I would keep it simple - no big yards or a switching maze. Just a point to point or oval with a small support yard and a few industrial sidings.

Good luck!


  • Member since
    April 2002
  • From: Nashville TN
  • 1,306 posts
Posted by Wdlgln005 on Wednesday, July 23, 2003 10:51 PM
A carport would be a tough place to put a model railroad. Temperature, humidity and dirt would all be working against you. The room that a model RR is in is as important to the modeler as it is to the model! The best part would be to set up some sort of shop/paint area to do all of your benchwork & some painting in a well ventelated, lighted & easy to clean area.

This spot could provide an area to transfer equipment on & off the layout. Start small and let the acorn grow as your skills and experience increase. There ought to be a Ntrak club in your area. They would be an excellent source of information for what type of materials to use. You may just have the perfect spot to build Ntrak modules & transport them to Ntrak conventions & meets! They may even want to clear out the rest of the carport & set up a larger layout some weekend afternoon!

Try this link:
http://ntrak.mv.com/

http://www.ntrak.org



Have fun Nscaling!
Glenn Woodle
  • Member since
    April 2002
  • From: Nashville TN
  • 1,306 posts
Posted by Wdlgln005 on Wednesday, July 23, 2003 10:51 PM
A carport would be a tough place to put a model railroad. Temperature, humidity and dirt would all be working against you. The room that a model RR is in is as important to the modeler as it is to the model! The best part would be to set up some sort of shop/paint area to do all of your benchwork & some painting in a well ventelated, lighted & easy to clean area.

This spot could provide an area to transfer equipment on & off the layout. Start small and let the acorn grow as your skills and experience increase. There ought to be a Ntrak club in your area. They would be an excellent source of information for what type of materials to use. You may just have the perfect spot to build Ntrak modules & transport them to Ntrak conventions & meets! They may even want to clear out the rest of the carport & set up a larger layout some weekend afternoon!

Try this link:
http://ntrak.mv.com/

http://www.ntrak.org



Have fun Nscaling!
Glenn Woodle
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 302,278 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, July 26, 2003 11:36 PM
I think you will have problems with soldering all the track.I had a layout room built in my garagewith A/C and a space heater when I lived in Alabama.I used Atlas Code 80 N-scale flex soldered at all joints .Amtrak hats rail kinks and I know why now.I fixed the problem with Kato Unitrack I know there will be recourse for that statement(most people don't like Unitrack systems they say it doesn't look right but it will handle temp and humidety change well) but do what you have to do!
Hope this helps and have fun and enjoy (that is what it is for any way)

Jeff
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 302,278 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, July 26, 2003 11:36 PM
I think you will have problems with soldering all the track.I had a layout room built in my garagewith A/C and a space heater when I lived in Alabama.I used Atlas Code 80 N-scale flex soldered at all joints .Amtrak hats rail kinks and I know why now.I fixed the problem with Kato Unitrack I know there will be recourse for that statement(most people don't like Unitrack systems they say it doesn't look right but it will handle temp and humidety change well) but do what you have to do!
Hope this helps and have fun and enjoy (that is what it is for any way)

Jeff

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