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HO Scale Model Train Layout For Sale

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HO Scale Model Train Layout For Sale
Posted by nadnad on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 1:03 PM

Hello,

I am currently building an around the walls HO scale layout in my basement by myself (25' x 17' approx.).  The thought of not completing this layout in my lifetime by myself has led me to believe that maybe I should purchase an existing layout and add on to it at a later date when my time and funds permit. 

So my question is, does anyone have a modern era HO scale layout that is complete or nearly complete (i.e. benchwork, wiring, trackwork, scenery, etc.) that would be willing to sell some or all of it for a reasonable price?   I live in the Toronto, Ontario, Canada region, so pickup would be an issue.

If anyone can oblige, please get in touch with me as soon as possible.

Thanks,

Nad 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by davidmbedard on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 1:10 PM

 ...or you can hire someone to do the work for you.

....or you can look locally at some train clubs or groups that would enjoying helping you.

....or you can start small and grow your layout as time permits.

I highly suggest NOT buying someone else's layout for multiple reasons....the biggest of which is the fact that every layout has issues, and if you are not versed on how the layout was built/wired, you will be in for a bad experience.

Get someone over, and start planning your layout today.  Get out to some of the local Model Railroad shows and look around at the layouts.  If you see something you like, get into a conversation with someone from that group.  That would be your first step to realizing your dreams.

The expensive route would be to hire someone professional to do the work for you.  But then you are looking at mega bucks depending on the layout size.

David B

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Posted by nadnad on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 1:30 PM

I've already hired someone to work with me and it is too expensive.

I've visited some local groups but I do not have the courage to ask for help.

I've tried to work a little bit at a time but not enough gets done.

I have no problem buying someone's professionaly built layout for a reasonable price.  I have seen some basement layouts that are spectacular but unfortunately they were not for sale.

 Thanks

 

 

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Posted by pastorbob on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 3:01 PM

Took me 25 years to get my railroad "finished".  29ft by 33ft three decks.  All scenery done, have op sessions, all structures in, only thing left other than operation is spot replacement of scenery/structures/sidings/etc.  I did it working at a job that took a lot of my time, but I decided to retire, and I am not a spring chicken, but I got ur done.

Personally there is no way I would have hired anyone to build it for me.  I enjoyed every step of the construction, even the parts I am not particularily good at.  I now can look at it, enjoy it, and know it is my creation and not someone elses.  Even if you paid someone to follow your plans, it would not be your railroad.  That comes from doing it yourself, making mistakes, redoing, etc.

Bob

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 4:18 PM

I'd look first at what's slowing you down. If it's benchwork, try the pre-fab kits that are available, or use shelving components from a big box store like John Sterling shelves for benchwork. If it's track, look into Kato Unitrack - thin profile code 83 track, generally considered "bulletproof". You may not be able to complete a layout in a short time, but you should be able to get something up and running pretty soon.

On my basement layout, I'm starting with the staging yard area. I added some flats / background buildings as industries, and a team track on a front track, and am operating it for now as a switching layout. In time I'll expand out until I have everything in place, but for now I'm OK being able to switch cars around. You have to take it one bite at a time. 

Stix
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Posted by Allegheny2-6-6-6 on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 4:48 PM

 If you think your too old to start a layout go buy Allen Keller Great Model Railroads volume #61 Harold Werthwein's Erie Railroad Wyoming Division, Harold is either 86 or 88 years old can't remember which and he didn't stat his layout until he retired at 65. So don't use the old age excuse. Your not in a race to finish it. Building it and looking back your accomplishments along the way far exceed any gratification you can receive by purchasing some layout that someone else built.

There are plenty of ways to start off small and add on.  Work in sections as modules design and over all basic track plan and buid one section at a time. It's not really going to take you as long as you think and if your worried about getting it done, don't . Becasue it's never done there is always something you can do on it.

 

 


Just my 2 cents worth, I spent the rest on trains. If you choked a Smurf what color would he turn?
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Posted by gmcrail on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 5:23 PM

 nadnad:

Model Railroading is a hobby.  A hobby, by definition, is not something you "complete", but something you work on/with on a continuing basis.   In fact, every model railroader I've known who has "completed" (they never really are, you know) a layout has soon scrapped it and started over with a new and  bigger/better/smaller/different layout.  Don't sweat the completion.  It's not about the destination, it's about the journey.

 

 

---

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Posted by mobilman44 on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 5:38 PM

Nad,

May I offer you some well intentioned advice?  

I've been playing with trains since the 1950s, and have built layouts in O and N scale, but mostly in HO.  I'm currently building a "replacement" HO layout for the one I had from 1993-2008.  This one is a room filling 11x15 with two levels.  I've been at it for a year, but don't expect all the trackage & wiring to be complete until this summer.  And then I start on scenery & structures, which could last a couple of years at best.  BUT, I'm enjoying every minute of it.

For a lot of folks, the building of a layout is as much fun as "the final product".  We get to incorporate our specific likes and influences and as Frank would say, "I did it my way".  I believe you would be significantly happier in the long run to build it yourself, or at least with the help of other MRs.

Your space for a beginner (that's an assumption on my part) is huge!!!  But it can easily be overwhelming for the best of us.  Perhaps you would be better off to build it in stages (i.e. a one wall shelf type layout at first), or to do a corner of the room first?

One additional comment......  I suspect any layout "worth its salt" would cost you a pretty penny!  And moving a layout (except modulars) would be a major undertaking.  And lastly, only the builder would know the ins and outs of the wiring, etc., etc.

Good Luck,

Mobilman44

ENJOY  !

 

Mobilman44

 

Living in southeast Texas, modeling the "postwar" Santa Fe and Illinois Central 

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Posted by Phoebe Vet on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 6:07 PM

 Start with a manageable size and expand.

I started by building the 3 times around 4x8 foot module that you see at the top of this layout, which is now 18x16.

I added one 2x8 foot module at a time.

Dave

Lackawanna Route of the Phoebe Snow

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Posted by mobilman44 on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 6:28 PM

Hi again!

I wrote my posting before I saw the other posts.  After reading them, a couple of questions came to mind - and I'll ask them here.........

   -  How old are you, and how long have you been in the Hobby?

   -  How much money would you spend for a "ready built" layout?

Sorry if the questions are perceived as too personal, but the answers would certainly aid in your getting "better" replies!

ENJOY,

Mobilman44

ENJOY  !

 

Mobilman44

 

Living in southeast Texas, modeling the "postwar" Santa Fe and Illinois Central 

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Posted by luvadj on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 9:01 PM

 If the "pros" are to high priced, you might try looking on Ebay. Occasionly, I come across full layouts listed and some of the prices aren't too bad.

Bob Berger, C.O.O. N-ovation & Northwestern R.R.        My patio layout..SEE IT HERE.

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Posted by MRSATURDAYNIGHT7BNSF on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 9:48 PM
Like others are saying, I'd start off in a small area, build that up and expand. I wouldnt want someone building my layout for me because your idea will always be different than someone elses. A model railroad can never really be "Complete". Theres always something you can do to it. Taking your time with it is the fun part. You should see how many unopened boxes of railroad stuff I have packed away in a few closets. (Engines,Rolling Stock, Track, Buildings, Scenery kits etc. etc.) I bought them but I probably won't get around to using it for a year or maybe longer.
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Posted by Driline on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 10:20 PM

pastorbob
Took me 25 years to get my railroad "finished".  29ft by 33ft three decks.

 

So how much will you sell your layout to nadnad for? He can't afford someone to help him build one, so I assume his funds are somewhat limited. How bout $300? I can't believe you'd have more than that in a 29X33 foot 3 decker layout.

Modeling the Davenport Rock Island & Northwestern 1995 in HO
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Posted by pastorbob on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 10:43 PM

Driline

pastorbob
Took me 25 years to get my railroad "finished".  29ft by 33ft three decks.

 

So how much will you sell your layout to nadnad for? He can't afford someone to help him build one, so I assume his funds are somewhat limited. How bout $300? I can't believe you'd have more than that in a 29X33 foot 3 decker layout.

I greatly doubt he could come anywhere close to raising the funds to buy my layout, even if I would want to sell it, which I don't, even if he wanted it.  Actually I am not sure what kind of a question this is that you raised.  Or maybe you asked "tongue in cheek".  Either way, when I die, it will be for sale in whatever form my wife and kids decrees.  it will be their "problem".

Bob

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Posted by IRONROOSTER on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 11:58 PM

 Reasonable price I think will be an issue.  Since most price ranges for building a layout are in the $50-$150/sq ft range a 4x8 at 32 sq ft is $1600-$4800.  Since hiring someone is too expensive, this is probably too much as well.  Cheaper prices are usually estate sales or moving sales - removing the layout is usually your problem. Chances are the layout won't fit your needs.

One way to build a large layout is to design it so that you build it in stages with each stage allowing whatever operation you are interested in.  Or you could have temporary return loops that you move along as a section gets completed.

Personally, I plan to start the "Big One" after I retire in a couple of years using two areas in my basement - 12x30 ft and 14x50 ft.  This layout will never be complete, but I will build it in stages that allow operation at each stage.

Enjoy

Paul

If you're having fun, you're doing it the right way.
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Posted by cudaken on Wednesday, February 17, 2010 8:59 AM

 Nad, one of the big problem I would see in buy a layout is they won't come apart or ship well. Repairing track work on a done section is much harder than a section not done.

 As other have asked what part is taking you to long to do?

 I have been working on mine for 5 plus years and I can see it taking another 10 years.

             Cuda Ken

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Posted by nadnad on Wednesday, February 17, 2010 9:21 AM

Hello Guys,

In response to some questions;

1) I am willing to spend the right amount on a layout provided it meets my expectations

2) In response to your question, it's not one part I'm stuck on, it's the progress or lack there of.  I am in my mid thirties, with a full time job, a wife and other extra curricular activities.  By the time you get home from work, spend time with your wife/family and do other activities, there is no time left.  If I could get a layout that is completed which I could setup and enjoy, then add to it later when the time and funds permit, that would be ideal.

Thanks,

Nad 

 

 

 

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Posted by pastorbob on Wednesday, February 17, 2010 10:06 AM

There is an old saying "money can't buy happiness" and I believe it.  As I mentioned, my Santa Fe is 25 years old, the first 15 years while building it I was married, was a professional in the computer field along with part time pastor in a church, and still got the bulk of the railroad built.  Our kids were gone, but we were both pretty envolved with other things.  The last 10 years, I retired from the computer field, still active as a pastor, and my wife is still alive.  Grandkids visit, but I still find plenty of time. 

I just can't imagine paying someone to build a railroad for me.  It just wouldn't be "my layout" because it wouldn't involve any effort on my part to create it other than "buy it".  Money would not replace the satisfaction of showing it and saying "I built it".  Sorry.

Bob

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Posted by CP5415 on Wednesday, February 17, 2010 12:09 PM

Nad,

Time is precious to everyone. I have 2 young children to deal with as well as everything else in my life. Fortunately enough, my son is a train freak so finding time to "work" on the trains is possible now.

I started my current layout within weeks of moving into my current home. The room I have is 21x11 & it's been a slow go. I started off making half of the benchwork just to lay some temporary track to see things moving on rails. Take your time & build it yourself. Just because someone else builds it doesn't mean you're going to like it. Do some research, see what fits your space & go from there.

If you want to "buy" a layout, look on Kijiji.ca, I've seen a few smaller layouts for sale on it & they're in the GTA. Start small & expand from there. That's what I'm doing. From what I've read about the Gorre & Daphetid by John Allen, he did the same thing.

 Just my 2 Cents

Gordon in Whitby

Brought to you by the letters C.P.R. as well as D&H!

 K1a - all the way

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Posted by fwright on Wednesday, February 17, 2010 12:45 PM

I have to agree with the other posters for a variety of reasons:

Layouts bigger than 4x8 tend to be outrageously priced as the owner/heirs try to get some of their investment back.  Or they can be had for almost nothing as the owner/heir tries to get it removed from the house now.  I've seen both cases.  When my father's health became too poor to stay in his house, he struck a deal with the local club to remove his 12x13ft HO layout in return for the club being allowed to strip the track, bridges, switch machines, wiring, and power supplies for "free".  OTOH, I've walked away from estate sales where the widow/agent insisted I take the entire layout for thousands of dollars when I only wanted one or two pieces.

There are really only 3 reasons layouts get sold:

  • the builder is a layout builder, not an operator.  As soon as one layout is "finished", he's itching to start the next.  Since he doesn't really care about operations - does the layout work?  Is the track plan conducive to operations?  How thoroughly has the layout been tested and wrung out?
  • the builder is dissatisfied with the layout, and wants to start over.  The obvious question is why?  What flaws prompted his dissatisfaction?
  • the builder died or is in ill health.  How long has the layout been neglected before it was put up for sale?  Are the technologies used too old for you (DC wiring or brass track for example)?   

If you do find a bigger-than-4x8 layout you want to buy at a price you are willing to pay - a bunch of ugly questions arise.  Is the layout built in sections to come apart to get it out the door?  Do you have suitable transportation to get it to your house?  If not in sections, will you be able to use power saws and tools to cut it up into sections?  How good are you at planning the sections, and where to cut?  Can you reassemble it after moving to close enough tolerances so that the track is still operational?  Who will clean up the mess from cutting the layout up?  Is the wiring documented and labeled well enough for you to cut the wires between sections, and rewire it in your house?  Very, very few of us (perhaps 2?  Shock ) have the discipline to maintain the documentation on our layout wiring to the point where somebody else could understand it.  Were the builder's track standards close to yours?  Or is the layout derailment city?  Is the track plan functional for the kind of operations you want to do?  Or is it suited for display running or switching puzzle operations only?

When I was a kid, we moved overseas for 2.5 years.  Our HO layout was boxed in the basement against the wall and the house rented out.  When we returned, the house was uninhabitable, and the layout went in the dumpster.  While we were searching for a house to live, my Dad bought a used 4x6 layout to keep me busy in the interim.  The layout was built from an Atlas plan with no changes.  Luckily, I had the Atlas book it was built from so I could understand the wiring.  After cleaning the brass rail track for the bazillionth time, I finally got my Fleischman diesel running with a 3 car train on the layout.  I learned a lot from that little layout in the 4 months I had it.  In that case, buying a used layout wasn't all that bad.  But it was a very small layout that was easily moved.  Could I have built that little layout in the time it took me to get it running?  Possibly, but my skills weren't good enough then.

Fast forward to present.  I have been paralyzed in planning a new layout for the new house.  There are 2 very different directions I can go, and I can't decide which would be the better long term alternative.  So instead of having nothing while I dithered, I have started building a portable 4x6 test layout.  I am experimenting with construction and scenery methods and materials I always wanted to try.  I am using a limited amount of Snap and flex track in the beginning to get things running more quickly - I normally hand lay my track.  The test layout will also serve as a test loop for my kit-built and bashed HO and HOn3 locomotives.  And I can move it around as a full-size mockup to decide on the better configuration for the "big one".

Progress on even the test layout has been much slower than I anticipated.  Wife, kids, dog, house, computers, work, and the seemingly never-ending honey-do list have kept me in the minutes per week arena on the layout.  And at times I think I may just detour for a month or two into a micro-layout on a bookshelf a la Carl Arendt just for the fun of it.  At the rate I am going, it will be years before I start on the big one.  But that's OK, I'm in it for the journey, not the end result.

At times I feel like I'm on a similar path to Harold Minkwitz.  He started an On30 4x8 as the 1st piece of a grand basement layout (see http://www.pacificcoastairlinerr.com/main_page/).  He experimented with On30, HO, and Sn3.5 all on the same 4x8 layout over several years.  He developed several different scenery techniques.  He even went into virtual modeling for a while.  He's finally (several years later) starting a new 55n3 layout.

my thoughts, your choices

Fred W

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Posted by mobilman44 on Wednesday, February 17, 2010 12:58 PM

Hi once again!

  Nad, it seems like the previous posters in general suggest you build your own.  They passed along a lot of ideas & suggestions - and those I am familiar with speak from experience and wisdom.

But, may I add a few more comments.........

-  I believe Woodland Scenics (and possibly others)  sells a layout in a box and that might be just what you are looking for.  You would still put it together, but pretty much everything you need - including instructions is there.  Check with a major train store in your area!

- Point to ponder.......  If you don't have time to build a layout, will you have time to run trains and enjoy them?  I believe most all the MRs will tell you that for every hour of train "run time", there is at least that much time needed for maintenance and improvements.  That's one of the big downfalls of having a large layout with one operator (yes, been there, done that).

- Sounds like you are in the same boat as a lot of folks are/were at your age.  Between work, wife, family, church, etc., etc., etc., you are stretched pretty thin.  I'm retired and 65, but I remember those times for sure!  Perhaps you need to scale back on other activities - or even (heavens to mergatroid) put off MR until you have additional time!

Hey, good luck!

Mobilman44 

ENJOY  !

 

Mobilman44

 

Living in southeast Texas, modeling the "postwar" Santa Fe and Illinois Central 

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Posted by slammin on Wednesday, February 17, 2010 1:35 PM

We all have issues with time for the hobby. If you are unable to budget a few hours a week, maybe you should consider another hobby. If  trains really interest you, check to see if there is a local club or group you can join. That way you can find out if model railroading is your cup of tea. As was previuosly stated, you might consider the Woodland Scenics layouts. There are several "sub assemblies" that can be purchased including a Kato track package design for the layout. While you will still have to assemble the parts, it is a fairly quick way to learn skills and have a layout up and running for around $1,000 Perhaps a small switching layout, built on a flush interior door will get you running quickly, cheaply. It can be incorporated into a larger layout when you have more time for the hobby. I have been an "armchair" model railroader for over a decade, buying stuff I expect I will use when time and space become available. Once upon a time I envisioned a V&O size empire. Now I'm starting a few 2 x 8 sections.

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Posted by 1948PRR on Wednesday, February 17, 2010 4:17 PM

I have a 15x19 that I started in 2006. I started buying hollow core doors 24"x6'8", and lucked into a batch that were damaged at Lowes for $8 ea. There is also a place nearby called "Broke and Poor" which sells scratch and dents and used doors for anywhere from $5 to $25 depending on size and condition.

As I had time and funds, I built brackets from 1x4s, carefully calculating how many 6 or 8 foot boards would yeild the most brackets for the ammount of money I had to spend that weekend.

As I put up another door, I lad some Atlas flex track and switches, and woked on my track plan.

I had a basic large loop with a yard and industries within a year.

This is actually a great planning aid, as you can run short trains, and modify the plan in real time/space as you go, with the benefit of seeing what fits and works, and what doesn't.

Just when I though my plan was finished and after I'd laid all the track and placed structures (either completed, partailly completed, or mockups), I had a revelation, and revamped 75% of the plan and decided to add a second deck.

this revelation occured in January, and now I'm buying double row shelf standards and prepping the dorrs to be "raised" as I have funds to do so.

This has worked out very well for me, as I have been able to operate by myself continously for quite some time, and have had several sessions with a guest or two on several veaiations of my original plan.

The only downside is the lack of scenery and ground cover, which I can live with if the result is a better more satisfying plan.

The first time I had a friend over to operate, his comment was "looks like the Cat Mountan by David Barrow".

I considered that a compliment.

I an now, however, at a point where I have the option of working on either the doubledecking, the helix, or picking an area of finalized plan and adding scenery.

IMHO, not too bad for 3 yaers and a major plan revision with ensuing construction project, all the while having a fully operational layout.

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Posted by DigitalGriffin on Wednesday, February 17, 2010 4:43 PM

nadnad
2) In response to your question, it's not one part I'm stuck on, it's the progress or lack there of.  I am in my mid thirties, with a full time job, a wife and other extra curricular activities.  By the time you get home from work, spend time with your wife/family and do other activities, there is no time left.  If I could get a layout that is completed which I could setup and enjoy, then add to it later when the time and funds permit, that would be ideal.

I'm in the same boat you are!  Lots of time on the road etc, leaves little time for hobbies.  I try to spend my lunch putting together models.  In a month's time I can complete a medium size kit including paint.  Just 30 minutes a day can make a huge difference.  Or, I can convert couplers on 3 cars in 30 minutes.

Even the singer Rod Stewart found enough time to work on his layout between family and his career. 

Don H-Specializing in layout DC->DCC conversions

Modeling C&O transition era and steel industries There's Nothing Like Big Steam!

 

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Posted by Driline on Wednesday, February 17, 2010 6:21 PM

nadnad
By the time you get home from work, spend time with your wife/family and do other activities, there is no time left.  If I could get a layout that is completed which I could setup and enjoy, then add to it later when the time and funds permit, that would be ideal.

 

Why didn't I think of this before?

LAYOUT IN A BRIEFCASE ! PROBLEM SOLVED!!!

I don't care what you think. I WANT ONE!


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Posted by CTValleyRR on Wednesday, February 17, 2010 9:43 PM

Nad,

Hoping to influence your thinking by weighing in on the subject, I think most everyone who has given you advice has been dead-on.

If you cannot afford a "professional" layout, then I don't think you would be happy with one you purchased.  As others have pointed out, unless you luck into someone's lifelong masterpiece that's being disposed of cheaply in an estate sale, odds are very good that you will be less than happy with something you purchase.  In general, you will get what you pay for, and a cheap layout likely won't be a very good one.

Moreover, though, it won't be YOURS.  You won't have the satisfaction of having created it yourself, it probably won't be perfectly aligned with your operational needs and desires, and you may get very frustrated if it doesn't work right.

I'm like you (although 10+ years older) and I have a full time job and a full time family, plus I coach youth soccer and am a Cub Scout leader.  Most days, fifteen minutes of work is all I can eke out.  Sometimes weeks go by without any progress at all.  If I were you, I'd sketch out (or make a full blown plan on the computer or graph paper) your dream empire.  You might be surprised at how fulfilling that is -- it gives you something to strive for (I have one that may never get built).  Then you can build it, a piece at a time.  Or lay out the benchwork and get all your track down, and experiment with the track layout and see if that's really what you want.  If you've just got to have a layout to run trains right now, then make a small investment in plywood or pink foam, some track, and a table or sawhorses.  Throw down a loop with some sidings or a point to point layout, and run trains.  If you like the way it works, build benchwork, permanently fasten down your track, and start scenicking.  If you find some shortcomings (as most of us do), then reinvent it and try again.

I think most of us will agree that this hobby is more about the journey than the destination....

Connecticut Valley Railroad A Branch of the New York, New Haven, and Hartford

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Posted by subman on Wednesday, February 17, 2010 11:26 PM

I too gave plenty of thought to having a "professional" build me my layout but after posting and receiving the same replies that you are receiving I decided to build it myself. Unlike me you are young and unless you are planning on moving in the next ten years and the thought of disassembling your layout bothers you I will echo what the others are saying.

 My reason for having a professional build it was that I was 68 when I started it after having armchaired the hobby for 50 years with the service, baseball and a second career interupting my starting it (I have all but 13 issues of MR in that time) and felt that age was against me but if I get a higher call before I finish it I can say now that I`m enjoying every minute of building it

 Whoever it was that said a professional 4x8 layout would cost $4000 to build can multiply that by 2. The cheapest 4x8 layout that Clarke Dunham (a quality professional builder) builds is $7500. Most of the layout builders ,depending on the degree of quality, want $225 to 400 a square foot to build a finished layout For this reason I don`t think having a pro build you a layout is within your budget from what I gathered from your post.My suggestion to you is that you have a lifetime ahead of you take it slow and enjoy.

Bob D As long as you surface as many times as you dive you`ll be alive to read these posts.
  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Sorumsand, Norway
  • 3,417 posts
Posted by steinjr on Thursday, February 18, 2010 12:22 AM

 

nadnad

 In response to your question, it's not one part I'm stuck on, it's the progress or lack there of.  I am in my mid thirties, with a full time job, a wife and other extra curricular activities.  By the time you get home from work, spend time with your wife/family and do other activities, there is no time left.  If I could get a layout that is completed which I could setup and enjoy, then add to it later when the time and funds permit, that would be ideal.

 Hi Nad - 

 Just curious - what does it take for you to enjoy a layout - how far along would a layout need be for you to start enjoying it? 

 From what I say, I take it that you are perhaps feeling impatient to get to the running trains stage - that you enjoy running trains more than you enjoy building layouts. Would that be a correct observation?

 Could you e.g. fairly quickly put up enough benchwork that you could put down the mainline (or part of the mainline) and some temporary staging tracks, maybe using sectional track?

 Putting together e.g. Sievers benchwork or mounting shelves can be done rather quickly - it's very much like the "Honey do" list task of assembling furniture - tell your wife you just need to take a few hours training for being able to do that kind of stuff for her projects ;-)

 Or maybe you could find a friend or two to come over for a couple of hours one weekend and help you put up bench work?

 Could your layout perhaps be built in stages or sections, so you could build and scenic one section and just use that section to run trains, along with some temporary staging on either side of that section?

 Could you just make some temporary buildings of cardboard taped together, with doors and windows just drawn on the building? 

 Think a little more about what your goal really is. Just how far along would your layout have to be for you to start enjoying it?

 Smile,
 Stein

 

 

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