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Inexpensive rolling stock storage boxes

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Inexpensive rolling stock storage boxes
Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, October 05, 2016 1:00 AM

Hi everyone:

I just found a reasonably inexpensive source for corrugated cardboard boxes to store and carry my rolling stock in.

Early in my time in the hobby I foolishly threw out most of my rolling stock boxes because I had set up several shelves on which to display all my cars. As time has progressed those shelves are starting to overflow. I now have boxcars three deep in some places, and of course they are all gathering dust. Some cars came without boxes so that has added to the problem too.

I decline to pay eBay sellers two or three dollars each for empty boxes so I decided to see what I could find on line. I very quickly discovered these guys:

https://www.uline.ca/BL_403/Flat-Boxes

I just ordered 25 boxes that are 14" x 6" x 2". They will hold four standard freight cars each, and they were only $0.81 each plus shipping. That works out to about $0.37 per car. Unfortunately the source doesn't offer partitions but I figure I can make those.

The boxes are a good buy for we Canadians IMO, but I'm sure there must be similar companies in the USA.

Now I can get my storage shelves in much better shape!Big Smile

Regards all,

Dave

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, October 05, 2016 6:50 AM

And for folks south of the Great White North border, there are some reasonably priced train storage boxes from Spring Mill Depot.  I've got a couple of these and plan on getting more - Spring Mill Depot rolling stock storage boxes with foam inserts $10 each and can store a bunch of freight cars (e.g. 27 45' hoppers).  Yes

http://www.springmillsdepot.com/boxes.htm

 

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by tstage on Wednesday, October 05, 2016 7:07 AM

FWIW, you may not want to use gray foam-on-paint for long-term storage.  You might run the risk of the foam sticking to the paint on your rolling stock after a while.

I line all my Axian Technology (AT) foam-lined storage boxes with tissue paper - top & bottom - as a barrier between my rolling stock and foam.  That is one of the precautions AT recommends with their product.

Since I'm in-between layouts at this point in time, all my rolling stock is in long-term storage but in a dry place.

Again, FWIW...

Tom

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, October 05, 2016 7:17 AM

FWIW, the Spring Mill Depot boxes come with sheet plastic if foam sticking is a concern - I imagine you could line both top and bottom.  Of course, the better your storage boxes, the more they will cost.  I believe there are storage boxes available which all you to store rolling stock upright on their wheels, and they are considerably more expensvie IIRC.  I don't recall the name and cost right now.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by tstage on Wednesday, October 05, 2016 7:52 AM

A-Line is what you're thinking of, rio.  I use those primarily for storing locomotives.  Just picked up a couple more last week, in fact.

Tom

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Posted by peahrens on Wednesday, October 05, 2016 8:37 AM

riogrande5761
FWIW, the Spring Mill Depot boxes come with sheet plastic if foam sticking is a concern - I imagine you could line both top and bottom. Of course, the better your storage boxes, the more they will cost. I believe there are storage boxes available which all you to store rolling stock upright on their wheels, and they are considerably more expensvie IIRC. I don't recall the name and cost right now.

These Grand Central Gems extra large boxes are great for locos but as noted not cheap.  I like the way the locos can be inserted and lifted out with wheels down, using thin plastic like a kitchen garbage bag piece (I think such plastic is included).  Probably overkill / too pricey for cars.

https://www.modeltrainstuff.com/SearchResults.asp?searching=Y&sort=3&search=storage+box&show=30&page=1&brand=Grand%20Central%20Gems

 

Paul

Modeling HO with a transition era UP bent

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, October 05, 2016 9:02 PM

riogrande5761:

I tried to find some of the Spring Mills Depot boxes but nobody had them in stock in Canada, and shipping from the US made them rather pricey.

Had I given the boxes a little more thought I would have ordered them 3" tall instead of 2". That would have allowed me to stand the cars on their wheels and I could get 6 cars per box instead of 4.

I'm going to use paper napkins as padding. They are dirt cheap (500 for less than $10) and a single napkin should provide four layers of paper if the napkin is only unfolded half way (the length of each napkin will allow it to go around the car twice).

Dave

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, October 07, 2016 12:57 AM

I got the boxes today, delivered to the door. Two days since I ordered them. That's good service.

They are very sturdy, far more so than I was expecting for the price.

Dave

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, October 07, 2016 7:54 AM

peahrens

 

 
riogrande5761
FWIW, the Spring Mill Depot boxes come with sheet plastic if foam sticking is a concern - I imagine you could line both top and bottom. Of course, the better your storage boxes, the more they will cost. I believe there are storage boxes available which all you to store rolling stock upright on their wheels, and they are considerably more expensvie IIRC. I don't recall the name and cost right now.

 

These Grand Central Gems extra large boxes are great for locos but as noted not cheap.  I like the way the locos can be inserted and lifted out with wheels down, using thin plastic like a kitchen garbage bag piece (I think such plastic is included).  Probably overkill / too pricey for cars.

https://www.modeltrainstuff.com/SearchResults.asp?searching=Y&sort=3&search=storage+box&show=30&page=1&brand=Grand%20Central%20Gems

 

I looked at the sold out Grand Central Gems boxes and at $20 each, I am NOT impressed with what you get for the money, which is essentially a Spring Mill box with different dimensions for double the price that allow you put loco's or cars in on their wheels vs. sideways.  If Spring Mill came out with them, they'd sell them for $10 ea and probably like hot cakes.  

But hey, they sold so I guess some people were willing to buy them at that price.  I have seen some other train storage boxes sold that looked a lot more impressive and stored trains upright, but don't recall the brand and they were pricier of course but at least you got something a lot better than a different shaped Spring Mill Depot box.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by Geared Steam on Friday, October 07, 2016 8:17 AM

Plus the Uline boxes would stack nice an orderly if you were tight on space. Good idea, thanks for sharing!

One thing about Uline, once they have your shipping address, you may well start to recieve the quaterly catalog, which is the size of a small phone book. We used them as a vendor where I work, I purchased some large boxes in 2011, and still get a catalog. Surprise

"The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination."-Albert Einstein

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Posted by tstage on Friday, October 07, 2016 9:37 AM

riogrande5761
I have seen some other train storage boxes sold that looked a lot more impressive and stored trains upright, but don't recall the brand...

rio,

Read my earlier post...

Tom

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Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, October 07, 2016 10:03 AM

tstage

 

 
riogrande5761
I have seen some other train storage boxes sold that looked a lot more impressive and stored trains upright, but don't recall the brand...

 

rio,

Read my earlier post...

Tom

Read

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, October 07, 2016 10:45 PM

Geared Steam:

Yes, the catalogue is pretty hefty. I was amazed at the variety of products they carry but interestingly I couldn't find the size or quantity of packing material that I needed. I wanted some thin bubble wrap 6" wide to put around the cars in the boxes. The narrowest they had was 12". No problem I said, I can easily cut the 12" wide stuff into 6" strips. Then I realized that the minimum order quantity was something like 12 - 250' rolls. Uh, no thanks. I'm going to buy a package of cheap paper napkins and they will do just fine.Laugh

Being able to stack the boxes easily, and retrieve individual boxes from within the stack easily, was one of my priorities. The smaller Uline boxes will suit that fine. One of the questions I had about the rather large Spring Mill boxes was where the heck I was going to put them.

Dave

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Posted by wdcrvr on Monday, October 10, 2016 7:56 AM

When someone says cheap, I am thinking as close to free as I can get.  At this point I only have about 40 pieces of rolling stock and 6 locomotives (all steam).  But since I am still doing extensive work on my layout I do not like to leave a lot of pieces setting out on the tracks.  So, I acquire empty printer paper boxes (from church) and I just cut the bottom of the box down and then lay down a piece of foam in the bottom.  After putting the cars in on their sides I lay another piece of foam on top.  I cut the top of the box down also so that it can fit all the way down on the reduced bottom.  The cars are protected and do not slide around in the box.  Yeah, it's not pretty but I can't figure out how to make it any cheaper.

wdcrvr

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Posted by maxman on Monday, October 10, 2016 9:34 AM

hon30critter
I wanted some thin bubble wrap 6" wide to put around the cars in the boxes. The narrowest they had was 12". No problem I said, I can easily cut the 12" wide stuff into 6" strips. Then I realized that the minimum order quantity was something like 12 - 250' rolls.

You can buy bubblewrap in single rolls at Walmart, Staples, and probably many other local vendors.

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Posted by maxman on Monday, October 10, 2016 9:36 AM

wdcrvr
After putting the cars in on their sides I lay another piece of foam on top.

I personally don't like the idea of putting cars or locos on their sides.  I much prefer to have them sitting on their wheels.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Monday, October 10, 2016 1:28 PM

For individual cars, I prefer to use the boxes in which they came, although some here contain 2 or 4 cars each, since I buy quite a bit of "used" rolling stock, with no boxes...

For locomotives and passenger cars, I build my own boxes for storage or transportation, starting with produce boxes from the supermarket.  These are sturdy corrugated cardboard, with a separate slip-on type lid, which increases the rigidity when being carried.  Many have cutout hand-holds, too.  The ones shown here contained pears (not Great Northern equipment), but slightly smaller ones for tomatoes work well, too.  Banana boxes can also be used, but you'll need to add a full-size inner bottom of similar cardboard, as there's a fairly large opening in the bottom of those boxes:

Such boxes are free, and most stores will set aside useful ones if you ask nicely.
For storage in these boxes, I make trays sized-to-suit for whatever I wish to store.  Stored items can be flat on their side, or upright, on their wheels, depending on the depth to which you fabricate the trays.

This one, for locomotives, consists of individual removeable boxes for each item, but they could also be done as integral parts of each tray:

The trays and removeable boxes (or dividers within each tray) are cut from large sheets of corrugated cardboard used to ship appliances or other large household items....to obtain some, you could go out and purchase a few refrigerators and kitchen ranges, or simply ask at a store selling such items for a few such boxes which they'd otherwise toss in their dumpster after delivering and installing those appliances for their customers.

I use a hot glue gun to assemble the trays, then line each portion with an oversize sheet of foam used to wrap items for shipping.  It's thin but strong, and has a smooth surface which doesn't easily catch on small details.  Again, this stuff should be available free at appliance and TV/computer stores, but is also available, I believe, at fabric stores, by-the-yard, and at a low cost.  It's strong enough that it can be used to lift the item out of its compartment:

I also store MoW equipment in similar boxes, especially "paired" equipment such as cranes and idler cars:

The side-opening box allows easy removal, although these were later fitted with foam sheets, too:

If you get the produce boxes, sheets of appliance cardboard, and foam for free, the only cost is the glue sticks and your time, plus, perhaps, a couple of fresh blades for your utility knife.  An added bonus is that each compartment can be sized exactly as needed for each particular item, minimising the chances of damage. Wink

Wayne

 

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Posted by wdcrvr on Monday, October 10, 2016 1:57 PM
maxman No problem. You can still use this system. You just cut the sides of the box bottoms and tops a bit higher to accommodate the height of the upright cars. Actually, this would allow you to put more cars in each box. wdcrvr
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Posted by NittanyLion on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 7:23 PM

I'm starting to explore this sort of thing instead of lugging bankers boxes full of retail boxes of rolling stock out with the module. 

I know the gray foam is no good for physical contact with the model, so I need some manner of liner material.  Is the thin sheet that they sell for wrapping dishes a good or bad type?  There's so many kinds of foam out there!

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 7:28 PM

NittanyLion
I'm starting to explore this sort of thing instead of lugging bankers boxes full of retail boxes of rolling stock out with the module.

.

If you are just using them for transport, not storage, I am very happy with my Axian Tech boxes.

.

They are lined with gray foam, but I bought them to use just for evacuations.

.

-Kevin

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, March 15, 2018 7:35 AM

 One of these threads I DIDN'T respond on? Amzing! I started with boxes like the Zian ones, but soon found that storing stuff on its side was just bad. No problem with things like Accurail and Athearn hoppers with molded on detail, but forget locos (pnety of bent handrails later..) and finer cars with fine detail like P2K tank cars. I have since switches to the ones you get from A-Line, where everything stands upright. Several shows back and forth plus a move, and all is well with my models, even the more fragile ones. The Axian ones I gave to the club - we have well over 100 Athearn/Accurail/Bowser hoppers to stock the coal yard with - and form the 100+ car train we occasionally run.

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Posted by NVSRR on Thursday, March 15, 2018 9:25 AM

Intook big plastic tubs  and built cartridges out of quarter inch ply.  Lined it with that 1/8 inch foam.  The cars stand upright. Foam is used to take up the space at the ends that reuslts from the various car lengths vs the cartridge length.    Holds a lot of cars but is good and strong. For moving.    They have gone through a move and came out mint   

Wolfie

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Posted by crisco1 on Thursday, March 15, 2018 10:08 AM

  Bear Creek Model Railroad, LLC carries really nice storage boxes.  

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, March 15, 2018 11:48 AM

crisco1

  Bear Creek Model Railroad, LLC carries really nice storage boxes.  

Nice is good, are they economical?  Eventually I'm going to need some storage boxes for some of my more fragile engines.  The Spring Creek boxes are good for models that are more robust like Walthers, many Athearn, Accurail, MDC etc.

Who sells the A-line boxes.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by maxman on Thursday, March 15, 2018 12:24 PM

riogrande5761
Who sells the A-line boxes.

https://ppw-aline.com/collections/a-line-hobby-tote-system-ho-n-scales

They probably have a list of vendors.

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Posted by Lone Wolf and Santa Fe on Thursday, March 15, 2018 12:34 PM

I have a shelves full of these Sterilite plastic drawers. Each drawer can hold a ream of paper.

They can hold several cars each standing on their wheels. I use either green foam padding that was made for moving dishes or white foam padding that was made for shipping. I seem to have a lot of it from buying things on eBay. I use it on the bottom and also cut strips to go between the cars or locomotives. Sometimes I use the black foam that came with Athearn kits. I also use the shipping boxes I get eBay items in. The small Priority boxes work good for trailers and containers. Cardboard boxes that routers and computer keyboards came in I also use.

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Posted by PC101 on Monday, March 19, 2018 7:56 PM

I've been on the fence for years to save the box's the locos. and rolling stock came in or get rid of them. They do take up lots of room. I just can't get rid of them. Whether or not a box for the item will matter in the future when I sell or stuff goes to auction I do not know. I see no difference at sales/auctions at this time for HO and N bringing more money for boxed items.

I use Spring Mills Depot (larger of the two) and Axian Technology Inc. (smaller of the two) neither are cheep, I buy them at shows, two or three at a time. These boxs come in handy when I want to change whats on the layout and want to change eras (pre PennCentral). 

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Posted by marksrailroad on Monday, March 19, 2018 9:32 PM

I found plastic boxes at Target with drawers in them that I mounted to the wall out in my shop and keep my freight cars in. For my engines I use fishing tackle boxes that I bought at Walmart. Of course we're talking N scale here...

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 7:03 AM

maxman

 

 
riogrande5761
Who sells the A-line boxes.

 

https://ppw-aline.com/collections/a-line-hobby-tote-system-ho-n-scales

They probably have a list of vendors.

 

I just ordered mine as well as some extra foam and supplies, direct.

For unbuilt stuff, or that which can fit in the riginal box, I use plastic totes to contain. I'm still thinking on what to do for active models that might not be on the layout (such as cars 'picked up' at an interchange. I was going to use those plastic Sterlite drawers but the don't operate very smoothly and the cars tend to bounce around even when wrapped in shop toweling (don't use paper towels, they leave paper dust all over the model, the heavier duty shop towels provide more cushion and don't seem to leave remnents). Depending on where these locations will by, I may end up building my own drawers into the layout using high quality ball bearing slides. 

 The A-Line boxes are for long term storage and transporting the equipment I take to club shows. There is, I think on the A-Line page, a PDF showing how to build a cart that holds the A-Line boxes, I think originally built by Jim Six or Jim Providenza (one of the Jims, I'm pretty sure) which is another option.

                              --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by darth9x9 on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 1:34 PM

So, how are the cars stored at the factory, at the hobby shop, and on your shelf with the boxes they come in?

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