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Best way to Store Locomotives?

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  • Member since
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Best way to Store Locomotives?
Posted by Eisen on Saturday, March 22, 2014 9:51 AM

Curious as to what you learned gentleman think is the best way to store locomotives after an operating session. I've been putting them back in their original containers and boxes which does take time and increase the chance of me dislodging a hand rail, grab iron, etc. I have cabinets that have track sections that I could set them on but I was afraid leaving them in the elements in my cold basement might affect their performance. 

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Posted by Texas Zepher on Saturday, March 22, 2014 9:58 AM

Eisen
Curious as to what you learned gentleman think is the best way to store locomotives after an operating session. I've been putting them back in their original containers and boxes which does take time and increase the chance of me dislodging a hand rail, grab iron, etc. I have cabinets that have track sections that I could set them on but I was afraid leaving them in the elements in my cold basement might affect their performance.

Are these operating sessions on your own layout or are they "away" sessions?  How long are you storing them for?   I put mine back in original containers because their "next" operating session might not be for 10 years.   If I used them more frequently and at foreign layouts I would look into one of the transportation cases like those by A-Line or Spring Line Depot.

How "cold" is your basement?  Don't they suffer the same coldness if they are in their boxes?

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Posted by cacole on Saturday, March 22, 2014 10:04 AM

Our clubhouse is not heated or air conditioned when no one is present, and none of our locomotives seem to have suffered any ill effects from being stored out in the open.  In the summertime, indoor temperatures may reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and in the winter close to freezing.

I believe high humidity and the possibility of rust or mildew can cause more harm that temperature extremes.  Where I live the humidity rarely exceeds 40 percent, and is usually lower than 10 percent.

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Posted by jeffrey-wimberly on Saturday, March 22, 2014 10:16 AM

I store mine in an open rack on sections of track. They've gone through periods of hot and cold with no apparent damage. The only 'ill effect' they've gotten was when a tree fell on my trailer directly above the rack. All were knocked off but most survived and still run well.

Running Bear, Sundown, Louisiana
          Joined June, 2004

Dr. Frankendiesel aka Scott Running Bear
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Posted by G Paine on Saturday, March 22, 2014 10:59 AM

I store locomotives in their original boxes id I have them. Sometimes I carve away some of the filler/padding to make room for detail parts like added horns, plows, etc. I also mark an arrow showing the front direction if that is not readily apparent from the shape of the padding.

For some locomotives, I modify the box. For instance, the early LL Proto 2000 boxes were designed to show off the loco shell and mechanism separately. Once the shell is installed, the box is 50% too wide resulting in wasted shelf space. I cut the box down so only the part where the loco is stored remains. IN another case, the box for my Spectrum 2-8-0 was designed to store the tender disconnected from the locomotive. To use the box this way would require disconnecting a small plug from the tender every time. Eventually, the plug would be worn or damaged, so I made a new box from a couple boxcar boxes.

George In Midcoast Maine, 'bout halfway up the Rockland branch 

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Posted by Bobster on Saturday, March 22, 2014 2:55 PM

Greetings,

I store my engines in their original boxes, modified if necessary.  I store the boxes so the wheels will be down just in case there is some excess factory lube that wants to run out, none has yet, but I try to plan just in case.  I have not had to relube any engines yet.  All non-motorized rolling stock goes its own boxes, modified if necessary, and laid in the larger tupperware container however it will fit.  The container does have Micro-trains coupler items on one side and Rapido coupler items on the other as I have not finished converting yet.  I'm inside so I don't have to worry about temperature or humidity too much.  Just protection from dogs and grand kids.

Happy trains to you,

Bob 

Modeling in N scale: Rock Island freight and passenger, with a touch of  the following;  Wabash Cannon Ball,  CB&Q passenger, and ATSF freight and passenger.   I played in Peoria (Heights).

 

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Posted by mbinsewi on Saturday, March 22, 2014 3:10 PM

I've always hoarded the Athearn boxes, so I use the foam inserts, and put my locos in a BB, except Kato, Athearn RTR, Spectrum, and some P2K, which all go back into the original box.

  The only thing that sometimes get damaged is sun visors.  I'm constantly breaking off the sun visers on the side windows.  I'm trying to find a way of attaching them that makes them more resistant to coming off, each time a loco is laid on it's side.

Mike.

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Posted by dknelson on Saturday, March 22, 2014 4:19 PM

I had some very unhappy experience storing some locomotives for long periods of time in their original foam rubber packaging -- some interaction of fumes from the lubricants somehow made the foam start to crumble and adhere to the surfaces of the models.  This was both plastic and brass by the way.  What a mess.

My general thinking is that the less handling the better for rolling stock of any kind to minimize breaking off details, minimize "oops" incidents, and minimize skin oils getting on the models.  It would seem pretty rare for temperatures in a basement to get cold enough to do any damage whatever, although again after a long period of time some lubricants can harden, as those who bought the very early LifeLike Proto2000 locomotives will remember -- if you let the engines sit in their box for too long the grease on the gears (the gears that would crack eventually -- yeah those gears) would become almost rock like in hardness and I imagine cool temperatures would accelerate that process.

So my vote is to leave the engines sitting where they are on the layout.  If it is going to be a long time before they are run again, perhaps a simple tent of a folded piece of paper over them would prevent or minimize dust build up.

Dave Nelson

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Posted by freeway3 on Saturday, March 22, 2014 4:26 PM

Spring Mills Depot has some nifty, affordable boxes - not for individual locos, but for several (along with rolling stock).  I use these myself for both storage and transport.

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

Ed

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Posted by peahrens on Saturday, March 22, 2014 6:12 PM

I like the Grand central Gems XL storage boxes for my HO locos, for when I want to clear the layout for scenery work, etc.  They are simply cardboard with a foam lower slab, 4 rows of thick foam with cutout rows for locos (stored w/wheels at bottom), plus a thin foam slab for atop.  You can lift the locos in and out using a piece of plastic (garbage bag) so the details are at little risk.  Can even keep the steamers hooked to the tender.  The XL holds 4 Big Boy or 4 medium steamers plus 4 diesel switchers or similar arrangements that you customize by reducing the "filler" sections to create the amount of loco length room needed for each loco.

http://www.grandcentralgems.com/salt-lake-city-engine-boxes.cfm

 

Paul

Modeling HO with a transition era UP bent

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Posted by Isambard on Saturday, March 22, 2014 11:42 PM

Eisen

Curious as to what you learned gentleman think is the best way to store locomotives after an operating session. I've been putting them back in their original containers and boxes which does take time and increase the chance of me dislodging a hand rail, grab iron, etc. I have cabinets that have track sections that I could set them on but I was afraid leaving them in the elements in my cold basement might affect their performance. 

 

I store and transport the 13 Grizzly Northern steam locomotives (with tenders coupled) in foam lined kitchen drawer trays, which in turn are located in foam lined cut-down bankers boxes, these in turn are located in flip-top plastic storage bins, together with rolling stock.The bankers box lid interior is also foam lined. See photos. 

The tray foam liners cushion the locomtives and act as cradles in transferring the loco's to the club layout or the work bench.  . In many moves between home, the club and train shows I've not had any problems with damage to running gear, piping grab irons and such. The locomotives are Bachmann Spectrums with the exception of a Proto 2000 0-8-0. 

Isambard

Grizzly Northern history, Tales from the Grizzly and news on line at  isambard5935.blogspot.com 

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Posted by Eisen on Sunday, March 23, 2014 4:02 PM

Thanks everyone. All good ideas.

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Posted by dknelson on Sunday, March 23, 2014 5:30 PM

There is by the way a video on this website about how to pack up model trains

http://mrr.trains.com/videos/expert-tips/2009/11/video-how-to-pack-up-your-model-trains

Dave Nelson

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Posted by Tracklayer on Monday, March 24, 2014 8:03 PM

Eisen

Curious as to what you learned gentleman think is the best way to store locomotives after an operating session. I've been putting them back in their original containers and boxes which does take time and increase the chance of me dislodging a hand rail, grab iron, etc. I have cabinets that have track sections that I could set them on but I was afraid leaving them in the elements in my cold basement might affect their performance. 

 

I store my N scale engines in fishing tackle containers that I purchased at Walmart for $5.00 each and pad them with pieces of doubled up paper towels so that they don't shift around and get damaged. That way I can stack them and have easy access to them and can also easily transport them back and forth from my work shop out in the back yard where my layout is back into the house if need be when it starts getting hot in the summer.

Tracklayer

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Posted by cjcrescent on Monday, March 24, 2014 8:55 PM

I store mine in their original boxes. If they're brass I also will wrap them up in a plastic sheet, to keep the foam from grabbing any detail and damaging it. For other boxes, like Bachmann Spectrums, I will enlarge the cut out opening so none of that detail will be grabbed by the foam. I only own one P2k and one Atlas diesel, and they fit in their boxes with no problem. My other diesels are Hobbytowns and they are in boxes bigger than they are.

Of course, when not in the middle of a construction project on the layout, the engines are all on the layout.

Carey

Keep it between the Rails

Alabama Central Homepage

Nara member #128

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Posted by Drew4950 on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 3:30 PM

Tracklayer
I store my N scale engines in fishing tackle containers

Yup I do/did that too. Only I found my boxes at Gander Mountain. I saw the same box at Walmart and it was slightly less expensive. Oh well.

 I use the original boxes if I have them. However as I have a large collection locomotives that did not come with original packaging (purchased used) I used one of those tackle boxes. I padded it with pieces of foam padding.

Modeling a railroad hypothetically set in time.

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