Bill's family started giving him trains at Christmas, birthday's, special occasions during the year by family members and sometimes from himself. After a couple of years of collecting and receiving, Bill's family thought Bill would have started building a layout so he could operate his trains. After all, his youngest son had a train layout and now it was time for Dad to have his own railroad. Finally Bill's wife told him "...no more trains until you build a layout to run them on." It had been about six years now since the trains started coming into his life.
Bill started thinking about where he would build his layout and there was really no place to put it but in his work shop. Bill started working on a project that would change the outside looks of this shop and would create an enclosed room inside the shop building for his new train room.
Bill started working on the end of his shop building by removing the overhead door and closing off the opening. His next plan was to build a room inside his metal workshop build that would be insulated and environmentally controlled. With the walls and ceiling framed out and electrical outlets and light fixture boxes in place, Bill started hanging wall board, ceiling and painting the room. Bill even put down some flooring to cover the old concrete slab.
After the room was finished, it was time to start building some bench work. During the room is shoebox in size, Bill decided that the bench work would run along the walls and across one end of the room. Now Bill thought he would enclose the bottom of the layout with more wall board material in place of a cloth shirting.
With the bench work in place, Bill started playing with some track designs and finally decided to use Gargrave track and switches. With trips to the local hobby shop, Bill started laying in a supply of track and switches.
Now Bill will tell you have made a few mistakes with his track plan. The elevated track is in the wrong place and that maybe he didn't use enough sidings and spurs but these things always come to light as your locomotive roster and rolling stock roster increases. Bill is planning to move the elevated track and wants to build a mountain in a back corner of the room.
Bill saw in a magazine a train room where they had a loop of track around the ceiling. Thinking this was a interesting idea, Bill started to build a shelf around the room where he would put a loop of track. During the construction of this shelf railroad, he thought 2 tracks would add a lot of interest to the design. After the first loop was installed, Bill came back and put in another loop but elevated the second loop above the first one.
Bill has collected just about every beer company reefer and boxcar that has been made. He has made one of these ceiling loops his beer train loop. The other loop is changed out from time to time with other locomotives and rolling stock.
On the bench work, Bill has four loops of track. Two loops run around the perimeter of the bench work. One loop is elevated while the other loop is bench work level. Bill built two removable bridges to span the walkway into the layout but after buying a double stack container train, he has found that the double stacks are too tall for his bridges. Plans are to rebuild these bridges and make them tall enough to handle his double stacks with a little room to spare.
Bill has built a very nice traditional 1940's - 1950's train layout like you would have found in the basement of a youngster's home or in a spare room. Even though there is no landscaping and the track hasn't been ballasted, we found Bill's layout to have a lot of operating features and fun to run. Nice job!
Visit the video below and view some pictures of....
Bill's Traditional Train Layout.
Bill's Traditional Train Pike