Originally Posted by LionelFan
I can still get under my table, but I pay for it dearly the next day.
You may already know this, with Lionel there are lots of items that "work" if they are wired up. I really like lights on my layouts, but each light means wiring it with electricity. I already have some equipment that works ie: old Lionel whistle, some crossing lights and others.
I have a Lionel hobby shop, last photo next to the McDonald's on my layout, and when electrified it has a working layout w/train that runs inside of it. But I will probably never wire it to run. Such is life, but I enjoy what I already have.
As long as you're having fun, and the system you have works for you, that's all that matters. I don't like the sound of that "I pay dearly the next day," though.
I have "been there, and done that."
It would probably be physically possible, though very painful, for me to crawl back to the access hole on my layout.
Since having my knees replaced several years ago, crawling, or even getting down on a knee, hurts a lot. I find the rolling stool idea a whole lot more comfortable. I checked the Harbor Freight website and I could not find the same stool that I use. Maybe they don't carry it anymore. A goggle search showed that Home Depot carries the exact same stool, and Walmart and Amazon have similar stools. They are listed under "Rolling stools, medical" if you want to take a look.
Yes, I remember O-gage Lionel and all the operating accessories. Great stuff! My first experience with electric trains was a Lionel O-gage layout that my brother and I had many years ago. I also remember the great Christmas Lionel train displays at a local department store. Boy's heaven!
While I still like Lionel trains, (Who doesn't!
) as I moved on into HO-scale, and later into N-scale, I got involved in trying to make each layout more realistic looking, and operating. For instance, my present N-scale layout is based on the Milwaukee Road in the Seattle Washington area. I model two eras, the 1920s & the 1950s. My particular interest is in passenger service, and electric locomotives (hence the Milwaukee Rd.)
Seattle is a bit unusual in that four big, transcontinental lines all terminated within a single city block. The Northern Pacific, and Great Northern used King St. Station, and the Union Pacific, and Milwaukee Road, used Seattle Union Station. Both beautiful stations have been preserved, and restored. The two are also right across the street from each other. Amtrak still uses King St. Station and Union station is used as a public meeting hall. The photos below show my N-scale model of Seattle Union Station.
Back in the times I model, the Northwest Limited, Empire Builder, Union Pacific's M-10000 & "Cites" streamliners, and The Olympian Hiawatha. Would all have been calling at these two stations, along with dozens of other, less famous, trains.
As for wiring structure lights, You might find it easier to use above-the-table wiring. There are lots of very flat ribbon cables available that could be laid on top of the plywood, and under say, a grass mat, or streets/other scenery. Another possibility, especially doable in O-gage, would be to use small gage magnet wire, strung on telephone/power poles, with drops to feed power into the buildings, just like the real thing!
Since nobody but the fictional "Benjamin Button" grows any younger over time, You might consider some sort of long-term plan to allow you to continue using, and repairing as needed, your nice layout.
How much clearance is there between the bottom of your train layout and the floor? The lower level of my layout is 48" above the floor, and the upper level is 66" off the floor. My rolling stool, at it's minimum height adjustment, is 17" high. I'm 6'-6" tall and I can roll under my layout on the stool. With some ducking, I can roll under in my office chair with it's seat 21" above the floor.
My layout is actually higher than I want it, now that I can't stand up for very long. When we move up to Oregon, in two years, I plan to drop the height a foot, so I guess I'll need a shorter stool.
Keep on having fun!
Seattle union station concourse end 1.JPG
Seattle Union Station side view.JPG
Seattle Union Station 4.JPG
Seattle Union Station top view.JPG