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I finally have a handle on what will become the "train room" which will be in a bonus area of our home. It is turning into a bigger puzzle than I expected due to sloped ceilings in some areas, and low windows in others. All the windows are only 2' above the floor.
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The yellow shaded areas are areas with less than 8' of ceiling. Either 8 sloping to 4' walls or 6' sloping to 4' walls. So I think 2 or 3' wide against the wall in the yellow shaded areas. The single window at the bottom of the drawing (light blue) faces the street. She doesn't want anything unsightly in front of that window. In fact, she would like access to it as she has a window box outside of it that she tends to. This is all on the second floor, which is 10' above ground level. I'm considering a 6" wide "shelf" across the center of the window so it is hidden by the middle part of the window. That's as far as the window opens, so no point in making it any higher.

The rest I think might be table(s) or peninsulas. But I'm open to ideas.

I'm planning O72 and O54 curves.

Thanks for any ideas. More later.
 

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Nice big space you have there. I’m thinking an around the room layout with two drop downs. One to provide access to the center and one to provide access to the front window. Something like this. I only show one loop to give you an idea. I would make at least one loop with all curves at least O72 so you are not limited on what you can run.

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I finally have a handle on what will become the "train room" which will be in a bonus area of our home. It is turning into a bigger puzzle than I expected due to sloped ceilings in some areas, and low windows in others. All the windows are only 2' above the floor.
View attachment 548261
The yellow shaded areas are areas with less than 8' of ceiling. Either 8 sloping to 4' walls or 6' sloping to 4' walls. So I think 2 or 3' wide against the wall in the yellow shaded areas. The single window at the bottom of the drawing (light blue) faces the street. She doesn't want anything unsightly in front of that window. In fact, she would like access to it as she has a window box outside of it that she tends to. This is all on the second floor, which is 10' above ground level. I'm considering a 6" wide "shelf" across the center of the window so it is hidden by the middle part of the window. That's as far as the window opens, so no point in making it any higher.

The rest I think might be table(s) or peninsulas. But I'm open to ideas.

I'm planning O72 and O54 curves.

Thanks for any ideas. More later.
jackpresley;

"Happy wife, happy life." What constitutes "unsightly" is a matter of opinion, but in a married household, only one opinion counts. Sadly, it's not yours! 😄 The idea of a round the room shelf layout that Lehigh 74 suggested, is a very good one. You have plenty of space, you don't need to fill it with lots of benchwork.
You might consider the idea of building at least part of your layout inside finished shelves. You will need to check with the authority as to whether this is unsightly or not. (see photo) You are wise to keep the shelves narrow in those restricted height areas. You might also think about running your railroad from the comfort of a caster-equipped office type chair, since the window, and ceiling, heights are low. I strongly recommend building your large railroad in small sections. The attached pdf file explains why.

Good Luck & Have Fun;

Traction Fan
 

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You will need lots of lumber for sure. Just some ideas. My benchwork is just 28" high.

ECCB2435-A2FA-4303-9C23-6211A967A443.jpeg D3284B07-C8DE-4053-B64A-930025C3E548.jpeg 3C31C6EC-BD75-4C4C-BE6E-A65FA50F21DD.jpeg B6B2B815-DE46-4B77-B9BA-721AF12E6F3A.jpeg 2570DC30-779A-469F-BCDA-80722C7A931E.jpeg 876272DA-306F-4586-9EFD-7F71AE5C2B7D.jpeg
 

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That is how I did it. Ran all the mains through the benchwork. I even ran additional wiring for future accessories. When the tops and track were installed, I just slid under the layout and popped the wires up for the track power and lighting, I find it easier to lay on my back and do the final hookup wiring while only having to reach up a short distance. Probably from all my days on a creeper under cars. Just something I got used to.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the inputs. I may divide up the empire into two scales, HO primary and an O gauge switching puzzle/Christmas train secondary. I think the whole thing in scale O equipment is going exceed my budget.

It's a bigger challenge than I thought -- I left out some critical info in my original post. Pictures to follow.
 

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You don't need to do it all at once. For me, building my "railroad empire" is as much fun as operating it.
 
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