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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Home prices have gone up that it now makes a lot more sense/cents to finish the bonus space in our home. So I'm resurrecting this thread to show my benchwork ideas for what is likely going to be a 17' 6" - 24' 0" space. I'm planning on 14' x 24' usable leaving a 3' 6" walkway across the east wall. Trying to visualize the benchwork so I don't plan something that won't fit -- or can't afford.

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It looks like a great room with lots of possibilities. The 14 foot depth is massive. Plan some access points at several locations for maintenance and/or derailments. It would be hard to access from above once everything is in place on the surface.
 

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Home prices have gone up that it n...
And lumber prices have skyrocketed due to the housing demand. Two years ago I bought 4 'x 8' x 7/16" OSB sheets for the layout at ~$9 each. My neighbor just built a shed and paid $38 for the same OSB sheet. You may want to wait a bit to see it the prices fall back a bit.

If you like scenery, nows the time to paint the walls (sky, clouds, mountains, etc.). They'll be hard to reach once the platform is in place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Definitely not the time to buy plywood.

Wondering if I should make the 2x8 sections 3x8 instead?
I'm also considering HO-29 "The Central Midland" -- may ask here if anyone has built it and how they liked the operations.

Also considering an O scale table for my grandsons...

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I just realized this is probably in the wrong forum topic. The perimeter benchwork would be HO. Separate table for O. Oops.
 

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12 x 24, I added the lift-bridge to access the inside, and there's a pop-up on the near end. I used the lift-bridge to allow continuous running on a long loop. Clearly, the table above is targeted for HO or smaller it appears, the largest O-scale curves that would allow a continuous loop would be O36, 18" Radius. Not really large enough for a lot of O-scale equipment.

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
GRJ, I've contemplated scraping HO for a single O layout -- and I'm still considering it. Going to keep designing both for the space(s) I have while I work on finishing out the bonus room -- and try and not dive in too deep either way for now. Very tempting to put a 12 x 24 in there. Ignore the track, I just wanted to see what an O72 layout would look like in that space. Very roomy with 5' of straight track on the narrow ends. If I put 6' high walls on the narrow ends, I'd actually be able to walk all the way around it, as I'd gain 3' on each end.

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Think about how much more you could do in HO with that kind of real estate.

What is a 'bonus room' anyway? Is that something they add on to the house after you close? Or does a builder come out and build an addition on to the existing structure?

I didn't get any sort of a bonus room with my eight room home. Should I call my realtor back and ask for my bonus room?
 

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What is a bonus room?
A bonus room is a room in a house that is not a kitchen, bathroom, family room, hallway, or closet — but for one or more particular reasons, it doesn’t qualify as a bedroom, either. This room might show up over a garage, for example, or represent attic or basement space in some states.
The types of bonus rooms you might find, and the terms used to describe them, vary across the country.
For instance, in some states, bonus rooms are also known as FROGs when they are located directly above the home’s garage — hence the acronym, which stands (aptly) for “finished room over garage.” These rooms might be longer and narrower than a typical bedroom due to the shape of the garage below.
 
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