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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My son, who is 8, loves trains. Since we do not have a room to dedicate for a permenant layout, we decided to do an Extreme Bedroom Makeover. Together, my wife and I modified his room; new paint, custom desk and a train track on the wall complete with 2 types of truss bridges.

Now I understand this is not the ideal way to present a model train, but considering our limited space, and my son's love of trains, I just had to make the most of the situation. Plus, we still have floor space in the basement for him to do ad-hoc setups for unlimited combinations any time he wants.

The materials
- 1/2" MDF for the track shelf (shelf is about 7" wide)
- brackets from Menards (6" version is menards, but this is the 10" version at lowes to give you a better idea of what they look like Click here for Bracket
- and many various sizes of "doll" rods (only the square ones, not sure what they are called)
- and some trim

Here is a link to YouTube Video or just watch below

" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>Here are a couple of shots:
Early Build Stage:

A shot of the arch truss bridge

A shot of the Howe truss bridge

Rest of room


Edited on 4/9/08 to add more shots.
I didnt expect to get such favorable feedback as I have so many errors when factoring in true "modeling" and I very much appreciate the responses so far. Thanks.

Shot of train on the Arch Truss bridge:

and from under


Shot of train on the Howe Truss bridge:

and from under


some cool shots from outside the room to show both bridges.




The transformer Hidden on the underside of his desk


And a shot showing a corner piece which measures 22" from corner to end. The radius is then simply a trace of 3 curved pieces, eyeballed to allow for 2 tracks.



Any my bridge inspirations:
QUEENSTON LEWISTON BRIDGE


KANKAKEE RIVER TRAIN BRIDGE
 

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Fantastic work, I would have loved to do something in wood, but I don't have the woodworking skills required so I went with the train shelving. I'm happy with the results, but yours is a whole different level.
 

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Based on the pictures it looks like they're at 7' figuring a 6'8 door. Visibility of the trains was my one concern from looking at the pics. I may have gone with O gauge or larger, but it looks like the track is on the inside of the shelf, away from the walls so visibility might be pretty good all around.

Once again, I'm just amazed by the workmanship. Stellar job all around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the feedback. I have to say that when my wife put the idea of doing a "ceiling track for a train" in my head, I was not to thrilled about it. For all the reasons and concerns mentioned so far. But after some thought and designing, I was determined to pull it off.

As for the height of the track, yes, its about 7' off the ground and while its wide enough for 2 tracks, I only have one track on it now and its close to the inner room side edge. Once the second track goes up, it will be more difficult to see, but when it goes over those bridges, it's a treat.

If you notice, in the video, the last segment is pretty much the view point from laying on the bed. This view allows you to see plenty of the train.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I do have a question: I ran 20guage wiring throught the wall (its your typical wiring with a single coating on it).

Its hooked up to a transformer that accepts 120v and outputs 16 DCV and 18 ACV.

This wiring is running through the drywall, under the baseboard and then thru the desk to the transformer.

Is this type of wiring safe to put behind the drywall? Is there a better wire that I should be using?
 

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It's not up to code, but since you're not running 110 through it, I think you'll be fine. I've never seen wire that size even get slightly warm to the touch with HO track before.
 

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Very cool, I've taken the liberty of adding the youtube link, you'll see that your video now shows up right on this page. Just click the youtube button when posting a message to embed a video.:thumbsup:

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I fixed it for you, LOL :D

You do not need the whole link, just the video "code" which in this case would be 9BQCDh61GBw...
Thanks guys, I fixed the original post...I didnt see that you can add <YT></YT> links directly to show a video...too cool.
 

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Thanks for all the feedback. I have to say that when my wife put the idea of doing a "ceiling track for a train" in my head, I was not to thrilled about it. For all the reasons and concerns mentioned so far. But after some thought and designing, I was determined to pull it off.
Looks great! I just joined and know very little about setting up a track. I feel I'm in the same boat as you because my wife has been after me to for about a year to do just what you did. When I saw your post I was excited because now I know its not impossible!

May I ask a few questions?

I was worried about how sharp you can make the corners. Did you use some MDF that was already made for a corner or did you cut it out of a bigger piece?

I have a box of old train stuff but I was thinking about buying a bunch of that 36" flexable track cause I figure It'll be easier to make the track fit the shelf exactly where I want it. Does that sound about right?

Thanks in advance
 

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Yes, I have a bunch of old cars, assorted track and the controllers and 2 engines that my wife had when she was little. Would have liked to go bigger but I'm going to try to keep costs down and us what I have.
 

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If you're tallented with wood, the way this one is laid out is gorgeous, if you're like me and not a finish carpenter, I'd recommend going the way I did with the premade wire grid units. It's not as pretty, but it was really easy to suspend, and works great with my son's G scale train. You'd be done in a weekend, and running trains.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
May I ask a few questions?

I was worried about how sharp you can make the corners. Did you use some MDF that was already made for a corner or did you cut it out of a bigger piece?

I have a box of old train stuff but I was thinking about buying a bunch of that 36" flexable track cause I figure It'll be easier to make the track fit the shelf exactly where I want it. Does that sound about right?

Thanks in advance
I used 1 - 4x8 sheet of MDF 1/2". From that I cut 3 (7"x48") boards for the long runs. From the left over, I cut the corner pieces.
To make the corners, specifically the curves, I simply connected 3 pieces of curved track with 1 straight away on each end. I then layed the track on the board to trace out the curve. When you do this, you will see exactly where to make your curve and cut. I believe, the corner square I needed to start with was 22" square.

I used regular curve track for all the turns, with flexitrack in between. If i did it again, I would not have used flex track since I was making simple turns with straight aways.
 
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