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Discussion Starter #1
I was reading the debate about storing rolling stock / locos in the specially designed cardboard "train" boxes concerning acid effects...I have just started amassing several pieces of rolling stock and scenery items...lots of semi trailers/cabs etc.. for a HO shelf switching layout I am in the process of building....I needed to find storage for some ebay purchases that did not have the original box when I came across my 1st solution.....using empty Swiffer pad boxes with bubble wrap, compact and stackable...but hard to come by.
I then paid a visit to my local Dollar Tree store and found some great sized and stackable containers actually for a buck a piece. See pix of both..the dollar store containers are in 2 sizes. I have not used the larger one to fit freight cars in yet but will soon, the container holding the boxcar and covered hoppers is the smaller of the 2 containers.
The Swiffer containers are the first 2 shots, Remainder pix are the Dollar store containers, again for a $1.00 a container I think you can't lose....

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I'm ROFL
I just tonight started putting a few adrift parts in an Ikea container...
I think I'll ask the wife to go by the Dollar Tree... 馃槅
 

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This is what I've been using... storage boxes for sports cards.

If you line the channels with foam or small-bubble cushioning wrap, and if you're careful, you can get more than one layer of cars in each row.
I use them for everything from Athearn to Tangent & ScaleTrains, without worry of damage.
This is how I transport my entire 100-car trains plus their locomotive consists to the club... including all the containers rubber-cemented in their wellcars.
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I've got a variety, but since i switched to grouping by road and type, my favorite has become corrugated pizza boxes. I use the kind that come with medium'ish sized take and bake pizzas with thick crust. Thin crust boxes are usually too thin and too big. I reverse the box, use bubble wrap to make slots for the cars and one sheet over the top.

It's the most efficient way I've found, being almost exactly the depth of the shelves I have and precisely the height of a car and 2 layers of bubble wrap. You can fit 5 passenger cars or about seven 50' freight on each and it makes putting together a consist very quick.

I formerly put my cars into individual tuck top boxes but it's allot of boxes to open when taking out and putting away a consist and not as space efficient. If someone wants a bunch of those I'd be happy to make a deal, ideally locally.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
For transporting trains I think the cardboard boxes whether they are the baseball card or pizza boxes are great ideas and the way to go, unfortunately for accessories like vehicles. people, other details etc.. the plastic containers are a better choice since they are see through and inexpensive for any of their sizes. Even if I had 100 trains it be no more than $25.00 which is still a great value.
(Granted not the best solution for moving trains between layouts but quite good for stationary usage)
The article I read previously on cardboard usage stated that the acid became an issue over a few years of storage so on that front it may be wise to look into what type of cardboard is used just so no surprises happen down the road and your paint jobs stay in pristine condition.
 

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If you're moving between layouts, then I'd invest in at least one sturdy foam-based transportation solution, whether cardboard or plastic based.

Plastic can be good depending on what you're storing. However, I'm not generally a fan of those small food-style plastic containers because rounded corners arent' efficient, they aren't large enough to make good use of shelf space and opening alot of snap-top containers can be annoying after a while. There are some good plastic organizers that aren't much more than dollar store stuff, but hold more and make better use of shelf space.

I do have a couple of the small dollar store sectioned organizers for specific things like couplers. Like most folks, I have gone through a couple of different storage methods and have found some things that work for me.

Here's a few of my storage methods.
-Sterilite paper boxes for scrapbookers (generally a bit bigger than letter size) are fantastic for rolling stock. They do cost a bit more ($6) and do have lids, but they are Just right for most shelves. Can hold quite a few stars, with no wasted space. They are sold under a bunch of different names, but look like this . Sterilite - 1963: Large Clip Box I buy them whenever I find them at resale shops.
-I found a multilevel scrapbook large paper drawer organizer at a resale shop. Drawers are a bit bigger than 12x12 The thinnest drawers are just the right height for HO-scale cars and pickups. The deeper drawers are great for trucks.
-Cardboard Letterhead/stationary boxes are just the right height for Semi's and trailers. Plus they can be free from offices.
-Plano organizer trays, Bead cases (2-4 bucks at craft stores) and other similar hinged top plastic organizers can be great for vehicles, details, etc.
-Akro Mills and similar large drawer organizers (often used for hardware) for larger train parts and such (Big ones are around $15 at Menards).
-I have a large stock of built buildings that I bought (probably shouldn't have) at train shows. Large ones go in banker boxes, small ones will fit in under-the-bed boxes that slide under the layout. You can put alot of buildings in one under-the-bed-box.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I don't know what brand or size of plastic containers your referring to but the ones I purchased can hold 4 60' boxcars no problem with curved edges and fit fine on my shelves or stacked on top of one another in a large cardboard box. The lids fit snuggly and securely. For only a $1.00 per container you can't lose.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Part duce: So a few nights after I bought those Dollar Tree storage containers I went back to buy more...and they were sold out, lol.
Today my local Dollar Tree was restocked so I bought a little more then a dozen....like $14.00 worth or 14 containers.
Below are the pix for my rolling stock and some semi trucks. You can securely stack these about 8 high and 9 fit nicely in my dresser....each can hold up to 5 freight cars such as corn syrup tankers or 3 64' boxcars.
Cheap and effective.....................



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Those are nice looking down on them, but from the ends - when stacked - hard to see what is inside.
 

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Those are nice looking down on them, but from the ends - when stacked - hard to see what is inside.
That's what note cards, masking tape, label makers, etc, etc, are for...
 

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Kinda negates the value of the transparent tub if you have to drag out the note cards, masking tape, label markers, etc, etc, etc....
 

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Discussion Starter #14
My main reason for the storage containers was and still is the cost, the clear top was a bonus to see what's inside. At a buck a piece I feel you can't beat the value.
 

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Kinda negates the value of the transparent tub if you have to drag out the note cards, masking tape, label markers, etc, etc, etc....
Of course, if you say so.

I keep mine in large Sterilite containers. Even with a clear lid, it's just so much easier to know what's inside each one if you affix a label to the side, end, or top of the container (depending on which side is facing out). The ones I use are 60 quarts 36" x 19" and 7" high, for about $12 each. They're tough enough to protect your stuff from anything. They saved all of myrolling stock when my basement flooded.
 

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I bought a storage cart with wheels at Michael's on sale for about $50 (assembly required). Works for me (along with plastic container on top):
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Moved another batch of my rolling stock into pizza boxes. Will blog it later, but here's a quick pic.



I've been trying alot of different cheap storage methods, but nothing has been as cheap (free if re-using bubble wrap), or as spectacularly space efficient as these 12 in/sq. pizza boxes. The height is perfect and I can fit 5 passenger cars or 6 freight in the shelf width of about 3 blue-box passenger car boxes (facing out). It's also one of the easiest methods for getting out and putting away consists.

Turned inside-out, they give a nice uniform appearance. I'll put a label on the corner and write the contents of each when I do my final re-inventory.
 

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Here's my method. I don't like leaving trains on the layout at all since we have a two year old that can reach them. So they go in here when done.

I used a foam mattress topper, cut to fit the drawer and corrugated plastic cut down for the dividers. Cost roughly $15 and will hold 42 pieces.


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