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I thought it might be a good idea to start a new thread here for Overhead Ceiling or Shelf Trains. There are probably a few more people out there, like me, who for one reason or another had to downsize their living "arrangements" and lost the space for any type of train layout. In my case, I finally got tired of having my trains all boxed up and in storage. So one day it dawned on me….. why not put the trains overhead?!?! That way I could at least have some of my trains out and running. So I set out to figure out a way to build a cheap, yet appealing, system. After spending a lot of time surfing the net and wondering around the big box hardware stores, I came up with an idea that seemed buildable to me. I found these things called seam binders; they are that piece of metal trim the covers the gap between your carpet and say tile or linoleum. I found them in two different styles and lengths. The fluted style only comes in 8’ lengths, and the flat style 8’ & 12’ lengths. (I like the look of the fluted better). Strong, bendable and easily cut to whatever length I needed. Check. For the cross ties, I used 1”x2” (nominal) poplar boards ripped down to 5/8”x ¾” (actual). The 5/8” dimension came from the gap on the inside of the seam binder. 5/8” thick seemed to fit nicely with a little room for error. I cross cut them to 8” wide as I liked the way that “looked” and I figured I could get either 1-G gauge track or 2-O gauge tracks in that space. And I could switch it up if I wanted to in the future. Next I built a jig to form and hold a 5’ diameter curve. I wasn’t sure if the curves were going to work out or not, but to my surprise they did when I finally put everything together. The holes did not line up one side, but I will try to fill them in somehow. So this is where I am at now. The next step will be to figure out the dimensions for the straight-a-ways and how to connect the ends. I figure this whole design is loosely based on the old erector sets. And they sure were a lot of fun. As far as they way to hang this system, I plan on using threaded rod with carriage bolts and coupling nuts to hold together two pieces of 1”x2” (nominal) poplar wood. I’ll fancy up the edges on the wood as well. And the threaded rod will have some adjustment if needed for a crooked ceiling, which I am pretty much planning on. I will post some more photos if there is any interest on seeing more of my project. The only thing I am really struggling with now is what color(s) to paint this thing. Anybody try something like this before? Any suggestions or ideas? Please share if ya do….. might just help the next guy…. Thanks.
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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Sure there will be interest, keep on updating the thread.

How about a silver/gray?
I like the silver/blue color bridges in O gauge. Sort of like gun metal.
Brown? Dark brown?
Two O gauge would be best.:D:thumbsup:
But it is your layout for you to choose.

What do you have? Some O and G trains?

By all means keep on posting. There are some threads on what your doing here search for them. Some go right through walls into other rooms.:D:thumbsup:
There was someone who built his whole house with plans on running them all over, I think it was here.
When I get some extra time I will see if I can't locate them here for you if you can't find any.
 

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I like the concept. still a dream of mine. I have a "track plan" of about 200' going through the house. some suspended, some on a shelf. I like your curve design. I am also toying with a flexible helix. that discussion is somewhere buried in these forums somewhere.
 

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I'd love the helix, and I actually had an experimental one hacked together with two turns to see how well locomotives ran it. However, when trying to fit it into the space available, it just doesn't seem practical, it takes way too much room.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I like that idea, it has a nice airy look to it so that you can enjoy the "flying" aspect of ceiling trains.
That is exactly what I was going for.... to be able to "see" the trains overhead. It's also nice to know that I will not have to dust as much up there too :laugh:
 

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Hoot,

That first section looks GREAT ... super clean, airy, nice!

Are you putting any rubber between the top mount bar and the ceiling to minimize vibration transmission through the ceiling, by any chance?

TJ
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hoot,

That first section looks GREAT ... super clean, airy, nice!

Are you putting any rubber between the top mount bar and the ceiling to minimize vibration transmission through the ceiling, by any chance?

TJ
Thanks TJ. I thought about that, however I elected to take a "lets see how bad it is" approach. I figure I can always insert something between the rail sections and the hangers later. I also wanted a tight fit at the ceiling. So stay tuned......
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Finished up the overhead layout this past weekend. Finally I am able to run my trains that have been stored away. A lot of work, but sooo worth the effort for me.
 

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Hoot,

That looks GREAT ... a really nice, open, "industrial" look and design. I like the pendant lights hanging down in the middle, too.

Out of curiosity, why didn't you expand to cover more of the room?

With such a "clean" look, did you run your feed wires up into (inside) the ceiling, and from there (hidden) to your transformer? Perhaps beyond your scope of planned work, but "hidden" wiring would really add to the appeal.

Cheers,

TJ
 
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