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Model Railroad 0-5-0 Storage Shelf

Model Railroad 0-5-0 Storage Shelf

Remarkable words about model rail car storage that I have learned this year:

Per Daniel, watching the Waupaca CN web cam:
If they have too many train cars and not enough track to run them,
then maybe they should put some back in the box.

And a word from a Lionel collector and operator on the TV show 'I Love Toy Trains':
You can leave them in a box, or use them,

or at least DISPLAY them.


Anyway, I had two rail sidings and a house track tied up with cars that weren't moving.
If a train had a troublesome car making derailments or unexpected troubles
or had to make a weight reduction before tackling a hill,
I set them out 'where ever' convenient, and left them there for a year.

I have many junk storage shelves in the furnace room, but none that really lined up with getting a railroad track to them.
I would have to put in another steep hill and several switches to make a yard lead to get to one.
I like being able to 'park' whole trains so they are ready to roll onto the mainline as I change operating schemes.
Although, some trains keep looking the same, all the green cars stay together, etc.

And some trains are changed with the seasons.
The 40-foot boxcars run in Minnesota grain service on light rail branchlines from July until when snow gets too deep to plow.
Ballast trains come out in the summer construction season.

So, taking the 'display' option, I cleaned my stored junk off a shelf
and planned for a full 10 feet of storage length, with no length lost for a yard lead.
And it could be 6 cars wide.
That's 60 feet of train cars.

I can't conveniently reach the ends of the shelf, so I didn't want to just angle-park cars on the shelf.
And just a flat shelf seemed 'boring'. And hard to see and reach the back row.

So, I practiced raising the rear tracks.
At the risk of tipping over a car on the high track and knocking the rows over like dominoes.

So, I spent 3 days sawing a 40-year old 2x4 into 1-7/8 and 1-1/2 inch heights,
then adding screws to compensate for the knotty warped halves
after the saw cut released tensions from the formerly straight 2x4,
and painted the results.

It's not real track with rails and ties. That would be too expensive.
I had some styrene plastic sheets that were about 3/32 inch thick,
and I cut and sanded them into strips that fit between the wheel flanges.

It's good storage for rail cars, they have enough clearance to roll.
The coupler hoses might drag someitmes, but there is enough room for them that the cars still roll as I push them.
Locomotives don't roll and their gearboxes have minimal clearance and sometimes drag on any high spots on the plastic strip.
I can just set them down, but don't roll them away to the far-away rear corners of the storage.

I found out that this is almost earthquake proof; I was pounding nails and the cars didn't jump off.

These two slices of pictures show the whole wall, from the storage shelf down to the lowest operating level.
The left has a flat shelf on the top level, the right has the raised tracks



Load the 'tracks' by reaching in while tipping the car
so the trucks can rotate and become parallel to the plastic strip,
guided like a simple 'rerailer',
and let the car roll or slide onto the board.

Then I roll the car to the end of the board. They even couple together,
which lets me pull the string of cars back out to where I can reach them,
since the ends of the board are not readily accessible
where it bumps in to the back corners of the room.


Removing cars takes a little shuffling, there's barely room to grab one out of a hidden row
without risking tipping over other cars.
This 0-5-0 switch engine (my hand) is a bit large for some places.

I like to think like a track mobile. Get into a gap between cars.
Such as the space where the camera is sitting, clear all the way to the highest level.
Open a little space by hand, and grab a car that is in the way
and move it to another track and roll it out of the way.
Repeat, to dig to the cars wanted.


Good display, and I can imagine a train of this even though it just sits all day long.


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This page was wrote in August, 2022