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Advice please

Discussion in 'Model Railways' started by Mike30A, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. Mike30A

    Mike30A New Member

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    For some years my 00 layout has remained unused in the loft, and I'm thinking of relocating it outdoors in a large shed to make it more accessable.
    Apart from the obvious problems with damp/cold/heat, I wonder if anyone else has done this and has any tips?
    Thanks in anticipation
     
  2. Richard66

    Richard66 New Member

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    Take a short section of track out there first and see how much tarnishing/corrosion you get on the top surface of the rails. You may end up having to clean the rails quite often to maintain the electrical pickup. As long as the shed is dry, I doubt if you'll have any serious problems. If the shed has condensation/damp, then you will have problems with your electrics corroding fast.
     
  3. 46236

    46236 Member

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    use real steam
     
  4. Mike30A

    Mike30A New Member

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    thanks Richard66
     
  5. sgthompson

    sgthompson Part of the furniture

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    Hi Mike, if your shed is a decent one that is well insulated etc then you should not have many probs if any. As for real steam thats not what we had when we were little so I cant see you even thinking about that option . Glad you are ok mate . Regards Steve
     
  6. Mike30A

    Mike30A New Member

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    Cheers Steve. I'm still taking things gently, but hope to be out for the Fellsman next week. regards MIke
     
  7. ilvaporista

    ilvaporista Part of the furniture

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    I would say that it depends on the shed and the level of use you expect to get. Lofts are also pretty extreme environments if left uninsulated. They too can suffer more extreme heat than a shed.

    On the rails if you have steel track then be prepared to clean more often and it will rust. Steel points should be avoided as the contact eventually is lost and locos stall on the points. I found that NS track with a Relco worked quite well and no major difficulties were expereinced in a standard 12'x8' shed. I had little in the way of insulation but airflow kept inside and outside temperatures about the same so there were no troubles with condensation. When in use I had a small eletric fan heater, avoid gas burners as they give out water vapour which then condenses. Also watch out to not have too many large metal sections that take time to heat up as these also act as a magnet for water vapour leading to rust (things like machine tools etc)

    Security is a consideration as you can easily kick in a panel on a standard shed to gain access, plus the usual shed doors offer no resistance. A shed alarm is useful but if you are not there no-one takes any notice. If there is a risk don't leave anything valuable in there.

    The main item to watch is what you build the baseboards with. Softboard will sag unless supported very closely. Keep any MDF away from the entrance where some water will be bound to get in. I used those steel shelving units at half height suppoting a top of 2"x1" framing and 1/2" chipboard. Paint exposed edges of the chipboard. As I had a stone paving floor laid on a ballast bed it was not that level and moved. A concrete base would be better but having kids meant that hobby money was scarce. It all worked well and gave us an oval and a station but the real attraction was a small hole in the shed wall!
    Once track is laid outside it brings a whole new dimension to railway modelling. The joy of watching long trains snake their way through the garden is immense. Then you can start to dream of live steam..
     
  8. Mike30A

    Mike30A New Member

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    Many thanks for your detailed input Adrian, most helpful.
     
  9. ADB968008

    ADB968008 Guest

    To be honest I wouldn't use steel track at all, if it's been in the loft for years it's probably already rotten.

    Peco nickel silver is probably the best track and invest in an electric rail cleaner (I think gauge master still make them).

    Aside from the track, check your baseboard, chipboard can get damp and start splitting, so isn't a good material, similarly plywood (more expensive and much harder to nail track into) will probably last longer. With the baseboard ensure there's no proximity to damp.. Windows for condensation, metal frames that can collect damp sources that can drip etc.
    If the temperature is not moist and relatively stable you should be ok.
    I would recommend laying the track on top of a layer of cork matting, rather than straight onto the wood, it's much quieter for a start
     
  10. guard_jamie

    guard_jamie New Member

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    Regarding ADB's suggestion to purchase an Electric Rail Cleaner, bear in mind they cannot be used with DCC or even if running a chipped loco via DC. Personally, I use lighter fluid and a soft handkerchief (well, actually ripped up PJs, but the cloth is much the same!). The fluid evaporates very quickly - so quickly as to be able to clean a track whilst a train is running on it - and I have always found it to be a very effective cleaner.
     
  11. Mike30A

    Mike30A New Member

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    Many thanks for your thoughts John and Jamie. The track in the loft is a mix of steel and nickel silver, so it's always been a problem to keep clean.
     

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