Project idea: cieling shelf for model train

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I just created a new website dedicated to building a display case for a running model train. The design shows how to build a display case mounted only six inches below the cieling, that runs around the parimeter of the room. It works in almost any room, and it doesn't take up usable space. It is a clasier version than normal, with plexiglass, crown molding, and a hidden rope light for asthetics. Anyways, I thought I would share it with the world, and I figured this was a good place to start. Let me know what you think!
www.ulvr.com/john/train
John
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snipped-for-privacy@ulvr.com wrote:

displays running around the dining room.
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On Sat 02 Feb 2008 09:48:25a, George told us...

It wouldn't be in Rocky RIver, OH by any chance, would it?
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Wayne Boatwright wrote:

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On Sat 02 Feb 2008 11:29:42a, George told us...

Thanks, just wondered. I don't think too many such installations exist.
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Wayne Boatwright wrote:

perimeter of its dining area.
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user wrote:
... snip

Swenson's in Tucson does as well.
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There's another one near Chincoteague, VA.
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George wrote:

With some slight modifications (lose the plexiglass, add a ladder), this would make a swell catwalk - for real cats.
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On Sat 02 Feb 2008 08:58:51a, told us...

Very nice, John. It reminds me an installation in a very old hamburger restaurant in Rocky River, OH. They had a train running the perimeter of the room close to the ceiling for many decades. It was always charming.
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On Sun 03 Feb 2008 09:55:36a, Old_Boat told us...

Yes, it was Bearden's, which used to be a local chain of a very few locations. The one in Rocky River was the last, and was still there as late as 2000 when we moved to AZ. They did, however, "modernize" and renovate the place, and it lost all its charm, IMHO.
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Your "model" train diagram shows three rails (one in the middle) and 1 1/4" spacing between the outside rails, most dedicated modellers would classify this train as a toy train as it does not approach scale modeling in any aspect.

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EXT wrote:

Standard 0 gage track, runs on AC. One sometimes has to make sacrifices of precision in favor of pragmatism.
Besides, many real trains _do_ have three rails, although not in that precise layout.

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Actually, O-Guage 3-rail system is much more popular than the two track O-Guage systems. It's been around since the thirties. It allows the train to do a reverse loop (this was back before processors were in everything, but it's stuck). For me, it the third track is not an issue as it is mounted to high to be seen. For this particular application, the three track system is better because it can take any O-Gauge train, wheras the two track systems can only take trains designed for two track systems. Two track trains tend to not be able to negotiate as tight corners either, often having minimum turning radii of 32" or more, which is not very practical for a cieling mounted train. I actually did a bit of research on this very subject before I built my set.
The 1 1/4" is actually pretty close to the 1.17" that an actual 1:48 scale track should be. Apperently, in Europe, O-Guage is 1:45, which brings the track width even closer.
John
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One more thing I forgot to mention -- for the purposes of this layout, the three track system is good because it is simple to detect when the train reaches a part of a track -- simply isolate one of the outside rails. When the train passes over this section of track, the train wheels will bridge the power, and you can use a relay to trigger an event. When I built my setup, I issolated the track in two places -- the plan is to eventually make the whistle blow and some crossing lights flash when the train nears the door, and to have it stop when it reaches the window (I am planning to use an EZIO Relay Controller for this, so everything is controlled via Insteon). I'll update the web site once this is done, but forn now I have to spend my free time on some other projects.
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Why put it behind plexiglass, you can't hear it run then. My friend did a similar thing, but painted scenery on the wall. He left his open and it sounds great. He put it in the guest bedroom.
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On Feb 2, 1:01pm, tiredofspam <nospam.nospam.com> wrote:

This is a point I didn't bring up on the website, but I'm thinking I should. The plexiglas does a few things. I was actually hoping it would drown out the track noise, then I could just crank up the sound effects volume, and voila, less track noise, more realistic noise. Unfortunately, even with the foam bed underneat the tracks, the track noise is still quite audable. What the plexiglass does do though is:
1) Prevents a two pound, dicast metal train, traveling eight feet or so above the ground from falling eight feet should it happen to derail. (or, if your child happens to be three feet tall, that still gives the train five feet to gain momentum...) 2) Prevents dust from collecting on the track, reducing maintenance 3) Prevents other objects such as toys or cats from getting on the track, which might cause the train to derail. 4) The molding holding up the Plexiglas is a good cover for the ropelight.
Anyone can adapt the plans as they see fit, though I would strongly suggest the Plexiglas if it's in a child's room, you have expensive floors, or if you live in an earth-quake prone area.
John
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snipped-for-privacy@ulvr.com wrote:

John,
VERY cool! I love this idea. I'm not into model trains, so it's not something I'd do, but I love the concept.
And a nice site to support it. SWMBO is still wondering what I find funny about melted aluminum.
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snipped-for-privacy@ulvr.com wrote:

Very nice work. I like how you have concealed all of the infrastructure.
A couple suggestions: one, cove the corners of the walls and two, post to rec.models.railroad
Thanks for sharing.
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