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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just started building a ceiling layout to go around my den/game room/fish tank room. I’ve had these trains for 30 years and always intended to build something like this one day. I’m almost ready to lay track and start asking you guys questions so I figured I would open a discussion.
I built the road bed using crown molding and ripping pieces of ply wood 8’ long by about 4” wide. Glue/screw this together with a 2x2 in the center.
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I mount the track to the wall using Z clips. It’s easy to install and level and they are very strong. Some of the pieces are 16’, I use three Z clips to hold those up. Not all of the crown/track road bed will have track on it. I wanted the crown molding to go completely around the room so I needed to miter a lot of corners. The track will tunnel through walls to make gentle curves.
I have a new appreciation for trim carpenters and the work they do!
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Behind the fish tank will have a bunch of sidings for 5 or 6 trains that will come out either direction and do a loop around the den then go back to staging. The crown molding above the fish tank won’t have track on it. It’s just there for consistency.
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I probably wasted 8’ of road bed making bad miter cuts! This is my “fire pit” pile
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The room behind the fish tank I put up 2’ wide shelves all the way around for multiple staging tracks.
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I just finished painting all the crown. It’s nice to be able to remove the road bed and bring it outside for painting. The Z clips are awesome!
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Above the front door looks great! The wood beams on the ceiling will be painted black also.
That’s about 20’ of crown molding. 10 feet here and 10 feet in the fire pit lol.
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Now we are up to date. Next “to do” item is some kind of noise dampening road bed like cork or something then track. Then I’m going to need help on a good command control system that will automatically switch track and send trains out from behind the aquarium.
 

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Egon, very nice work indeed.
Looking at your outdoor picture showing some cactus, it appears you live in the southwest, so hopefully you don't experience earthquakes that could topple the trains off the crown molding platform onto someone below.
-Ted
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Egon, very nice work indeed.
Looking at your outdoor picture showing some cactus, it appears you live in the southwest, so hopefully you don't experience earthquakes that could topple the trains off the crown molding platform onto someone below.
-Ted
Thanks! I’m in Tempe AZ. So far no earthquakes but ya never know. Good excuse to buy more trains!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This corner section was tricky. This is the only visible curve in the room. Wasn’t sure how I was going to make this turn and also get the crown molding in. I could crown all the way to the corner and put a shelf on top of the crown or pop the crown out to the edge of the shelf. Hard to explain so I took a bunch of pictures.
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Now we are up to date. Next “to do” item is some kind of noise dampening road bed like cork or something then track. Then I’m going to need help on a good command control system that will automatically switch track and send trains out from behind the aquarium.
Just a thought. You could fill the center of the shelves with that Home Depot expanding foam.
 

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Now we are up to date. Next “to do” item is some kind of noise dampening road bed like cork or something then track. Then I’m going to need help on a good command control system that will automatically switch track and send trains out from behind the aquarium.
Something with more "give" than cork, maybe even carpet.

If all you want is alternating trains, perhaps something like this:


We use this equipment in our automated exhibits at the San Diego county fair.

Greg
 

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he's here in Sandy Eggo, and you can call him if you wanted something more complex, but I think his off the shelf system will do exactly what you want.

Greg
 

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Nice quality work! The room layout is very well suited for this type of shelf layout and it blends very well with the overall decor. Some questions: Where is the 2x2 located in the molding in the first picture? What's above the front door? Does it go outside?! And how about some pictures of the staging tracks when completed!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Nice quality work! The room layout is very well suited for this type of shelf layout and it blends very well with the overall decor. Some questions: Where is the 2x2 located in the molding in the first picture? What's above the front door? Does it go outside?! And how about some pictures of the staging tracks when completed!!
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Fair questions, I don’t have track up yet so I pulled down one of the smaller pieces and took a picture. The first picture didn’t have the 2x2. I was testing the strength and found the 2x2 was a great place to mount the Z clips. It greatly improved over all support without adding a lot of weight.

The front door is sort of a notch into the house, or a small tunnel. From the outside of the house looking in, 6” above the door is a ceiling. Basically the track stays inside the house and makes the turn inside the tunnel. The track is supported with a curved shaped piece of 3/4 ply all cut in one piece and supported with a couple 2x4’s
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Updates.
It’s been productive in a hobby sort of way, if I was getting paid I would starve ;)
The road bed is finished. I didn’t like the look of the high gloss black paint so I took all the molding down and repainted to semi-gloss. Z clips made this a lot easier by lifting the molding off the walls and bringing them outside to paint.
After hanging the molding on the walls I supported all the corners and ends with metal supports.
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
These metal supports really help align the crown molding and probably strengthen the whole system.
Then I used self adhesive insulation for air conditioning or doors and windows to dampen the sound under the track. I cut these to 4” strips and just stuck it down to the plywood.
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