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I also adopted Richard's system for my railroad. It is the best Idea to come down the track for modelers like me who just can't work at ground level. I standardized on 4' wide by 8' long modules. That way I was able to use treated 8' long 2x4's which were the least expensive treated lumber available to me. I made frames with two 8' stringers and cut 8' 2x4's in half for the cross members which were screwed in place every 16" on center. That workes out to five and a half 8' pieces for each module. When I installed the tables I used treated 4x4 posts for legs at each end of the module and two 2x4 legs at the center of the module. In my area of Delaware the frost line is only 24 inches so I just dug holes 2 1/2 feet deep for the legs. I set them in stone, no cement. When the first module was in place and leveled in both directions I screwed the next module to it and that way I was able to eliminate two of the 4x4 legs. All the modules after that one first one only require 2x4 legs in the middle and a pair of 4x4 legs at the end. 80% of the railroad is flat and level with some track running down a 3% grade from one end to the other. That is because the ground drops 6' from one end to the other over a distance of 100'. So the top of the modules are at one foot above ground level at one end and 4.5 feet above ground level at the other end.

I made cut the ends of some modules at an angle to form curves that have a minimum 8' radius. I have lift bridges between modules where the track runs back on itself so I can walk through to get to the other side of the layout. I have hung used one and two gallon pots I got for free from a nursery in the modules by screwing them into the framework. Then I plant small trees and plants in another pot and just drop it into the pot that is suspended in the framework. That way I can remove the plant and heal it in for the winter. In the spring I just drop it back into the framework. I have the look of a natural landscape only it is raised up to where I can reach it. I just can't get down on my hands and knees any more. In fact until I saw Richard's post I was just about to forget setting the train up outside.

Once I learn how to post pictures I will.

Good luck on your layout.

Big John
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