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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
 
I’m finding that I don’t run my trains very often unless I plan on spending at least an hour out side.  You could say that I’m often too lazy to take the 15 minutes required to walk back and forth to my house where my trains are stored.  Of course, then I need to spend another 15 minutes putting them away afterwards.  

I understand that I have the option of placing several trains on a kart and keeping the kart in the garage.  In that way, only two or three trips would be required.
 
One option I don’t have is running the trains into my garage and storing them there.  That just won’t work. 
 
What I would like to do is store the train/cars out of doors when the weather permits and no rain is in the forecast.   I would keep them in the shade, parked on top of an elevated structure (table made from wood).  I would also keep a cover over the cars and table so that the dew wouldn’t get to them.  Is there a problem with this or does more than a few degrees change in temperature hurt the trains.  I run all battery power if this helps.
 
I know some people store their trains in a garage or shed.  The only difference in that from storing them on the outdoor table would be that the temperature change would be a little more.  Any advice would be appreciated.  I would really like to get the trains in a position where I could just turn them on and start running.
 

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Sounds like our setup.  No real way to get the trains driving themselves into the garage.

But we keep the trains out all summer, even in rainy weather.  For the more important pieces (locomotives and specially painted cars) we usually store them on our twin bridge spans.  Then we wrap a tarp around the spans.  Two LGB moguls and four LGB coaches fit on the twin six foot spans.  Looks like this, although it's wrapped tighter when the layout is not in use:



We also have a three stall roundhouse (Pola) that can store three locomotives.  I use duct tape under the roof to seal out the rain, and there's roofing paper over the ground it sits on to prevent rain splashing inside.  Works pretty well, even during the late summer monsoons

For other items that we want covered while the layouts not in use, we simply place plastic storage bins over structures, rolling stock, etc...  These are the grey colored ones you can find at any store like Walmart, etc...  When it's time to play, remove the bins, stack them together, and place off to the side.

Our main locos are battery powered and have faired very well outside as long as they are covered and not exposed to the elements.  Most of them use AirWire, and temperature extremes have not been a factor thus far.  Although we don't keep them outside during the colder months.  During the winter everything comes inside for storage.
 

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I'm building a 16 foot  by 2 foot car barn. It's going to have roof vents and and floor vents, and will be (I hope) water tight. Using the LGB 12000 switches, I can get four 16 foot long tracks in there, enough to store locomotives and cars assembled as trains. I'm planning to put a lock on it, but basically to leave everything out there, ready to run. Should be up in a couple mnths--my wife has to give the green light to transplnting a couple bushes first
 

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Cfra7 & Matt...  Here one type of idea I have used for about 4 yrs now.  I made up some town fronts and add it to a 10 foot long insulated box with the Eng.  house on the end of it.  



Then made the top to open up full link of it so i can story extra stuff in it besides one set of tracks for a train.  
I usually keep Plastic over town when its not in use,  just to keep gunk off of the buildings fronts.


Then I added auto doors on it that can be opened up from the console .. Also, that made the track to the turntable from Eng. house able to be blocked to store Engs.  We use track power here.
 

More photos
1stclass.mylargescale.com/noelw/Eng.%20House%20Doors/Door10%20.jpg

1stclass.mylargescale.com/noelw/Eng.%20House%20Doors/Door11.jpg

1stclass.mylargescale.com/noelw/Eng.%20House%20Doors/Door12.jpg

1stclass.mylargescale.com/noelw/Town/Town%201.jpg

1stclass.mylargescale.com/noelw/Town/Town%203.jpg

Hope this gives you some ideas...  I have an article somewhere yrs. back on how to make the auto doors mechanism on old MLS.  Not sure thro how to find it now.  
I found it.........How to make doors auto.      archive.mylargescale.com/forum/topic.asp

Another Idea I needed was to bring out some more trains to the layout,  so I  built a cart that both sides can be opened with only one sliding shelf and had to go back and added another slide out shelf. 
1stclass.mylargescale.com/noelw/Train%20Cart/MVC-254F.JPG

1stclass.mylargescale.com/noelw/Train%20Cart/MVC-255F.JPG

1stclass.mylargescale.com/noelw/Train%20Cart/Cart4.jpg

 Now I need to build another cart.   laf.
 Noel/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/whistling.gif



 

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Here's what I'm using. Rolling stock is left out year around. I never leave locomotives out however. I have them all in their individual carriers and bring them out with the R/C transmitter(s) whenever I want to run. I can run the lokies into the roundhouse in case of a sudden shower if needed but I have run in a light rain.

archive.mylargescale.com/forum/topic.asp

Even if you don't leave cars outside all year long bringing them outside just once in the Spring and back inside just once for Winter still saves a lot of work not to mention damage to the cars by carrying them.
 

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I live in the Northeast and have 10 pieces of rolling stock I have left outdoors for 5 years now. No shed, no shade, plernty of sun, rain, snow, sleet.

No problems other than the axles squeak and I just lube the noisy ones.

USA fades the quickest, LGB had no fading. Nothing has 'bleached' out. Lots of good natural weathering!!\

My Train engineer power and receivers are outsid ein cabintes.

Engines and cars with electronics are in a bulkhead, I can run is a matter of a minute.
 

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When building my railway I put in a 14’ by 3’6” train barn on the back side of the raised bed. I keep my trains and electronics in it year round and after almost 2 years it is still very clean and has always been dry. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/satisfied.gif

It’s 22 gauge galvanized steel, with a ¾ angle iron, 4” Cee purling and 1” square tube frame sitting on 4” Cee purling stringers.  I put ¾” PTL plywood in as a floor. Pretty heavy.... put it in with my IHC tractor...:rolleyes:
http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u249/imrnjr/trainbarnplacement2.jpg
http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u249/imrnjr/P1010043.jpg
http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u249/imrnjr/P1010034.jpg 
http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u249/imrnjr/paint.jpg 
http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u249/imrnjr/IMG_1158.jpg

It has the mainline, and three storage tracks….. but I’ve quickly outgrown the storage capability, and am now putting some additional storage shelves in a shed I use for part of my water system (pressure tank and controls), so even at 14’ it wasn’t large enough!!/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/blush.gif
 
Good luck with whatever you chose to build.
 
Mark:)
 
 

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I pretty much use the same method as Dan with one exception.  My locos and whatever other rolling stock fits park inside my tunnels.  Everything else is left to the elements.  When winter rolls around and I stop running for the season, everything comes in for the year.  In the spring, I do annual maintenance and put them back out in the weather.  I also run battery on one of my locos and it doesn't seem to bother it at all.  I have mostly Aristo and some LGB.  The Aristo weathers out nicely.  Haven't noticed any real fading in the LGB.

Mark
 

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I keep about 14-16 cars outside in this building made from acrylic.


The roof is removable, allowing storage of cars, on two levels.


For my other cars, I use carriers I made from styrene.   These are kept in the garage on a shelf.
 

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Our club uses car carrying trays which are stored on racks in garden sheds.
 

 

 
As we use a lot of cars during our railway operations, it helps to have number of people to load the trays.
 
Despite our long winters, the rolling stock has never suffered damage while in storage. Each winter the cars are removed a tray at a time and brought into the heated shops for repairs (incurred during the summer) and lubrication.
 

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Like you, I soon discovered I seldom ran trains if there was any setup time. Mine have all been outside for the past 11 years. Right now there are over 20 locos on the rails, at least I hope so, I haven't been home in three weeks. News is, there was a tornado near us down there, so likely some of the cars got blown off the track. Some of those locos have been there over 10 years. Nothing ever gets removed from the rails unless it is to upgrade the couplers, make a repair or install a decoder. All of the LGB locos on the layout run and look fine. I have never had any problems related to moisture or sun damage. I do not have any roundhouses or engine sheds, they just sit in sidings on my ground level layout. Sometimes vines grow up inside then or wrap themselves around the running gear and the locos can't move until I cut them free. It sure is nice to be able to flip a switch and start playing trains on a moments notice. Tried battery power once, but either the batteries were drained when I returned home or, if left on a charger for a month they would be ruined.
 

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I have the same view as many others here. I want my trains ready to run, and not to have to put them on the track one car at a time. So I built a train shed adjacent to my layout and connected by a single track.  It is 16 ft long, and 4 ft wide. Presently it has five tracks and switches inside. I have room to add one more track inside.  All I have to do is open the door and roll out the cars.  I can have trains running in 5 minutes.  My engines are in the adjacent garage. The two panels on the top lift off, and through two winters now have not leaked a drop.  I am considering moving the switches outside, as they take up more than two feet inside the shed.  For me, the best thing is that I can be running trains very quickly.
Paul

 

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We have a rather shallow space between our rear deck and the fence, which is essentially the route between the side of the house and feature layout areas.  I found some roofing caps (used on the crown of roofing) at Lowe's and had orginally set it up similar to what you see in the pictures but supported by pvc lawn irrigation pipe, which in the long run proved to be under-engineered.  I then decided to use 3/4" electrical conduit (really inexpensive - less than $3.00 for 10 ft as I recall) and bought a conduit bender and set about bending multiple loops (getting them all even was at first daunting but practice makes perfect).  I then found some metal concrete expanding anchors that almost sleeved up inside the conduit.  I spent some time with a file and at the grinder, fitting each one to the conduit end.  I next made the straight brace to fit under the rail support board (which is a composite decking board similar to Trerx), drilled to anchor it to the Trex,  added some lighting to the support posts spaced about every 3d one just because I could, re-attached the roofing crown and this is now where the cars are parked, 24-7.  The canopy roof shows a bit of warpage due to the fact that I didn't necessarily get each piece lined up in it's original spot, but since the photos were taken, it has 'normalized' and is presentable. The engines and battery car are moved to and from the track for each run, but the rest stay out permanently.
I periodically check the axles for good lubrication as needed.  The outdoor on-track storage makes the running of the trains a lot easier.  To run a session, I bring out the locomotive, the battery car and my rail broom car,  set them in motion and pretty much have a trouble-free go.  Once or twice around the track and I remove the broom car and run until ???  I figure this is a hobby and why not make it as easy as possible.  It isn't fun if you spend all you time getting ready and tearing back down.  These cars are tough and a good weathered look is kinda prototypical anyways.
 

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