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What height is your layout?





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#26 DavidCBroad

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 14:24

layout height is influenced by a number of factors.   In a loft often the area available reduces with height as the roof slopes in. My loft layout was compromised by this and was a bit low best operated from a chair..   

The bed layout is at what ever height the bed is, best viewed and operated while kneeling.  The old bedroom layout was at around 60" with a 58" duck under height which needed a step ladder to do track laying etc but looked great to me when standing/operating. 

We used to take a Triang Floor layout on Holiday which was laid on the floor or patio.  Bit back breaking to keep kneeling down and crawling around and Premier Inn get a bit funny when you glue the ballast down.

The garden line is at ground level about 36" above the path at one point, 12" underground at another.  Looks great viewed from the bedroom window.

What ever height has issues, if the top is easy to get at the wiring underneath may be difficult.  

 

I like the US style multiple level layouts, some with helix, some constant gradient,worst / best of all worlds especially those with hidden sidings / staging on the top level overhead and a realistic Port/ Harbour on the lowest level. My Harbour has hidden sidings under and is at the top of a gradient...

 

Wheel chair access is an issue, not sure how real an issue, wheel chair users can't get in my loft anyway.


Edited by DavidCBroad, 13 March 2018 - 14:27 .

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#27 TEAMYAKIMA

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 14:28

My new exhibition layout was originally built at a track height of 4ft 3inches but after comments from some of my helpers I have reduced it to 4ft. I think 4ft is the minimum I would ever consider.

 

My layout is not targeted at children, if I built a layout targeted at Children I would build it at 3ft.

 

As for wheelchair users I would suggest that show organisers allow wheelchair users in for free or at least provide periscopes.


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#28 Bernard Lamb

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 14:40

My German layout has a height of 42" as I tend to operate it sitting on a stool.

It is a  fiddle yard to a small terminus worked by short trains and with only the odd train detaching wagons to the goods yard or picking them up.

My UK layout is set at 51" as it features a lot more shunting movements and I operate it standing up.

Neither of these figures was actually a design feature. Within a couple of inches they both fall into place by default, with one sitting on a work bench and the other built with clearance underneath for bike storage.

I suppose there must be a formula for working out an ideal figure. Height of operator, length of arms, maximum width of baseboard, type of layout and operator age.

Age?

Yep.

You need to cut out stretching to reach things as you get older.

Bernard



#29 Dunsignalling

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 22:46

but they can still see it from above without any problems - wheras with a high layout, a wheelchair user, confronted with something several inches above the top of their head, is totally excluded. Which would you rather - one group of people having to view from a slightly less than optimum angle, or another group not being able to view at all?

Short of rebuilding my house, nobody in a wheelchair will ever be able to see my layout, whatever height I build it.

 

The OP didn't mention exhibition use, that's been assumed/added as the thread developed.

 

John


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#30 Glover

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 23:22

Until I read, a good many years ago, about eye-level viewing in US model railroad magazines, I had assumed that desk/table height was the only option for a home based layout.

Having built layouts since then at chest height, I can suggest three advantages:
1. Room for a workbench and storage underneath the layout.
2. More realistic viewing. Incidentally , I am always somewhat bemused when it is said that the roofs of rolling stock and buildings are the most important part as they are the most visible. Not in real life ! Ever spent hours trying to track down details for a coach roof from photographic sources?
3. If the layout is a continuous circuit, the extra height makes gaining access to the central area easier. I'm getting too old for that hands and knees caper!

Photo below of my Pettigo layout.
Until I read, a good many years ago, about eye-level viewing in US model railroad magazines, I had assumed that desk/table height was the only option for a home based layout.

Having built layouts since then at chest height, I can suggest three advantages:
1. Room for a workbench and storage underneath the layout.
2. More realistic viewing. Incidentally , I am always somewhat bemused when it is said that the roofs of rolling stock and buildings are the most important part as they are the most visible. Not in real life ! Ever spent hours trying to track down details for a coach roof from photographic sources?
3. If the layout is a continuous circuit, the extra height makes gaining access to the central area easier. I'm getting too old for that hands and knees caper!

Photo below of my Pettigo layout.

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#31 Clive Mortimore

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 23:35

When I make a small layout I tend to make it so I can reach all the controls from a seated position. Nothing worse than being on my feet all day at an exhibition. Some people may think this to low, kids don't, wheelchair users don't and my back doesn't. My new home layout is a lot taller because it is bigger and I cannot get to everything from a sitting position and I have to move around so it is at a height I can work on it standing up. The legs were all cut to a length of 42 inches, that is fine for me but not everyone is the same height as me. I still have to tell  Mrs M that she is going to buy me some bar stools.


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#32 JZ

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 07:20

My layout in the shed is 48". This allows for a work bench and plenty of storage underneath and, more importantly, allows me a duck-under at the doorway. I built a layout in my loft and this was 36", the height of the purlins. When I go back up for the US layout, I will go for the same height.

 

I remember seeing a layout at NGSW in Shepton Mallet that was eye-level for me, 5'10". and while it gave a realistic viewpoint for me, it was unsuitable for anyone shorter and you also lost out on the detailing, which can only be seen from above.


Edited by JZ, 14 March 2018 - 07:21 .


#33 Kelly

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 20:05

Due to my back problems, any layout I build is being built with seated operation in mind.

Standing to operate layouts others have built at past shows has shown this is essential for my own health.

#34 wigwamcan

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 20:32

For a home layout, whatever suits you. Mine is 90cm because the timber I used for the legs came in 180cm lengths...

 

For an exhibition layout, no higher than eye level to a seated person, otherwise you're preventing wheelchair-bound visitors from seeing it - bear in mind that an adult can always lean or sit down to see a lower layout from eye level should they choose.

 

Great and frugal minds think alike. Mine is a tad under 900mm because that was an 1800mm length of 44mm square timber cut in two and we are talking a lotta legs here.



#35 PatB

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 04:16

It's worth bearing in mind that tight curves are less obtrusive if viewing track and trains from the side rather than above, which is a point in favour of more height rather than less.


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#36 Dunsignalling

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 04:59

It's worth bearing in mind that tight curves are less obtrusive if viewing track and trains from the side rather than above, which is a point in favour of more height rather than less.

It also makes the gauge discrepancy of OO rather less noticeable, except where viewed end-on. 


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#37 ikks

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 05:38

Until I read, a good many years ago, about eye-level viewing in US model railroad magazines, I had assumed that desk/table height was the only option for a home based layout.

Having built layouts since then at chest height, I can suggest three advantages:
1. Room for a workbench and storage underneath the layout.
2. More realistic viewing. Incidentally , I am always somewhat bemused when it is said that the roofs of rolling stock and buildings are the most important part as they are the most visible. Not in real life ! Ever spent hours trying to track down details for a coach roof from photographic sources?
3. If the layout is a continuous circuit, the extra height makes gaining access to the central area easier. I'm getting too old for that hands and knees caper!

Photo below of my Pettigo layout.
Until I read, a good many years ago, about eye-level viewing in US model railroad magazines, I had assumed that desk/table height was the only option for a home based layout.

Having built layouts since then at chest height, I can suggest three advantages:
1. Room for a workbench and storage underneath the layout.
2. More realistic viewing. Incidentally , I am always somewhat bemused when it is said that the roofs of rolling stock and buildings are the most important part as they are the most visible. Not in real life ! Ever spent hours trying to track down details for a coach roof from photographic sources?
3. If the layout is a continuous circuit, the extra height makes gaining access to the central area easier. I'm getting too old for that hands and knees caper!

Photo below of my Pettigo layout.

Hi Glover, anymore pictures please? that looks very interesting!

 

Rgds.......Mike


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#38 Glover

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 10:32

Thanks Mike (ikks),

If you go to the Continental/overseas section, then Irish Railways Group, on page 4 you'll see Pettigo Co Donegal which is my layout.
In the same section, on page 2, you'll find Glovers Workbench which covers various rolling stock projects.

Sorry for answering your question in such a ham fisted way but I've never figured out how to input the links directly!

Cheers,

Glover
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#39 newbryford

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 13:52

It also makes the gauge discrepancy of OO rather less noticeable, except where viewed end-on. 

 

I didn't know there was a gauge discrepancy in 00 (or is that OO?)

 

Do tell.................

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

:jester:

 

Mick


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#40 jf2682

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 14:08

I set my layout at the right height for me.



#41 OnTheBranchline

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 16:50

I think in hindsight I should have just titled it: what height is your layout?



#42 Andy Hayter

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Posted 17 March 2018 - 10:55

I have to agree with Clive M above. 

Having layouts that can be operated from a seated position is very beneficial for the operator.  Our layouts are all around 110cm from the ground.

It is inclusive in that allows easy access for children and those in wheel chairs.

And for those who are more able and would prefer to view a layout at eye level (which includes me from my seated position), then I must remind you of the articulated ankles, knees and hips you are endowed with that allow you to bend so that the eyes can be lowered to layout level.



#43 HillsideDepot

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Posted 17 March 2018 - 11:20

My Drew's Sidings Inglenook style layout, being merely 4' long is ideal as a table top railway, built for my own fun. But when it was invited to Larkrail I asked for a table to display it on, as that was the whole point of the layout. When I arrived, not only was a table provided and a chair for me, but several chairs for viewers; rather akin to a demonstrator's table. That worked well, and encouraged people "in". 

 

It's horses for courses though as rail height on Mortimore's Yard is 54" at home, and slightly less at an exhibition (different legs), while Westonmouth Central is an inch or so lower as its track isn't on an embankment.



#44 Sir TophamHatt

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Posted 17 March 2018 - 12:34

Mine is just over a metre tall, maybe even 1m20.
I sort of wish it wasn't now as it's pretty wide so hard to reach the back but whats done is done.
The table is pretty well build so I can lean on it easily if I need to reach the back.