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JR-Chiisai: Storage yard modules

Martijn Meerts

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For some reason I expected you to make every track with ~8 blocks, but this way you can spend less on those block detectors. Is there room for expansion of the collection too?

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Martijn Meerts

8 blocks per track would be overly expensive, and kinda useless really, as I only have 9 or 10 trains that are 1 or 2 cars.


Expansion of the collection isn't much of an issue, mainly because I already have more trains than would fit on the yard :)  The layout will get some more hidden tracks here and there. A small yard for the trams for example, and probably a small one for local/urban trains. Depends a bit on where the layout itself is going.

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Martijn Meerts

I've been collecting them for about 10 years now, and only recently got the space to build a layout, so never really had any reason to spend the money on tracks and such rather than trains. Purchasing trains has slowed down quite a bit now that I'm buying all the tracks, decoders, servo decoders, occupancy detectors etc.

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Personally I think a layout is eventually needed, especially with so many models. A question: do you actually have some way to show them off? (a showcase or something like that, if that's the right word for 'vitrine') I assume so because having them only in boxes is too boring and a 'waste' of the models.

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we have had a lot of discussions here and there about ways to display trains, but display cases start to get expensive (significant fraction of the trains cost!) and actually take up a lot of wall space compared to the book cases (which hold things very densely for storage).


ive been trying to come up with a simple display system that would allow the trains to be easily lifted off on their track and base and run onto the layout, but it does take up quite a chunk of wall space and of course 8.5' long 16 car shinkansen is kinda out of the display option for something like this or even for a more permanent display as getting plexiglas longer than 8' or welded seamlessly gets expensive!


i still want to do some display of the trains but realize ill never have anything close to all the collection out at once so it would be like most museums where you rotate the collection continuously. nice as it keeps things fresh.



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ive been trying to come up with a simple display system that would allow the trains to be easily lifted off on their track and base and run onto the layout, but it does take up quite a chunk of wall space and of course 8.5' long 16 car shinkansen is kinda out of the display option for something like this or even for a more permanent display as getting plexiglas longer than 8' or welded seamlessly gets expensive!


Does it have to be seamless?


I'd think a cartridge system using low-profile cartridges that could be lifted out and connected to the layout, coupled with a wall-mount shelving unit with small shelves to hold cartridges (shelves so you can have a mix of cartridge lengths) and a pair of ~5' doors or sliding half-size or smaller windows would work.  You'd need some kind of angle-iron reinforcement on a long cartridge, but that seems workable.


Now manuvering a 2.6m (8.5') cartridge around from shelf to layout would be a project. And you might want some temporary removable walls on it to keep the train from hitting the floor if it fell off the tracks during handling. But I think (with sufficient wall space) you could display quite a number of trains that way.  It's not something I could do in the current house, but I've been thinking along those lines for the future, as I know I'll never have storage tracks for everything I collect.

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Martijn Meerts

Densha, it's not that I didn't want a layout, I just didn't have any room for it until I bought a new house. Of course, one of the criteria for buying a house was that it had to have a good sized room that could be used for trains. The one I ended up buying was my 2nd choice actually, my first choice had an even bigger area, but it was just too expensive.


My trains are all in their storage boxes, no space to display them all :) Also, having them in display cases will eventually cause discoloration, which I'm trying to prevent as much as possible. Also, like Jeff says, a good display solution is really expensive, and I'd really want to display the full sets rather than just a few parts.


Once the layout is done, in about a billion years, they'll have a nice display :)

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I knew about that, I meant to say that most people eventually end up with building a layout because it can be 'boring' without one.


I also have the fear of discolouration, also when hanging up posters and placing other things. If you have a place in the house which doesn't have intense sunlight on it, the discolouration would be less, but there's still the possibility of course because they will be exposed to the sunlight for weeks or even longer.

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Did some re-cataloging of my models the past day, and measured the lengths of pretty much all of them. I needed the lengths to determine the blocks for the yard. Ended up with:


- 11 terminal tracks of 1 block each for 16 car trains

- 5 through tracks of 1 block each for up to 16 car trains

- 3 through tracks with 2 blocks each for up to 8 car trains

- 1 through track with 3 blocks for up to 5 car trains

- 1 through track with 4 blocks for up to 4 car trains

- 1 through track with 5 blocks for up to 3 car trains

- 1 through track with 8 blocks for up to 2 car trains


That means the yard can hold a total of 42 trains of varying sizes :)




While cataloging I noticed I have just over 32 meters worth of shinkansen .....



There's a whole new concept! Measuring your collection by linear meters or feet...


Rich K.

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Martijn Meerts

Rich, it's also quite scary finding out how many meters of trains you have. Everything put together I'm at about 75 meters now, which in 1:1 would be about 12km, or almost 7.5 mile ;)


Although, it increased a little recently with the arrival of the D51-498 Orient Express and Hayato No Kaze, and I haven't counted my World Kougei kits yet, since they haven't been built ;)



Jeff, at least discussing display storage made the thread look active, and made it look like I'm actually making decent progress =)




Actually, I'm about halfway with the first section track wise. I just ran out of rail screws (well, not really, I still have 400 of them, but can't find them :)) and also spare sleepers for the Peco track. Also starting to get low on insulating rail connectors. All of that stuff has been ordered though, so should arrive later this week.


In the meantime, I'll probably start modifying the turnouts for the 2nd set of tracks of the first section. By the time that's done, the track screws should have arrive so I can continue. It's starting to look like a lot of tracks by now, and I'm not entirely looking forward to the total price of my shopping cart once I start ordering the rest of the servos, servo decoders and occupancy detectors. On the other hand, it'll probably all be worth it once I can start putting trains on the track, and make a temporary loop to test everything.



As for the rest of the layout, I might just skip most of the track plan and go with the flow. Some bits like the stations I need to plan ahead a bit so they are big enough for the trains I want to run, but anything in between will just be improvising.



Edit: added some pictures, showing half the yard done :)



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Martijn Meerts

Progress! =)


Lots and lots of work building this thing. For one, you need to be pretty precise to get the turnouts in the correct position, and the Code 55 flex and turnouts sure are a lot of work. However, it does look real good, and the track is VERY sturdy as well. The first section is done track wise, I still need to isolate the turnout frogs, but after that it's on to wiring.


I've also put together the reverse loop module as well as another occupancy detector, which I've had lying around as kits for a year or something =)



Image 033:

All tracks are down, just need to add the sleepers to fill the gaps. The leftmost track has a lot more spacing, this is partially because that track was actually supposed the first/front track. But also because it gives me a little more room for the 180 degree turn at the far end of the yard :)



Image 034:

Started on the 2nd section, which is a LOT easier than the first. It's really just 24 straight tracks, and only some of them need multiple blocks. It really does start giving you an idea of the size though...



Image 035:

Connection between the 2 sections. Currently it's held in place by some clamps. I still need to come up with some kind of leg structure. I have some ideas for it, just need to figure out the details. The left tracks are section 1, and are glued to the wood using epoxy. Once ballasted it should be pretty solid. The tracks on the right are section 2, and haven't been glued at all yet. The grey bits are thin cardboard, because there was some  height difference that was causing some small issues.




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Awesome yard!


Is it very difficult to get the tracks from two modules aligned perfectly? It seems so, and is the main reason why I'm reluctant about making them.

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Martijn Meerts

Jeff, it'll be good for storing trains, but not really for displaying. There's so little spacing between the tracks that the only thing you'll see is the roofs =)



Densha, it's not that difficult really. I've got them hooked up with some clamps right now, but eventually I'll need to build some legs, and those need to be pretty accurate. We'll see how that works out :)

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Martijn Meerts

Progress has been a bit slow recently, considering I've been working on some World Kougei kits, and helping my father with his layout.


However, I've added a bunch more track to the 2nd section of the yard. It requires a bit of planning to get the block lengths correct, as well as the stop sections. I have about 6 tracks out of a total of 24 to go before moving to the next section.


I've also started adding some trains to the yard to get a feel of things. There are only 1 or 2 tracks now that can fit a 16 car shinkansen, but even with some of the shorter ones (E5, E2 amongst others) it's starting to look like something.


I'm going to be adding some more trains to that yard over the coming days so I can snap some cool pictures of various shinkansen lined up :)

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Holy cow!


What a yard! And what a large amount of switch tracks!


It's just so nice to have family members sharing the same interest ~~ Wish i had too..


Yes, waiting for the picture with the trains parked inside! Should be something like a Shinkansen Garage sale!  :grin

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Martijn Meerts

Well, I found out that if I ever manage to take the yard to a show, I'll need to be there either a day early to fill the thing with trains, or get several people to help with the filling =)


The trains, from left to right:

- Tomix 0 series 20th century anniversary

- Tomix 0-2000 series

- Tomix 100 series 25th anniversay

- MicroAce 100-9000 series X1

- Tomix 100 series Fresh Green

- MicroAce 200-1500 series Tohoku Shinkansen 25th anniversary

- Tomix 300 series (not complete yet ... )

- Tomix 400 series

- Kato 500 series

- Tomix 700 series Hikari Rail Star

- Tomix n700-3000 series

- Tomix n700-7000 series

- Tomix n700-8000 series (R2)

- Tomix n700-8000 series (R10)

- Tomix 800 series

- Kato 800 series (my very first Japanese train =))

- Tomix E1 MAX

- Kato E4 MAX

- Kato E5 Hayabusa

- MicroAce 922-10 Dr. Yellow

- Tomix 923 Dr. Yellow

- MicroAce Kiha 40-2118 4th Kitaro Train

- MicroAce Kiha 40-2115 New Nezumi Otoko Train



Some pictures ...



Image 036 to image 040:

Various shots of the yard



Image 041:

A couple of guests ;)







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niiiiiiiiiice  :grin


I hope to have a yard like that one day. Except i will have 3 one for my kihas, 1 for EMUS / Shinkansens and another for my subways.


Also a dept for a few freight trains


Thats the dream anyway... Now back to reality!

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Martijn Meerts

This is just the main yard, I'll probably end up having to build a couple smaller ones. It depends a bit on how the layout is going to look, which I just don't know yet =)

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There are so many trains... It's simply  :angel4: :angel5: :angel7:


Now i was right about one thing... It does look like a Shinkansen Garage sale! Holy cow!


I see you have almost very variation of each model of shinkansen! Just look at all those 0's !


I like the last two painted cartoon trains! Very cute!


Yes, if i'll definately help you with great anticipation & pleasure to display your trains IF i ever got a chance to do so! Envy!   :wav:


For me, having a yard or even a space to display trains is impossible... Since here in Sillypore poor man like me live in flats of areas <81 square metres....   :angry4:

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Wow! That's a lot! Is it the first time you've seen it like this too?

But four N700 is a bit much, isn't it? :grin I don't see big differences in the subtypes at first sight. The only Shinkansen missing are the the 700, E2, E3, even though you have 4 N700's (in different colorschemes). And I really have something for the 300 Shinkansen, if I ever buy a Shinkansen, I think it'll be that one as the first. Anyway, it's a very nice collection and I don't think I will ever have such a big collection, especially since this are just all the Shinkansen, and two tiny KiHa's.

What are those uncoupled (Shinkansen) cars doing in the background btw?


P.S. Do you perhaps know what ワンマン stands for? I've seen it a few times on front on trains (mainly KiHa's, as the one in your yard) and heard it at announcements on Youtube with them saying something about opening doors. After some thinking I thought: doors opening (guard) + wanman (one man) = possibly one man operation. Is that right?

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Martijn Meerts

N500, like I said, I've been collecting for a while. If you want a real impressive shinkansen/high speed train collection, I think Massimo (jappomania) is the one to talk to ;)


What I've found out though, is that the more room you have, the bigger the layout you want to build, and the more complicated things get. Designing a track plan for the space I have is proving really difficult, especially considering I have the space to run full length shinkansen, but not enough space to have long runs. In the end, the shinkansen will only really be seen entering and leaving the main station :)



Densha, it's the first time I've got them all out and on display yes :) I'm still missing a few, but I'm not too worried about that, they'll arrive eventually. I do have several similar trains (like the N700s), but they're not 100% similar. They're different types or have different running numbers. I also have 4 or 5 C62s, but they all have a different running number (and some differences in detailing etc. :))


As far as I know, ワンマン means the train is operated by a single person. So the driver will also be selling(?)/checking the tickets etc.

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Having multiple trains of the same series is not too bad, because of course in 1:1 there are often many trains of the same series on the same line. Sometimes it's even nice. Personally I prefer collecting first different series and then other numbers and variations, not that it really matters.


That's about what I thought too, at least I know now that another person thinks it's something like that too.


Did you miss this perhaps?

What are those uncoupled (Shinkansen) cars doing in the background btw?
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