Wednesday, June 2, 2010

To Enclose or Not to Enclose

So now that I've made a little progress on the layout area, I'm now beginning to visualize the layout in the space. One thing I keep going back and forth on is whether I really want to enclose the layout area or not. There are many thoughts on this and I put together a list of pros and cons for both a closed room and an "open" room, meaning whether I create a room separate from the rest of the basement by building out the 4 walls or a leave the room open on the 4th side by the stairs. Here's the list:

Closed Room
Pros
  • Keep out the cats that frequent the basement
  • Allows for a better design for Lebanon
  • Easier to design the staging on the 3rd Level
Cons
  • Duckunder to Enter
  • Helix from Level 1 to Level 3 is outside the layout room
  • Short center peninsula
  • Must put paneling/sheetrock around the room to truly enclose it
Open Room
Pros
  • Longer Center Peninsula, approximately 60"
  • No need to drywall room
  • Can see both Helices from the layout area
  • Can use more area for the yard, lead and/or locomotive servicing area
Cons
  • Doesn't keep the cats out of the layout area
  • Staging is harder to design, unless it goes "above" the head
  • Larger Helix for access into staging (4 tracks versus 2)
I've done designs before with the "monster helix" but I always went too far into the area by the water meter. I was never thrilled with the idea of the duck under to enter the layout room and not having it would, I think, make the layout more enjoyable. I believe I really need to limit where the end of the yard is so as not to interfere with the water meter area, which will already be tight with the helix. Also, going open would allow me to get the benchwork a little quicker and not create a room that really wouldn't be useful if we ever had to sell the house. If I were to finish the basement, I'd be doing it completely differently anyways. I'd be interested in hearing what others thoughts were on this.

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Welcome to the my Conrail Model Railroad site. I will document the research, design, construction and operations of my N-scale model railroad based on Conrail's Ft. Wayne Line in Ohio.

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