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Thoughts on Train Room Design

| June 27, 2017 More

Thoughts On Train Room DesignI’ve been thinking lately about model train room design and decor, and how some simple design steps at the beginning (or at any stage) of a project can have profound effects on the overall model railroad space.

If asked to think of a train layout, many of us would picture a 4’ x 8’ or maybe a “U” or “L” shaped layout in an unfinished basement with lots of storage boxes liberally spread around the room. Maybe in addition, a washer and dryer or hot water heater nearby and overhead florescent lighting. These are great and I love these rooms because this is where so much model railroading happens.

What if however, we focused on the actual room and not the trains for a minute, how much more engaging could our hobby time become if the room design was an integral part of the layout? I have to admit I’m biased when it comes to the way a room feels. I live in an early-1900s cottage that used to be a carriage house. The rooms are a bit rough but there’s a good feel to the place, the roughness actually gives a sense of place and history… if not modern comforts and insulation!

As most layouts focus on specific locations and eras, why not extend the layout beyond the layout to the entire room? I don’t think you’d need a museum display designer to create the room, but I think we could take some ideas from them. Materials for a train room makeover don’t have to break the bank either, just get creative with inexpensive (and interesting) materials.

Thoughts On Train Room Design

Corrugated metal panels, used palettes and palette wood, faux brick paneling painted and aged with old-time stencils are just a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing for wall coverings. Throw in a little galvanized pipe with Edison-style LED bulbs for a steam (or steam punk!) feel, some small spotlight fixtures to highlight key parts of the layout and finish up with lots of shelving so you never again have to dig for, or trip over, train storage boxes.

I really like the idea of making the model train space an immersive experience. The links I’ve included below are intentionally not related to model trains. Don’t limit yourself to just train rooms for ideas, look at interesting restaurants, retail spaces, museums, art galleries, trade show display companies… look everywhere for new ideas and make the time spent with your trains even more fun!

Links To Google Image Searches

Using Wood Pallets

Corrugated Metal Looks

Brick Wall Paneling w/Signage

Cinder Block Ideas

Glavanized Pipe Decor

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