Monday, January 14, 2013

001 - Western Central - Basement Decisions

Wow!  Over Christmas everyone decided to finally get busy here in Utah!  I think its awesome.

My buddy Alan just moved into a nice big house and lost most of the basement to the family.  Wiener!  Ok, we'll make do with what you have I guess.  But you need to plan for expansion!

Here is what Alan wrote to me:


Here is a draft of my proposed railroad room. It is in a corner space of the basement. Currently the basement in unfinished with only main bearing walls installed (double lines show bearing walls.)  We have a contractor/friend coming to help look at the basement space so there could be some minor adjustments but we are pretty certain at the room space assignments. I'm primarily looking for where to place a door so that I can maximize operations.  Again, I am primarily looking to locate a good spot for a door as I listed in bold below.  I'm thinking somewhere along the wall labelled 9' 2" is best.  

The Western Central Railroad:
I've backdated the Western Central to the mid-1950s so I can have steam and 1st gen diesels.  I think a loop may be good but mainly operations of locals to yards and yards to staging. Staging back to yard(s) and the yard to towns.  The loop can be external to the operations or included.  It'll be a DCC radio control with some CMRI right-of-way.

Double decker/Mushroom is ok with a helix in some corner. 

Foundation (cement) walls:

  • the wall labelled 13' 10"
  • the wall labelled 19' 6"  (there is one exterior window along this wall located 43" from the upper right corner in the attached PDF)  The window is 51" wide and does not need to be accessible.  No other obstructions...very nice!
Impenetrable interior walls:
  • the wall labelled 10' 4"  (separates the train room from the bathroom) (main bearing wall)
  • the wall labelled 10' 8"  (separates the train room from a storage room)
Walls where the door/entrance to train room can be located:
  • the wall labelled 9' 2"
  • the wall labelled 38"
Thoughts before we design?


Ok, we go!

Couple of hints for those that want help with a design, or are posting to the LDSIG site for feedback (no, I'm not picking on Alan!):

  1. Label everything!  Exterior walls can be North, South, East, West or A, B, C, D.  Give us a reference point.
  2. Draw in heavy ink so that we can see the scan
  3. Draw on 4x4 quadrille or similar large quadrant graph paper
  4. Put your name and the name of the railroad on the paper
  5. Mark clearly any wall that cannot be penetrated with track, especially concrete (with the exception of Packrat Paul who drills through concrete.)
Just some hints that help!

My thought, when I start putting loops and helixes in the room is that the 38" wall is the most useless wall because it is too small to make a loop, and using it as a door doesn't affect its opposite wall where a loop could go.

My other suggestion is a pocket door (space saving sliding door that goes inside the wall) on the extreme right hand side of the 9' 2" door would not block a loop either.  

Either of these would work best.

If you put a swinging door in, two recommendations:

1.  Make it a door with a full glass panel.  It makes it easy to see in and out, but you can close it.  Lets some light in the room.  It also looks REALLY cool to have the name of the railroad etched into the to do.
2.  Put in a Dutch door (or stable door) that the bottom half stays shut, and the top can swing open.  I know you have small children.

1 comment:

  1. Looks to me that he shold put the door in the 38" wall swinging into the main basement. That space can be his "receiving room" for access to the RR -- looks like a HOG on light steroids would be perfect for the rest of the space -- basically stretch it out for length and leave the width alone so you have outside access on the "bridge side" of the RR. Add a turntable and small engine facility at the junction end. Could also add some staging as a shelfin in that receiving room area.

    My unsolicited contribution.

    Bill Uffelman
    Las Vegas for now


Thanks for your comment!