- I needed someplace to store all the freight cars I have (and capacity for all the cars I'd get in the future); and
- I didn't want to use up a lot of space or spend a lot of money on turnouts by building big staging yards - and didn't think them very necessary since I'm only running two (for now) local freights.
Most folks just build the staging yards, but other alternatives include cassettes, shelves, or drawers. The biggest downside to these alternatives is the amount of equipment handling that's required (and the risk of damage) or, in the case of cassettes, having the same strings of cars being used over and over. Or even worse - you don't end up using the stored cars at all.
I wanted a solution that would protect my cars, minimize handling, and be easy to transport. I think I've found that solution in the "Seville Classics 10 Drawer Organizer."
For about $45 you get all you see here. It comes as a kit, so some assembly is required. But it goes together easy and quick. As you can see, I also added labels to the drawers to make things easy to find.
Each of the 10 drawers holds up to 12 HO scale (steam era) freight cars, for a whopping 120 car capacity. I lined the drawers with bubble wrap (the small bubbles, pointed up) to protect the cars from damage..
Using the cart for storage is pretty obvious and straightforward, but using it for offline staging is where it really shines, IMO. Since the cart is mounted on wheels, transporting all those cars around the layout is easy peasy. Based on the car orders my computer produces, I can quickly find the appropriate cars, and wheel the cart to where ever the cars need to go. This is really helpful for building trains before the session starts and for initially populating the layout with cars, if there aren't any already at the industries from a previous session. You can either pull out a car at a time, or pull out an entire drawer and place it on the top of the cart for easy & safe access to multiple cars at a time.
I can even just take one drawer at a time around the layout, if that's more convenient. But pulling out one drawer is especially helpful for when I want to safely transport a bunch of BO cars upstairs to the workbench.
The cart is pretty tall, so you'll want to be careful pushing it around (it'll flex a bit). And the wheels lock which is great when you don't want the cart to roll away or move on its own. But make sure the locks are off before you push it.
But those are the only points of concern I have - and even those are stretches. All in all, I've been very happy with this solution which addresses storage & staging at the same time.
Suggestion: Put a layer of paper towel over the bubble wrap. I've seen a clip/pictures somewhere on line where the bubble wrap left fingerprints of sorts on the stored cars.ReplyDelete
Oh wow - I hadn't thought of that so thanks very much for weighing in! At first I wondered whether the paper towel would tend to catch on the carside details, but I guess if I use a less fuzzy (absorbent) version, it should be fine. Hope you're enjoying the blog - thanks for stopping by!Delete
Thanks Chris, that's just the thing we've been looking for.ReplyDelete
That's awesome Michael! I'm glad you'll be able to use this tip. I was surprised I'd not noticed anybody else thinking to use a set of drawers like this. Thanks for stopping by the blog!Delete
Right now my son and I use tops from printer paper boxes. They work well enough for protecting cars, they stack if turn every other one ninety degrees, and they're free. But if you need a car from the bottom box...Delete
Interesting that you mention the printer paper box tops - I started to use the same thing, and hit the same wall you did. They're certainly not as portable (you can only carry one box top at a time) or safe. I'd actually considered building a rollaround cart of shelves that would hold the box tops on the shelves. But then saw this rollaround cart and the lightbulb went off :)Delete
When you pull a drawer forward, Is there any kind of stop to keep the drawer from pulling all the way out, unless you WANT to take it out?ReplyDelete
Hi Anon and thanks for stopping by! Speaking of "stoppin" - no, there are no stops on these drawers, but I don't tend to pull them out just part way - I always take a drawer all the way out and put it on top of the cart where it fits nicely and securely. That way I don't have to worry - and the cars are up nice and high for me to see and get to (much easier on the back, especially when dealing with the bottom drawers). Hope this helps - and hope you'll stop by again. Cheers!Delete