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Optimal height for a basement O gauge layout?
5 Mar 2017
9:08 pm
Columbia, SC
Charter Member
Forum Posts: 574
Member Since:
27 Oct 2011
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Hello, after a long hiatus.

I'm finally moved to Pennsylvania, and am planning a new basement layout.  My previous garage layout in South Carolina was about 40" high at the lowest level.  That made it easy to work on:  I could sit upright on a low stool to do the wiring.  But it was too high for kids to see everything easily.  I'm getting older (55), so don't want to go too low for ease of maintenance over the coming years.

The new layout will be open benchwork, traditional tinplate track (I'm primarily a Prewar guy).  Hoping to include at least one loop of SG in addition to 3+ O gauge levels.

Any suggestions for an optimal height for the lowest O gauge level?  I figure the outer SG loop could go as low as 24", as long as there's taller access elsewhere under everything, and ballparking 30" - 32"  for the lowest O gauge level.

Thanks for your input.

Member of TCA, LCCA and The Ives Train Society

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6 Mar 2017
1:24 pm
Country Joe
Vero Beach, FL

Forum Posts: 394
Member Since:
24 Sep 2014
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My layout is about 42" high and I like that level. It's perfect for watching them run while sitting in a chair and a good height for walk around control. 30" seems like a good height for children. 24" sounds too low to me, even for standard gauge. On the other hand, the way you describe it should work. Even the smallest children can enjoy the big trains at 24" high.

11 Mar 2017
4:43 pm
Charter Member
Forum Posts: 567
Member Since:
1 Nov 2011
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Mine is at 36", I don't think I'd want to go any lower unless someone else was doing the maintenance.  I'd be more inclined to build a viewing platform for the kids and/or put controllers for operating accessories on the side of the table versus having to crawl on the floor to get under the 24" or even 30" loop. 

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