How High?

botz Dec 22, 2005

  1. botz

    botz TrainBoard Member

    I was browsing these forums in a topic called "before and after", and saw a pic of of someones layout ( forgot who) that was higher than his computer monitor, which lead me to think that I could put an around the walls layout above the level of my computer junk, this would put the bottom of my benchwork at about four feet.
    how high is your layout?
  2. eddelozier

    eddelozier TrainBoard Member

    Not sure if the pic was mine but my layout runs around the room(25' x 25') at about 4 1/2 feet height and 1 1/2 feet wide. I had to get over the fireplace for one problem. The height leaves me with a complete open room for other furniture and under layout workbench.
    Still have plenty of room for other play things (video games, music, PC, etc). My couch even doubles as a bed for overnight guests.
    Duck unders (bridges) are not much of a problem at steps entrance. No loop back return, just continuous running (100 feet double track). Helix at one end of room to take the track down to a 9 x 3 layout, where I do my DCC programming and testing.
    I tunnel into second room (laundry,heater, etc) but the height again gets me over the water heater and other items.

  3. okane

    okane TrainBoard Supporter


    Very nicely done.
  4. Powersteamguy1790

    Powersteamguy1790 Permanently dispatched

    The benchwork of the JJJ&E is 50 inches high.

    The mainline line of the JJJ&E rises 7 1/2 inches above the benchwork at it's highest elevation. Some of the rock cliffs rise 12" above the benchwork.

    The height of the benchwork usually depends on the height of the operator. I'm 6' 2'' and 50 inches for the height of the benchwork worked out fine for me.

    Stay cool and run steam...... [​IMG] :cool: :cool:
  5. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

    I've read there are three trains of thought on this with three basic hights (not specific) in a recent Model Railroader acticle. All three had their Pros/Cons and it was truly a matter of taste on what you wanted people to see. It seem they where something like EYE Level, CHEST Level, and WAIST Level ranges where each gave the veiwer a very different look and feel.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  6. Another ATSF Admirer

    Another ATSF Admirer TrainBoard Member

    I know my layout is over the monitor, and I tend to get photos that show it. [​IMG]
    I think I even posted on on the before/after thread... [​IMG]

    My layout is about 1.42m at the lowest (56"), with the computer keyboard sitting about 0.8-0.9m (31-35"). Then it climbs as it runs around the walls...

    My choice was about Shoulder height, so I can drop down to eye level if I want, but also so any wiring can be done without getting down on hands-and-knees (hard on the knees)

    This also gives me free space under the layout for books and DVDs and power tools and the rest of the clutter that follows me around [​IMG]

    Just for reference, I'm about 5'8", so that "drop to eye level" isn't too far, and I can duck under 56" if I have to (it's faster to duck under one point than walk around the peninsular, but the duck is optional: optional duck = optional bumps on head)

    I agree with the three heights theory. I hope to get up to eye level on the opposite wall from the monitor.
    The biggest downside to chest-high is Shoulders.
    The biggest downside to waist-high is Elbows. :(

    But it's all good!
  7. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

    He he he Train board on the monitor. [​IMG]

  8. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Having done so previously, I found about four feet high to be quite comfortable.


    Boxcab E50
  9. botz

    botz TrainBoard Member

    I'm going to have to make some mock ups and see how this will work in my room, and maybe raise my 3'x5' up to 4' and see how it looks too, this is kind of exiting , maybe I can actually get something going in my small space
  10. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    The time you spend doing this now, will pay back nicely, when layout construction is under way.


    Boxcab E50
  11. Powersteamguy1790

    Powersteamguy1790 Permanently dispatched

    Four feet high is a good start Botz.

    Stay cool and run steam.... [​IMG] :cool: :cool:

    BALOU LINE TrainBoard Member

    I'll be the first to admit that layout height has always been one of my issues. It is probably the thing I am most opinionated about. However that does not mean I think everyone should do it like me. There are many factors to concider in helping you decide what works best for you. Think ahead to when your layout is complete and running and what you want to see. Point of veiw. Where are you watching your train from. As mentioned earlier ther are basically 3 height "zones". The higher the track, the lower your point of veiw. Keep in mind there are other things that can factor in, but to me these are the big points.
    High zone: This is shoulder to eye level. This point of view is like being trackside. Advantage- Lower hills and buildings easily block the "other side" of a small lay out. That also means "hidden" track can be behind a row of trees, rather than in a tunnel, giving better access to the track for cleaning and derailer pickup. Expandable to a lower level with minimal change if any to the original deck. Computer desk, work bench, or familyroom TV can easily fit underneath. Disadvantage- It's harder to build because you need a step stool to get up over it. Depth that can be reached is less when it is up and over vs. down and across, limiting scene depth. Shorter viewers will need a step stool to view it.
    Mid zone: This would be in the chest range. This point of veiw is kinda like being ontop of a tall building. Advantage- Shorter adults and preteens can see. Gain a few inches of reach for deeper scenes. Disadvantage- Children still need a stool. Harder to expand up or down (it may be work better to go up and down).
    Low zone: This would be around table height. It's like Mid zone when seated. Standing view I've heard refered to as the satelite or helecopter view but I prefer to think of it as more of a hot air ballon.
    Advantage- Easier to construct. Further reach allows deeper scenes. Even the shortest of visitors can esily see the trains. Expandable to a upper level with minimal change if any to the original deck. Disadvantage- Not the perspective we typically see our world from. Any "hidden" area require either full tunnels or tall scenic view blocks. Tunnels always need to be acessable for track cleaning and derail recovery. Limited uses for under layout space (storage only?).
    [​IMG] The question that was posed to me was this. Do you want to watch trains pass through scenery, or fallow trains through scenes?

    I hope this helps and Good Luck. :D
  13. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Sounds similar to another question- Are you building a model railroad? Or a model of a railroad? Yes. There is a difference.


    Boxcab E50

Share This Page