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Setting Up A Model RR In My Garage

Bob writes:

“I live in NY, where we might get three of four snow storms each winter, and the temperature typically ranges from 30F’s in the winter to the 80F’s in the summer. I have an insulated 2 car garage, with the garage door being the only wall uninsulated. The second story of the house is also over the garage. I would like to use 1/2 the garage for an HO layout. Would the weather or anything else present any problems?”

Please add your comments to assist Bob below.

7 Responses to Setting Up A Model RR In My Garage

  • Dale says:

    There are several issues you might run into. Lubricants in locomotives might be affected by cold making them run more sluggishly and require more frequent cleaning. Heat and cold will cause some expansion and contraction of the track. If you leave an occasional gap between track segments (don’t solder the joiners at the gaps), you’ll need to run separate feeders to the segments, but that’s a good idea anyway.

    Not weather related but a garage layout will probably require more frequent cleaning.

  • Charlie Treft says:

    I live in the Rocky Mountains and we get a lot of snow and cold weather here. I have found that even though your Garage is insulated it will get cold without heat or Ventilation. I make it a point to cover my layout after every use and keep it covered till I use or work on it. This cuts down on cleaning and dusting.
    The heat is another issue you will have to deal with as I would like to use a Space Heater, but my wife says NO WAY! I try to open the door to our garage at least a half hour before I go in to warm things up.

  • leonz says:

    Speaking as a fellow New Yorker If the garage has the sheet metal channels for insulation board purchase the correct thickness of the blue board insulation and pack the door full and use 2 milk house heaters with heavy 14 gauge outdoor use extension cords plugged into a 30 amp outlet wired into the panel box to heat the garage while working with your layout.

    Otherwise if you have an old garage door using a propane fired space heater with the door wide open is the best thing to use to heat the garage unless you are willing to have a garage wall mounted forced draft heater fired with a 40 pound Lb. tank of propane outside the garage.

  • Ray says:

    I suggest to build a light framework or wall in front of the garrage door and plaster with wallboard.This will create a ‘room’ within the confines of the half garage and become a seperate entity to the rest of the shed where you can open the garage regardless. I did the same at my place in Melbourne Australia but the problem here was not the cold but the heat in summer [40c,102f ] It then becomes a seperate room to heat or cool without too much energy use.

  • Marklin ed says:

    THANKS for the answers I know now that way layout can’t be in my unheated garage. Upstate New York Catskill Mountains.

  • Clement E. Hill says:

    I live in Central West Florida. (Tampa area). I purchased a “split” HVAC unit. Believe it or not it does get cold here.

    My walls and garage doors are insulated. The split unit allows me to adjust the temperature for any temperature change. I believe this has been one the best investments I made for my train room.

  • Ralph Furth says:

    I also live in Florida, but my issue was humidity. It started to rust things up and warp some of my wooden boards. You should be okay in N.Y.

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