The living room railway – the site sketch

To help illlustrate the space I revved up Sketch-Up and put together this quick sketch of the space in the window.
living room

It’s quite a generous area to work in.

In the sketch I added in a platform to illustrate the proposed layout location compared to the windows. I’ve shown the layout in red in the above sketch.

As mentioned, I have always tended to think in terms of hanging benchwork from a wall using some sort of bracket. I just don’t see doing that here. Over a mug of tea after work today it occured to me that I need to think of this differently. I started thinking about those kitchen islands on wheels (here’s a link to one on the IKEA website for an example: but in a much larger format. In many ways, the benchwork would be like any free-standing frame used under a typical tabletop model railway or modular railway. What I was thinking is that two of the legs should be on casters so I could wheel the layout either out into the room to operate or into another room if op’s night coincides with some other living room activity.

Now that the railway is free of the walls, it still needs to fit in the general area, but it can now be a more free-flowing design. I’m starting to think in terms of something more eliptical than rectangular in plan view. I expect that I’ll be stealing a few moments in the next little while to sketch a few ideas out on paper to test the space but I already have a few concepts in mind and am excited to test them out.



  1. My plan had been similar however mine wasn’t ashigh a window. It was already at waist high level. So I figured doing something like a TT style base. But it couldn’t be a full time due to blocking the window handles. The idea of a rolling table is a great idea. Why not lower it and use a chair to maintain the view level you want and not block the middle of the window view with the layout. It also gives more vertical room for a backdrop. And what about curtains. Wives always want curtains! I even started to think of a shelf extension (e.g. off to the left against the wall. (spreading empire disease). Mine would have strictly been a Christmas layout (:-) – never pursued.

    1. Krista suggested I consider lowering the table height too and operating from a chair. I’m not opposed to that idea. I won’t be able to lower it enough to have the layout sit below the sill height though so the final height would be determined more by aesthetic than practicality.

      With the rolling benchwork idea, we can still accomodate curtains behind the layout. I’ll plan the area to include an area for the curtains to sit where they won’t wind up damaged. That said, we had always planned on shutters for these windows and that works better.

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