Another N-trak Layout Plan

Posted on December 5th, 2011, by Mike

Here is another home layout that I planned for a friend, based on the need to store N-trak modules and the desire to incorporate them into an operating pike. In this case, a relatively high track height was proposed in order to leave room for a functional work desk below the layout, even when modules were in place.

Overall layout plan and concept

As this was going into an unfinished basement, the basic idea was to provide brackets anchored to new stud furring so that the space could be a bit more finished. These brackets would rotate out from the wall on piano hinges, and the modules would rest on them. Each bracket is one half of a flattened arch, a profile familiar to most railroaders when stowed against the wall. Two balloon-loop sections at the ends join the three standard N-trak mains; this conceptual design does not show specific spurs or other incidental features of the modules.

Bracket Detail

I’ve included enlargements of portions of the drawing so that you can see better how it would all work. While this was planned around two modules, there’s no reason why this could not be adapted to any length of modules. Below the arches is a shelf formed of a 1×6 which fits between the studs and protrudes into the room. This makes each arched niche into a place for storage.

Wall Elevation

All of this is predicated on the stud furring being full-height so that it can be anchored to the floor joists at the top. Otherwise, the stud wall will have a tendency to pull out from the basement wall behind it. An option might be to anchor the top of the wall instead into the basement / foundation wall.

It was assumed that the modules simply rest on the brackets, with dowels or pins for alignment. That way, when it is time for a show, each module can easily be lifted up and off, and then the brackets closed.

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