"Portable" Layout Table


I am building a 4 X 8 layout that is located in a spare room in our house. One day I know I will have to give up this room to be used for another purpose. To make moving the layout possible, I knew I would have to build it to come apart. Here is what I have done to make things easier on myself.

The layout is wired through PC connectors that I ordered from Electrosonic (similar to Digikey) for about $0.50 each. These are then connected to barrier strips to make wiring while sitting on the floor easier. The one connector is fixed to the layout end by cutting a blank switch plate with my rotary tool to just fit.

The track is soldered to perforated circuit board and then painted black to match the ties on the atlas flex track that I am using. I even added guard rails for good measure. This doesn’t even look close to prototypical but it’s incredibly strong. The prototype doesn’t have to worry about disassembly.

The ballast is laid in place with scenic cement. With the layout apart I painted the ends of the ballast with paint matching the ballast colour. This helps hide the crack. After the pain had dried I applied my favourite substance (super glue) to the ballast to make the bond that much stronger.

The ends of the bench work are aligned with dowel pins and held in place with bolts. Alignment is always perfect.

Just thought I would share my methods.

Bench Work End172.82 KB
Tracks (1)269.82 KB
Tracks (2)178.3 KB
Connector and Terminal Strip145.22 KB


Scarpia's picture

PC connector

I might have advised against that type of connector, due to the high risk of bent pins. If you're not frequently connecting and disconnecting, than odds are you'll be fine.

HO, early transition era www.garbo.org/MRR local time GMT +4
On30, circa 1900    


LKandO's picture

Computer Cable Connectors

I used many DB25 connectors on my slot car layout sections to join them. Trouble free even with occasional disconnect/connect.


All the details: www.LKOrailroad.com        Just the highlights: MRH blog

When I was a kid... no wait, I still do that. HO, 28x32, double deck, 1969, RailPro

ChagaChooChoo's picture

Looks good!

New ideas for construction keep the creative juices flowing.  I like your work.  I think you'll be fine with the DB-15's.  I've used DB-25's for our modular club, and they're fine so far.  And I like the idea of the PC board at the joint.  Although, as you said, the prototype didn't have to dismantle and move great sections of track like you will, this does look very "industrial", and perhaps even "train-ish".  Just be sure to put black wash on it to weather it.  If you don't use black wash you can be arrested, I think.  I could be wrong, but I read it in a scenery book......

Just my 1.1 cents.  (That's 2 cents, after taxes.)



Just my 1.1 cents.  (That's 2 cents, after taxes.)


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