In a recent comment, reader Brian Termunde wrote,
I’m curious as to your layout height: I tried to do a search, but I can’t seem to find anything. Would you satisfy my curiosity?
I haven’t actually addressed layout height on this blog because my experience is that it’s very much a personal preference. Some prefer layouts to be quite high – others want them comfortably low.
I can see advantages and disadvantages to both. Fortunately(?), my layout height was pretty much pre-determined for me by my layout room.
My layout is built in a basement room – and I must deal with the main heating ductwork that runs lengthwise down the middle of the room. It’s boxed in for a nice appearance and dust-free environment – but it still made a huge impact on the design of my layout.
My basement floor undulates a bit, but the average height from floor to railhead is 48 inches. The ductwork in the photos above is 69 inches above the floor. When drawing layout plans for my space, I determined pretty early on that standing under this ductwork would not be a comfortable experience. Therefore, the only way to use the space effectively was to build the layout under it. Port Rowan is aligned below the ductwork in the room, as shown here:
The railhead height of 48 inches works fine for me. It’s high enough that I’m not stooping to view the trains, but low enough that I can comfortably reach in to uncouple cars in the Port Rowan yard. And with a valance drop of approximately 16 inches from the ceiling, or 5 inches below the ductwork (to shield one’s eyes from the layout lights), I still have a decent “window” between fascia and valance through which to view and operate the layout.
Brian – thanks for asking the question. It was a good one!