Further to my posting of yesterday, I offer what I think is an improved design….


One thing I did not like about my previous version, now called Staging Cassette Mk1 (See CATEGORY: TECH – LAYOUT CONCEPTS “STAGING CASSETTE Mk1”), was how thick the foam was.  To recall, the foam on the inside of both hinged sidewalls squeezes into the models and holds them in place while handling the cassette.  Even though I wrote that thinner foam could be used with wood strip spacers behind it, I didn’t entirely like this solution.  However, it would be workable.

In noodling this some more, I changed how the same hinges are mounted and the result is a more compact, cleaner, less expensive, and easier to build staging cassette.  This is Staging Cassette Mk2.


The base is now 1×2 dimensional poplar, saving 1” in width (a 40% reduction!).  The narrower width is a help for storage as five of these Mk2s will go where only three Mk1s would be previously accommodated.  However, for stability, the stacking height of three may seem precarious judging by the photo at the end of this post.  The height is about the same as I am still using ¼”x4” hobby poplar for the drop-sides.  This excessive height needs to account for the stacking feature whereby the base of each cassette intrudes into the one below it by ~¾”.  The length is whatever it needs to be.

Just for reference, I measured a Walthers PRR B60b Baggage Express car (HO Scale) and it is about 1.40” wide across the body.  The width, without foam, inside the new cassette design is 1.63”, so there is a clearance of ~.115” per side.  Using ¼” (.25”) foam, I think, may work (compressing ~.135” into the model per side).  Weather stripping may be the ticket and it has an advantage that it has a self-adhesive side.  In looking at the Home Depot website, foam weather stripping is available in .187”, .250”, .375” and .500” thicknesses.  This is good news, as one may need to try different thicknesses to get the right “crush” on the model.

Likewise, the tray can be made narrower.

An obvious advantage to the cassette with folding sides, which I did not mention in yesterday’s post, is that it is much easier to load rolling stock onto the rails.  The traditional rigid-walled cassette design has to account for one’s fingers, so it is wide.  Even at that, it would be difficult to know if all the wheels are on the rails unless the walls were made from Plexiglas – Perspex, for my friends in Britain :).

Also, there should be no trouble with combining Staging Cassettes with the Staging Traverser (See CATEGORY: TECH – LAYOUT CONCEPTS “STAGING TRAVERSER”).  In fact, this combination would make operations a very smooth prospect.

Of course, this is all nice theory.  Building a trial version will reveal much, but I have no need for this right now.  Here are pictures of the new design…


Railroad Modeling is just a series of puzzles…..