I’m not a layout designer, but don’t we all dabble a little in it? Another in a short series of space saving designs with operations in mind…
For those with limited layout space, a previous concept (COMPACT TWO-PLACE SWITCHING) has two scenes stacked one on top of the other. In TWELVE FEET SWITCHING IN SIX, offered below, it is all one level, but the inactive scene is hidden when operating. This is done by means of a folding shelf, or rather, half of the layout folds away during operations and for storage.
The designed rail height from the floor is quite high (50”+) so that the fixed shelf scene is not easily viewed when working the folding shelf trackage.
The folding shelf needs to be shorter in length in order to fully swing inside the fixed shelf. The folded shelf can be held with a hook at either end. Folding legs inside the folding shelf allow for full 180-degree folding, and when deployed, provide support. For one person manipulation, handles strategically placed will help control the folding motion. The folding legs can be held in the up position with magnets.
For simplicity, a plain flat folding staging shelf can be attached to the wall. A traverser could also be used. A Staging Cassette, laying on top of the flat shelf makes for easy changing of consists. Also, by sliding the cassette a little over to mate with the track(s) on the shorter folding table, the difference in shelf lengths is overcome.
Here are the details:
Like any design, there are some compromises. All scenery on the folding table needs to be securely fixed as it may spend most of its life upside down. Any items that need to be removable, like structures, could be held in place with magnets or clips. And, of course, unless a modeller likes to rebuild his rolling stock often, any cars spotted on the folding shelf need to be removed before folding it. Since this would frequently be part of operations, a car storage tray can be made for this purpose.