Storage & Cartage


The flat cardboard boxes in which shirts are packed are ideal for temporarily storing and transporting rolling stock. They can be lined with foam rubber which will stop the wagons and locos touching each other.


Small parts such as handrail knobs, wheel bearing cups, track pins and the like are usually purchased in larger quantities than are needed for the job in hand. It is essential, therefore, to have a safe place to store this surplus stock of small components until needed. Domestic refrigerator ice cube trays are ideal with their small compartments enabling items to be located easily when required. They can be stored in a drawer and even fitted with a lid if necessary.


To store small parts after you have cut them off the sprue, put them in the trays that come in chocolate boxes to hold individual chocolates. Of course you have to eat the chocolates first.


Here’s an idea for storing coaches and wagons not in use on your layout. The sketch shows the suggested idea and with the boxes underneath the storage sidings, quick transfers can be made. Line the boxes with foam plastic to safeguard couplings and other small parts. It also helps to avoid unnecessary scratches on your stock. The boxes can easily be removed and transported to an exhibition or club night with your stock already packed and secure.


Large insulated coolers such as chilli-bins are great for transporting models to contests and shows. They are roomy, sturdy, and help protect the models from temperature extremes. A layer of plastic foam “peanuts” on the inside helps cushion the models and keeps them from sliding around.


Most modellers know that 35mm film canisters have a million uses in and out of the modelling room. The problem is that most of us don’t take enough pictures to keep up with the demand. A good source of supply is the local chemist or photographic shop. These people usually act as agent for the developing and printing firms. The canisters normally get thrown away, so ask.


This is always a problem when it is time to display you masterpiece at a show or convention or enter it into a competition. Find a stout cardboard or plastic box, bigger than any model you wish to transport. Line the bottom of your box with a sheet of thickish polystyrene. Buy some long cocktail sticks. These are strong and only pointed at one end so are safer to use. Place your model in the box and secure it by sticking the cocktail sticks into the polystyrene round the model at strategic places to prevent it moving.


Here is an idea for storing left over landscape and scenicking material where you can see at a glance what it is you require. Space on your bench or shelf that glass jars do won’t be taken up either. Simply put your leftovers in ziplock bags and hang them on the wall.


Most modellers have unbuilt plastic kitsets which, someday, they will build. Storing these until that day can sometimes be a problem. Never store plastic kitsets where they will be subject to extremes of heat and cold or lack of ventilation. Direct sunlight, too, is a problem as this can very quickly fade and warp plastic.


Here is an idea to protect your rolling stock’s couplers for transportation, or even when storing them. Cut a short length off a cardboard tube from a toilet roll, paper towel, or any similar paper product roll. Simply fit this piece over the coupler and buffers as shown and you have instant protection.


If you should ever have to sell your model railway collection, they will sell for a far better price if you have kept, and are able to put the models on the market, in their original boxes.


Speciality plastic stores have inexpensive plastic storage containers in a variety of sizes. These are ideal for storing finished models that you don’t have space on your layout for as yet. The see-through boxes make models easy to identify and keep them dust- and damage-free until you are ready to give them a permanent place on a module. Fill the bottom of the box with those “plastic peanuts” or plastic chips used in packing, to stop the model moving around.