Friday, January 4, 2013

A Great "Underground" Model Railway

Still think you have no space for a layout? Check out this video from British Railway Modelling magazine and see where Dennis Parker of Great Britain built his--and how he gets into it!

Dennis built his 24 by 34 foot OO scale Glendower layout in the crawl space of his split-level home. He started the freelanced layout, which represents London North Eastern and London Midland Scottish railways, 36 years ago.

It started small, and just kept growing.

One place it can't grow is up; the ceiling is just four feet from the floor. Dennis gets around the layout by crawling--which is something to see, since he also has to crawl over a viaduct and a bridge that cross the aisles.

A view of the layout.

(In conventional layouts, these would be duckunders; in this case, considering the low ceiling, maybe they could be called duckovers.)

It's an amazing feat, especially when you consider the size of the layout, the amount of track, the high level of detail, the hand-painted backdrops and the great-looking scenery. It makes me wonder, though: How are his knees are doing?

But that's not the only amazing thing about this layout; watch how Dennis gets into his layout--throught a trap door he cut into the kitchen floor. "My wife is very tolerant," he says, adding that when he's in the layout room she always knows where he is.

The May, 2012 issue featuring
the layout. Check out the trap door!

This isn't the first time I've seen a layout in a crawl space; last year I posted about my friend Dennis Rietze and his layout--also located in the crawl space in a split-level home. The Canadian Dennis is different from the British Dennis in that he uses a wheeled stool to move around the layout--definitely much easier on the knees!

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