Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Doug Tagsold Sets His Sights Lower for His New Layout

Doug's sit-down style layout.

In a previous post about Doug Tagsold’s new Terminal of Toledo layout,  I mentioned that he designed it to be operated sitting down.

That caught the attention of a number of people, so I thought I’d ask Doug for more information about why, on this layout, he set his sights lower.

“The Terminal of Toledo layout is built to a height of 42 inches,” Doug wrote to me. “The benchwork is only 24 inches wide, except at the ends of the peninsulas, so reaching is from a seated position in not a problem.

“I felt like the 42 inch height was a nice compromise for operating while seated, or standing.”

What do others think of this arrangement? “Several of my more ‘vertically challenged’ operators like the 42 inch height for them to operate while standing, as the normal 54-57 inch popular height is too high for them,” he says.

A layout with rolling chairs needs a hard floor surface; Doug’s basement has a painted concrete floor.

As for chairs, Doug uses drafting chairs—chairs that are about four inches higher than normal desk height chairs. “For me, the 42 inch height while seated in a drafting chair offers the same view and accessibility as a 57 inch high layout does while standing,” he says.

On the CP Rail Manitoba & Minnesota Sub., the lower level is 43 inches high; the upper level is mostly about 61 inches off the floor. I find the lower level height comfortable for switching while standing; a stool is handy for switching the upper level. I never thought about using a chair for operation, though, although I do like to sit in my chair at my desk and watch trains go by my office "window."

You can hear Doug talk about his sit-down style layout on the Model Railway Show.

1 comment:

  1. John, my layout is about rib-cage height, and I find a chair with step is just right (sort of like this one, without middle step):

    Also, the steps are handy for reaching light bulbs, or if our nephew visits he can see the trains easily and safely.

    I've gone the other direction from Doug - lower to higher.