A layout in the AZ heat

RGW Feb 16, 2022

  1. RGW

    RGW TrainBoard Member

    Fellow modelers, if you follow my posts in the HO forum, you know the Rainier Great Western is in a climate controlled building. I recently bought a home in NW Phoenix where I intend to build a switching layout in the golf cart bay of the garage. This will not be a climate controlled area in any sense. Does anyone in the forum have any thoughts on dealing with the AZ summer heat? How to protect your layout and it's assets? I would really like to know that now before I start building, versus showing up one day and find my layout is a mess.

    Thank you in advance for your consideration and reply.


    The Rainier Great Western HO Scale Railroad
  2. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Expansion joints--switching layout will probably have a bunch of open-ended spurs, but the runarounds and other track without room to "grow" will need expansion joints for sure. I live where I get an ice cream headache from breathing, so I have the opposite problem! :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
  3. COverton

    COverton TrainBoard Supporter

    We'll assume that it won't get quite hot enough to deform the styrene components. But humidity changes, if they happen at all, and temperature changes, will certainly have to be accounted for. Nickel silver Code 100 rail will expand approximately 0.25" linearly for every 100' of contiguous rail....not joints or gaps. This is for each 30 deg rise in Def F. That's not much, but the expanding and contracting supporting structures due to humidity (if organic and not metal) and temperatures could close some joints up. So do plan to have some sliding joiners along stretches of tangent rail longer than about 8', especially if your joints have almost no gaps left in them. I leave about 1/16" on two or three joints along tangent tracks longer than 8'.

    The other problem is the lubes in your drive mechanisms. It's possible it will soften too much and drip out or down where it doesn't do any good, and may actually do some harm. Not likely, because the lubes 'should be' plastics and paints safe.

    Rodents, insects...I'll leave you to consider what impact they might have.

    Sunlight, even reflected off of the driveway, will eventually destroy any paints and eventually the plastics under them. Find a way to keep strong reflected sunlight off of your layout.

    I can't think of anything else just now.
    RGW likes this.
  4. RGW

    RGW TrainBoard Member

    Hemi, CO, thank you both. M

    The Rainier Great Western HO Scale Railroad
  5. Philip H

    Philip H TrainBoard Member

    Mike Fifer - Fifer Hobby Supply - has a n scale layout in a room off his garage in New Mexico. I don't know if its climate controlled or not, but he might offer a few resources or ideas.
    BNSF FAN and RGW like this.

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