Rehabbing a 4x8 layout

DHGUY1984 Oct 31, 2021


Clean the track vs. replacing it

Poll closed Nov 14, 2021.
  1. Clean the track

    4 vote(s)
  2. Replace the track

    0 vote(s)
  1. DHGUY1984

    DHGUY1984 TrainBoard Member

    Dear fellow trainboarders;

    I have a 4x8 HO scale layout that was a dealer window display that I acquired when said dealer went out of business am looking to clean or replace the track and install a DCC system any recommendations on a small DCC system ( I'm considering the digitrax's zephyr system ) and also would like to hear your suggestions on the best way to clean the track.

    Thanks in advance for your time and suggestions.
  2. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

    If you are going to rip the track off, you might as scrap the entire thing. I know that sounds harsh, but from my experience, trying to repurpose a used layout is not very successful. They aren't built to the specifications you'd like, and you end up having to make significant changes. A lot of times, it's easier to just start from scratch and do things the way you want.

    There isn't much to save from a 4x8 layout, maybe some buildings and accessories that can be easily removed, but once you rip out the track, you will end up having to redo a lot of scenery. If the layout uses nickel-silver rail, it's probably worth saving, but depending on its age and quality, brass and steel rail probably aren't worth it.

    My main concern is on the wiring and electrical side. Many of the switches are probably power-routing, and you may need to rewire it for DCC use. Adding feeders to completed track will be an adventure.

    Do you have any photos of what you are working with? That may help us understand what kind of layout it is and what work you'll need to put into it.
    dalebaker likes this.
  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I agree that photos would be useful. Could you please post a few?
  4. DHGUY1984

    DHGUY1984 TrainBoard Member

    Sorry no photos but I will say that other than the track and the start of a road it's just a piece of foam insulation board no scenery or wiring if that qualifies as a blank canvas the track plan is a single loop with a tiny two track yard on one side
    Hardcoaler likes this.

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