moving !!!!####**** arg
I know I am not here much any more. But I have a problem and don't know where to get advice. We are contemplating moving which means disassembling a 500 +- square foot layout with about 300 cars and around 75 locomotives. I no longer have most of the boxes the rolling stock or locomotives came in. What is a good, safe, economical way  to move this much rail road. I am not saving any sections of the layout, as this is not feasible. I will be salvaging track & buildings for new layout. here are a few pics of what my problem is. I am sick about this, I started this layout in 1996 the thought of this large undertaking is overwhelming.

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here is the address for my photo bucket if you wish to see many more pics.

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I use old Avon boxes with cars wrapped in bubble wrap, try to keep the same type of cars in same box.
Les, the economical way is often the labour-intensive one.

For your locos and passenger cars, you can make boxes fairly cheaply.  I use fruit boxes, which usually come with separate tops - this helps to make them sturdier than ones with fold-over flaps as tops....

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I then use sheet cardboard (appliance stores that do delivery and set-up often have large sheets of flattened corrugated cardboard boxes available for the asking) to make compartmented trays into which the models can be placed.
To make the trays, all that's needed is a utility knife, a straightedge, and a hot glue gun....oh, yeah, and some time.

I usually put the locos into the trays upright...



...using foam sheeting to allow for easy placement or removal.

MoW equipment usually goes into similar trays upright, but minus the foam sheets....


...and each model (or models normally coupled together, such as cranes and boom tenders) have a tray with one side open-able. for easy placement or removal...


Passenger cars go into similar trays within similar boxes, but I usually place them on their sides on a paper towel...

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Accurail offers boxes for individual freight cars, but at three for $2.99, it will be an expensive expensive move.

For cars, especially those with fragile details, for which you do have boxes, adding a piece of foam to create a tight fit of the model within its box will keep the car from moving around, thereby protecting the details...

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For less-detailed cars, you might get away with using cardboard strips to divide a large box into "aisles" into which the cars could be placed, on their wheels and coupled together.  Add a block of foam or crumpled paper towel to fill-in any excess space in each aisle, as you don't want them to roll back and forth every time you carry the box.
Once the bottom layer of aisles is filled, place a sheet of corrugated cardboard, cut-to-fit the box, over it, then create another layer of aisles, repeating until the box is full.  This operation will go quicker than making trays, and should protect things just fine, unless the box gets dropped.

Structures present their own problems, especially larger ones, as it may be difficult finding boxes large enough.

If your track has been put in place using track nails, and ballasted using white glue, a good soaking with "wet" water will make it easier to take up after removing the nails.  If you've soldered the rail joiners, you can either unsolder them or use a cut-off disc in your Dremel to cut the track into manageable lengths.

I'm sure that others will chime in with some useful suggestions.  If I were a little closer and not quite so busy, I'd drive down with all my ready-made boxes, empty, and give you a hand.  When's moving day?  I may be available by then, and would be pleased to be able to offer some assistance.


When I moved in 1992, I wrapped all the cars in bubble wrap. The tiny bubbles which i bought from Staples.
I also have a bunch of "G" gauge boxes and some other small boxes you can have to put the wrapped cars in.
I'll be happy to deliver them to you! Smile Smile Smile
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~~ I wonder what that would look like in 1:20.3???
I will add what ever method you chose keep the boxes you put it in the same size , makes storage and handling easier. the reason I use old Avon boxes is we hade about 25 of them that we saved when wife sold it.
Jim , I don't have the old Avon boxes kinda wish I did.
Wayne, I kind of like your idea of the appliance box cardboard.
Mikey, I appreciate the offer but not needed.

Guys this is still in the discussion stage. I believe it will happen not sure when. I have some time to start disassembling and packing. Guys this is really hard, we bought this place in 89. if we make this move it will be to down size. We love this place. but it is getting hard to maintain. Mikey has been here and knows what I mean. I am going to be doing a lot of praying about this. O yea most of my rolling stock is blue box and equivalent. That makes it easier.Thanks I will keep you updated.
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les where the box is from is irrelevant was just saying the size and shape should be the same.
Probably way late to answer this, but for most freight and passenger cars, I highly recommend the boxes sold by Spring Mills Depot. As far as purpose built train boxes go, these are the least expensive but also have the greatest capacity. There are $10 per box, +$0.40 per foam strips. You can get about 30 40' cars, 25 50' cars, 18 single level passenger cars, or about 12 autoracks into a box. They aren't 100% ideal for locomotives, but if you have fleets of freight cars, all but the most delicate cars can be safely packed in these.

I use them for storage as well as transportation to shows. The boxes are a little large but in the long run, they are more efficient due to the density of the trains you can store in them. They definitely take up less space than equivalent systems or individually boxing things. I have several, as well as the carrying case for them.

These boxes cost half (or even less) of the price of competing purpose built boxes, and have a greater capacity. They would totally be worth it. I've been thinking of getting more.
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