Does anyone have any experience with one of these set-ups? Lessons learned or things you would have done differently?
I didn't want to call it an "around the room" design as that give the wrong impression.
I am planning one of those set ups where the track goes around the room, above the door level, like you see in some restaurants, stores, offices, kids rooms, etc... Usually done in G scale but I plan to do mine in HO.
I have been slowly making the transition from N scale to HO, and my wife got a me a big Christmas present years ago of nearly everything on my track planning wish list! So I set to work building my new HO layout. I found my bench-work had a few flaws and was going to correct them when disaster struck: An unusually heavy amount of rainfall in a very short time combined with a gutter failure that overwhelmed the drainage around the house made for a suddenly flooded basement. The result was a lot of warped wooden bench work. Shortly afterwards, I returned to college for another degree and so I just no longer have the time or money currently available to rebuild the bench work in the foreseeable future.
I don't want to let my HO scale stuff sit forgotten in storage. I came up with the idea of putting the track around my computer room so I can at least run trains and keep my interest alive and hopefully continue to amass HO scale equipment for my planned return to the basement.
I have several concerns:
"Wasted space" or blank space in the corners where the curves are (I planned 22" radius) that will collect dust and spiderwebs.
Cats! We have rescue animals and foster some. I'm worried the cats may try to climb up there and knock trains off. "Don't let the cats in the room" is a plan for failure. Despite the best efforts of humans, one day the door would be left open and they would slip in. Best to have a plan for it that doesn't involve hoping it doesn't happen.
Getting up and down constantly to remove the trains would be a PITA and not something I want to do. I was thinking of maybe making a "tunnel" out of PVC pipe where I could park the train safely away.
A second, and probably better idea, is to get plexiglass or clear sheets of plastic and make a small barrier. Enough to keep cats out and maybe save the day if the train ever derails?
Lastly, the problem of what track to use.
I don't want to use my good code 83 track I have been squirreling away for the layout. I briefly considered some of the various toy-track on the market (the kinds with plastic roadbed) but that would cost as much or more than "standard" track. Should I just go with classic Atlas on cork roadbed? It doesn't have to be pretty.