Your opinion: layout baseboard heights

11 September 2023
You'll never please everyone all of the time, but can we please as many as possible for some of the time? For our new TT:120 scale project, we wanted to find out...

'One size fits all' is rarely true in life, and this was highlighted once more with our TT:120 scale Dawlish-Teignmouth layout project recently, being built in partnership with Market Deeping Model Railway Club.

Wanting the layout to have a nod to the 'table top' routes of the scale – and be seen by children and those with mobility issues, we knew the baseboard tops had to be at a height of around 3ft to 4ft in height.

We asked our social media followers for their opinion on baseboard heights for our project. Here's what you had to say:

Social media poll model railway height poll

Social media poll model railway height poll

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Social media poll model railway height poll

Social media poll model railway height poll

Interested in our build? Follow our progress here


Guys let's be realistic here, John is quite right here Hornby Dublo and Triang (Rovex) were designed to be used on the average dining table or in my father's case an old Table tennis table purloined, I believe, from HQ Northern Commands Officers Mess. I would also say that the same applies to any tail chaser layout in OO gauge and above where the detail can easily be seen so as the average dining table is 30 to 36 inches high that should be fine. Where I believe Height is important are the smaller scales which, personally I have never regarded as Child Friendly scales anyway, such as, N/2mm Z and now of course T and TT these I firmly believe need setting at a higher viewing level so that they can comfortably be viewed by 11-16 year olds and adults. I also believe that the same applies to what I would regard as Diorama type layouts and Fiddle Yard to terminus and / or Fiddle Yard or as the late Iain Rice put it "theatrically staged layouts" where time has been spent on a very high level of detail. What should also be born in mind is that a child is likely to be more interested in a tail chaser than an end to end or shunting plank. I do not of course include shunting puzzles in that last statement.

Posted by Graham Eason on Sun 17 Sep 11:48:07

I think it depends on the layout. My Classic Train set layout (3-rail H/Dublo) when on the circuit was low set and sized for children to easily see.* Currently working on a scenic project which will be set higher at about ironing board height. Drawback would be standing to operate so final height will be set by something comfortable to operate from sitting on the high breakfast bar chair we own. *

Posted by John New on Sat 16 Sep 15:05:13