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Southern spoken here!
I'm sure this question has been discussed before,but I can't seen to find a forum to match.Starting the benchwork on my 8'x12' N scale layout.It is consisted of 2 8'x2' end sections connected by 2 8'x18" side sections.Kinda like a big rectangle,inside area will be open.What do you think the optimum height should be?What height are some of you using?


Fun Lover
My layout will go from 49 to 54". But everyone's preference will be different.

My suggestion is to put a 2 x 4 sheet of plywood and set it on your kitchen table. Set a piece of track, an engine and maybe a structure. Build up the height until you are both comfortable working on it and like the way it looks. That is your height.


The current thinking on layout height is anywhere in between your belly button (low) and your arm pit (high).



Drum Driver
Some guys like their layout at eye level....This is great for real life scenes and puts you in perspective with real life views...BUT a #@%$& to work on with out a ladder/ step can still get the same view by hunkering down. I think too high takes away allot of views of details in the back that your gonna miss out on. Unless you need to keep away from young fingers I agree with Dan on the height. You can see more (bird's eye)and if you want to take pics or see it from "eye view" you still can. I know allot of guys that view our club will take it in as a whole and then squat down for views and photos.


Eye level is great for making N scale look bigger and more realistic, but like Bob says, it's a bear for doing any work. But since none of your modules are more than 2' deep this might not be a problem.

Just remember, not everyone is the same height. If you plan to have friends or family view/run the trains you need to consider them as well. I'm 6'3". If I built my layout for my eye-level, then my wife and daughter would only ever be able to see the facia. I opted to make my highest point about mid-chest level. My daughter uses a small step stool, it's eye-level for my wife, and if I sit on a bar stool, it's eye-level for me. This lets me take in the big picture and the upclose views. Like Chip, mine runs from 48" to 56".

Steve B

I'm 6ft so mine is built on top of filing cabinets but even so reaching more than an arm's length is a stretch, it's from 54" to 61" from the floor


Drum Driver
"Ha- Ha- Ha He said,_________" (nevermind thats another cartoon!! :D )
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Grandson of ALCO Bldr
if you are doing(modeling) a region of hilly or mountainous range you could have the best of both worlds or rather have the variations of the high and lows.......
Mine is about 32" off the floor with an 8" facia that rises about 3" above layout height. The logic behind this was that little people (have many that come over and many in the fam) could have a full view. The 3" safety height is great when a train flies off unexpectedly and keeps the little fingers back. It does eliminate seeing some things at eyelevel, however my mountains start at the floor in some places and go up to 6' so there is plenty of eyelevel viewing.

Since I decided to go low I thought in the reverse of most people i believe. I put the benchwork height an easy height for me to reach from the floor when on a creeper. As I am the only one willing to do the dreaded under table work it has worked out well.

Remember the lower you go the more likely you will need the dreaded fold up walk thru which I am close to mastering. The higher you go the better duck under you can have and eliminate that situation.

Man you guys are tall!!!

Either way Good Luck and Have Fun

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