How To Get A Baseboard For Under £30 | Model Railway Baseboards - Model Railway Engineer

How To Get A Baseboard For Under £30 | Model Railway Baseboards

6 comments 6 Intermediate 6 Comments

When first starting out building a model railway, it usually comes as a shock to find building a baseboard isn’t quick or cheap. Here’s a tip that’ll get you a baseboard for under £30.

baseboard tableWhile it’s not difficult to build your own model railway baseboard to do it properly can take longer than you might expect (see below). And if you don’t already have the appropriate DIY type tools already it can cost more than you might expect by the time you’ve purchased the wood, tools and materials.

If you want to get started on a budget and are just dabbling and so don’t need something too permanent this tip is perfect.

Before going further however two warnings. These baseboards aren’t for everyone. For starters, they’re small – ideal if just starting out and for N gauge layouts but won’t be suitable if you’ve got a large plans in mind. Secondly, these baseboards aren’t particularly stable, so if you’re planning sophisticated layouts with lots of scenery or want a large layout you’ll probably be better building your own baseboard.

Here’s the tip, try it for yourself and don’t forget to say how you get on.

Nip over to Amazon, or your local DIY store, and get a wall paper pasting table or folding table. They’re available from under £30. Get a wood based one, as you’ll need to drill and screw into it so the metal variety won’t work.

Above two warnings were given for using these tables as model railway baseboards. One of these was around stability.  You can however improve the strength of these tables by screwing some lengths of timber to the underside, across the longest length one on each edge and one down the centre.

If you decide folding tables aren’t for you and plan to build a baseboard, see What’s The Best Wood To Use For Model Railway Baseboard



  1. Peter jones - July 1, 2016

    Hi new to hornby having big problem I have good track I have no room to build at the min so doing it in my living room I have screwed 1inch mdf to floor layer track no gaps good fishplats my locos are good but it will not run I have a hm2000 controller I have dogs but don’t they don’t come in living room please help

    • Hi Peter, thanks for writing. The most obvious thing that stands out is the electrical connections to the track which you don’t mention. How is this done?

  2. Peter jones - July 6, 2016

    I’m using a hm2000 and I wish to set up three sets of points I have a block of hornby r047 and a cdu unit the track and every thing else I can sort but when it comes to wireing I’m no good the cdu is new and did not come with any paper work to say how to wire it up same with the point the r047 have two wire coming from them both black I hope to make my layout said realistic as possible I’m going for a war air feild set in 40 to 45 but my main problem are the point me hmm 2000 has dc and accessories

    • Sounds good, love the air field settings idea! Well the components are all fairly standard so shouldn’t be a problem. I’d try connecting a set of track up, check the locos get power on that stretch, and build it up adding one set of points at a time. Without instructions to the CDU you could easily get it wrong so I’d leave that ’till last and just prove the rest first. You mention DC in relation to the 2000, what are your locos, DC or DCC?

  3. Peter jones - July 11, 2016

    Thanks Andy I have never seen any one do a 1940 war feild I thort it would be sum thing different I have got one Base board wronged so starting again but I’m staying with the airfield I’ve been on to airfix to see about helping with the scale air craft

    • Mixing Airfix kits with a model train set would be really cool. What a great idea, not seen anyone do that before. I’d love to see some pictures as it develops. What’s wrong with the baseboard? Rgds, Andy

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