How to fix your buildings down without fixing them down

If you’re still building a layout and continually moving buildings around while working on it, this is for you.

Is a model railway ever finished? I don’t think so.

Certainly, mine aren’t. There’s always something to be done.

The problem however that while you’re working on your layout, there’s a risk you’ll damage parts that you’ve already completed.

This is especially the case for buildings.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve accidentally caught a delicate building with a tool of one form or another and damaged it.

The answer is to move them while you’re working on and when you want to see them in place you just place them but leave them unglued so they can be removed in future.

But that means that when the buildings are in place they don’t look right (often with a small gap between the building walls and groundwork). Worse, if you have pets (especially cats) who occasionally walk across your railway (surely not!!) they might dislodge these unsecured buildings and send them flying.

What to do…

Here’s a remarkably simple tip.

Use magnets.

Get some kitchen cupboard door magnets and fix them to the baseboard where the building will go.

Now take the other half of the magnet, remove it from its plastic holder (that allows it to be screwed to cupboard door) and glue it to the walls of your buildings (on the inside!).

Your buildings will then be held tightly and firmly in place but if you want to do some construction work on the layout they can still be easily lifted free.

Sure it’s an obvious tip but it’s one of those that’s so obvious it might get overlooked.

Let me know if you use this for your layout.


Did you know, last year MRE (this website) was nominated and went on to win Silver for best website in the British Model Railway Awards. This year, I'm honoured that it's been nominated again! MRE is a labour of love and your vote for it in these awards would really encourage and motivate me to develop the site further, creating more free tips, advice and guides. If you would like to support me, please click here and select your entries in the various classes of entry. If you don't have a preference for a particular category, you can skip that class. The Website of the Year is on the final page, just tick the box next to Model Railway Engineer to support me. Thanks Andy, creator of MRE.

3 comments
    • Great idea Paul! That would be so useful as it allows the insides to be worked on while the building is on the layout too! Thanks for sharing. Andy

Add Comment

Required fields are marked *. Your email address will not be published.