Skip the pain of reaching across your layout with this inspired home built aid

access ladder for reaching the back of a ;ayoutHow’s this for a nifty idea.

Alex Montagano‎ is building an N gauge layout and needed a way to reach over to the rear of the layout boards.

Now unless you’re lucky enough to have a spare barn with enough space to walk around your layout, this is something we all have to do. And if, like me, your backache after even 10 minutes bending over you’ll know it’s real problem.

For working underneath baseboards  car creepers provide a ready-made solution but I’ve not found aid to help top-side.

Alex, however, came up with an innovative solution.

access ladder for model railway

Alex ran electrical pipes along the wall behind his layout and then used two further piping to create an L shaped ladder. He can climb up and safely and comfortably rest on this while working on the hard to reach rear part of the layout.

The steps were made from 2×3 timber while the ladder sides are 3/4 inch conduit bent with an electricians conduit bender.

It’s a simple and very effective solution that I’ll certainly incorporate into my future layouts. Have you made any aids to help you work on hard to reach places around your layout? Share your suggestions in a comment below.


Founder of ModelRailwayEngineer, Andy Leaning

Andy is a lifelong modeler, writer, and founder of He has been building model railways, dioramas, and miniatures for over 20 years. His passion for model making and railways began when he was a child, building his first layout at the age of seven.
Andy’s particular passion is making scenery and structures in 4mm scale, which he sells commercially. He is particularly interested in modelling the railways of South West England during the late Victorian/early Edwardian era, although he also enjoys making sci-fi and fantasy figures and dioramas. His website has won several awards, and he is a member of MERG (Model Railway Electronics Group) and the 009 Society.
When not making models, Andy lives in Surrey with his wife and teenage son. Other interests include history, science fiction, photography, and programming. Read more about Andy.

Afflliate disclosure:The links on this page may take you to carefully selected businesses, such as Hornby, Amazon, eBay and Scale Model Scenery, where you can purchase the product under affiliate programmes. This means I receive a small commission on any orders placed although the price you pay does not change. You can read my full affiliate policy here. I also sell my my own ready to use, pre-made and painted buildings and terrain features. browse the range.

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