Author Topic: Storing trains in storage unit  (Read 984 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Pizzaparty

  • Posts: 24
  • Respect: +7
Storing trains in storage unit
« on: December 27, 2021, 09:00:38 AM »
0
Sounds dumb but we are moving and I need to stash locomotives and cars in a storage unit for a few months. It will not be temperature controlled, so I’m curious will they be ok?

For reference it’ll be in Iowa, we get snow but it’ll be cold. Like very cold. I’ll have them out of storage before spring, guessing March

davefoxx

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 11675
  • Gender: Male
  • TRW Plaid Member
  • Respect: +6785
Re: Storing trains in storage unit
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2021, 09:25:24 AM »
+1
I’d probably be more concerned with summer heat than winter cold, but I wouldn’t put my trains into storage without temperature control.

DFF

Member: ACL/SAL Historical Society
Member: Wilmington & Western RR
A Proud HOer
BUY ALL THE TRAINS!

CBQ Fan

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 3428
  • Respect: +345
Re: Storing trains in storage unit
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2021, 09:46:15 AM »
0
How are trains protected from the climate while in transit from China?  Or on trailers transiting across the country?  I am guessing no temperature control and the no insulation. I have wondered about the range of temperatures encountered while on the container ships.

All that aside, I would not be concerned about the temperatures during an Iowa winter. While I didn’t store trains in a storage unit during our move two years ago, I did store my train tables in them. I noticed no impact from heat on anything stored. May & June in central Indiana, so warm, but not the heat of late August. The unit was always cool as a recall. 
Brian

Way of the Zephyr

thomasjmdavis

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 3907
  • Respect: +986
Re: Storing trains in storage unit
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2021, 12:05:40 PM »
0
If putting trains into storage, try to be sure that you pack on a low humidity day (indoors in the Midwest this time of year, this is not a problem, unless you are running a humidifier at full tilt).  Condensation can be a bigger problem than temperature, when things get cold.

I also recommend plastic totes, because....

I had something of a disaster 20 years ago when the storage unit I was renting sprung a leak in the roof.  My trains were fine (mostly in plastic totes), with the exception of some old HO stuff in a cardboard box, where steel parts got a little rusty.  However, my magazine collection took a hit.  The worst damage was my table saw, not terrible, but the cast iron top took about a week of rubbing down with steel wool to get rid of the surface rust.
Tom D.

I have a mind like a steel trap...a VERY rusty, old steel trap.

Pizzaparty

  • Posts: 24
  • Respect: +7
Re: Storing trains in storage unit
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2021, 12:38:45 PM »
0
Yep, all packed in nice Rubbermaid totes, engines are in jewel cases, house is dry except for the bedrooms because we have humidifiers in them. They are currently residing in the basement, so I would assume it’s fine to transition them to a storage unit.

I figure I don’t want them in the heat, but we should be moved into a new place by then, and worse case scenario I’ll snag them out and stuff them in a closet (at least the locomotives)

porkypine52

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 60
  • Respect: +6
Re: Storing trains in storage unit
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2021, 12:51:50 PM »
0
Before I retired, I had a majority of my trains stored away.  I only took out what I was working on at the time.  Got rid of ALL foam rubber package inserts.  Only used HARD plastic inserts to hold locomotives and rolling stock in place in their individual boxes.  Then placed all items into RUBBERMAID Totes.  Everything was stored in outside unheated barn building.  This was while working on layout, between business trips.  There were no ill effects seen.  One thing I learned early on was to INVENTORY and LABEL CONTENTS of EACH tote!  Now where are those decoders for that engine?  Are they in that one or this one..........
About the only thing I really worried about was if the barn had developed a roof leak.  If I had wanted total climate control I would have stored inside house or basement.

DIESELS?!?!?!  We don't need NO stinkin' Diesels!!!
N-Scale  The INDIANA RAILWAY.......Still 100% Steam Powered in 2021

The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets.      Will Rogers
DIESELS!?!?!?!  We don't need no STINKIN' DIESELS!!!
The INDIANA RAILWAY.  100% Steam Powered in 2022

MARK          Proud NMRA Member

If I studied all my life, I couldn't think up half the number of funny things passed in one session of congress.

Will Rogers

peteski

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 31798
  • Gender: Male
  • Honorary Resident Curmudgeon
  • Respect: +4598
    • Coming (not so) soon...
Re: Storing trains in storage unit
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2021, 05:42:22 PM »
0
Non-climate-controlled storage units (with a roll-up access door from the outside) are IMO no place for storing model trains.  Yes, the summer heat is the main concern, but also moisture and humidity (if you live in the area that get humid in the Summer).  There is also lots of dust that seems to get even into covered containers.

I know, I store my car in one of those units for the Winter, and my GF had one of those units for few years (until she found a climate controlled unit for less money than her crappy unit).  SHe stored all sorts of household items and some of the stuff did not fair very well in there.

If you absolutely have to use one of those units, at least keep all the locos and other electrical items in your living quarters (or maybe store them at a friend's place or with a family member).
. . . 42 . . .

BCR 570

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2172
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +3527
    • BCR Dawson Creek Subdivision in N Scale
Re: Storing trains in storage unit
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2021, 06:12:40 PM »
+1
It is a good idea to store the locomotives upright (e.g. not on their sides) to prevent migration of lubricants from the mechanism to the shell.

My locomotives and rolling stock are all in storage since July and I have stored the locos with the jewel cases on their lower sides so that the locos are upright.


Tim
T. Horton
North Vancouver, B.C.
BCR Dawson Creek Subdivision in N Scale
www.bcrdawsonsub.ca
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3MbxkZkx7zApSYCHqu2IYQ

kscessandriver

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 242
  • Respect: +51
Re: Storing trains in storage unit
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2021, 02:08:07 PM »
0
Interesting discussion. My wife and I have decided we simply don't have enough storage in the house, and too much of what we have is taken up by trains and other hobby stuff. I was thinking about putting all the empty cases I keep for all the train stuff I have in the storage unit, so this brings up some things to think about.

gkoproske

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 52
  • Respect: +14
Re: Storing trains in storage unit
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2021, 05:34:15 PM »
0
The original question stated that the duration of storage would be just a few months.

There will be no issues with using a storage facility in Iowa.
As for heat, the only thing that affects a plastic case and car is direct sunlight.  Otherwise, ambient temperature won't affect anything.

peteski

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 31798
  • Gender: Male
  • Honorary Resident Curmudgeon
  • Respect: +4598
    • Coming (not so) soon...
Re: Storing trains in storage unit
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2021, 06:32:09 PM »
0
The original question stated that the duration of storage would be just a few months.

There will be no issues with using a storage facility in Iowa.
As for heat, the only thing that affects a plastic case and car is direct sunlight.  Otherwise, ambient temperature won't affect anything.

I beg to differ.  Temperatures over 120-130 deg. F (which can occur in uninsulated attics or metal buildings like ones used for storage can deform/warp styrene or ABS plastics.  Hobby lubricants (used in locos) might also be affected (thicken up or harden).  Lesson learned is not to store plastic kits in uninsulated attic during the Summer.  No direct sunlight needed.

But if it is only short time storage in the winter or spring, if the items are packed in tight containers (for dust protection), I agree that the model trains should be safe.
. . . 42 . . .