N Gauge Hereford 2022 – Stock Boxes for Moving

Moving the layout of Hereford from Ashton-under-Lyne to Telford required some careful planning. I was particularly concerned about the safe transport of locomotive and rolling-stock. I decided that I would move the layout and stock myself rather than ask the removal company to transport them. This proved to be a wise decision and I managed to get my employers to cover the cost of a few journeys between Ashton-under-Lyne and Telford as this was cheaper than using a removal company.

Some research resulted in the purchase of one stock box from Ten Commandments. [1]

Ten Commandments’ stock storage boxes for N Gauge are based on two boxes from the ‘Really Useful Box Company‘ [2] – a 4-litre box (£22.00) and a 9-litre box (£37.00).

I purchased the smaller of the two. It came with two foam inserts with pre-cut storage slots. The top layer had 9 crossways slots, each 195mm long. The lower layer had 5 length-wise slots each 310mm long. The slots were 25mm wide and 25mm deep. Each foam tray also had a cover layer/lid of foam.

I have a large amount of stock and would have needed to buy a significant number of the stock boxes. At £22.00 or £37.00 per box. I was going to be spending a lot of money.

The 9-litre Really Useful Boxes cost around £6.00 each (depending on where they were bought this varied from £4.50 to £10.00, with a manufacturer’s retail price of £7.55 plus postage. With a significant amount of stock it made sense to buy in bulk – 9 No. 9-litre boxes cost a total of £45 at Rymans (£5 each) and I found a few for a little less than this in sales at various retailers.

I researched available plastic packing-foam and realised that I could purchase reasonably large sheets on-line. I ordered two different thicknesses of foam in nominal 25mm and 10 mm sizes. The actual thickness of each sheet was marginally below the nominal sizes.

I tried using a variety of different glues before decided that strong double-sided tape would be the best for the job. This was purchased on-line at reasonable prices.

Each tray was made up of a bottom sheet of 10mm foam with cut pieces of 25mm foam stuck to it. The construction of the trays is illustrated by a series of pictures below. Please bear in mind that perfection was not required, just trays that would protect stock in the move to Telford.

The trays varied in thickness depending on what stock I intended to place in them. …

Base layer of nominal 10mm foam.
The base layer of foam with two end-pieces 25mm deep.
Double-sided tape in place at one end of the base sheet of foam.
Two end-pieces of foam stuck in place and double-sided tape almost ready to accept the side-pieces of foam.
The process continues.
A finished tray – definitely not perfect but perfectly serviceable!
A couple of examples of my finished trays followed by the two foam trays which came with the original purchase from Ten Commandments.
Stock being placed in storage boxes in the loft layout-room

As this process seemed to have gone well. Rather than buying a lot more ‘Really Useful Boxes’ I decided to try an alternative system for a significant amount of my stock. This system made use of the 25mm thick foam as well as the 10 mm foam.

At the time, I purchased a set of storage drawers as shown below for, I think £12.00. The prices as I write in June 2022 is now £18.00. I imagined that these drawers wolw hold a significant amount of stock and that I would also be able to accommodate some larger items which I had on display in the Vicarage.

The process followed was the same with the exception of a need to provide some reinforcement for the trays as they were larger and the foam was not fully rigid. Trays were shaped to fit the drawers as can be seen below. …

The first layer of foam in one of the plastic drawers.
The first tray in this drawer was used for road vehicles.

I had some very large items – O-Gauge models made by my father-in-law and some buidlings from the layout which needed larger boxes. The method used was the same but the thicker foam was more suitable for these boxes. …

Midland/LMS Steam Railmotor in O-Gauge together with a brake van and a mineral wagon.
One of Hereford’s large goods sheds being packed away carefully
Hereford Station Building also being stored away carefully. Both these models were made for me by my father-in-law from card. Superb!


  1. https://www.tencommandmentsmodels.co.uk/product/n-gauge-storage-case, accessed on 13th June 2022.
  2. https://www.reallyusefulstorageboxes.co.uk/PBCPPlayer.asp?ID=1333274, accessed on 13th June 2022
  3. https://www.wilko.com/en-uk/wilko-4-drawer-storage-unit/p/0188878?bvstate=pg:3/ct:r, accessed on 13th June 2022.

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