Seems like I'm late to the party once again. At least, the Ikea drawer storage unit party. I read a recent post on Mike McNamara's Northeast Kingdom blog where he commented about using Ikea's Alex storage cabinet for storing rolling stock. You can read his post here: http://mainecentral.blogspot.com/2017/01/recent-work-and-springfield.html. What really caught my eye was Mike's comment about suffering from completed and in-progress rolling stock in various places around the layout room. As I have ramped up the freight car and loco production over the last several months, I'm beginning to have the same problem. The "paint shop" drawer has been full, the box with the in-progress hopper cars has expanded to a second box, and I've had to make additional room on the shelves for several loco projects that are in the works. The pictures that Mike posted of the Ikea drawer system looked like the perfect solution to my storage woes.
The photos below show the new cabinet installed under the west end staging tracks. The top drawer holds the hopper car shops, the first tall drawer is the new paint shop and the bottom drawer holds retired rolling stock and locos. I cut pieces of the thin foam sheets that the parts for the drawer were wrapped in and lined the bottom of the drawers with them.
The drawers are deep enough that two rows of fifty foot cars could be stored in each or one row of longer cars. The top drawers aren't deep enough to accommodate excess height equipment, and reaching any cars in the back row wouldn't be easy. You would most likely have to pull out the car in the front row first. Of course, you could always lay the cars on their sides. The bottom three drawers are deep enough to store excess height equipment and wouldn't present as much of a challenge in reaching equipment in the back row.
So I have two of the smaller drawers on top and one of the larger drawers on the bottom for future storage. Once the layout stops eating cars, I'll be able to rotate rolling stock between op session in order to provide some variety to the crews. At least that's the plan.
As for being late to the party, I saw this same cabinet several years ago at John Miller's house. And he was using it for the same purpose. Funny- I should have remembered that given how many times I went searching for new rolling stock in that cabinet...