Swedish Storage


The decision to use Ikea’s IVAR shelving units as the base of the benchwork for The Hills Line continues to pay off in spades. I’m still finding ways to adapt and adjust the system to fit both the needs of the layout, as well as the needs of the household.


My most recent addition is the ubiquitous IVAR Cabinet, which may hold the record for the most-adapted component in Ikea’s lineup. In my case (pun intended), the cabinet serves as secure storage for my rolling stock.


I’d like to locate or build some type of shelf dividers to help sort and protect the individual cars, but my current setup is more than adequate to easily fiddle cars on and off the layout.


The top of the cabinet provides an excellent location to display my motive power, as well as the DCC programming track. I generally prefer to Program on the Main when fine tuning CV’s, but a dedicated programming track is often necessary for the initial setup of decoders, as well as confirming CV values after programming.


The shelves also provide a lot of storage space for layout-related items. I’m able to store the lift-out sections out of the way when they’re not in use on The Hills Line.


Despite being a commercial product, you can also modify the IVAR units to fit your needs. Years ago I picked up a set of literature organizers to hold my railroad and hobby magazine collection. I built a set of custom-length shelves to match the IVAR dimensions and wrap around the magazine racks.



More of my thoughts about using Ikea’s IVAR system on a model railroad appear in Time-Saving Techniques for Building Model Railroads by Tony Koester, available from Kalmbach Media.

3 thoughts on “Swedish Storage

  1. Thumbs up from me on this one. I read your initial blog entry on this and now following your example on a new layout I am constructing underneath my existing switching layout. Wish I had started with that approach on the existiing layout as it saves me hours of time and cost.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Based on the cover of the book, another useful way of saving time on a model railway which Tony might want to consider is putting a dust sheet over the lower section when working on the scenicks for the upper section… 😉
    True, we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but if this is the image chosen to adorn the book, I find it slightly concerning. I am not likely to see the book on sale, so I cannot browse it to see if this is simply the staged shot I expect it to be, rather than an indication of lack of thought pervading the book…


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