Author Topic: Changing direction (maybe)  (Read 1770 times)

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vt_railroad_guy

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Changing direction (maybe)
« on: April 12, 2012, 11:53:34 AM »
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I have been playing around with my modified Carolina Central HCD layout (which I FINALLY got around to starting) with my kids (6 and 4) and discovered a couple things.  #1, the simple loop of track doesn't hold their attention for long.  #2, code 55 track doesn't hold up to there little hands very well.  That said, I was looking at the Scenic & Relaxed track plan from Atlas which is designed with code 80 track.  The longer main track run would be nice, but what do you all think?

JDB

Blazeman

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Re: Changing direction (maybe)
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2012, 12:10:53 PM »
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For really young ones like you have, best to get them a Lionel set so they can run 'em fast and put 'em back on the track with minimal difficulty. Push your thoughts of prototype deep into your mind. You want your children to enjoy trains. That means being hands-on at this point of their young lives.

Don't worry about operations, DCC or any of that stuff modelers are into. The kids aren't. If it makes noise, runs, handles the abuse they give it, that's what you want for them now. If the train seed is in their DNA, going this route will let it grow.

MichaelWinicki

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Re: Changing direction (maybe)
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2012, 12:14:53 PM »
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Hey VT...

Question, when you say the code 55 track doesn't hold up... maybe you could explain that one a little more?

I've used both code 80 and code 55 and yes during the construction phase you have to be a little more careful with the code 55, but once it's glued down there isn't that much difference between the two IMO.

Using caboose industry throws (which are nearly industructable) and having several re-railing tracks in place would help keep hands from the track.

That being said the layout Dave Vollmer did for his son, came out great using Unitrack, which seems about as bullet-proof as you can get.

Don't know if you need to go the route of "Scenic Ridge" but that's a nice design too.  I would think some sorta over & under trackplan with a tunnel and a couple places to put cars would suffice.


« Last Edit: April 12, 2012, 12:32:22 PM by MichaelWinicki »

seusscaboose

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Re: Changing direction (maybe)
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2012, 12:55:07 PM »
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Don't worry about operations, DCC or any of that stuff modelers are into. The kids aren't.

disagree...  my 7 year old uses a UT just fine (see the 50 car, yellow train, ABA lash up below)... and could hang with us in OP's Sessions as a Ghost Train (run and stop and proceed upon clearance from Dispatch) were it not for the NSFW language that yours truely (and others) tend to use...  :facepalm:

now admittedly, a sample of one does not represent the population, and i understand the train (pun intended) of thought you are using (little kids like simple trains)... but the alternative perspective is that little kids can like more than just simple trains if you nurture them in that direction. 

I think DV's HCD layout has some switching options in it.. Lee definitley worked with his son (and even took over his bedroom) a few years ago.  Heck... even Pud up north has nurtured it with his son and his son's best friend. I could go on and on..

anyway... From running trains, to scenery, to helping with trackwork and construction, it is all about how simple (or not simple) you want to make it, i guess that is my comment. 

I also read an article in N Scale magazine from 2000 or so.. where they (the mag) were donating free copies to schools in Indianapolis area... and now.. somehow or other... they are tracking an upward trend in youth modellers in the area (dont ask me how)...  anyway.. the point of the comment is, it is all about how challenging or simple ya make it and what resources ya give them.

only my unsolcited 2 cents (not meant to be a soapbox)

"I have a train full of basements"

NKPH&TS #3589


Inspiration at:
http://nkphts.org/modelersnotebook

vt_railroad_guy

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Re: Changing direction (maybe)
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2012, 01:08:35 PM »
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Hey VT...

Question, when you say the code 55 track doesn't hold up... maybe you could explain that one a little more?

I've used both code 80 and code 55 and yes during the construction phase you have to be a little more careful with the code 55, but once it's glued down there isn't that much difference between the two IMO.

Using caboose industry throws (which are nearly industructable) and having several re-railing tracks in place would help keep hands from the track.

That being said the layout Dave Vollmer did for his son, came out great using Unitrack, which seems about as bullet-proof as you can get.

Don't know if you need to go the route of "Scenic Ridge" but that's a nice design too.  I would think some sorta over & under trackplan with a tunnel and a couple places to put cars would suffice.

Once everything is tacked down, I agree that code 55 should be fine, but it's getting to the point that's frustrating me.  My kids need to touch everything (as kids do), which has lead to several bent pieces of track.  My main reason for considering code 55, was the simplciity of being able to purchase the track plan for the Scenic and Relaxed with minimal thought.  I already spent more time than I should have planning the HCD layout, so I'd like to mkae this as simple as possible.  This plan looks decent and may offer more interest for my kids (then again, maybe not).

vt_railroad_guy

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Re: Changing direction (maybe)
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2012, 07:46:51 AM »
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After (nearly) waffling back and forth between this and my original HCD plan, I have decided to stick to my guns and build up the HCD Aroostook Northern. 

Thanks for the help.

JDB

wm3798

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Re: Changing direction (maybe)
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2012, 10:38:14 AM »
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If the kids are going to be involved in the nitty gritty of putting down the track, and the layout is specifically planned as an activity to be shared with the kids, then you'll probably want to consider Unitrak.  It can be endlessly clicked together and rearranged with minimal impact on its functionality.

However, if your goal is to teach the kids to work with nice stuff, and respect the importance of detail (in anything they do, not just trains) then you might want to consider an acceptable percentage of learning curve damage, and press on with the good stuff.

Definitely thumb through the pages of Dr. Vollmer's kids layout thread, there is much to learn there.

Lee
Rockin' It Old School

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

vt_railroad_guy

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Re: Changing direction (maybe)
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2012, 11:54:12 AM »
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That's good advice Lee. 

I've decided to purchase them a train set of their own (watching a particular auction site for deals) and build a 24" x 48" layout that they can thrash...er...learn on (my wife's idea actually).  In a year or two, when they have demonstarted an ability to handle the equipment responsibly, we'll move them up to the finer equipment.  I want my kids to learn and have fun without destroying all the equipment I have collected and giving me fits in the process.  Young children are hands on learners and I want them to enjoy themselves, as well as I'd like to enjoy myself.

JDB

Philip H

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Re: Changing direction (maybe)
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2012, 12:16:05 PM »
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I actually keep a small tub of junk B-man cars and engines on the edge of my work bench for this purpose.  My son is now 18 months old, and LOVES to follow dad everywhere.  I go in there to just get a pair of scissors and he's right at the bench.  So I have some sacrificial lambs (stripped of ANYTHING that could go down the throat) and he pushes them back and forth on the carpet.
Philip H.
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Baton Rouge Southern RR - Mount Rainier Division.

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