Freerails Home 
Home Search search Menu menu Not logged in - Login | Register
Freerails > Model Railroad Forums > Track Planning > Involving Youth 101: Give them something to run

Because of non-railroad abuse of the site, new members MUST use their first names (at least) to join NO EXCEPTIONS!

Involving Youth 101: Give them something to run
 Moderated by: Herb Kephart
New Topic Reply Printer Friendly
 Rate Topic 
AuthorPost
 Posted: Sat Nov 12th, 2016 06:52 pm
  PMQuoteReply
1st Post
jtrain
Registered


Joined: Sun May 27th, 2012
Location: Bozeman, Montana USA
Posts: 912
Status: 
Offline
Here's the video if you want to skip the reading: Demo Train Layout

Most of the train shows in my area, of which there are four annual shows, seem to be composed of about 90% sales booths and the remainder of the floor space is reserved for a few train layouts.

Now then, I'm all for "do not touch" signs and for having truck loads of used trains to look through to find that one model you've been wanting so badly.  For adult hobbyists that come to spend money and gaze at well detailed layouts, it's a great concept.  But to be perfectly honest, this hobby isn't a spectator sport.  You can only watch trains go in circles for so long.  The roundy-roundy layouts really don't hold my attention for long, and I'm sure that's even more true for someone who is 10,11, 12 years old.  Of course, small layouts are fun for the operators, and so that's what this concept is all about.

The best way, as I've come to realize, to get youth involved in our hobby is to give them something to run.  That, and I wanted a platform from which I can run trains until my Mission Mountain layout is built.  So yesterday I spent the afternoon turning a 36 inch by 80 inch hollow-core door into a grassy platform to run trains.

Of course though, something this simple has plenty of uses.  I can run a Christmas layout under a tree, test rolling stock and equipment, sell off older trains on a handsome display, or just play with it in the garage.  I won't glorify it too much though, it's still just a door with a rug glued to it. A simple concept with many uses. But maybe that's all these shows need is a couple of these for elementary and middle school aged kids to play with.

I'll have to try this out at the local shows in April, but I think if you frequently join train shows, maybe think about adding something like this.

Oh yeah, and I've got enough extra of this outdoor rug material (100% recycled by the way if you are into that) to have a couple of switching layouts.

Thanks!

--James:cb:



____________________
James W.

See progress on the Crown Peak Logging Railroad

http://apartmentrailroad.blogspot.com

And:

http://rapidcityrr.blogspot.com

A blog with modeling ideas and prototype information about my favorite regional railroad, the Rapid City Pie
Back To Top

 Posted: Sat Nov 12th, 2016 10:02 pm
  PMQuoteReply
2nd Post
2foot6
Registered


Joined: Sun Oct 20th, 2013
Location:  VICTORIA ,DOWN UNDER, Australia
Posts: 170
Status: 
Offline
That's how I and probably most of us on this forum started out in model railways.A simple railway with easy simple scenery,arh, it brings back memories. I hope it attracts many more young people into the hobby,thanks for showing the video James.

Last edited on Sat Nov 12th, 2016 10:04 pm by 2foot6



____________________
I ASPIRE TO INSPIRE BEFORE I EXPIRE.
Back To Top

 Posted: Sat Nov 12th, 2016 11:24 pm
  PMQuoteReply
3rd Post
NathanO
Registered
 

Joined: Tue Jan 24th, 2012
Location: Spring Branch [north Of San Antonio], Texas USA
Posts: 256
Status: 
Offline
The New Braunfels, Texas, train museum has had a 'Kids Run The Train' layout they have used for years and they also have a version they take to the train shows they are involved in. The kids get a 'Junior Engineers' certificate.

Some of those kids have ended up being volunteers at the museum.

Nathan

Back To Top

 Posted: Sun Nov 13th, 2016 01:35 am
  PMQuoteReply
4th Post
Kitbash0n30
Registered


Joined: Mon Dec 10th, 2012
Location: Boonville, Missouri USA
Posts: 565
Status: 
Offline
At our little bitty model train club's roughly 20 foot each side of the square modular layout Bill and I have a 16ft set of modules with 11 places to spot cars and I made a removable shelf to attach to outside edge of layout where "external power" can be used to run the inner main and the industries. Usually use the MRC power pack with the meters.
More folks have had more fun running trains; from just barely tall enough to see the layout to grizzled grey haired. Is fun when the whole family participates.



____________________
See y'all later, Forrest.
Screw the rivets, I'm building for atmosphere
Back To Top

 Posted: Sun Nov 13th, 2016 03:05 pm
  PMQuoteReply
5th Post
Rick S
Registered


Joined: Wed Oct 26th, 2016
Location:  
Posts: 224
Status: 
Offline
NathanO wrote:
The New Braunfels, Texas, train museum has had a 'Kids Run The Train' layout they have used for years...

Nathan


The NB train museum was the high point of our grandkids' visits when we lived there. They loved going there and climbing on the static displays and running the models. They were disappointed when we moved to Granbury.

Little do they know we can go to Grapevine and ride live steam...

Rick



____________________
Model railroaders are alchemists: We turn gold into rusty iron.
Back To Top

 Posted: Sun Nov 13th, 2016 03:25 pm
  PMQuoteReply
6th Post
Herb Kephart
Super Moderator


Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 6085
Status: 
Offline
For today's kids, I think you would need to bank the curves and put about 30 volts to the rail.

They want action, and plenty of it, or else their interest fades after the first couple minutes in my experience.

Herb



____________________
Fix it again, Mr Gates--it still works!"
Back To Top

 Posted: Sun Nov 13th, 2016 07:25 pm
  PMQuoteReply
7th Post
jtrain
Registered


Joined: Sun May 27th, 2012
Location: Bozeman, Montana USA
Posts: 912
Status: 
Offline
"They want action, and plenty of it, or else their interest fades after the first couple minutes in my experience."

I'd beg to differ, Herb.  Just yesterday we had a 4 year old kid that LOVED trains.  He adored the Lionel layout the club has, but was equally interested in my switching maneuvers with an SW1.  I got to explain how a railroad works, my little engine builds trains, and then the big engines move the cars across the country where another little engine breaks down the train and delivers the cars to all the factories.

The only problem is that our club president loves running the Lionel setup and the HO layout is Digitrax DCC, hardly a simple thing for a tech savvy millennial like myself let alone a 4 year old.  If I could have let him run the trains, I would have in a heart beat.

Granted, this kid was 4, not 12.  But that 4 year old will be a 12 year old soon enough, and it will be hard for him to stay interested if he doesn't get to run trains between now and then.  And I don't blame the parents for not buying him a train set either.  They are expensive and the quality just isn't there.  There was a time when you could throw a Lionel engine off of a cliff and it would have been fine.  I just fried the board on my RS-3 a few years back because I was trying to pull too much weight.  A postwar steamer would have ate that load for breakfast, and then would have asked for dessert.

But I have O scale die cast trains and G scale as well, both are durable and reliable.  For the kids that are old enough to understand realistic operations, I've got N scale and HO scale.  What's more, most of my stuff isn't doing anything, so might as well let the kids have a go at train shows.  And no, I don't mind stuff breaking.  I own almost nothing of value anyway.



____________________
James W.

See progress on the Crown Peak Logging Railroad

http://apartmentrailroad.blogspot.com

And:

http://rapidcityrr.blogspot.com

A blog with modeling ideas and prototype information about my favorite regional railroad, the Rapid City Pie
Back To Top


 Current time is 06:44 pm

Freerails > Model Railroad Forums > Track Planning > Involving Youth 101: Give them something to run
Top



UltraBB 1.172 Copyright © 2007-2016 Data 1 Systems