Child Operators

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Child Operators

Postby johnco » Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:00 pm

I let my grandchildren run the layout last Sunday. They really enjoyed it. Did I? Well to some extent I did.
They ran everything at maglev speeds, including shunting, caused numerous derailments, two massive pile ups in the station (well I suppose that it could have been prototypical),damaged the signal mimic display and had a thoroughly good time.
I've just finished getting the layout back to it's pre Sunday condition.
At the time the kids asked could they do it again on their next visit, I think that despite the problems caused they can ,after all they may take the hobby up themselves sometime in the future which has to be a good thing. Lets not be too precious about railway modelling. It's supposed to be fun.

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Re: Child Operators

Postby poliss » Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:05 pm

That's the beauty of DCC. You can limit the maximum speeds.

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Re: Child Operators

Postby kevin sharpe » Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:55 pm

Getting the young involved and that's what it is all about,keep up the good work must be nice to get them of games machine's.You can hope they ask for help to build there own layout

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Re: Child Operators

Postby flying scotsman123 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:07 pm

what i find a bit strange, from a child's piont of view (i'm 13, but remember going up in the loft for trains since 3) is when i go to exhibitions i find peoples grandchildren helping out and being far too boring about it. i overheard a child about 9 years old reeling off pretty much everything there is to know about some loco or another, and i thought "what's wrong with its a beautiful engine?) however, i only allow a few of my freinds up to play, as i have had a number of quite precious engines come off and i just can't trust them. i agree though, you must remember to have fun at all times when operating. whether that may be running it as realisticly as possible or havingn as many as fast as possibe of course dependes on the operator. i shan't rant on about exhibitors here, i have done that in various other places :D few, finished now, sorry :o
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Re: Child Operators

Postby HARRYMALLARD » Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:49 pm

I am only 12 but prefer running locos at scale speeds, basically any pacifics go as fast as I want, freight is moderate to slow, and shunting and engine depot movement is very slow.
I run my engines, ad other members on the club layout, the only exhibited layout on the island, and will hopefully be able to at the next exhibition too. :mrgreen:
If you are going to let younger children have a play, try setting up a crash proof course eg: an inner loop or loop away from the edge, with no sidings and as little points as possible, and the cheapest, lowest geared loco you have.

If you can't have a loop set up a circle or oval of spare track and connect a controller. This is actually better because the engines have no place to fall to

looking at what I wrote, I hope that isn't too much, Cheers Harry :mrgreen:
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Re: Child Operators

Postby Terrier » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:51 pm

At my former club, we let a lad have a go on the controls, point switching, speed and direction, big mistake! apart from running an express into the goods yard at full pelt, he then clumsily fumbled with the stock, my stock, trying to put it back on the rails, to which i had had enough and asked him to leave it, because of the potential damage i could see happening to my loco and coaches, and to top it all off, this kid i am refering to was 58 years of age!

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Re: Child Operators

Postby Bufferstop » Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:11 pm

I have four lovely grandchildren, they all want to see the trains whenever they visit. When I know they are coming I set the stock up so that the whole layout becomes one big shunting puzzle and get them to try to work out what I need to move from where to where to get everything where I want it. It becomes a challenge for them, and for me, as I do the operating. They have very quickly learned that it's no good setting off with a train that's too long for its destination, and the oldest girl even works out if the loco will be trapped at the wrong end. They all know that when everything is in the right place, "shows over." The lads have a layout of their own which is mainly Thomas items but augmented by my ruthless purge of old Hornby wagon designs which I then drip fed to them over many months. The girls have a load of the Brio wooden trains and build some quite complex layouts with them, which I'm then supposed to judge which is best! (Great diplomacy called for). I'm sure the day will come when they do want to try to run the trains themselves, but up to now they are quit happy with the show I put on for them.
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Re: Child Operators

Postby CasperGriswoldBacon » Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:00 am

When i was a kid in the 70's, the lay-out my dad built me (pretty sure looking back he built it to protect his own stock), witnessed many deliberate pile-ups, airfix german paratroopers decapitated, hamster's in coal wagons, and at one point I think an evil kenevil style jump. I was genuinely shocked when i looked at the stuff again in the last year and it's virtually mint. My recollection is i was beyond careless. But then Triang/Hornby stuff was a bit more robust than the stuff now that scares me just taking it out the box.

I'd build a small lay-out for them because while i doubt they're as big a vandal as i was, sod's law say's something will get dropped or snapped off.

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Re: Child Operators

Postby numbnuts846 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:57 am

My 2 1/2 year old loves to play with the trains. He sets up an nice size oval and plugs it in himself. Gets out the wagons and lines them up in colour order. Then looks for the class 20's. Cant wait to set up layout in the loft when we move. Even the other half wonts to help build up houses etc etc
After 23 year gap i am back in the hobby i love and my son of 20 months is following in my foot steps

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Re: Child Operators

Postby Blue_2 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:48 pm

CasperGriswoldBacon wrote:When i was a kid in the 70's, the lay-out my dad built me witnessed many deliberate pile-ups, airfix german paratroopers decapitated, hamster's in coal wagons, and at one point I think an evil kenevil style jump. I was genuinely shocked when i looked at the stuff again in the last year and it's virtually mint. My recollection is i was beyond careless. But then Triang/Hornby stuff was a bit more robust...

This rings a bell, only for me it was in the 80's! As with yourself I'm amazed at what of my layout has survived, and just how good condition its in despite my mistreatment of it...
A friend of my mrs' has a young son who's obsessed with trains. On his last visit he saw the very beginnings of my layout, before I even had anything powered up; he picked up and handled some of my locos and rolling stock for a closer look so carefully and with such respect I'd have no worries letting him take even my favourite loco for a run out.
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Re: Child Operators

Postby highwood » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:19 pm

Grandma and I are very fortunate to have our 3 year old youngest grandson for 3 days each week whilst mum and dad are at work.
We bring him down to Devon and his first words when we arrive are "grandad loft!".
He has an 8x4 board layout at home and the same at our house, but he really loves playing in the loft with my 6 track 36ft x 10ft layout. Inside 2 tracks are DC just for him and I have no problems with him handling any of my "bestest - bestest" loco's.
We have just come down from our 3rd running session of the day (raining here again!).
He eats, sleeps and breathes trains and knows most of the old type Hymek, Deltic, Peaks etc. Even now refers to DMU's and not as "Daisy's".
Loves going to exhibitions and model shops and we take a trip every week on the "real world trains" whilst grandma does the housework.
Apparently it's grandads fault but you could not have a more polite, considerate and careful young lad, but I suppose I am biased!

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Re: Child Operators

Postby Brossard » Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:27 pm

When we take our layout to shows, we find it very enjoyable to let the kids have a go with trains. The children love it (of course) and so do the parents.


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thomas the plank engine
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Re: Child Operators

Postby thomas the plank engine » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:31 pm

On numerious occassions its the KIDS that are able to educate the adults about what is running and why. Having seen it for myself and been educated as such, thank goodnes as its so much better than all the computer games that a lot of kids prefer to play with today


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Re: Child Operators

Postby Jonny » Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:00 am

Why do people always compare model railways to videogames? And with respect, do you know anything about videogames? Or are you just going off hearsay and preconceptions about what videogames are supposed to be? What is it that makes videogames so dreadful?

I don't wish to sound like a bug has crawled up my backside but I've been a huge fan of both railways and videogames all my life and both are doing some pretty amazing things right now. I wish people would stop denigrating videogames based on...what, exactly?

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Re: Child Operators

Postby Shaun Wilson » Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:02 am

When it comes to kids playing with trains, well my missus lets me play with them but only on the basis that i behave myself and no loud music. :D

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