Thinking of mini layout. Would this setup work?

drabina Mar 22, 2013

  1. drabina

    drabina TrainBoard Member

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    I got interested in model trains after visiting local show. Long story short, I would like to start with a very small tabletop layout that I can easily take down and store. It is going to be an oval track. Nothing special. Due to the space limitations I was thinking of going with the following setup:

    1. Kato CV1 oval track set (based on 6" radius turns).
    2. Bachman Plymouth MTD switcher (listed everywhere for about $30).
    3. Bachman 40' tank car ($7 car because looking just at the switcher would probably be boring :) ).

    I just want to see if I can really commit and if I can get my kids interested in the hobby. That's why I do not want to spend a lot to test my commitment. So keeping that in mind, would the setup above work on a track with such small radius? I figured that I wouldn't go broke if I spend $70 and decide that model trains are not for me.

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 22, 2013
  2. PaulBeinert

    PaulBeinert TrainBoard Supporter

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    You will also need a power pack / cab - about $50

    How old are your kids?
     
  3. drabina

    drabina TrainBoard Member

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    I bet I have something in my electronics parts bin that I can put together to supply variable DC to the track.

    My older kid is 7. The younger one for now will be permitted to only watch. :)
     
  4. MC Fujiwara

    MC Fujiwara TrainBoard Member

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    Yeay for getting into the hobby and with your kids!

    There are many different aspects of the hobby that you can do with kids of all ages (well, about 3-4 years old and up).
    Here's an article I wote with a bunch of ideas that I got from working with my own kids.

    As for your set-up: kids and adults quickly get tired of the single loop, so I'd throw in a turnout or two.
    Kato Unitrack is easy to use and snap together for all ages!

    I recommend getting a 2'x4' "handy panel" at the hardware store and using that as the "layout" with 9" - 11" radius curves.

    The Bachmann Plymouth Switcher is not the most reliable loco (that's why it's $30), but the Bachmann 44 tonner is an excellent runner, can handle small-radius curves, and is both DC & DCC in case bug really bites (and a great deal at $60).
    Playing with a stuttering, stalling loco will not get anyone excited about the hobby.

    Anyway, food for thought.
    Have fun!
     
  5. PaulBeinert

    PaulBeinert TrainBoard Supporter

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    Drabina,
    My 4 yr old grandson has his own cab. We just packed away his HCD layout as he prefers running trains on mine.
    Kids love trains and they love making things so the key is to involve them and let them do their own thing (within boundaries).

    Enjoy
     
  6. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Yes. You can do what is in mind.

    A bit larger perhaps, is the hollow core door. This might seem a bit awkward, but they are fairly light. And for kids, quite durable.
     
  7. glakedylan

    glakedylan TrainBoard Member

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    yes, and the Hollow Core Door (HCD) comes in 3 widths: 24"...30"...and 36". Even with the 24" you can go with the 9-3/4" radius if you are committed to the short loco and short train. plus it gives you enough room that you can do trial and error with scenery and the like. I never had a negative of moving to a HCD from smaller tabletop. Peace, Gary L Lake Dillensnyder.........................*MSIE v 10 does not allow return after line in this forum thus the run on lines.
     
  8. Jolly

    Jolly TrainBoard Member

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    I use to run a small loop of track at train shows off a 9 volt battery, I would set up my modules and power the loop and a small Bachman 119 with a few small cars and havethe first trian running at the show.

    Maybe you should try to find one of those little Bachman train sets, I got some for next to nothing off ebay, and you can find them in Train Hobby shops for not too much.

    I see a Bachman Thunder Valley[/url] on ebay right now for $65.00
     
  9. casmmr

    casmmr TrainBoard Member

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    I would suggest either an HCD of any width using Kato Uni-track with a MRC power pack, or, build 4 corners and 2 triple straights from the t-trak modular system and put them on a 6' folding table. Google t-trak and chose the official site or the unofficial t-trak site or even the Aussie t-trak site (just get yourself a metric tape measure, one is available at Home Depot with metric on one side and standard on the other. Just use the alternate spacing on the t-trak modules as that is what most people do.) Either way, obtain either a Kato diesel or an Atlas diesel, and Micro Train Line cars, they work and with the Kato uni-track they are bullet proof. Start out small and use Walthers buildings, assembling these is fun and not hard. Woodland Scenics has great products and many on line videos on how to use their products. Have fun, Craig Sonnen, MMR 323.
     
  10. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Gary-

    It is an issue with the software, which apparently can be mitigated by any individual user. Please see this topic:

    http://www.trainboard.com/grapevine/showthread.php?149614-TB-Not-Responding-To-Enter-Key
     
  11. Logtrain

    Logtrain TrainBoard Member

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    When my club had our annual show last month, my son found out that one of his school buddies is in our T-trak division that we have. I asked him is he would like Dad to build him a module and let him decide what he wants on it? Of course he said yes. I told him I would build the framework and the tracks, he could decide what building(s) he wants on it and get his hands dirty at scenery work.

    What kid doesn't want to get their hands dirty right?

    I thought maybe I could even write an article on it as well.

    Ryan
     
  12. maxairedale

    maxairedale TrainBoard Member

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    Hi,

    You may want to look at Mikes Small Track Plans for some ideas.

    Gary
     
  13. drabina

    drabina TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks again for all the replies. Unfortunately layout as big as the door is out of the question for now. I would need something small and not permanent so I can take it down. Together with kids we can still work on buildings though. If the hobby sticks, I can probably manage to have a small permanent layout. Something like 2'x4' but I would have to build it in a case with a lid so I could store it in the closet when not in use (which does not mean that I would have to take it down every day).

    Thanks for all the tips and links.
     
  14. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    if you look through my posts, you will find my 8 year old switching my layout. As M.C. said, the Bachmann MDC is not reliable. I amgoing one step further and just calling it junk. When I saw thetitle of the thread, I first thought was of either a Bachmann 44 tonner or their 70 tonner, and Atlas Trainman ore cars.
     
  15. drabina

    drabina TrainBoard Member

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    Any other small engines that would work with 6" turning radius? I can pay more to get a better engine but somehow do not like the look of the 44 tonner. Though have to check with kids first. Maybe they will like it.
     
  16. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    what about this? [​IMG]
     
  17. Dave

    Dave Permanently dispatched

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    If it were me, I would look for a used Atlas GP15 and a few cars and maybe a Kato K1 track set.
     
  18. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    good idea, BUT it won't turn like he wants
     
  19. Papa

    Papa TrainBoard Member

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    I have had three layouts. One was rather large and the second level of a O guage layout. One was a HCD layout. I am now trying my hand with T Track and on all three used Kato Unitrak. I would recommend looking into T Track. You could build four corner modules and two singles in a couple days and that would have you up and running quickly. If you get smitten with the model railroad bug (highly contagious) then it is easy to add modules later. I would also as a previous poster recommended advise going with the alternate track spacing. You then can take the layout down and store the modules on shelves or under a bed. HCD layouts are also neat, but they do get heavy relatively speaking if you are going to move it a lot. JMO. Good luck I think it's great to get you kids involved.
     
  20. Tred

    Tred TrainBoard Member

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    There might be another idea. How about the use of flex-track? I am planning on using flex-track in a continuous cruve, going up a hill side about 2 levels, then coming back down with the use of a cross track, for my 4 year old grandson to play with. Using the Railmodeller software (for Mac,) I have a basic design on a 24" X 24" layout in N scale. OR, it could just lop it's self back down without a cross track?

    I haven't tired it using HO scale, yet. I think that HO scale would be easier for a small child to play with on his own, though. I may play with that idea in HO today, considering we are supposed to get 8"-10" of snow, and I wasn't planing on going out this afternoon. LOL

    Be safe everyone!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 23, 2013

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