Thursday, 16 April 2009

Growing up

The other day we were discussing growing up and wondering when or if we ever would. Our first child – a daughter - gave us the justification for acquiring a train set but whereas I favoured wooden engines and carriages painted in bright primary colours running in an endless circle round a wooden track or more interestingly a figure of eight, my husband, though he indulged my whim for a while, had his sights set on a far more elaborate creation.

Over the years of subsequent children and grandchildren he has designed two railway layouts. The first one was founded on N gauge, tiny perfect engines and carriages having the advantage of presenting a sophisticated layout in a relatively small area. They operated on electrical contacts and relays and it was not possible at the time to computerise them.

The second design is based on OO gauge and the attention to detail in the model reproductions is stunning. As each engine can be individually programmed it is possible to organise a complex railway system, incorporating turntables and track switching, signalling, sounds and steam – and more than one person can play at a time! The layout is still evolving.

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