Father & Son's first layout

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by shelbys_dad, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. shelbys_dad

    shelbys_dad Member

    Well, here it goes.
    I have decided (with persuasion from the wife) to start a layout with my son. A little background about him & I so you may better understand the road ahead. My son-10 has AD/HD and is borderline Autistic, but very high function with a 92 IQ, strangely enough he's no different than any other 10 year old. Myself, I am physically challenged in the terms of very limited use of my arms & hands, but I manage. What ever I an not physically do, I can sure talk a monkey through.

    Arrgg! There I go rambling, back to the topic!

    I'm looking at doing a door size layout. Thats about all the misses will allow in the living room. (for now.....lol). I'm looking for some layout ideas, suggestion or thoughts. After looking around this forum, some of you have an abundance of creative juices flowing over. I would like to do something in a folded dog bone with elevation. I would also like to incorporate a coal mine, a creak and town with an Adams family theme.

    Sound interesting? It does to me! Time to start drawing.:thumb:
  2. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

  3. coachC

    coachC Member

    I work with a 9th grader that has Autism. It is a unique experience and challenge. I think a model railroad would be great for you and your son. I am a so called "armchair" modeler. I don't have the time or the space to build a layout right now, so I buy the occasional freight car and weather it. If you are interested in a door size layout. KATY's version of the "Carolina Central" is great. Here is the thread to his layout. It is one of the best door sized layouts I have seen.

  4. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author Member

    I think this is a great idea and I hope we can provide you with a lot of encouragement.

    Take your time, have fun and remember "it's your layout."
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    On one of the forums, we had a member starting a model railroad with someone like your son. We'd suggested a number of simple kits (cardboard buildings and such) that we thought might be good starters. When he got to the hobby shop, he wasn't going to be stuck with that baby stuff, and went for a more complex kit and did it.
    Let your son do as much of the craft/tool work as he thinks he can do or stand, especially jobs that require younger fingers than yours.
  6. shelbys_dad

    shelbys_dad Member

    Oh, he does. He assembled his new HO McKinley Explorer set on his own.
  7. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

  8. shelbys_dad

    shelbys_dad Member

    :thumb: Dang it! There's not a big enough thumbs-up!
    Thanks for looking out, very many thanks!
  9. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    Here's an example of an unplanned layout...

    Here's an idea...and by no means is it a good layout design - but like you, I was trying to build a layout for me and my boys and with the track I had already invested in, this is what I came up with. The overall point is that I also used a smooth sided door, and cut off to bottom to have a finished length of approximately 5'. It's 3' wide as well. (If you do need to cut down a door, stop by any hardware store and grab a yard stick...it fits in the gap between the door's inside faces and when glued in place - makes the door rigid again.) Anyway...this is just an idea of an Nscale in a small area. You could place a shanty town, a coal mine in the middle, andstill have room for a passenger station and business area like mine has. I also have this wired for DC operations - so if you get the right train lengths and diesels that match one another pretty closely - you can run two trains and switch one to the inside line while the other runs the main line by the passenger station. Again, this is not a good example of true-to-life railroad operations...but just an idea to start your thinking.

    Attached Files:

  10. shelbys_dad

    shelbys_dad Member

    Thank's for sharing, I plain on using a full door.
  11. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

    I'd go with DCC, especially on the small layout. It makes it so easy for you to run a couple of trains, and running the train can be a snap for kids. Here's a link to a great N scale door layout:


    Show that to anyone who looks down on the door idea!

  12. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    I've been SLOWLY working on a Scenic Ridge layout made by Woodland Scenics. It's a bit on the pricey side but fits a door well. If you want to get into tunnels and variations in terrain, it's a good place to start because it lays it all out for you step by step.

    This one was done by a guy named mark that runs www.spookshow.com

    N-Scale Model Railroad #2
  13. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    Good for you using a full door - you'll have lots of options and much more space to really create (I regret cutting my door down to a smaller size - even though I had to - because I could have really used those extra 20+ inches for better track work). There area several layout examples in the Atlas track books that are door sized...and maybe they're what you're looking for - or at least will steer you into the right direction.

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