Single Loop Operation - Getting boring. Help!

Discussion in 'Model Rail Operations' started by dmiller12, Mar 15, 2006.

  1. dmiller12

    dmiller12 New Member

    Hi everybody!

    My daughter and I have a small layout that is only a single loop. Does anyone have any tips or ideas to bring operation beyond just watching it go around and around? Altering the layout is not an option. I'll take any ideas or suggestions. Schedules or waybills, anything?? :rolleyes:

    Kind regards,

  2. shortliner

    shortliner Member

    You say that altering it is not an option - Can you really not add a siding or two? Even a single siding would allow you, with some difficulty it is true, to alter the order of the cars in the train. How large is the layout and what scale? The answer might be to start over with a new layout - come back to me for ideas for Small layouts if it will help
    Shortliner(Jack)away up here in the Highlands
  3. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    That is a challenge if you can't alter the layout! OK, I'll brainstorm:

    Set up times for the train to go by. If your daughter is young enough that she enjoys playing with objects on the layout like small automobiles she can do that but has to be aware that the train comes at 1:00 or whatever and must clear the track. You could use a "fast clock" for this purpose....or maybe a cassette tape with train horn sounds set to play every few minutes to cue the idea of a train coming.

    Do you have a passenger station? The train needs to pause there for passengers to get on and off. Maybe you can rig up a way for passengers on the other side of the train from your view to appear or disappear. I've been trying to come up with something likie this for years! :)

    Is it a steam engine? If so a stop at the local water tower will add an operational interest.

    You could have a train stop, uncouple its cars, and let the engine continue on. Then have it reappear later at the rear of the train, couple on and pull the cars back the other way ( an elemental way of introducing the idea of switching-interchange, etc)

    Does not altering the layout include adding a backdrop down the center to hide the second half of the layout? This will help add credibility to the idea that the train is "gone" or someplace else.

    Just a few thoughts....

    best wishes!
  4. dmiller12

    dmiller12 New Member

    Great ideas Ralph! Unfortunately the layout is pretty much complete. It's only about 4 feet by 5 feet. Thanks for the tips!

  5. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    There is no law saying that you can't add on to a layout, even if it is already "complete": add a switch or two, or an expansion off of one end, to break new ground and introduce some operating potential.
  6. Tap

    Tap Member

    a layout is never "complete", there is always teeny weeny changes that you can do. it's part of the fun of model railroading.
  7. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Find a timetable or map for a nearby or favourite railway. List the stations and the distances between them. Call each turn around the layout a "mile" (or a "smile") and run the train around once for each mile between stations.
    Set up a source and destination for something (appropriate to your cars). Load a car at the source and unload it at the destination. Set up another pair and you have a load to carry back.
  8. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Could you post a track plan? It would be easier to look at the options the plan may have without major reconstruction.:D
  9. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Tap,A layout can be finish..Sooner or later one will run out of minor changes..:D

    The object of the hobby should be to design a layout that doesn't need any changes and above all should be a joy to operate for years.
    After all we spend thousands of dollars on locomotives,cars,track,lumber etc shouldn't we then expect to enjoy the fruits of our labor and models for years to come? I think so.:D
  10. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    I think that dmiller's track plan looks pretty much like this:

  11. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Finding old timetables?

    There are some great suggestions here. I really like David's idea of finding an old timetable or map! David, could you or anyone else, please recommend a good source for finding old timetables? In particular, I'm interested in the British Caledonian train that ran/runs from Euston to Glasgow. Obviously, the web is a good source and I might do some searching on it later this week. Thanks, Robert
  12. brakie

    brakie Active Member

  13. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    If it is HO then try getting some thomas the tank train DVDs watch them then go to LHS and get a thomas engine. This will add some interest for her. Watch more DVD then go back to LHS get something else cars, harold, or different loco. You can even get Thomas charactors. If LHS is a great distance get more than one Item but only get out one at a time to keep fun going. My grandson has Thomas G scale and loves loading and unloading passengers. He also likes to run over Sir Toppem Hat. He also has Thomas HO but would rather run H8 or T1 with long train.

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