Tech tip   Grandchildren and your trains

Many of us love to share their trains with their grandchildren or in my case great grand children! Here are some ideas we have come up with, mostly from you guys. The below as said came mostly from chats with you guys.  Anyway some options for you to consider.

  • Have them participate in the construction project. If they are younger then 12 or 15, smart phones and computer games are old hat. Did you know that Lego (those little plastic blocks) is selling more today than in their entire history? Why? Is it possible that kids once again get a kick of something they can build and have it look like something or in some cases do something.
  • If they are going to operate your trains hide your very special, to you, engines and cars. They just want to play with your trains and there will be accidents. They will not care what kind of trains they run. If you have to, buy a couple sets of cheap eBay rolling stock.
  • If you have powerful transformers, buy one of our circuit breaker kits.  If they do have a derailment or another accident, the worst that will happen is they will blow the breaker and the trains will not run until you correct the problem and reset the breaker manually.
  • Have plenty of power taps on your layout to make sure your trains don’t slow down at the far end of the layout. Why? Odds are if they do the kids will probably speed up the train and forget to reduce speed when it comes to the other end of the layout.
  • Disconect power to switches that may go to a dead end or other sensitive area.
  • If the layout is in a basement or other damp areas, ground the metal frames of the transformers that have exposed metal parts. If your transformer came from us, no worries, already done with a 3 prong grounding plug. The last thing you want is for them mentioning to mom they got a shock. Could end their train days.
  • Talk to them with your history of trains when you were their age and how trains then were the mode of transportation.
  • You may find one or more of them develops a huge interest in your trains. Remember them in you estate plans. A day may come when they are sharing with your great, great grandchildren, with stories about you.
  • When the time finally comes to store your treasures, wipe down all your tracks,switches, wheels or other metal parts with Ford type f transmission fluid.  Put everything in plastic tote that you first put a large plastic bag you can seal. Here at TinMan we refurbish thousands of tracks switches, and transformers that are very close to 100 years old. No reason that 50 years from now they can open the totes and run trains. Try to leave a note in the totes with directions and maybe copies of original owners manuals, and a note to clean any residual oil off with acetone. Who knows, by then there may be 300 mph trains that operate without tracks!