Model Trains

Trains (Photo credit: RichardBowen)

It’s Christmas time! And this means that I got to visit the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and shop for my 6 year old nephews. This brought back some nice memories for me.

When I was around the age of 5, my father, brother, and I had the basement “man cave” set up with a model train set up on a large piece of plywood, complete with fake mountains, bridges, and everything else you can imagine. Indeed, enjoying model trains was undoubtedly part of my early liking of Back to The Future.

Model trains introduce some great ideas:

  • DC Current (basic understanding)
  • Speed and Momentum
    A train derails more at higher speeds and longer lengths
  • Construction
    Glueing track, electrical connections bridging the tracks
  • FUN!

Imagine my surprise to find out that model trains these days have a recommended age of 10-14 years. I’m not quite sure why, as the biggest risks are pinching, a small dc shock (even less so now that transformers have molex connectors.) More surprisingly, Thomas and Friends are commonplace toys and a very popular TV show.

Did/Do you play with model trains? Will you extend this legacy on to your children? Will you wait until they are 10? Why do you think the new age is 10?

I can’t wait to set up my model trains this weekend!