I had some people over this week-end to come and see some trains running.
The layout was tidied up and modelling materials moved off and some buildings and scenic items brought on.
A selection of locos was brought out of storage:
I pulled out my 3 Bachmann Class 20 locos as they can pull anything and run well. One has sound too so I thought it may stir up some interest.
I looked at my Hornby locos: My Flying Scotsman still doesn't have a decoder and I had no desire to open it up. It had bits and pieces off to that were loose in the box. The Class N15 'Sir Gawain' doesn't work well with it's Hornby decoder and I don't have another spare small decoder available. That didn't come out either. The M7 came out and went straight back. It wasn't running well. Not sure why exactly, but perhaps the too few pickups not working well on my track that's under construction. So basically I gave up on Hornby.
I pulled out the latest Bachmann 'Super D' that's running very well, the Liliput 140.C.314 and the Bachmann NRM Prototype Deltic with the sound decoder.
We also took out a Few Thomas locos: Thomas, James & Percy. These have decoders too and are quite fun to run around.
So how did the day turn out?
My visitors were all French so the Thomas the Tank Engine range was ignored - they don't get it here and the kids just weren't interested.
As I said, the other Hornby locos were not running. The Bachmann and Liliput steam locos were appreciated, but the star of the show was the Bachmann Prototype Deltic with the sound decoder.
The 6 to 10 year-old kids mastered the DCC system in a few minutes and each with a cab, took turns to run the Deltic around the layout. No problems, no damage and lots of fun. These little guys are now already planning their own layout and have started to pester their Dad for some rolling stock.
If you want to get the kids interested then sound, running lights and good running characteristics really do help. I'll be getting another Deltic for sure when they become available (with sound).
We (SRman and I) found this out at the recent exhibition at Caulfield when we were manning the BRMA stand. Jeff (SRMan) was demonstrating his diesel sound locos whereas I was sat weathering wagons. I got very little interest and hence lots done and Jeff was having beat them off with a stick. We decided it would be worth knocking up a small diorama for next year to show case sound locos.
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