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Hi guys.

I brought my 2 little boys a Caledonian Local setup with all track packs and basic building packs.

I am converting my loft as it is a complete blank canvas, I've began to fit floor boards, and will be ordering more timber to panel out the ceiling.

As my boys are both too young to play with something I would only class as a BIG boys toy, they will only be ably to play with the setup under supervision.

So basically what would be a good setup to start with, I thought they could control the trains from the center of the model, that way they will be well away from the loft hatch.

I have a 8ft X 10ft space to start this labour of love. I have been building models for many years, so thought it would be fun to upscale and build a town/village.

Comments, suggestions greatly appreciated.

Regards
Paul
 

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DT
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We started with a table-top layout and have subsequently progressed to an around-the-room layout.

My son started out on Hornby Thomas the Tankengine locos. We added DCC decoders to Thomas, Percy and James and they run around the layout even these days from time to time. More info here.

My daughter ended up with a Harry Potter Hogwarts Express. Review here.

All these locos are solid and well made. They help to teach the kids about running locos on the layout. As the kids own these locos, they learn to respect them and hopefully the other more fragile locos that share the layout.
 

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Putting the operating space in the centre makes sense and you can make the space either 4 x 6 so you get 2 foot deep scenes, or even 3 x 6 so you get 2 foot 6 inch deep scenes to give a bit more scenic depth.
Decide whether you want a layout for them to play trains or a scale model you will allow them to play with, to be honest they will have fun with either. With the space you have go for the larger radius set-track, or even flexi track if you can, so that the curves will allow the bigger locos and stock as you progress the layout. I would also recommend using Peco track for points as they are more robust than Hornby in my experience. Peco and Hornby track are completely compatible.
For buildings look at the Hornby Skaledale range and the new Bachmann scenecraft range.
Keep asking.
Cheers Paul
 

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QUOTE (PaulRhB @ 26 Feb 2008, 20:13) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I would also recommend using Peco track for points as they are more robust than Hornby in my experience. Peco and Hornby track are completely compatible.
For buildings look at the Hornby Skaledale range and the new Bachmann scenecraft range.
Keep asking.
Cheers Paul

I second the comment about using Peco points - their Setrack ones are identical but the moving rails are more robustly fixed to the plastic tie-bar which means that little fingers which tend to grab the rail instead of the tie-bar to change over the point are less likely to break it. I have a pile of Hornby points which have suffered this fate.
Also keep an eye out for the HORNBY RAILROAD range which is suitable for people starting up and is a bit less finely detailed and more robust.

David Y
 

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Personally I would suggest a couple of simple loops with sidings which can be extended easily later.

Regards
 

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QUOTE (BRITHO @ 3 Mar 2008, 21:07) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Personally I would suggest a couple of simple loops with sidings which can be extended easily later.

Regards

Hi Nisfo,

Saw your cry for help and thought I would make a suggestion.

As you have 2 young sons I would guess that a continuous run would be more appealing to them than an out and back. Given the space you have I have given it some thought and drafted a very rough idea which is basically a folded dog bone to give you a continuous run but with a single line branch running from it. Let me know if this is the sort of thing that might appeal and I will try to develop it further. The 2 run around loops to the left are hidden underneath the branch line terminus. The grid is 12 in x 12 in.
- Rectangle Font Circle Parallel Pattern
 

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Remember that if you convert your loft for anything other than storage purposes that it must comply with the building regulations. Ceiling joists may not be strong enough to support the extra weight. Building regs are not the same as planning permission.
 

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QUOTE (poliss @ 4 Mar 2008, 00:13) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Remember that if you convert your loft for anything other than storage purposes that it must comply with the building regulations. Ceiling joists may not be strong enough to support the extra weight. Building regs are not the same as planning permission.

Not sure if this would be classisfied as a "conversion" though I take your point about the strength of the ceiling joists. However, when ceiling joists are boarded out the load is actually spread more evenly over several joists as opposed to the point load which is applied by the weight of an adult standing on a single joist which is what they are designed to take. The boards themselves also add to the structural integrity of the roof. All you have to watch is that the total load capacity of the joists is not exceeded.

Regards,

Expat.
 

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Ask at your local council if unsure. You may have problems selling your house in the future if the building regs aren't followed. As far as I know, all that happens is that an inspector comes and checks that the work has been done properly.
 

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There are basically two ways to approach the "loft conversion" ;

1) Have the whole thing done as habitable room(s) to the current building regs, which will, of course add value to the property or

2) Just go-ahead with things on a "temporary" basis (as many, many "conversions" have been done, with a view to returned the area to its original condition or just for "storage" when you want to sell on.

There are pro's & cons for either approach.
 
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