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My first train set was my dad's old O gauge Hornby clockwork tinplate running on the dining room floor. Then for Christmas 1966, my younger brothers and I were given Triang train set RS23 (Britannia + 3 Pullman coaches) and all our other presents were assorted Triang stuff too. I think my dad thought he would be playing trains but neither he nor my brothers got a look in!

The railway grew and grew and as holiday jobs came along, so did more railway stuff. Railways fueled my interest in engineering and electronics. A friend's dad worked for IBM - he was a bean counter - and one afternoon he took us to see a "computer" - as in large very large mainframe. We got a couple of blank punch cards as a souvenir. So now I was interested in computers as well - what if railways and computers could be combined?

I read engineering science at university; hooked up a Rockwell 6502 to some track and pointwork for my final year dissertation and was an active member of my local model railway club, travelling to meetings by bus with a large stock box.

Then I graduated, got a job, real money, learned to drive (it ate the money) and met girls. I didn't have time for model railways anymore, so it was all packed away and travelled with me from house to house for the next 20 years or so.

Now with my family at university age - all reading history - and not at a lot on TV, I have taken up modelling again - or maybe constructing would be a better term. I've been researching DCC on and off for a couple of years and have decided to go with the Lenz system because I think it offers more of the kind of features I want.

So now there is a 24ft x 8ft area in the loft (with a 4ft x 22ft hole for me in the middle) waiting to have a double / quad track mainline laid complete with block sections for computer control. - The computer, maybe this old thing, will run the mainline trains while I do the interesting stuff. I've been inspired by one of the Marsden DVDs to do a bit of passenger train splitting - Yorkshire Pullman arrives and the Bradford / Harrogate portions get split off and travel onwards. Even with 24ft it appears you can have passenger trains or goods but not both, at least not without being cramped.

The period I'm now interested in is West Riding 50's BR steam for no other reason than my family's roots are in Leeds, I now prefer steam locomotives for the "life" you get from the motion and the excuse to run Gresley and Stanier stock. I have only one vivid memory of regular steam travel. Some time in the summer of 1964 we were returning from holiday on a train leaving from Euston. My dad took me to see the engine. It was big and red with a lion on the side. Maybe my memory is faulty but I am determined to have one red City or Duchess

I marvel at the improvements in the models since the late 70s / early 80s. I have a new Hornby A4 - Andrew K. McCosh which is so quiet I can hear the coaches go diddle-de-dum over the point work. It is just crying out for sound - especially a chime whistle.

I have tried most things related to railway modelling and discovered that manual dexterity is not one of my strong points. Complex electrics don't bother me and I am looking forward to the new dimensions I think DCC can deliver.
 

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DWB

Welcome to the Forum.

An interest in model railways early on and being forced me to-do-it myself also helped me with my science and took me to Uni.

Just like in your experience, interest in modelling was revived when my son was old enough. We then bought him a Sinclair ZX81 for Christmas in 1980, and now he is in very gainful employment as computer programmer.

So parents, the moral must be, whatever you do make sure that your kids get constructive toys that stretch the abilities.

Best of luck with the layout. I am fortunate to have mine on the ground floor and I have made it fully portable. It shall not have to be scrapped if I move.

I agree that we need a lot of space to do it right if we opt for main line situations. I suggest that you settle for half a main line station disappearing into a fiddle yard where you can change passenger locos, with a small MPD and a place to change locos on goods trains. Otherwise it is always the Hand of God in the fiddle yard that changes them.

Colombo
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
dr5euss
>What Lenz?
The top of the range 100; Then save up for one of those wireless ESU throttles.

>Columbo
>small MPD.
Ah yes, well, hmmm.... I have a 1:100 single track incline on the opposite side climbing to an area about 8' x 2.5' which I thought might make a reasonable MPD.
 
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