O scale Layout on 48x32 table? Layout help? Any help?

Hi,
My son has a Thomas table and we are moving on to model railroads now. I thought, with space being limited we might try making a board that fits on
his table. We also want to try O because we have some of Grandpa's old trains and would be a good place to start with a 4 year old. Yes, it's the little guy that's been longing for the bazillion dollar Big Boy engine. I think he's going to get the Big Boy Model Kit (if I can track it down) and we 'll get a Lionel starter set for him.
Anyway - I have been poking around online and found some Micro-Layouts that got me interested in trying this. I figured I'd pop in here and ask the experts :o) Any ideas? Anyone ever do this? Can I make a continuous layout in that scale on that size board? Is there a free program or site ewhere I can use tracks to try creating a layout?
My first plan was to do a fold down board built onto the wall. i got that idea from this http://www.thetrainshow.com/layouts/billworhle/ this guy's son works with my husband. cool huh? I thin khe makes all of that (trees and everything) by hand!
But for O or even HO that would be huge right?
Thanks - we are going to jump in with both feet and have no experience at all!
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nanner wrote: *** Anyway - I have been poking around online and found some Micro-Layouts that got me interested in trying this. I figured I'd pop in here and ask the experts :o) Any ideas? Anyone ever do this? Can I make a continuous layout in that scale on that size board? Is there a free program or site ewhere I can use tracks to try creating a layout? *** ---------------------------------------------------- Thor's All Gauge page has a wealth of info and layout plans:
http://www.thortrains.com /
Atlas Right Track Freeware:
http://www.atlasrr.com /
Good luck with your railroad!
Bill Bill's Railroad Empire N Scale Model Railroad: http://www.billsrailroad.net Brief History of N Scale: http://www.billsrailroad.net/history/n-scale Model Railroad Bookstore: http://www.billsrailroad.net/bookstore Resources--Links to 1,100 sites: http://www.billsrailroad.net/bills-favorite-links
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wrote:

Talk with Bill Worhle.
HO would need double each dimension, O four times. In O it would be impossible to have a loop of track in 48x32.
Age four is much too young to do anything other than watch the train go around. Eight would be a realistic minimum age.
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Hogwash. It depends on the child.
My son was running his own 2x4 foot N scale layout at age 4, with two trains and 2 controllers. It was one of the low-numbered Atlas layouts - a twin oval with crossovers and a couple of spurs on the inside, 4 blocks, and snap switches. He didn't operate it unsupervised (it IS electric, after all...) but he could run the thing better than I could.
The most significant thing is making sure they understand the difference between toy trains and model trains. He would still crash his die-cast Thomas toys together with great glee, but never tried to do that with the N scale stuff... and he had NO problems putting the N scale trains on the tracks.
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that
and
I would bet that a large part of your son's play with his wooden Thomas trains is putting the track together into different layouts in addition to just running the trains on the layout. Be careful not to deny him that kind of creative play as you step up to electric trains. Lionel trains standup well to changing the track layouts, and the three rail track avoids all the potential reverse loop short circuit problems. If he finds an arrangement he particularly likes, it can be temporarily screwed down while its novelty lasts and to give more reliable operation and connection for accessories. But in time, when his interest inevitably shifts to other toys, you can restart the train interest by un-screwing the track and adding a new track element or accessory.
Most of the pleasure from micro layouts is that obtained from the building and doing the super-detailing to create the jewel-like scenes. This patient work is beyond a four year old's ability and attention span. Even adults quickly get bored running a short train in circles on a micro layout, unless they are doing it a show where they can bask in the oooh's and aaah's over their craftsmanship.
32" by 48" is a little too small to get much layout play even with Lionel O-27. About the most you can squeeze in is an oval with a single straight section on its long sides. Putting turnouts in place of the straights gives a passing track just 2 curved track sections long - barely enough to store a locomotive. I'd recommend you consider a minimum of 32" by 68" to accommodate a simple oval with 4 straight tracks on each long side, as this space will also accommodate a figure-8 layout. Even better would be to try for about 40" by 68" to allow adding a straight section in the short ends of the oval. This may get to be too heavy for a child to fold down and lift up. You might consider a plywood board with boards around the edges on casters that could roll away under his bed. Geezer
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