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Can the original classic Thomas The Tank Engine series be an inspiration for model railroading.

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  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, May 25, 2020 1:12 AM

We are playing with toys! Why argue the fact? Who says toys are only for kids? Model trains are no different than classic cars or motorcycles. They serve one purpose which is to entertain.

When I was with my old club, I bought a Thomas engine and two coaches specifically to run them at shows. It was amazing to watch both the kids' and the parents' eyes light up when they saw Thomas chugging around the layout. The locomotive has authentic Thomas sounds so I could toot the whistle or make Thomas talk as I went past where the children were watching. That made it even better. I can honestly say that Thomas got far more recognition than any other train on the layout!

To answer the OP's question, I don't think that there is anything wrong with using Thomas as a basis for a layout. When I watched Thomas with my kids 25+ years ago I envied the guys who actually got to run the trains.Smile Obviously Thomas isn't for everyone, but I have to politely disagree with those who would suggest that it isn't real model railroading. It might not be prototypical in the sense of copying a 1:1 railroad, but it is real modeling.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Monday, May 25, 2020 1:50 AM

hon30critter
We are playing with toys! Why argue the fact? Who says toys are only for kids? Model trains are no different than classic cars or motorcycles. They serve one purpose which is to entertain.

I couldn´t agree more, Dave! Finally, being a model railroader is a kind of role playing, the role being an engineer, a yard master, a dispatcher, a freight agent - whatver rocks your boat. For some, the "tool" employed in this play needs to be exact, saled down  models of the real thing, and for some, a faint resemblence is sufficient. Some ride on standard gauge tracks, some on narrow tracks.

It´s all the same game!

P.S. I even see Lego trains as model trains!

They can be incredibly close to the real thing!

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

"You´re never too old for a happy childhood!"

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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, May 25, 2020 2:32 AM

Tinplate Toddler
I even see Lego trains as model trains!

So do I! Some people may be turned off by the fact that everything Lego is made up largely of little square blocks but the creativity of Lego afficionados is undeniable. I remember seeing Lego's operating trains at Toys 'R' Us when they first came out in the early 90s. If I could have afforded them at the time my whole house would have been full of them so my kids and I could build and rebuild all sorts of layouts! What better combination of play value and learning about electric control could there be?

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    April 2018
  • From: 53° 33′ N, 10° 0′ E
  • 2,437 posts
Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Monday, May 25, 2020 2:37 AM

Unfortunately, Lego is absolutely neglecting this part of the "brick builders" market, leaving it up to a number of kitchen counter business to fill the void.

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

"You´re never too old for a happy childhood!"

  • Member since
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  • From: Reading, PA
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Posted by rrinker on Monday, May 25, 2020 12:36 PM

 I've seen some amazing Lego train layouts - like the one at the Philly NMRA show. And a group has come out with a Lego version of my favorite Reading T1 4-8-4, although with all the bells and whistles (literally), it's a bit out of my price range, especially for something that would basically be a shelf queen. Makes the cost of the MUCH larger, MANY more pieces Saturn 5 rocket I have seem cheap - it's all the custom pieces they had to make to make it look right AND be a working steam locomotive, siderods and all.

                                      --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
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  • From: 53° 33′ N, 10° 0′ E
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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Monday, May 25, 2020 12:51 PM

I have seen some amazing builds - just like this one.

 

Or this one.

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

"You´re never too old for a happy childhood!"

  • Member since
    February 2019
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Posted by Afdahl Flats on Thursday, May 28, 2020 9:29 AM

It definitely could. I spent 80 percent of my childhood popping in vhs tapes and DVDs of the original Thomas the tank engine. Eventually things spiraled out of control and I ended up with a room full of ho scale trains... For those of you who are saying that it's so unrealistic because it doesn't follow traditional railroad practices, how many kids do you think would have been interested in watching that vs watching Thomas go on adventures? How many trains can you say you have seen that are alive with faces? The bottom line is that it is a great show to spark interest in the young ones.My 2 Cents

  • Member since
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  • From: AU
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Posted by xdford on Thursday, May 28, 2020 7:45 PM

As a teacher, parent and grandparent, I have spent quite a lot of time looking in the toy sections of Kmarts, Toy Worlds, Toys R Us and other shops looking at different products and I have yet to see or find ANYTHING that has the play value using imagination of either a railway layout or Lego in its original format rather than the specialised one off kits. 

The Thomas characters add a bit of life to the actions of a railway. It is an unrealistic slice of life admittedly and I do get annoyed at how many times the Fat Controller gets "very cross" and the number of accidents. However our own slices of "real life" might be compressed to a distance between station yards of 3 or 400 scale feet apart so we are not much different as adults. 

And there are adults who are Thomas models and layouts inc one here in Australia who has built a replica of the Ffarqharr layout of Rev Awdry.  I seem to remember reading in a British magazine that Awdry ma!de the story lines for his ill son based on the layout he had to "personalise" it but Wikipedia offers a different account !

Cheers

 

Trevor

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