model train set on track

The Great Train Races

e*Train Issue: May 2007   |   Posted in:

By Jane Boyce, Director of Development, TCA

The Great Train Races at the Museum in December were very successful.  Here are the details on how we set it up.

First, the Education & Museum Committee put a large piece of smooth indoor/outdoor carpeting on the floor with a piece of thin matting underneath.

Two tracks were just laid on top of the carpet in a double dogbone shape.  Several different “O” Gauge engines were used—a steam locomotive, a diesel, etc., and which one you raced was dependent on your skill level.  We quickly discovered that some were easier to “wreck” than others!   Since the engines were controlled by the participants, the engines had to be sturdy and reliable.

Participation was free and participants were invited to bring their own “O” gauge engine or use one of ours.  Most opted to use ours.

The engines, which were controlled by the participants, completed five complete rounds around their dogbone course.  The first to complete their course was declared the winner and all participants were awarded a special certificate (which we made on our computer) commemorating their participation.

Part of our mission was to teach the children how to carefully handle the trains.  Therefore, when there was a derailment, the child was charged with gently putting their train back upon the track so that they might continue the race.  The point was to learn that while you might go fast on the straightaway, you needed to slow up on the turns or you might wreck and lose time.

These train races make for great fun and would be a great addition to your meets.  If you have any questions, please feel free to call or write our Education & Museum Committee (Keith Arnold and Paul Edgar, Co-Chairs).