Model Train Layouts For Kids


Question: My father has enjoyed the hobby of model trains from when he was a kid. The problem is he has a tendency to get a little “grand” in his plans. My kids are interested in having a model train and wanted a second opinion on – What is the best model train layout for kids in the 8 to 12 year old range? My father says HO is best. Pam, Kansas City, Mo.

I disagree with your father for the following reasons:
1) HO scale is half the size of O scale with the trains being more delicate and rugged.
2) At the 8 to 12 year old range the youngster is only interested in running trains to the point of causing a derailment, hence the O-scale train (the typical Christmas set-up) is the best choice.

As the youngster moves into his teenage years, his interest can be stimulated by attending Model train shows and exhibits with his parents. At these exhibits he will be exposed to running layouts in many of the popular scales such as O, HO, N, and G respectively. He will also be exposed to associated model train supplies for each of the scales. In time he can make his own decision as to whether to consider other alternatives to O scale.