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Advanced Empire Building
The Wooden Railway offers great expansion possibilities even for young railroad tycoons. We offer suggestions below that may be most appropriate for children that are old enough to repair their own layouts. Otherwise you will have a new part time job, if you want to meet the challenges of Empire Building.
By now your child has probably worked his way through the Thomas Characters. It is time to start looking at the Heavy Iron. The Whittle Shortline Trains offer engines, cars, and cabooses that are realistic wooden replicas of the “real” trains. These all American trains are a great way to keep a child’s interest in railroading as he gets older. Mix and match engines and cars from the different railroad companies like CSX, Union Pacific, Santa Fe, and Norfolk Southern.
Advanced track construction typically means going up. Ascending Track, Support Blocks, and Stacking Risers are vital. Support blocks are an economical way to get to the next level, but the stacking risers allow you to construct sophisticated multi-level layouts by allowing track to go over and under. Add flexibility and excitement to your layout with Flexatrack. Flexatrack will bend, and stay, in 3 dimensions. This will allow you to bank around corners and go up and around accessories. With Fexatrack you can put together a true rollercoaster style design. When you do build up, it becomes increasingly harder to keep the track together. This can be accomplished easily with Suretrack. The Suretrack clips are designed to hold the tracks together without damaging the track. Without clips you need support at every track intersection, with clips you can spread the support out. Want to expand up quickly, consider adding our Maxim Mountain Set. This set includes 7 stacking risers, a two level mountain, and tons of track, trains and misc. figures.
If your child is at the point in their career where they have a table full of cool destinations, it is time to think about bridges and tunnels. The Thomas Mountain Tunnel with it’s three levels is king of the advanced layout. Other bridge accessories that are great for a multi-level layouts include the Maxim Covered Bridge, the Maxim Golden Gate Bridge, and the Thomas Drawbridge. These all allow at least two levels of track.
Advanced Track Design
A true master of Wooden Railway Track design has no doubt spent hours constructing, then rebuilding, then rebuilding, then ….But it is all worth it, because your child just loves the cool layouts. After one particularly convoluted design of mine, my son announced that it didn’t work. According to him it did not have good flow. As he moved his train over the track it soon got “trapped” in a loop. His new criteria for a good design meant that the train must be able to travel over all the track, in both directions without getting trapped and without the train “hopping” the track! This challenge has proved to be very difficult with multi-level layouts while keeping within the constraints of a standard train table, but it is a challenge I encourage everyone to take on. If you manage this feat, take a picture. We will be happy to share your accomplishment.
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