Since I last told you about Daniel, there have been some developments, for Daniel has grown quite a lot, and is now going to school at the tender age of four. He has taken a sudden interest in trains, and it seemed natural to promote this. You see, he was given a wooden railway set for a present, which is Brio, made in Sweden, and widely available.
Daniel with his toy train
Brio makes it possible for a child as young as Daniel to 'get on line' as it were. All you have to do is avoid the destructive menace of your little brother. You donít need little fingers to put the train on the track, as these are large guiding grooves in the wooden pieces.. It is easy to fit one piece of track to its neighbor. The carriages are held together by magnetic couplers.
Now it starts to get interesting when you are given an electric locomotive for a present. This is powered by a small AA Battery and happily runs around the track pulling its coaches until grabbed and switched off. There are level crossings, and an elegant tunnel, which is a source of endless fascination for little brother, and a fly-over. It gets even more interesting when you find that you can buy a manual switch to change direction. This is something that immediately catches a grandpa's attention.
"You must come and see, Bampa. A new layout!' This is Daniel at his most insistent. The tracks are spread out across the dining room table, and it is way past his bedtime. If you look carefully, you see that the main line comes to a dead end. Something must be done about it. "Look, Daniel, if you connect that together, you can get the train to run round and round."
Now Daniel knows what a layout is, and his grandpa has started to build all sorts of interesting combinations of points, curves and straights with him, enough to get two trains working at the same time, although Daniel still insists on double headers and long single trains. As each layout is completed, we try to write it down and Daniel has greatly contributed to this effort and finds it fascinating. He has yet to master the complexities of main lines and branch lines, but I am certain that the understanding that will come with this in due course will greatly help him in his development. What this means in terms of future enjoyment and Meccano is for you to guess.
Mum has a problem. Where is she going to serve the supper?