Three years ago when Mr. Steam built the craft cave for me in the basement he also started building an HO scale train layout. The layout to me seems huge, but he designed it specifically so it would be large enough to accommodate a turn table and round house.
Mr. Steam finished putting in all the tracks a few years ago, but since then no further progress had been made. Until this Christmas when he got the round house and turn table. The purchase was a surprise to the mini-steams. And the excitement on N’s face when the boxes were opened were priceless (albeit not captured on film).
For the last few weekend Mr. Steam and N have been working very hard at building the round house. N can’t even contain his excitement. About every hour he runs upstairs and squirming and jumping up and down he relates to me the progress that has been made.
And what is even better than his excitement level and his bonding time with Mr. Steam is all the history he is learning. As he and Mr. Steam are building the layout and specifically the round house Mr. Steam has been explaining how and why the round houses were built the way they were.
Also, Mr. Steam’s family have either directly or indirectly been working for railroads since 1860, and likely before that. So Mr. Steam has been explaining to N which family member did what and where.
One of Mr. Steam’s goals is to re-build some of the different train’s that family members worked on. And N has been absorbing all of that information like a sponge.
He asked Mr. Steam to take a picture of him and the round house that way I would be able to remember it when I was at work. And he made sure I understood that “the train on the left was the last diesel that Papa ran, the train in the middle is the last steam train that Papa ran, and the train on the right is the Daylight. That’s my favorite!”