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    • August 21, 2019 6:42 PM EDT
    • On the switching layout our club has and bring to our module events has a transformer that can be set at a slow speed so the locomotive does not run off the track and will not harm the bumpers at the ends of each siding.  We also use a toggle switch for the forward and reverse.  This way the kids only have to use the toggle switch to move the locomotive.  Another thing we use is hook and loop couplers.  By giving the operator (kid) an old credit card or hotel card they can slide it down between the 2 cars that they want to uncouple and move the other car away.  The switching layout is not a timesaver, but does have a main line and 3 sidings.  2 sidings can hold 2 cars max. and the other 3 cars max.  The mainline will only hold the loco and 2 cars.  We also use small cars like the Hartland mini cars and an Aristo Lil Critter for the motive power.  There are 6 cars on the various sidings when the child starts.  The cars are all numbered.  They then pull 3 cards from a deck of 6 cards.  This tells them the cars they have to pick up and in what order.  So with the mainline lining up with the straight siding that will hold 3 cars it makes it a challenge to clear that track and get the cars in order to have the loco and 3 cars on that track.  We have been using this switching module for over 10 years and it has been a big success with the little ones at the events.  It was originally made for the Boy Scouts Scout-O-Rama and is one requirement for their Railroading Merit Badge. 

       

      Edit:  I wish I had a picture of it.  The next time we have it up, I will take a picture.

    • August 21, 2019 6:50 AM EDT
    • I have always used a transformer with an Aristo TE 27 mhz, for the control.  The transformer can be set to half throttle and that keeps anyone from cranking it all the way up.  

    • August 20, 2019 10:15 AM EDT
    • Well. Greg, I ended up with hunks of styrofoam at the track ends along with wheel stops. That paid off the first time a kid cranked the throttle full before I could react. The styrofoam bumper was held down with double faced tape, and did its job!

       

      [foto to be inserted here]

    • August 19, 2019 8:18 PM EDT
    • Yep, the LGB loco pictured was donated to the club, but I definitely prefer something with skates for this kind of situation.

       

      I screwed the track down at the edges of the sections with 4mm truss head screws, so it will be tough for someone to tear the track off.

       

      All I need now is some wheel stops on the end tracks (TOC uses Ozark ones, epoxied in place) and some way to stow the slide off pieces inside, and some kind of top speed limiter, 7 smph, and a toggle switch built into the top.

       

      Greg

    • August 19, 2019 7:12 PM EDT
    • Pete Lassen said:

      going to bring up building one at next club meeting. I think kids would love a simple puzzle they can operate, either counting moves or timing  a set number of moves and keep a scoreboard with their times. I think it would be great at places where we take our module setups!I like your small reduced one Greg

      We use the lil big hauler stuff on our clubs but running Thomas and the cars in those sets would add interest for kids.

    • August 19, 2019 7:10 PM EDT
    • Our club president made a portable timesaver to take to shows. We let the show goers operate it and once a year we have a switch off competition for our club.

    • August 18, 2019 11:26 AM EDT
    • going to bring up building one at next club meeting. I think kids would love a simple puzzle they can operate, either counting moves or timing  a set number of moves and keep a scoreboard with their times. I think it would be great at places where we take our module setups!I like your small reduced one Greg

    • August 15, 2019 6:24 PM EDT
    • Lou Luczu said:

      I had made mine on an old door, but the door was too long to fit in my truck.

      This is food for thought, especially if I am expected to bring mine to next year's ECLSTS.

       

      That's exactly what I was thinking, Lou. If you need a contribution, let me know.

       

    • August 15, 2019 5:26 PM EDT
    • I had made mine on an old door, but the door was too long to fit in my truck.

      This is food for thought, especially if I am expected to bring mine to next year's ECLSTS.

    • August 15, 2019 4:35 PM EDT
    • Greg Elmassian said:

      Actually you can find them anywhere once you learn that these are called "beer pong table".... very light weight, not super strong, but when it's 1/2 the weight of a normal table and folds much smaller, it is ideal in these circumstances...

       

      I'd never heard of a beer pong table, I guess I was always a late bloomer.  But yeah, perfect for this. Plenty of them on Amazon and elsewhere.

       

      At eclsts last year, waiting for the table was another setup complication. So one of these would solve that -- even if the track was only laid in place.

    • August 14, 2019 10:25 PM EDT
    • Yep, the 2 modules were identical, and in normal operation a car was set out on the track between them, as you see in the original picture.

       

      Notice that in the article, he does say he made one first with no "connecting" turnout, and then later he made the ones with the connection.

       

      It's funny, since early in the article he talks about operating with 2 layouts.

       

      In practice, most people operated a singlet. Thanks for publishing his original article!

       

      Greg

       

       

    • August 14, 2019 8:24 PM EDT
    •    I always thought the puzzle ended up with two parts to it? No?

       

         (Edit: I know it can be operated as one part; I learned reading a while back.)

       

        

       

       

       

    • August 14, 2019 5:24 PM EDT
    • Actually you can find them anywhere once you learn that these are called "beer pong table".... very light weight, not super strong, but when it's 1/2 the weight of a normal table and folds much smaller, it is ideal in these circumstances...

       

      I could use suggestions on easy to install rail clamps, you can see that the very middle will require rail clamps, split jaws are too tough for people to install, figuring on something like the Train Li:

      (they look identical to massoth)

      Any suggestions?

       

      Criteria:

      • easy to install from top
      • not using special tool a plus
      • rugged

       

      Thanks, Greg

       

    • August 14, 2019 4:13 PM EDT
    • You could maybe travel with that table as checked luggage even. Where'd you get it?

    • August 13, 2019 8:31 AM EDT
    • This looks great!  "Timesavers" are always challenging.

    • August 12, 2019 9:15 PM EDT
    • Nope, it folds up, the outside 2 sections fold under, and then it folds in the middle, with the track facing out.

       

      The entire idea is to be ultra compact and transportable, so any of our club members can borrow it, carry it and set it up easily.

       

      A normal folding table is about 5 pounds, this one is 20.

       

      I've heard so many stories of modules that are 4 feet long, too big for a car, too heavy, etc. Many people have responded here and other forums and in our club that while the idea of modules is great, they quickly become too much to just "pick up and go".

       

      But 4 of these tables and a simple double track loop could be made pretty easily. Not fancy, but the idea is to have fun, especially for people who don't have layouts.

       

      Greg

    • August 12, 2019 9:07 PM EDT
    • Yeah, perfect table! 

      You going to scenic it, or add buildings?

       

    • August 14, 2019 10:44 PM EDT
    • Yes thank you for your apparent concern Rooster.

      Except for a few people, by re-reading the entire 3 pages, you can easily see that the thread is all constructive and helpful posts from people. Also John P. was nice enough to post the 1972 MR article by John on another thread.

       

      Greg

    • August 14, 2019 7:24 PM EDT
    • Ric Golding said:
      Greg Elmassian said:

      I missed this one Ric... there were two of them originally, note the single switch to nowhere at the top center? that connected to it's mate.

       

      You can find pictures of John operating one of them and the other is connected.ry

       

      check this page, and at least one of the links on it, there's history  http://sdgrs.com/pictures/timesaver-switching-puzzle

       

      Greg

       

       

       

       

      Greg,

      Thanks for pointing me back to this site.  I've been here many times, but just overlooked the part about the original puzzle.   Very interesting and I've gone back and reread all of it.  Its still a great puzzle, subject and a bit of model railroad history.

       

      Maybe reread it again Ric and hopefully Richard found the answer to his original post.