After a full day of teaching, I return home to help with third grade homework, which there is quite a bit of, but I do enjoy the new things- or even the old things I am covering; I make dinner, do grown-up household chores, this is my least favorite part of being a grown-up, and then I build railroad tracks.
Luci and I haul out all the Thomas track (the Track-master plastic pieces, not the wooden ones), the trains, and the Legos. Between birthdays and Christmas, he has amassed all kinds of track (curved, bumpy, short pieces, and switches) and the medium sized Legos. I will confess to also asking Santa for track!
No railroad design can be repeated. We build the tracks in different places in the house, going around and under furniture, and into other rooms. We use the Legos to build different levels to support tracks going over other sections of track, to build houses, and even to build long, dark tunnels. Legos are awesome!
We make sure that the train can ride on each section of track and move in any direction; this is when the placement of the various switches becomes really important.
Sometimes we will run multiple trains on the tracks at the same time. Then we run around adjusting switches so we don't have major collisions. Although there are days where we are trying to have collisions, run trains off unfinished bridges, or shoot trains off the tracks with assorted Nerf guns. And of course, sometimes the great beasties come and try to steal a train car right off the track; those dogs do like to chew on toys!
There are nights that Frankie, Luci and I will spend hours building these tracks. Then we take short videos of our trains in action and send those off to grandparents or dad, since he's at work.
I have to say, I am getting pretty good at this! I have designed some very intricate railroads. Of course, there doesn't seem to be much of a future for railroad expansion; perhaps the day will come when we have some kind of space train or tram that will rely on a rail system. Hmmm, if not trains, maybe roller coasters! I'm adding that to my list right now!
The attached photos are very early tracks- simplistic in fact!