The other day my son was begging for a buffer to put at the end of his track, so that the trains would not roll off.
My first thought was that SOMEONE must sell such a thing, but that by the time you added the cost together with the shipping, the price would be pretty cost-prohibitive. If you decide that you want to go this route, you can visit TrainsGalore.com, which is an awesome website with almost anything you can imagine for Thomas-type trains. Here is their link to order buffers: http://www.trainsgalore.com/Search.aspx?k=buffer
I once ordered unpainted Thomas wooden railroad cars from them and had kids decorate them as party favors at my son’s birthday.
I chose the cheap, crafty route and fashioned a buffer out of a spare piece of track that we already had and some popcicle sticks. I also used an exacto knife to saw through the wood, and an engine to make sure the dimensions seemed appropriate.
I glued it all together with some wood glue and allowed to dry away from tiny, excited hands. I added two dots of red paint (any old paint you have laying around) to signify reflectors. Here are pictures of the finished product.
My son was so excited that he wanted to show the completed buffer to everyone. He even told me, “Mommy, you are the best mommy.” I don’t get that everyday. I actually get that never!
I will admit that this design may be best suited to use on a train table environment. My son plays trains on the floor, and the buffer tends to not handle being stepped on by humans or dogs very well. But, we just glue it back together again. You might also think about trying a more triangular design, which might have more stability.
The few minutes of crafting I did were worth this very happy boy.
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