From the time they were first introduced in 1897, electric toy trains have become a favorite pastime for people of every age. The invention of the locomotive redefined history and changed the world in such a powerful way that it still remains a fascination today. Its ability to offer exciting opportunities and expand horizons captured the imagination of an entire generation who embraced this new sense of adventure wholeheartedly.
So, it is no surprise that the development of toy railway sets paralleled the growth of the real railroad, and their popularity increased as both children and adults became more and more captivated by all things locomotive.
Carlisle and Finch introduced the world to the first complete electric-powered trains in 1897, but it wasn’t until 1907, when the American Flyer Company began producing models using lithography, that their popularity really began to grow. Until this time, models available were very expensive, so only the wealthy could afford to purchase them. More reasonable prices and an increase in the number of homes with electricity made railway models a favorite toy and appealed to the imaginations and creativity of the young and old alike.
And, with the popularity of Thomas the Tank Engine, ‘The Polar Express’ movie, the introduction of train simulator games, and the development of modern, sleek, high-speed rail systems, the wonderful world of railroads has captured the hearts of a whole new generation and has helped it regain its status as the ‘world’s greatest hobby’.
Today, there is such a large variety of scales, sizes, and accessories, that the options are limited only by your creativity. Whether you are an avid collector or a child receiving your very first electric set, it is easy to see that railway models, like their real life predecessors, can open up a whole new world of possibilities.
Whether you are a beginner and want a ready made set that is quick to assemble, or if you want to purchase pieces separately and expand an existing set, electric toy trains allow you to use your imagination to design your own layouts, recreate locations and historical periods, or build the station of the future.
If you are just beginning your journey of the model railroad, before making your first purchase you should consider both your available space as well as the expense you are willing to invest. ‘Scale’ is the relationship between the model train and the real life train, and the area being used will often determine what size is chosen. https://www.amical.ro/ The O scale (1:48) is regarded as the original scale and was created by German toymaker, Marklin, in 1900. Until World War II, it was the most common; however, as trains became more affordable, size became important since families wanted more practical and compact sets.
The HO scale (1:87) is about half the size of the O scale and is by far the most popular today. The N scale (1:160) was introduced in 1965 and became popular because its smaller size allows for a more complex layout. While this scale appealed to parents because of its easy storage and ability to fit under a bed, many collectors felt that detail was compromised for size; however, this is no longer the case as many N scale creations are becoming more intricate and detailed, making this scale the second most popular choice.
The G scale (1:24), developed in 1968, is also referred to as the Garden Scale as it is often used outdoors. This size is known for impressive craftsmanship and detail but requires a lot of space so it is not the most common choice for indoor collectors.
The tiniest train, the Z scale (1:220), was introduced in the 1970s and many people enjoy these little pieces, although they are usually quite costly.
The cost can vary depending on the size and amount of detail, with HO and N typically being the most economical and O and Z usually being the most expensive. Whether you are a beginner or a dedicated enthusiast, a child with a toy or an avid collector, model trains are available in a variety of sizes and price ranges that will suit everyone’s budget and please train lovers everywhere.
Jeff Mullins is the creator of eToyTrains.com [http://www.etoytrains.com] a Web site dedicated to helping the toy train enthusiast to get the most from their passion. Visit his site for more information on electric toy trains [http://www.etoytrains.com/electric-toy-trains.html] and the various model sizes.