Some had wheels which flipped, but these needed to be pulled or pushed. A few of the early 19th-century push toy trains were made of tinplate, like the big, durable, stylized locomotive toys from the U.S., which were painted red and gold and decorated with hearts and flowers. model trains gauge guide
Around 1875, technological improvements in materials and manufacturing enabled tin to be stamped, cut, rolled, and lithographed faster than previously.
Toy trains were altered when Märklina German firm which specialized in doll house accessories, sought to create an equivalent toy for boys where a continuous revenue stream could be ensured by purchasing add-on accessories for decades after the first purchase. Along with boxed sets containing a train and monitor, Märklin offered extra track, rolling stock, and buildings offered separately, creating the predecessor to the modern model train layout featuring buildings and scenery in addition to an operating train.
Electric trains followed, with the first appearing in 1897, made by the U.S. company Carlisle & Finch. As home use of power became more prevalent from the early 20th century, electric trains gained popularity and as time went on, these electrical trains grew in sophistication, gaining light, the ability to change management, to emit a whistling sound, to smoke, to couple and uncouple cars and even load and unload cargo. Toy trains by the first half of the 20th century were often made of lithographed tin; later trains were often made mostly of plastic.
Pull toys and wind-up trains were marketed towards children, while electrical trains were marketed towards teenagers, especially teenaged boys. Consumer interest in trains as toys waned in the late 1950s, but has undergone resurgence since the late 1990s due in large part to the popularity of Thomas the Tank Engine.
Today, S gauge and O gauge railroads continue to be considered toy trains even by their own adherents and are often accessorized with semi-scale model buildings by Plasticville or K-Line (who owns the rights to the Plasticville-like buildings created by Marx in the 1950s into the 1970s). However, due to their high cost, one is more inclined to locate an HO scale or N scale train set at a toy shop than a O scale set.
Many modern electric toy trains comprise sophisticated electronics which emit digitized sound effects and allow the operator to safely and easily run several remote control trains on a single loop of track. In the last few years, many toy train operators will operate a train with a TV camera at the front of the engine and hooked up to a display, such as pc monitor. This will show a picture, like that of a genuine (smaller size) railroad)
Thanks for your interest in model trains gauge guide