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Some had wheels which flipped, but these needed to be pushed or pulled. Some of the early 19th-century drive toy trains were made of tinplate, like the big, durable, stylized locomotive toys from the U.S., which were painted gold and red and decorated with hearts and flowers. model trains in delray fl

Around 1875, technological advancements in materials and manufacturing enabled tin to be scraped, cut, rolled, and lithographed faster than previously.
Toy trains were altered when Märklina German company that specialized in doll house accessories, sought to make an equivalent toy for boys in which a continuous revenue stream could be guaranteed by purchasing add-on accessories for decades after the first purchase. In addition to boxed sets containing a train and track, Märklin offered additional track, rolling stock, and buildings offered separately, creating the predecessor to the modern model train layout featuring scenery and buildings along with an operating train.



Electric trains adopted, with the first appearing in 1897, produced from the U.S. company Carlisle & Finch. As home use of power became more common from the early 20th century, electrical trains gained popularity and as time moved 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 as well as load and unload cargo. Toy trains from the first half of the 20th century were often made of lithographed tin; later trains were frequently made mostly of plastic.
Prior to the 1950s, there was little distinction between toy trains and model railroads–model railroads were toys by definition. Pull toys and wind-up trains were marketed by children, while electrical trains were marketed towards teenagers, especially teenaged boys.

Now, S gauge and O gauge railroads are still considered toy trains by their own adherents and are often accessorized with semi-scale model buildings by Plasticville or even K-Line (who owns the rights to the Plasticville-like buildings created by Marx from the 1950s to the 1970s). However, as a result of their high cost, one is more likely to locate an HO scale or N scale train set at a toy shop than an O scale set.

Many modern electrical toy trains contain sophisticated electronics that exude digitized sound effects and permit the operator to securely and easily run multiple remote control trains on a single loop of track. In recent decades, many toy train operators may operate a train with a TV camera in the front of the motor and hooked up to a screen, such as computer monitor. This will show an image, similar to that of a genuine (smaller size) railroad)

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