Some had wheels which turned, but these needed to be pulled or pushed. Some of the early 19th-century push toy rails were made from tinplate, like the big, durable, stylized locomotive toys in the U.S., that were painted red and gold and decorated with hearts and flowers. model trains international
Around 1875, technological advancements in materials and manufacturing enabled tin to be stamped, cut, wrapped, and lithographed faster than ever before.
Toy trains were altered when Märklina German firm which specialized in doll house accessories, sought to create an equal toy for boys where a continuous revenue stream could be ensured by purchasing add-on accessories for decades after the first purchase. In addition to boxed sets comprising a train and track, Märklin offered additional track, rolling stock, and buildings sold separately, creating the predecessor to the modern model train layout featuring buildings and scenery in addition to an operating train.
Electric trains adopted, with the first appearing in 1897, made from the U.S. firm Carlisle & Finch. As residential use of electricity became more common from the early 20th century, electrical trains gained popularity and as time went on, these electrical trains grew in sophistication, gaining lighting, the ability to change management, to emit a whistling noise, to smoke, to remotely couple and uncouple cars and even load and unload cargo. Toy trains from the first half of the 20th century were often made of lithographed tin; later trains were often 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 kids, while electric trains were marketed towards teenagers, especially teenaged boys. It was during the 1950s that the modern emphasis on realism in model railroading started to grab on.
Today, S gauge and O gauge railroads continue to be considered toy trains by their 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 produced by Marx in the 1950s into the 1970s). However, as a result of their high cost, one is more likely to find an HO scale or N scale train set at a toy shop than an O scale collection.
Many modern electric toy trains contain sophisticated electronics which 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 years, many toy train operators will operate a train using a TV camera at the front of the motor and hooked up to a display, such as pc monitor. This will show a picture, like that of a real (smaller size) railroad.
Thanks for your interest in model trains international