The first toy trains were made from lead and had no moving parts. Some had wheels which flipped, but these had to be pulled or pushed. Some of the early 19th-century push toy rails were made of tinplate, such as the big, durable, stylized locomotive toys in the U.S., that were painted red and gold and decorated with hearts and flowers. model trains layouts plans
Around 1875, technological improvements in materials and manufacturing allowed 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 create an equal toy for boys in which a continuous revenue stream could be guaranteed by selling add-on accessories for years after the first purchase. In addition to boxed sets containing a train and track, Märklin offered additional track, rolling stock, and buildings sold 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 residential use of electricity became more common from the early 20th century, electric trains gained popularity and as time went on, these electric trains grew in sophistication, gaining light, the ability to change direction, to emit a whistling noise, to smoke, to couple and uncouple cars as well as load and unload freight. Toy trains from the first half of the 20th century were frequently made of lithographed tin; afterwards trains were often made mainly of plastic.
Pull toys and wind-up trains were marketed towards children, while electrical trains were marketed towards teenagers, particularly 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 K-Line (who owns the rights to the Plasticville-like buildings produced by Marx in the 1950s to the 1970s). However, as a result of their high price, one is more inclined to find an HO scale or N scale train set at a toy store than a O scale set.
Many modern electrical toy trains comprise sophisticated electronic equipment which emit digitized sound effects and allow the operator to safely and easily run multiple remote control trains on one loop of course. In the last few decades, many toy rail operators may operate a train using a TV camera at the front of the motor and hooked up to a screen, such as pc monitor. This will show an image, like that of a real (smaller size) railroad.
Thanks for your interest in model trains layouts plans