The first toy trains were made from lead and had no moving parts. Some had wheels that flipped, but these had 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 from the U.S., which were painted red and gold and decorated with hearts and flowers. model trains raleigh nc
Around 1875, technological advancements in materials and manufacturing enabled tin to be scraped, cut, wrapped, and lithographed faster than previously.
Toy trains were revolutionized when Märklina German firm that specialized in doll house accessories, sought to create an equivalent toy for boys in which a continuous revenue stream could be ensured by purchasing add-on accessories for years after the first purchase. Along with boxed sets comprising 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 along with a working train.
Electric trains followed, with the first appearing in 1897, made by the U.S. firm Carlisle & Finch. As home use of power became more common in the early 20th century, electrical trains gained popularity and as time went on, these electric trains grew in sophistication, gaining light, 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 by the first half of the 20th century were often made of lithographed tin; afterwards trains were often made mostly of plastic.
Pull toys and wind-up trains were marketed towards children, while electrical trains were marketed towards teens, 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 into the 1970s). However, as a result of their high cost, one is more likely to locate an HO scale or N scale train set in a toy store than an O scale set.
Many modern electric toy trains comprise sophisticated electronics that emit digitized sound effects and allow the operator to securely and easily run multiple remote controller trains on a single loop of course. In the last few decades, many toy rail operators will operate a train with a TV camera at the front part of the engine and hooked up to a screen, such as computer monitor. This will show a picture, similar to that of a real (smaller size) railroad)
Thanks for your interest in model trains raleigh nc