Some had wheels that turned, but these had to be pulled or pushed. Some of the early 19th-century push toy trains were made of tinplate, such as the big, durable, stylized locomotive toys from the U.S., which were painted red and gold and decorated with hearts and flowers. model trains repair
Around 1875, technological advancements in materials and manufacturing enabled tin to be stamped, cut, rolled, and lithographed faster than ever before.
Toy trains were altered when Märklin, a German company that specialized in doll house accessories, sought to make an equal toy for boys where a constant revenue stream could be guaranteed by selling add-on accessories for years after the initial purchase. Along with boxed sets comprising a train and track, Märklin offered additional track, rolling stock, and buildings offered separately, creating the predecessor to the modern model train layout featuring buildings and scenery along with an operating train.
Electric trains adopted, with the first appearing in 1897, made 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 lighting, the ability to change direction, to emit a whistling noise, to smoke, to remotely 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; later trains were frequently made mainly of plastic.
Before the 1950s, there was little differentiation between toy trains and model railroads–model railroads were toys by definition. Pull toys and wind-up trains were marketed towards children, while electric trains were marketed towards teenagers, particularly teenaged boys.
Now, 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 to the 1970s). However, due to 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 comprise sophisticated electronics which emit digitized sound effects and permit the operator to securely and easily run several remote controller trains on one loop of track. In recent years, many toy train operators will operate a train using a TV camera at the front part of the engine and hooked up to a display, such as pc monitor. This will show a picture, similar to that of a real (smaller size) railroad)
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