The earliest toy trains were made from lead and had no moving parts. Some had wheels which turned, but these needed to be pulled or pushed. Some of the early 19th-century drive toy trains were made from tinplate, like the large, durable, stylized locomotive toys from the U.S., which were painted gold and red and decorated with hearts and flowers. train model parameter not update tensorflow
Around 1875, technological advancements in materials and manufacturing allowed tin to be stamped, cut, wrapped, and lithographed faster than previously.
Toy trains were revolutionized when Märklina German firm that specialized in doll house accessories, sought to make an equivalent toy for boys where a continuous revenue stream could be ensured by selling add-on accessories for years after the initial purchase. Along with boxed sets comprising a train and monitor, Märklin offered extra track, rolling stock, and buildings sold 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. firm Carlisle & Finch. As residential use of electricity became more common in the early 20th century, electrical trains gained popularity and as time moved 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 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 kids, while electric trains were marketed towards teens, particularly teenaged boys. It was during the 1950s that the modern emphasis on realism in model railroading began to grab on.
Consumer interest in trains as toys waned in the late 1950s, but has undergone resurgence since the late 1990s due in large part to the popularity of Thomas the Tank Engine.
Today, S gauge and O gauge railroads continue to be considered toy trains even 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 inclined to locate an HO scale or N scale train set at a toy store than a O scale collection.
Many modern electric toy trains contain sophisticated electronic equipment that exude digitized sound effects and allow the operator to securely and easily run multiple remote control trains on a single loop of track. In recent years, many toy train operators may operate a train with a TV camera in the front part of the motor and hooked up to a screen, such as pc monitor. This will show a picture, like that of a real (smaller size) railroad.
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