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Some had wheels which turned, but these had to be pushed or pulled. A few of the early 19th-century drive toy trains were made of tinplate, such as the large, durable, stylized locomotive toys in the U.S., which were painted red and gold and decorated with hearts and flowers. trains models videos

Around 1875, technological advancements in materials and manufacturing allowed tin to be scraped, cut, rolled, and lithographed faster than previously.
Toy trains were altered when Märklin, a German firm which specialized in doll house accessories, sought to make an equal toy for boys in which a continuous revenue stream could be ensured by selling add-on accessories for decades after the initial purchase. In addition to boxed sets comprising a train and track, Märklin offered extra track, rolling stock, and buildings offered separately, creating the predecessor to the modern model train layout featuring buildings and scenery in addition to a working train.

Electric trains adopted, with the first appearing in 1897, made from the U.S. company Carlisle & Finch. As residential use of power became more common in the early 20th century, electric trains gained popularity and as time went on, these electrical 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 by the first half of the 20th century were frequently made of lithographed tin; afterwards trains were frequently made mostly of plastic.
Pull toys and wind-up trains were marketed towards kids, while electric trains were marketed towards teens, especially teenaged boys.

Today, S gauge and O gauge railroads are still considered toy trains even by their adherents and are often accessorized with semi-scale model buildings by Plasticville or K-Line (who owns the rights to the Plasticville-like buildings created 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 shop than an O scale collection.

Many modern electric toy trains comprise sophisticated electronics which emit digitized sound effects and allow the operator to safely and easily run several remote controller trains on one loop of course. In the last few decades, many toy rail operators will operate a train using a TV camera in the front of the engine and hooked up to a display, such as pc monitor. This will show an image, like that of a genuine (smaller size) railroad)

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