Some had wheels which turned, but these had to be pulled or pushed. Some of the early 19th-century push toy rails were made of tinplate, like the large, durable, stylized locomotive toys in the U.S., which were painted gold and red and decorated with hearts and flowers. trainz model rr routes
Around 1875, technological advancements in materials and manufacturing enabled tin to be scraped, cut, rolled, and lithographed faster than previously.
Toy trains were altered when Märklin, a German company that specialized in doll house accessories, sought to create an equal toy for boys where a continuous revenue stream could be guaranteed by purchasing add-on accessories for years after the first purchase. Along with boxed sets containing a train and monitor, Märklin offered additional 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 by the U.S. company Carlisle & Finch. As residential use of electricity became more prevalent 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 freight. Toy trains by the first half of the 20th century were often made of lithographed tin; later trains were often made mostly 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 by kids, while electric trains were marketed towards teenagers, especially teenaged boys. It was during the 1950s the modern emphasis on realism in model railroading began to grab on.
Today, S gauge and O gauge railroads are still considered toy trains even 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 created by Marx from the 1950s to the 1970s). However, due to their high cost, 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 electric toy trains comprise sophisticated electronics which exude digitized sound effects and allow the operator to safely and easily run multiple remote controller trains on a single loop of track. In the last few years, many toy rail operators will operate a train using a TV camera in the front part of the motor and hooked up to a display, such as pc monitor. This will show a picture, like that of a real (smaller size) railroad)
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