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. A few of the early 19th-century push toy trains were made of tinplate, such as the big, durable, stylized locomotive toys from the U.S., that were painted red and gold and decorated with hearts and flowers. trans modeling software
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 firm that specialized in doll house accessories, sought to make an equivalent toy for boys where a continuous 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 scenery and buildings along with a working train.
Electric trains adopted, with the first appearing in 1897, made from the U.S. firm Carlisle & Finch. As home use of electricity became more prevalent in the early 20th century, electrical trains gained popularity and as time went on, these electrical trains grew in sophistication, gaining lighting, the ability to change direction, to emit a whistling sound, to smoke, to remotely 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 by children, while electric trains were marketed towards teenagers, particularly teenaged boys. It was during the 1950s the modern emphasis on realism in model railroading started to grab on.
Today, S gauge and O gauge railroads are still 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 created by Marx in the 1950s into the 1970s). However, due to their high cost, one is more likely to find an HO scale or N scale train set in a toy store than an O scale collection.
Many modern electric toy trains contain sophisticated electronic equipment which emit digitized sound effects and allow the operator to safely and easily run multiple remote control trains on a single loop of course. In recent decades, many toy train operators may operate a train using a TV camera at the front of the engine and hooked up to a display, such as pc monitor. This will show a picture, similar to that of a genuine (smaller size) railroad.
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