Some had wheels which flipped, but these needed to be pushed or pulled. A few of the early 19th-century drive toy trains were made from tinplate, like the large, durable, stylized locomotive toys in the U.S., which were painted red and gold and decorated with hearts and flowers. transmodeler tutorial
Around 1875, technological improvements in materials and manufacturing enabled tin to be stamped, cut, wrapped, and lithographed faster than previously.
Toy trains were revolutionized when Märklin, a German company which specialized in doll house accessories, sought to create 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. Along with boxed sets containing a train and track, Märklin offered extra 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. company Carlisle & Finch. As residential use of electricity became more prevalent 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 management, 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 often made of lithographed tin; afterwards trains were frequently made mostly of plastic.
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. 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.
Now, 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 even K-Line (who owns the rights to the Plasticville-like buildings produced by Marx from the 1950s to the 1970s). However, as a result of 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 collection.
Many modern electric toy trains comprise sophisticated electronic equipment that exude digitized sound effects and allow the operator to safely and easily run several remote control trains on one loop of track. In recent years, many toy rail operators may operate a train using a TV camera at the front of the motor and hooked up to a screen, such as pc monitor. This will show a picture, similar to that of a real (smaller size) railroad)
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