Model Trains

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Posted Under: Model Train Articles
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Model trains have been popular for generations, dating back to the 1800′s. Some children who were introduced young never outgrew their fascination. Wether it be to remember their childhood, fantasize about adventure around the world, or being challenged by the design of railroads.

Real trains made growth possible. Towns spring up among railways and give opportunity for relocation, and transportation for goods and services. This gave toy makers the idea to build and market miniature replicas of these amazing giants, and put them on shelves, especially for Christmas.

The first miniature train was made by the Germans in the 1830′s, these were pushed along the track. These were made by pouring brass or tin into a mold. In order to complete the train, hand-carved wooden fittings were put on the metal base. These contained no moving parts. In France, the trains were painted with beautiful elaborate designs, however, they did not run on rails. these were just meant to be pushed on the floor.

Unfortunately, paint does not stick well to tin, therefore it is difficult to find one intact with original decorations. Sir Henry wood, of England, built one of the first steam powered toys. In England, toy makers took model trains much more seriously then America, Germany, and France. Brass models were made for children of wealthy families by Newton & CO. of London. However, they were not made to scale. Also, these were too expensive to be sold in America because in America model trains were mass produced in order to be competitive in the american marketplace.

George Brown & CO., of Connecticut made the first self propelled  American model-train in 1856, which utilized clockworks. Famous train making companies to America include Ives, James Fallows, Frances; Field & Francis, Hull Stafford, and Althof Bergman & CO.

It was a German toy maker, Theodore Marklin who made the first sectional track and figure eight layout. He is also known for making Europe’s first electrical train set. Due to fierce competition, by the late 1900′s model trains became more and more impressive. Elaborate track layouts were made possible along with models that were amazingly realistic, functional, and designed beautifully.

The model train track design can be built however a modeler feels. Modelers create anything from scenic routes, fantasy destinations, or even real locations, and periods in history. Today modelers can even build track designs big enough to ride with larger model trains.In order to build realistic locations modelers may use prototype track diagrams and historic maps. The worlds largest model railroad is the Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg Germany.

Some Modelers will pay attention to the landscape of their model train track design. This is called scenery building or scenicking. Some modelers will even go as far as to weather by simulating dirt and wear and also to surrounding structures and equipment. Models in a city landscape will be made to look as if they have accumulated grime from automobile exhaust and models in desert landscapes would be made to look as if it has been through wind and sandstorms.

Rust, dirt, wear, and grime can all be simulated in order to add realism. Some will even go as far as to add fuel stains on tanks and corrosion on battery boxes, or even evidence of accidents or repairs, including dents and freshly painted replacement parts. For many reasons enthusiasts of all ages still enjoy micro trains. Whether it be to relive child-hood memories or to challenge their minds with elaborate train track design, the micro train will always be a favorite among collectors, children, and the young in mind.

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