Antique Model Trains
By Brad Pierce
Many train collectors specialize in antique model trains. These are the trains that model the locomotives of yesteryear, showcasing the styles used during the 1800s to the 1960s. And since these styles are not used today, antique model trains breath life into locomotives that most train collectors will never see on the rails for real.For this reason antique model trains can actually be very educational, especially for children. As train collectors set up their antique model trains, they can encourage their children to read more about the real-life versions of them, including how they worked and what they looked like inside.
So, what can a newbie train collector expect if they decide to delve into the world of antique model trains? First, they need to know the two basic categories of antique model trains: those that are fully assembled and those that aren't.
The ones that are fully assembled can be bought as a new model or an existing one. In the case of the latter, sometimes train collectors can get antique model trains that were actually made in the era they are portraying. If they are fortunate enough to find these types of trains, they may have to pay thousands of dollars to acquire them.Assembly-based antique model trains are a bit cheaper, though you do need to have some crafting knowledge to be able to successfully put them together. They also won't have as much monetary value as an antique model train that is truly vintage.
Secondly, newbie train collectors should know the gauge an antique model train comes in. Gauge simply refers to the size and scale of the train in comparison to its realistic counterpart. This is expressed through a ratio. G scale, (containing a ratio of 1:22.5), refers to antique model trains designed for outdoor garden railroads.
They are the largest of antique model trains that are being made today. Then there's O scale, (which is 1:48). O-scale can come in 2 or 3 rail formats. 027 is a variant of the O scale, except the trains adhering to it usually look more like a toy. S scale, (which is 1:64), is the least popular gauge but some train collectors consider it the perfect gauge for medium-sized antique model trains. Gauges for smaller trains include the HO scale, (which is 1:87), the N scale, (which is 1:160) and the Z scale, (which is 1:220). Of these gauges, the HO scale is the most popular because it produces a very versatile size. However, the N scale is slowly starting to gain popularity, because it's small enough to be used in any type of room.
The Z scale is the smallest of these gauges, producing antique model trains and layouts that are small enough to fit into a briefcase. The Z scale is a great option for train collectors interested in miniature antique model trains, though they should be aware that miniature train collecting is much more expensive than traditional train collecting.
In conclusion, antique model train collecting involves either buying the train in its entirety or assembling it from a kit. In either case train collectors can determine the size of the train by buying based on their gauge. But, things don't end there. If the train collector wants to run their antique model trains, they will need to work on designing a railroad layout. Numerous books and e-books are available to assist them in the process.