Toy Trains vs Model Trains - What's the Difference?

Toy Trains vs Model Trains - What's the Difference?
By B. Murphy

For people who aren't involved in the model railroading hobby, there's really no difference between "toy" trains and "model" trains. After all, both hobbies involve small trains that are controlled by some sort of power pack. There is a significant difference, however, to anyone who is an enthusiast. Calling a model railroad a "toy train" is like calling a classic piece of literature a "novel".

Toy trains are generally marketing to children, and are the way many of us were introduced to the hobby. They tend to be quite plain looking and not based on any real-life trains. Model trains, on the other hand, are often a true art form with scale reproductions of real or potential trains and layouts (a technique known as prototyping).

Some of the earliest toy trains were available in the early 19th century. They often had wind-up motors or even steam-powered locomotives and were generally made from cast iron.

In the 1850's a German company named Marklin, who made dollhouse accessories, introduced a box set of a train and track to try to broaden its market to include boys as well as girls. They also made extra tracks, rolling stock and building that were available as accessories.

Electric trains followed soon after, commonly believed to have been introduced by Carlisle and Finch in 1897 in the United States. The Lionel corporation revolutionized these model and they rapidly gained popularity and sophistication.

Things such as lighting, ability to change direction and "real" smoke were some of the earliest realism features that were added. There was still little distinction between "toy" and "model" trains until the 1950's, however, when the modern emphasis on realism really started to take hold.

Today there are various gauges of model railroads, with a vast array of accessories available. They can be controlled by computer and entire railyards can be operated exactly the way they would be in real life.

Many model railroading enthusiasts spend thousands of dollar and hundreds of hours creating prototypes of actual railroad lines, both past and present.

There are clubs and associations that offer resources for beginners and experienced railroaders alike. The internet has also helped to make it easier to find information on model railroading, as well as a much larger selection of trains and accessories than the average hobby store could hope to stock.

Bill Murphy writes about DCC control, analog control and other model railroading topics for the Model Railroader website. Read more and sign up for our free newsletter at http://www.themodelrailroader.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=B._Murphy
http://EzineArticles.com/?Toy-Trains-vs-Model-Trains---Whats-the-Difference?&id=3447


Rare and Vintage Model Trains. Train Collectibles
Rare model train Vintage model trains Real Train Collectibles Model Train Movies

Z Scale Trains N Scale Trains HO Scale Trains OO Scale Trains S Scale Trains O Scale Trains G Scale Trains Standard Scale Trains Accessories to Scale Trains

 

Available articles


Standard Scale | Z Scale | N Scale | HO Scale | OO Scale | S Scale | O Scale | G Scale | Vintage Model Trains | Scale Accessories | Rare Model Trains
Privacy Policy - We use third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit our website. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, click here. All brands, logos and products are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. The Opinions expressed in the articles are the sole responsibility of their authors.
Please send your opinion to scaletrains@gmail.com
Copyright © 2008 Scale Model Trains