Electric Trains From A to Z

Electric Trains From A to Z - Special

If you’ve ever wondered about the products, personalities, and manufacturers that make up the toy train hobby, this special issue from Classic Toy Trains has the answers. Electric Trains From A to Z brings you everything from accessories to ZW transformers, J. Lionel Cowen to Mike Wolf, and American Flyer to Marx. With more than 100 individual items about all aspects of old and new O and S gauge electric trains; this 100-page publication is both factual and fun!

United States
Kalmbach Publishing Co. - Magazines
€ 12,14(Incl. btw)

in deze editie

2 min
history from a to z

W elcome to Electric Trains From A to Z! This special publication from Classic Toy Trains magazine takes a decidedly different approach. We think of it as a series of snapshots of the companies, industry leaders, and products that have made the electric train hobby so special to all of us. This volume contains 100 short essays covering an incredible variety of toy train topics from more than 100 years of toy train history – everything from A to Z! Here are capsule histories of companies that have become legends in American industry, such as Lionel, American Flyer, and Marx. Here also are stories of visionary leaders who shaped the hobby, men like A.C. Gilbert and Joshua Lionel Cowen. Just as intriguing are companies that once shone brightly and have now been forgotten,…

2 min
alco pa-1 diesel

Powerful and eye-catching, the PA-1 was introduced after World War II, just when railroads were hungry to buy anything with a diesel engine! The PA-1/PB-1 was available as 2,000-horsepower cab A unit or B unit with no crew cab. A later version, the PA-2/PB-2 produced 2,250 horsepower. Sixteen railroads bought the PA new, with the top five owners being the Southern Pacific (64 units), Santa Fe (44 units), Missouri Pacific (36 units), New Haven (27), and New York Central (20). Operationally, dynamometer tests on the Santa Fe concluded the locomotives generated more horsepower and drawbar pull at every speed; they accelerated faster than other brands; and they used less fuel and lubricants. While the PA is now deemed a failure, many of the problems arose from air-cooled turbochargers developed for World War II…

2 min

Yet from a different angle, an accessory is a thing of magic, enjoyment, and wonder. It helps a model railroad, no matter what its dimensions, take on new life and pleasure. Every ancillary item used to enhance the appearance and operation of a toy train engages and deepens a commitment to that plaything. Little wonder manufacturers have been developing and promoting a range of animated accessories since the 19th century. German toy makers understood first the importance of designing replicas of the buildings and equipment used on railroads as a means of enticing enthusiasts to keep buying their playthings. American firms followed suit in the early 20th century, with Ives and Lionel bringing out passenger terminals, bridges,switch towers, crossing gates, and semaphores to enable youngsters to create rail empires in their…

2 min
american flyer

The roots of American Flyer go back to 1908. William F. Hafner, who had started making O gauge mechanical trains three years before, joined with William O. Coleman to expand his operation. In 1910, they named their enterprise in Chicago American Flyer Manufacturing Co. After Hafner left to establish his own toy train business, Coleman broadened his product line in 1918, when his firm manufactured its first electric trains, some with battery-powered lights and bells. American Flyer reached its peak between 1925 and 1936. Highlights of the company’s catalog during that decade included a number of beautiful Wide gauge passenger sets led by elegant, powerful electric-profile engines. Among those classics stood the President’s Special and the Pocahontas. Gems in the O gauge roster, notably models of well-known streamliners such as the…

2 min
american model toys

AMT continued the tradition, seen in every field in economic and financial history, of upstarts leaving a mark because they altered how business was done. Led by Jack Ferris, AMT was another of the newcomers that found a niche thanks to a clever product. The key to success for AMT was to accomplish what every producer of electric trains had made it their mission to do: replicate in miniature what was seen on fullsize railroads. After World War II, lines large and middling were converting their passenger trains from old-fashioned heavyweight cars to beautiful, almost futuristic stainless-steel streamliners. Leave it to the ingenious Ferris to observe the evolution and bring out O gauge versions in 1948. Smart guy that he was, Jack made sure his couplers were compatible with Lionel’s. Ferris and…

1 min
american models

American Models, based in South Lyon, Mich., makes a full line of S gauge trains. The company offers locomotives, freight and passenger cars, a transformer, and a track system. Company founder Ron Bashista started the business because he was upset with timely delivery of products and their limited availability in S gauge. The company, widely known for attractive and durable S gauge products, began modestly in 1981. Over time, however, it expanded to include 15 types of diesel and electric locomotives, three steam locomotives, and a wide range of freight and passenger cars, including dieselera Budd streamliners as well as an Amtrak Superliner. American Models produces a big line of flexible and sectional S gauge track, switches, and specialty track sections.…