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Classic Toy Trains

Classic Toy Trains July 2017

CLASSIC TOY TRAINS BRINGS YOU O AND S GAUGE FOR THE OPERATOR AND COLLECTOR. SEE THE NEWEST TRAINS FROM LIONEL, MTH, ATLAS O AND OTHERS; LEARN ABOUT TRACK PLANNING, WIRING AND LAYOUT CONSTRUCTION; IDENTIFY AND REPAIR OLD LIONEL AND AMERICAN FLYER TRAINS; AND VISIT THE MOST INSPIRING TOY TRAIN LAYOUTS EVER BUILT.

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Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Kalmbach Publishing Co. - Magazines
Frequency:
Bimonthly
$12.08
$53.75
8 Issues

in this issue

3 min
lionel’s no. 218 standard gauge dump car

Lionel acted boldly when it introduced a new line of toy trains in 1906 by declaring it the standard. Domestic competitors saw what Lionel was doing, yet refused to quit designing locomotives and cars to run on track spaced differently. Only Lionel kept making models for metal track measuring 21⁄8 inches from the center of one outside rail to the center of the opposite one. Eventually, however, those rivals conceded. Lionel dominated the marketplace after World War I, so Ives in 1921 and American Flyer four years later switched to the same gauge. However, the two firms avoided the term coined by Lionel. They insisted on calling it Wide gauge. The leaders at Lionel most likely scorned their counterparts for being so picky. Instead, they pressured supervisors at their factory in northern…

10 min
riding home to boston

Every once in a while, a television program or online video points us to a great layout. Bruce Feldman serves as the perfect example. Having his 16 x 32-foot O gauge display featured on TV in his hometown encouraged Bruce to share what he has accomplished and how his layout has evolved. Going astray at times Every model railroader knows the path to developing a truly great layout is far from a smooth and straight one. There are unexpected curves and bumps in the road. Detours and dead ends. Put another way, a certain amount of trial and error is necessary. In the 1970s and ’80s, encouraged by his wife, Adrienne, Bruce began to design the layout of his dreams. Except that even the best intentions can lead to mistakes. Bruce went from two…

1 min
do you have a story?

Readers just like you provide stories featured in Classic Toy Trains. To submit an article and photos, send your work to Classic Toy Trains magazine, 21027 Crossroads Circle, P.O. Box 1612, Waukesha, WI 53187. Write the words “Manuscript Enclosed” on the envelope and include a suitable stamped, self-addressed envelope for the return of your material if we cannot use it. Articles are paid for on acceptance. We assume no responsibility for the safe return of unsolicited material. Email submissions can be sent to editor@classictoytrains.com. Before preparing an article, contact us to determine whether we’re interested. Guidelines for writing articles and taking photographs are available on our website. If you are a manufacturer or supplier and would like to see your products in our News or Reviews columns, please email editor@classictoytrains.com, or call 262-796-8776…

8 min
the dynamic world of vernon hart

A life touched by railroading unfolds as you walk through the lower portion of the home belonging to Vernon Hart and his lovely wife, Mary. One corner, filled with timetables and union buttons, reminds you Vernon worked as an engineer for the Frisco and the Burlington Northern. Shelves displaying scale replicas of railcars plus the hobby awards they earned call to mind his commitment to HO modeling. Fascinated by the railroad memorabilia and plaques, the HO scale diesels and passenger cars lettered for Vernon’s Ozark Wilderness Line, you lose track of the minutes. Then you notice the spectacular O gauge layout in the main area and you never want to look elsewhere. Ready to return Photographer Dennis Brennan and I had the pleasure of visiting Mary and Vernon a decade ago as we…

2 min
train values and a scratchbuilt aem7

FROM OUR READERS Quality and value, then and now Roger Carp’s “Guide to Lionel sets” article in the May 2017 issue of Classic Toy Trains really opened my eyes to the state of today’s train business. What caught my attention was the original cost of the train outfits and what that cost translated to in today’s dollars. A Virginian locomotive with five cars for today’s equivalent of $625.90 and a Canadian Pacific passenger set for $858.91! Where today can one buy such quality for these prices? Absolutely nowhere is the answer. Lightweight, can motors, and plastic everything is the rule. And usually selling for prices far exceeding that of the postwar trains in equivalent dollars. That’s why I’m a postwar fan, operator, and collector. America will never again see those days of quality and…

5 min
overlooked boxcars

THE DECISION BY THE KUSAN CORP. to dive into the toy train market by purchasing the assets and inventory of the struggling Auburn Model Trains must have made good sense to leaders William McLain and Earl Horton as 1954 drew to a close. They believed profits could easily be reaped with low-cost trains. In retrospect, the move proved unfortunate. Try as the men at the top might, Kusan failed to bolster its bottom line with O gauge trains. Nothing quite mattered, whether the handsome passenger and freight cars issued using AMT tooling or the innovative and exciting spaceand military-oriented sets. Collectors should not overlook Kusan’s achievements. The toy firm based in Nashville, Tenn., expanded the O gauge field with novel diesels and operating cars. And it aimed to capitalize on what it…