ZINIO logo
EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
Classic Toy Trains

Classic Toy Trains March 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.

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

in this issue

4 min
no smoke!

WITH THE CTT READERS AND STAFF Modern fan-driven smoke units add an extra degree of realism to toy train operation our vintage pellet- or liquid-fueled smoke units lack. When they fail, you may not need to take them to a service center for a diagnosis – there are some things you can do to isolate the problem. The first step is to make sure the smoke system is turned on. Yes, this is basic. I won’t go through all the variations of command control or conventional control; just check the operator’s manual for whatever system you use. Next, you’ll need to remove the engine shell and find the smoke unit to check three things: Is the fan motor running? I have to replace a few of the motors each year Is the wick material blocking the…

4 min
off-color coal elevator

Q While going through my great grandfather’s O gauge collection, I found three versions of the Lionel postwar no. 97 coal elevator. One was the usual version with a red roof and yellow building, but the other two had odd color schemes I cannot verify anywhere. One had a black building and roof, while the other had a white building and roof. What can you tell me about them? – Matthew Calorossi, Southbury, Conn. A To the best of my knowledge, Matt, Lionel offered the 97 with only a red roof, windows, and ladders; a yellow house; and a silver tower. Then in 1942, due to wartime shortages of paint, it had to substitute gray for the silver. Therefore, your two odd ones almost certainly came about because someone repainted regular 97s.…

4 min
freight buggy

Small industrial switchers, often dubbed “Critters,” have a special place in the hearts of many railroad enthusiasts. While they lack the prestige of a New York Central Hudson, the power of a Union Pacific DD40, or the bright technology of a Florida East Coast ES44AC the General Electric 44-tonners were far more approachable. They could be easily climbed over, and in the back of any train fan’s mind, these diminutive rail kings would be about as easy to drive as a small truck or a 1960s family station wagon. It was a friendly sized locomotive. General Electric produced a wide range of industrial switchers, but the 44-tonner was designed to avoid the federal requirement of a locomotive weighing more than 90,000 pounds (45 tons) needing both an engineer and a fireman. A cornerstone…

3 min
kmt coors car

The late 1960s and early ’70s were a bit of a wasteland for O gauge modelers. Lionel was virtually the only firm making new locomotives and rolling stock. Competitors had either given up the ghost, as Kusan had, or were barely breathing and had little to excite hobbyists, as was true with Marx. The period at the end of the postwar era and the start of the modern was a tough time for O gauge trains. Williams and K-Line, Weaver and MTH had yet to enter the three-rail segment of the hobby or didn’t exist around 1970. Yet a one-man operation in Endicott, N.Y., was broadening the O gauge boxcars available. Kris Model Trains, as the firm was called, showed a desire to offer models decorated in ways Lionel had not ever…

3 min
by popular demand

Toy train shows have been critical to the development of this hobby. They’re all fantastic, but one has dominated the field. I praised it in the May 2015 issue of Classic Toy Trains as “The Mother of All Train Shows.” The Greatest Train Show on Earth” is organized by the Eastern Division of the Train Collectors Association (TCA) twice a year over three days, typically during the third week of April and October at the county fairgrounds in York, Pa. More than 11,000 TCA members usually attend each show, known as “York.” What do attendees discover? More than seven buildings, or halls, filled with vintage and new trains and accessories available for sale. There are two dealer halls and four member halls and at least one building reserved for setting up modu-lar…

14 min
layout of a lifetime

H al Maury’s O gauge railroad tells the story of its builder – what he has dreamed, experienced, and valued. Hal’s youth and adult years come alive on a layout spreading over nearly 750 square feet with more than 6 scale miles of track. Scenes reflect a boyhood spent near the Pennsylvania RR’s four-track main line through the Keystone State. Elsewhere, Hal’s fascination with the Milwaukee Road has influenced his modeling. Best may be the areas showing what currently interests him. What Hal won’t change What is Hal doing with his railroad these days? Converting it to command control? “No reason to do that,” Hal explains. “I enjoy running it with conventional means because operating toy trains should be about pressing the handles on a big transformer. It could be an old Lionel ZW…