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Classic Toy Trains

Classic Toy Trains May 2018

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

2 min
photo album

YOUR PICTURES ANDREW STONE’S O GAUGE LAYOUT A long – very long! – Illinois Central train snakes around the main town on Andrew Stone’s O gauge railroad in Springfield, Ill., on its way through a mountain range to Chicago. The Lionel set looks fantastic, standing out against the K-Line Starlite Diner. Andy and his son have spent years completing this three-rail layout. BRAD ROCK’S S GAUGE LAYOUT Brad Rock’s train room in Virginia Beach, Va., is a time machine back to the postwar era. A wonderland awaits visitors, with some of Lionel’s finest trains on shelves and Gilbert’s American Flyer accessories in operation. Animated S gauge cars and their platforms nestle by signals and freight loaders. Plasticville kits ring the outer part of the display. WILLIAM BRAMLAGE’S O GAUGE LAYOUT Prosperity in the form of elegant…

4 min
product news

ESPEE IRON: MTH’s Premier line Alco PA-1 in Southern Pacific Daylight colors is available now. The O gauge powered unit, no. 20-20843-1, features two can-style motors, MTH’s ProtoSound 3.0 command and sound system, Mars light, smoke unit, and coil couplers. The unpowered B unit, no. 20-20843-3, has a detailed body and metal couplers. The powered unit costs $479.95, and the unpowered unit is priced at $199.95. See your MTH retailer or go to www.MTHtrains.com for more information. SHORTLINE MEMORY: The Rahway Valley RR was an uncommon short line in that it managed to make a profit during the Great Depression. The New Jersey line soldiered on until 1986, with its last vestiges expiring in 1992. The Metropolitan Division of the Trains Collectors Association salutes this uncommon carrier with a custom-run boxcar…

3 min
lionel’s no. 204 steam engine and tender

FEATURES 1 Gunmetal-painted die-cast metal shell (black is more common) 2 Three-position reversing unit 3 Operating headlight 4 Drive wheels with nickel rims 5 Ornamental bell and whistle 6 Rubber-stamped number on cab 7 No. 1689T sheet-metal eight-wheel non-whistle tender Among the most significant developments on the collecting side of the toy train hobby over the past quarter-century has been the extensive research devoted to identifying and analyzing promotional sets. During the prewar and postwar eras, Lionel and its leading domestic rivals created train sets for special customers that never entered the lines they cataloged for the general public to consider purchasing. Not only did Lionel assemble “uncataloged” outfits for department stores, retail chains, and consumer brands but it also made locomotives and rolling stock never put into its regular listings. Generally speaking, the engines lacked notable features (operating…

10 min
a new england   homecoming

Something about American Flyer S gauge trains invariably connects them to New England. Of course, there are collectors and operators of the locomotives and railcars made by the A.C. Gilbert Co. in every part of the U.S. and Canada. Nor should it be forgotten that Flyer models came lettered for lines in the South, the Midwest, and the Pacific Northwest. All the same, when seeing layouts dominated by Flyer pieces or picturing the sets cataloged by Gilbert during the 1940s and ’50s, hobbyists often think of the region encompassing Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, and their neighbors. Maybe they remember, too, the company was based in New Haven, Conn., or associate the toy line with a few railroads serving the area. A perfect example of linking American Flyer with New England is the 23…

6 min
metal monster

When the story of the modern era of toy trains is written, special notice should be taken of the MTH RailKing line. The line’s O gauge steam power was selectively compressed, but kept key detail points that evoked the look of the prototype engines. As the line evolved, the compression led to more traditionally sized trains and eventually to scale-length models. The selectively “edited” designs are rife with additional details, and good sound systems, and can make the most humble layout look terrific. The 2-6-6-6 Allegheny is based on a comparatively late entry into the steam locomotive market. The design was intended to be a high-speed freight engine that could outperform the Norfolk & Western class A 2-6-6-4s of 1936. The Advisory Mechanical Committee of the railroads owned by the Van Sweringen brothers…

3 min
email, ebay, and e-units

It seems like every word today uses the letter “E” as a prefix. Think about it: Email and eBay, just to name two, are a part of the everyday language now. My buddy Len Carparelli reminded me of another key term starting with “E” that everybody in the toy train hobby knows: E-units. Yet Len also notes how those Lionel assemblies have faded in importance in the train business. Let me explain about this change on a more specific and personal level. When I opened up my store, the Underground Railroad Shoppe, in 1985, I spent a lot of time repairing prewar and postwar Lionel trains. Each fall, when the train season opened, I had to stock up on parts to repair E-units. I had a large supply of new and rebuilt E-units…