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Electric Trains From A to Z

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!

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Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Kalmbach Publishing Co. - Magazines
Frequency:
One-off
R 185,42

in this issue

1 min
department store special

Buyers for department stores sought an edge in the cutthroat toy market. Each of them wanted the emporium they represented to have items with an air of exclusivity. Something new or unlike anything shown at their major competitors. The challenge seemed especially great during the prewar era, when Fair Trade Laws mandated that producers of consumer goods, even electric trains, establish the prices at which their sets and separate-sale items would be sold by large and small merchandisers. Only by leveling the field might the littlest guys survive. Occasionally, however, toy buyers for department stores enticed Lionel, Ives, and other domestic train makers into creating unique sets for them to promote as specials to boost sales. The trend, which can be traced back to the 1910s, typically involved packaging a group of…

1 min
european o gauge

E uropean trains have always been a boutique interest for American train enthusiasts. Broadly speaking, if you exclude Thomas the Tank Engine wannabes, few Americans have seen a great deal of British, German, or French train operations, let alone had the chance to become intrigued with their history. European-outline three-rail trains have, however, experienced a nostalgia-based resurgence, as have their American counterparts. As the American market becomes saturated with scale Hudsons, Challengers, and Big Boys (and all their diesel counterparts), some hobbyists are taking a look at modern production of some of the classic European trains. European three-rail trains generally focus on pre- and immediately post-World War II operations (similar to many American hobbyists) where steam is king. Trains produced in the past 20 years by four companies (Ace, Bassett-Lowke, Darstaed, and…

1 min
qsi

In 1991, the company created a sensation when it introduced QS-1, a digital locomotive sound system. QS-1 consisted of a small speaker, a printed-circuit board, and a wiring harness to connect the system with a QSI reverse unit. The circuitry monitored the motor’s current draw and adjusted the chuff rate (for steam locomotives) or diesel rpms to match the model’s speed. It was the first time speed-appropriate effects were generated without using an external cam. QS-1 also was an early command control system. Several QS-1 equipped locomotives could sit on a commonly wired layout, the operator selecting which one to run via multiple pushes on a conventional transformer’s whistle control button. QSI soon inked a deal with MTH Electric Trains to develop ProtoSound, that firm’s first sound and control system. Today’s command…

2 min
wide gauge

Don’t think Lionel won the fight for supremacy by introducing a line of electrically powered trains it announced were the new “standard.” When it did so in 1906, other domestic competitors went on building their trains to operate on different track sizes. Howard and Knapp went on relying on 2-inch gauge. Voltamp ignored Lionel’s action in 1907, believing 2-inch gauge would maintain its lead. Gauge 1 also had its advocates, including both Ives and Elektoy. Ives decided the moment had arrived to challenge Lionel. When it jumped into the arena in 1921, Ives made a decision, referring to its models built to the same proportions as Lionel’s as Wide gauge. Two years later, after Boucher had acquired the assets of Voltamp, it finetuned its trains to operate on Wide gauge track. Then…

1 min
buddy “l”

What youngster hasn’t dreamed of being able to ride in his or her toy train, feeling the rush of the wind and breathing in the smells of freshly cut grass and fragrant flowers? The 1:20 scale trains made by the Moline Pressed Steel Co. took the name Buddy “L” after the young son of the firm’s founder. Young Arthur Lundahl experienced something similar almost a century ago. He could ride on the massive steel locomotive and rolling stock his indulgent yet ingenious father made for him. Fred Lundahl, founder of the Moline Pressed Steel Co., wanted better toys for his son, nicknamed Buddy. So, in addition to the automotive parts his business made, he designed a miniature truck in 1920 large enough for Buddy to straddle. Within a year, kids in East…

1 min
kris model trains

Avid collector Andy Kriswalus entertained no illusions about getting rich when he bought tooling from Kusan Inc. for its O gauge freight cars in 1967. The resident of Endicott, N.Y., would use that resource to produce boxcars and refrigerator cars unlike those made by the Lionel Corp. Operators proved grateful for the efforts of what Andy named Kris Model Trains, keeping him busy and comfortable for the next 14 years. Once Kriswalus had obtained the machinery to churn out blank shells, he had to answer two questions. First, where was KMT going to find suitable frames and trucks? Inventory purchased from Kusan and then Lionel. Second, how would KMT decorate them? Painting with hobby brands of railroad colors followed by screenprinted graphics. Later, KMT used special decals known as “electrocals.” Kris Model…