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Families and Electric Trains

Families and Electric Trains

Families and Electric Trains

This 100-page special issue from Classic Toy Trains magazine features 15 stories of how electric trains bring families together.

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Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Kalmbach Publishing Co. - Magazines
Frequency:
One-off
R 199,69

in this issue

9 min
bridging generations with a flyer layout

The memories conveyed by readers of Classic Toy Trains about getting their first electric train revolve around the loving members of their family responsible for giving that fantastic toy to them. Amid the warm recollections of moms and dads picking out a Lionel or Marx set, we also heard about the grandparents who did that. Yes, the tradition of a granddad or grandmother making sure a boy or girl received a toy train or at least learned how to operate a set stretches back several generations to the first third of the 20th century. By then, older Americans could recall playing with a floor toy or windup and wanted to pass down all the fun. Almost a century later, grandparents, especially those Baby Boomers who played with an O or S gauge…

9 min
mom switched one boy from flyer to lionel

Many of a toy train enthusiast’s favorite memories relate to the family member responsible for purchasing his or her initial set or building the inaugural layout. John Korajczyk understands what his fellow collectors and operators are talking about as he recalls the American Flyer models he received growing up near Boston in the early 1960s. But he quickly points out the only reason he was given S gauge equipment was because his older brother, Richard, already owned a Flyer set. “How else were we going to be able to play together?” John asks rhetorically. By the time the holiday season of 1963 approached, six-year-old John had become well aware of the three-rail trains made and marketed by Lionel. He enjoyed watching them in action on a display layout in a department…

16 min
one family still honoring lionel’s ties to new jersey

Family was the underlying theme of life at Lionel’s factories in northern New Jersey during the prewar and postwar eras. Young men arrived at the gates, whether from overseas or nearby communities, with dreams of improving themselves. They wanted jobs and security. Some of those workers met on assembly lines the women they married, and those couples started families that might include the next generation of product designers, electricians, painters, and plant supervisors. From the 1920s through the 1950s, families ruled the facilities. Italian surnames such as Caruso, Corvace, Festa, Marfuggi, Giaimo, LaFauci, Caprio, Pagano, and Bonanno were familiar to everyone on the factory payroll. Brothers and cousins, sons and daughters dominated the ranks of foremen and superintendents at the plants Yet the progression of one generation laying the groundwork for the…

18 min
families selling and fixing trains

Sooner or later, even if their first electric train had been purchased at a department store or a chain outlet, kids turned to stores in their neighborhood for help when a locomotive quit running or they wanted to buy another freight car. More than they realized, they needed the knowledge and experience available from the people managing or working at hobby shops or various retail places specializing in trains. Fortunately for the youngsters in need of immediate and professional help, such commercial establishments existed in every city and town across the country. A good many of them were small and run by members of the same family. Husbands and wives owned some of those stores. Brothers sometimes went into business together. Occasionally, a father welcomed one or more of his adult kids…

13 min
one great layout satisfies two generations of builders

Cody Leavel doesn’t understand why someone who enjoys toy trains would ever leave the hobby. Of course, he has been surrounded by O gauge models his entire life. Avoiding them would have meant finding another place to live. When a parent invests time and resources in constructing a terrific model railroad, ignoring the trains and downplaying the fun and excitement become just about impossible. At least this has been the case for Cody. Rather than overlook what his folks, Don and Starr Leavel, loved, he has embraced it. Even now, Cody keeps working with his father to improve a wonderfully landscaped and smoothly running layout spread over approximately 330 square feet. Surprisingly, the same early initiation into the hobby Cody experienced happened with Don. Yes, this family boasts three generations of O…

23 min
lady lionel is 63 years young

Lady Lionel, as O-27 set no. 1587S was known, failed to boost sales when cataloged in 1957 and ’58. Over time, though, it gained importance, as collectors sought original examples or key components. Heightened demand spurred train manufacturers over the past 30 years to develop their own versions. These new sets have ranged from faithful reissues to reproductions influenced by – but not directly copying – what’s known universally as the Lionel Girl’s Train. At last it’s time to gather information on the original Lady Lionel, the attempts made by enterprising individuals to product variations on the theme, as well as the efforts of K-Line, MTH, Williams by Bachmann, and Lionel to meet the demand for faithful yet improved replicas. BREAKING GROUND IN 1957 What Lionel sought to accomplish in 1957 – break new…