A Background of Model Trains

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A Background of Model Trains Powered By Docstoc
					Creative, fun, historic, nostalgic...these are a just a few of the words to describe the
fascinating hobby of collecting your own toy or model trains and designing the
villages that compliment them.

Let's take a step back in time and explore the beginnings of the model train. Did you
know their manufacture began in the Victorian period? Did you also know that,
originally these trains were made in Germany? Their immediate popularity was a
natural consequence of actual trains becoming a fashionable form of transportation. In
fact, the first toy trains were, in reality, promotional tools.

"Carpet railways" (the first model trains) were made in 1840. There have been many
innovations since that time, though those early trains are certainly collectibles and
very valuable. These trains actually had "boilers" that produced steam and powered
the train.

Since that time there have been many, many exciting developments in hobby trains.
For instance, the early trains did not even run on a track nor were they made to scale.
Now, not only do they run on tracks but they have standard gauges and they have
been made entirely to scale.

The company that led the way in standardizing the tracks was Marklin Company. This
innovation allowed a large variety of trains to run on a track. These first gauges were
designated "one, two, three". This great achievement was followed by the creation of
the "O" gauge. This opened up the door for great expansion, not only for the
manufacture of trains, but in terms of different accessories as well.

With the advanced technology that the 20th century afforded the evolution of hobby
trains took off. Marklin introduced ranges and scales which would change the world
of toy trains forever. This innovation spread to Great Britain and Germany like

Though the impetus of toy trains was actually a promotional tool for salesmen, the
popularity of this hobby grew even as trains as a transportation diminished.

The technology of the 20th century generated the development of remote controls for
signs and lighting, signal switches and even train operators. In addition, both N and Z
gauges (for smaller trains) were introduced as well as the G gauge for larger scales.

Today, you can even get software to help you design your layout. Now there is
computerized technology that sets your train on a certain course and let's off steam or
make train sounds which all add to your enjoyment. There have been a plethora of
changes over the years, this is just a glimpse.

You may wonder why hobby trains are as popular, or more, than ever. Well there are
many reasons: a person may have an interest in the history of trains themselves, they
may enjoy creating the environment around the trains themselves, or they may just
like going down memory lane to their childhood. But one reason is universal...it's just
plain fun!