Classic Toys and the Lionel Train

There are a lot of people who remember waking up with their family on the weekends or on a holiday and putting together a Lionel train set.   Lionel trains are still around and are still being produced under the Lionel name.  However, the ideal times of Lionel trains was in their glory days in the fifties when children would spread everything out on the carpet with their dads and took great pleasure in designing the train layout.

Nowadays quite a few train enthusiasts get pleasure from the old-time feelings and tradition of having a Lionel train set.  Lionel Corporation was an American company that specialized in producing electrical novelties and lighting devices.  It was started by Joshua Lionel Cowen, an enterprising young inventor, in 1900.  When they first started to build trains, they were not intended to be sold to consumers as toys, but were rather used as store window displays, especially during the Holiday season.  The first Lionel train operated through the use of electric batteries and ran on a track made of brass.  It wasn’t long before customers began to inquire about these trains so that eventually, the company decided to build 12 of them for public sale.  The rest, they say, is history.

Lionel trains can be categorized into three periods:  Pre-War   (1901-1942), Post-war (1945-1969) and Modern (1970-Present).  Pre-war trains can be recognized by their hook couplers, metallic construction and colorful appearance.

Similar to other vintage toys, antique Lionel trains are more about memories of simpler times and a nostalgia for the past.  They are also a lasting representation of Americana.  Model train enthusiasts of any age even now still take great pleasure in Lionel model trains and other great manufacturers like Bachmann, Hornby and Athearn.  Toy trains produced by  Louis Marx and Company  between 1938 and 1978 generally look like Lionel trains and are primarily compatible with them, but a lot of Marx trains are somewhat smaller and possess much less detail than the Lionel trains of the same era.

Model trains have become a leisure pursuit by many for years.  There are clubs that you can join in order to stay in touch with different enthusiasts who happen to love Lionel trains. The purpose of Lionel trains is to bring joy to others, so why not share your joyous stories with others given that they truly understand where you are coming from.

No doubt about it – model trains are a fun and rewarding hobby!

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