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Building Your Antique Model Train Collection

Aug 13, 2008
There is a long and glorious history that surrounds model trains. They have been delighting kids and adults alike for many years. There are a few different companies that have been manufacturing and distributing model trains in the United States for ages. If you love model trains and would like to get into touch with the history behind them then collecting antique trains may be right up your alley. If the idea appeals to you then there are some things that you should keep in mind.

With a history that dates back into the 1800's model trains have been around long enough to produce many innovations. The first locomotive that you might want to consider would be a Lionel. Made in the early 1900's their model trains came with many different working parts. It boasted tiny electric motors and different accessories such as railroad crossings, and stations. These engines functioned when they were attached to a pulley. This was then attached to some of the accessories to run them.

Some of the very first model trains to be distributed across the United States were actual mock ups of the real things. Most of these model trains worked by use of a spring system or had to be worked manually. Some of the most famous names tied to mass production of these trains were Garlick and Weeden. These can make a very nice addition to any antique collection.

There were many smaller manufacturers between the late 1800's and the very early 1900's. One of these was the Bergmann Company that was located in New York City. During the 1870's they produced miniature trains that were made of tin plate. These were actually some of the very first to come out and worked by the use of a clock work mechanism or were spring based as well. There were other small name manufacturers around this time as well. Some of these included Fallows who were out of Philadelphia and Brown who was out of Connecticut.

Companies such as J & E Stephens, Pratt, and Letchworth found popularity in their tinplate trans as well as their cast iron ones. The cast iron ones soon outstripped the other ones in sales due to their ability to be mass produced. Light metal trains found their rise in the 1890's due to the amount of decoration that could be included on them the much cheaper price that they were offered for.

No matter which of these types of antique trains it is that you wish to collect you cannot go wrong. From tin type to cast iron each is worth a good deal to antique dealers and collectors alike these days. It is best to start your collection with one particular sort such as the lightweight wind up kinds until you get all you can and then you can move on to another type.

Once you have all your antique model trains you can then display them in a spot of honor. These are pieces of history that have helped to lead the way to the model rail industry as it is today.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for model cars, model trains, and model trucks. You will find excellent hobbying and trading resources here for model car tricks and tips, antique model trains, and model race trucks.
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