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Whittle Shortline Railroad's handcrafted railcars are made from reforested birch hardwood offering durability to outlast most childhoods.
These toys can also be found at the Staten Island Mall, Staten island, New York Hallmark Gold Crown store while their supply lasts.
Individually handcrafted in the USA from birch hardwoods and child-safe paints and guaranteed for life, all Whittle Shortline Wooden Railroad Toys are compatible with Thomas.
BRIO & Plan City Toy cargo trains & trucks are riding on the wooden rail and road in the mini town. Wooden toy trains are toy trains that run on a wooden track system with grooves to guide the wheels of the rolling stock. The Jack-Built Toy Manufacturing Company marketed its own range of wooden toy trains under the brand name "Jack Built Snap Trains" around 1956 to 1962. In 1957, BRIO, based in Osby in southern Sweden, introduced its wooden toy train system with wooden tracks in Europe.[9] It may have been the first company to use the "peg and hole" system to connect the track pieces in mass production. Another Swedish company that started producing a similar toy at about this time was Micki Leksaker in Gemla. There was a long tradition of wooden toy-making along the mountain forests surrounding Bohemia. Heros (He+ros), the company of Hermann Rossberg of Lam in the Bavarian Forest near to the border of Bohemia, influenced train design in the Blumenau tradition.[18] He too started a line of wooden trains in 1968 to the same gauge, using bright colors in his train designs. With the popularity of the toy system rising due to the success of Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, new markets outside of the traditional groups and countries were opened.
Other companies, such as Nilo and KidKraft, concentrated on related items like train tables, among other products. Although the original push-along trains made mostly of wood still resemble the core idea of this system toy and as of 2006 form the base of all the involved companies' production lines, electronics have gained access to the wooden world. As with other toys, many wooden trains and track have been manufactured in China and other Asian countries in the twenty-first century. Probably the first major brand that was manufactured in China was the Chicago-based "Thomas and Friends Wooden Railway". A producer that has sold its products under very many brands including its own name is Mentari Massen, with its main factory founded in 1988 in Surabaya, Indonesia.
Although the products of many companies are quite compatible with each other they may vary in make, the wood used and some basic measurements.
Some track pieces such as curves and points have grooves on both sides so that they can be used from both sides.
When trying to document a layout with exact geometry one quickly notices that a lot of layouts one builds with real track do not work using a CAD system or some track layout program.[28] This is due to the so-called "vario system" which allows some play when joining the tracks, so that with some wiggling around one can make layouts line up perfectly with no danger of derailing trains which do not use the exact geometry of the pieces. Though not all manufacturers use the same system for their track piece designs some principle standards have evolved, as the geometry involved with track systems tends to pose the same problems to everyone.
To solve problems of offset produced by points that branch out at the same angle producing parallel tracks, it is also useful to design such points and switches so that one of the short straights can compensate the offset. Early sets such as of Skaneateles,[29] Eichhorn and Brio all seem to have used rather simple and abstract designs.
Another group tries to stay true to the material wood but use more realistic designs with series based on famous real life trains.
A modern view is to use more and more plastic and build battery powered and remote controlled objects, with electronic devices gaining ground.
Specialty trains for specific purposes like alphabet trains and name trains, as well as decoration sets like birthday trains with candles and promotional designs for special events. Train tables are a popular way to set up trains and railways, with fixed versions often placed in waiting rooms at hospitals, doctors' offices, or other places where some entertainment for children may be offered. Early buildings had windows and doors made by drawing lines in a single color on simple rectangular blocks.
China produces for many companies (Remus, Europlay, Babalu, Maxim, Early Learning Centre, Learning Curve, Brio, Sevi, Munipals). Mentari Toys, founded 1988 in Surabaya, Indonesia, where the production still is, while international sales are directed from offices in Taiwan. The Toy Company sells in Germany under the brand name Beeboo, also sells Mentari sets under its own label. Micki Leksaker of Sweden, may be the manufacturer of the "Lillabo" wooden train series from Ikea. Train Town Toy & Hobby is the Charleston area's best source for model trains in sizes O, HO and N.
A We carry a wide array of steam and diesel engines, rolling stock, train sets and accessories, with emphasis on the local road names, Norfolk Southern, CSX, and Amtrak. Train Town has an experienced staff to help you whether it is a first time purchase or a special order item for an established layout or collector. Little engineers, ages 3 and up, find the familiar THOMAS & FRIENDS characters and accessories at TrainTown, as well as a large assortment of die cast vehicles, kites, and other toys for boys and girls. This attention to detail on each wooden train component has entertained both children and collectors for years. While the trains, tracks and scenery accessories are made mainly of wood, the engines and cars connect to each other using metal hooks or small magnets, and some use plastic wheels mounted on metal axles.
These were manufactured in Japan and used a snap system to join pieces of rolling stock and tracks. The metal hook system for the rolling stock has since been replaced by magnetic connectors.[10][11] BRIO was also one of the first companies to use beechwood for such products. It apparently produced its first wooden train sets for a Swedish department store in 1956, thus predating Brio by a year or two.
Seiffen made wooden figures and Christmas decorations and Blumenau (today a part of Olbernhau) created building blocks and construction sets. In the 1970s the company experimented with plastic tracks based on the peg and hole design of the wooden tracks, but soon returned to normal wooden tracks.[19] In 2010 the company had to be sold to the Simba-Dickie-Group.

While companies such as Mapple Landmark adjusted its existing line of "Name Trains" to the gauge of the vario system in 1993, others such as Whittle Shortline, established in 1997, started producing rolling stock based on the more realistic designs of existing American examples.[23] While Brio and Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends clearly favoured the steam engine era, Whittle Shortline expanded into heavy duty diesel engines of designs hardly known in Europe. After introducing battery powered engines in the 1990s, remote control had been added by 2002, and so-called smart tracks introduced plastic parts to the wooden track pieces. Some of the design, such as the character faces and the spoked wheels, have stayed unique to the brand while other attributes, such as the modular build of the units with a rectangular single block chassis holding the wheels and individual buildup on top, have become widespread designs in China and elsewhere. Their items have been sold as sets or individually bundled under such brand names as elile, FunToys, Toytopia, The Toy Company, Bino, Snap on Tools and Bigjigs, as well as Mentari Toys or Mentari Group. They have been making children's toys and furniture from rubber wood, which has since been adopted by other companies. Then in the 1990s they moved into the wooden railway market with a small core range of wooden railway system items. By flipping the piece around one can convert a left-hand curve or point to a right-handed one. For the figure eight one could use two straight pieces to go underneath and a bridge made to the same length to cross over the other straights. An easy way to design points is by tracing a long and a curved track to the same piece using the same connecting point as the origin. The first and still most widely used level crossings use simple ramps that enable vehicles to cross the thick tracks from whatever underground the tracks are placed on.
Some are simple "back to the roots" designs, while others take a more artistic approach, searching for new ways to abstract the train theme. This way they stay off the ground and it is not necessary to take apart the track after it is built! Due to the different connection system Skaneateles used at that time, tracks could be easily bent upwards at the connection point. Sometimes they had slanted roofs made with another piece of wood, painted another color, stacked on top. The first major company seems to have been Maxim followed by Babalu and Early Learning Centre among others. Old street systems with "double" peg and hole connections have been replaced by single middle line peg and covered hole connections, thus making the connection invisible from the top when assembled. Has made use of many manufacturers, such as Eichhorn in the 1960s[39] or Mentari as of late. We are located in historic downtown Summerville, South Carolina, just two miles south of Interstate 26, off of Main Street. Beside it a Thomas the Tank Engine version with indicated sleepers followed by a Tesco variant with inserted connector. Some trains are made to resemble anthropomorphical, fictional, and prototypical railroad equipment. This toy company made wooden toy trains and wooden tracks.[1] The gauge was very similar to that used by most companies today. Rolling stock from Jack Built Snap Trains and Skaneateles Handicrafters could ride on either manufacturer's tracks.
Mass production techniques for polishing and coloring wooden toys were established and perfected in the Bohemian areas.[12] Some of the early sets exhibited train designs that were later used for wooden track trains. The train lines where dropped and the focus shifted to wooden toy blocks and the constructor toy range while Eichhorn became the only supplier of toy trains on a wooden track system within the Simba-Dickie-Group. In the product line "Trains of the World" shown in the Brio catalog of 1998, Brio presents several historic steam engines, such as the Mallard or the Flying Scotsman along with several modern high speed trains such as the Shinkansen, TGV or ICE. In 2006 Brio even introduced a theme resembling electronic networking with some electronic gadgets. Manufacturing in Asia goes back a lot further though: already in the 1950s the Snap-Trains of Ben Orel were made in Japan. They have a range of car and city related sets that could be used as accessories for the wooden toy train ranges of other producers. In 2007 they re-launched their railway range under the brand Bigjigs Rail, in new blue sky and green hills packaging. Another possibility is to have the two grooves for trains on the one side and the single wide groove for roads on the other side. Sometimes the round part of the hole is not an exact circle but rather an ellipse, allowing the tracks to connect with a small gap between them. If one wants a crossing on the same level, the diameter can be divided by three and a crossing piece made with straights of that length. Such a merged piece can thus serve as a curve for one branch and a straight for the other while using the same dimensions as the other pieces. The simplest way to add roads to this existing solution is to provide a layout printed on a paper or plastic sheet or even a carpet that uses the dimensions of the wooden tracks.
The normal early trains had engines and wagons each carved from a single piece of wood and connected by hooks and eyes. Wooden railway layouts based on the wTrak module standard have become part of model railroad shows in the United States - starting in the Pacific Northwest in 2009. A common early station design consisted of a simple platform with a roof on two or three supports along the longer axis. The trains of this brand can be taken apart and put together again to build something else. Our goal is to provide selection, information, inspiration, and recreation to train enthusiasts of all ages. However, individual pieces of rolling stock and track from the two brands could not be combined. In 1949, Hermann Eichhorn, of the Eichhorn family that made the PEWESTI wooden toys in Steinach, Thuringia,[13] founded his company for wooden toys in the Bavarian town of Egglham.
Altogether this has led to some new track designs allowing better traction for the self powered trains or means of communication between the tracks and trains using some magnetic or electronic gadget.

Starting with traditional rather plain and abstract designs, Maxim sold products under the name "Tumble Tree Wood" for retail stores.
They had a joint venture with Brio in 2001a€“2002,[26] being present in the Brio catalogs of the time. There are, as of 2012, over 130 pieces in the Bigjigs Rail range including sets, track and a range of real life engines such as Mallard, Duchess of Hamilton and Bluebell.
Most modern track systems have a somewhat sophisticated profile with varying degrees of slanted sides for the grooves or rounded edges. Also, the neck gap does not have a sharp edge at the end of the track, but is carved round.
The next important length is the diameter of the circle made of a line along the center of the tracks. Of course one can also produce pieces of a quarter diameter length to put to the left and right of a central bridge piece that is half the length of the diameter. Some companies have made thin track pieces out of plastic or other materials that can be joined by some connecting system and have special crossover pieces to allow playing together with a wooden railway system. Painted sets may have become common in the early 1970s, as did the use of magnets as connectors.
This is similar to the idea that Learning Curve later used for their "Thomas & Friends" range.
Another project based on real-life prototypes is the "New York City Subway Wooden Railway" by the company named "Munipals". In the imperial system the tracks have been described as having grooves an eighth of an inch deep, a quarter of an inch wide and with three quarters of an inch between them. This may have started as a production loss or to make it easier for small children to join the tracks.
This length is useful for figures such as an eight with the crossing at right angles, a simple L-figure, a bulge to one side or a spectacles or Mickey Mouse head, to name the simplest. As one can see, it is useful to determine the length of the straight tracks by dividing the diameter of the circle made by the curves.
The next step seems to have been road track pieces of similar thickness as the railway tracks but using some other connecting design. Engines carved from a single block were commonly painted black in Europe with bright red funnels and wheels. More modern bridge designs have used large amounts of plastic since the 1980s, reducing the amount of wood needed and thus producing lighter and cheaper designs. There have always been building sets that were similar to the popular wooden building blocks, allowing lots of individual designs. Plantoys now uses plastic connectors similar to those used by Ikea and Micki Leksaker; these fit into the all-female wooden road tracks. He also submitted a patent for magnetic couplings in 1958.[8] This patent was granted in 1960. Eichhorn claims that his company is the first to have systematically used the "vario system" for the connectors.
The tracks themselves are one and a half inches wide and half an inch high.[27] However, unlike other model railroading gauges, which have been formally defined by enthusiast groups such as the National Model Railroad Association or the Normen EuropA¤ischer Modellbahnen, there is no agreed gauge for wooden trains. Some sources[who?] state that Eichhorn was the first to design connections using this system.
The early trains made with construction sets and large pull-along trains may have influenced other early train designs that were built of several wood pieces ("cut broomstick design" among others).
Since the 1990s building designs have become more sophisticated and interaction with the trains has increased.
In 2007 Plantoys started its own line of train tracks and rolling stock, using the established peg and hole system for rail tracks and magnets for the rolling stock. The trains with the winged numbers are also sold by other brands such as Babalu in Germany. The actual cross sectional profile of any given manufacturer's track is usually patented, compelling new manufacturers to alter their track design enough to allow compatibility with other brands without committing patent infringement. The "Thomas the Tank Engine" theme from Learning Curve used track pieces that had the traditional railway design on one side and a new road design on the other using a design invented by Ben Orel in 1960. Normally each wooden piece had its own color, thus an engine, for example, could sport six different colors: one each for the base plate, the cylindrical boiler, the drivers cabin, the cabin roof, the funnels and the wheels.
In 2004,[25] Brio of Sweden moved most of their production to three factories in Guangdong Province, China. These roads had the same profile and measurements as the railway tracks, except that the part between the grooves was missing so that the road was a broad "groove" with sidings or curbs. The road vehicles and the railway rolling stock could be used interchangeable on both systems. This may have been due to the success of the "Thomas the Tank Engine" series and the wish for more realistic real world designs. Brio had introduced a track with wider grooves that was used for trains aimed at a younger age group. These used the same connection system as the other tracks and had the same distance between the grooves.
Later ramps were track bent in an S-shape.[30] As these were not self-supporting, new sorts of elevated track pieces were introduced.
When these wide grooves have the same width as the "Thomas the Tank Engine" road pieces they can be used as a two way road. These supports were stackable and based on a square design, so that the direction could be changed by a right angle turn on the different levels.

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