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admin 05.10.2014

Now, the semi-retired former bank executive commands a model-train empire at his house in western New Jersey.
They have the time and money to build the train layouts they didn't have as kids -- and have access to new and more exotic trains than ever before.
These are updated versions of the trains that the 50-plus set remembers from its childhood: the three-rail "O gauge" trains that families set up each year around the Christmas tree, or if they had room, on plywood tables.
Manufacturers are building trains that have never been built before in O gauge, including large steam locomotives and modern diesel engines.
And they are making O-gauge trains longer, more detailed and truer to scale than the old, more toy-like Lionel trains, which were compressed to squeeze around tight curves. Part of the appeal of O-gauge trains is that they are easier for older adults to see and handle than smaller models, such as the popular HO-scale trains, says Carl Swanson, editor of Classic Toy Trains magazine. Allen was so impressed that he enclosed the family's car port to build the Duckunder Terminal Railway, a three-rail O-gauge layout measuring 25 feet by 40 feet that has track on five levels, and three large passenger terminals, one of them an exact replica of Chicago's Dearborn Station. He operates more than 800 passenger cars and 143 locomotives; they are stored on and under the layout and on adjacent shelves. Manufacturers are now marketing hand-held wireless controllers that enable hobbyists to command each locomotive remotely and individually.
And they are outfitting some of their locomotives with digital sound systems that mimic the motor noise, horns and whistles of real trains. Highly detailed die-cast locomotives sell for $1,000, or more, and some hobbyists have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in their layouts.


Joshua Lionel Cowen, who founded Lionel in 1900, targeted returning veterans of World War II who were starting families, and stoked the country's fascination with trains. Lionel catalogs pictured flashy passenger trains, fast freights and smiling boys -- and pitched model trains as good for father-son bonding and child development. Soon a large number of families had electric trains made by Lionel or its chief rival, American Flyer, a manufacturer of the somewhat smaller, two-rail "S gauge" trains. Some Lionel trains even became icons of the era, most notably the company's Santa Fe F-unit diesel engine and its Super Chief passenger train.
Railroads faded from the national consciousness in the 1960s, along with most long-distance passenger trains.
Lionel bought American Flyer, and the Lionel name and products were licensed to food giant General Mills Inc.
Lionel, now closely held, continues to produce some S gauge trains under the American Flyer name in addition to its broad line of Lionel O gauge trains. Ro calls them -- people who prefer to operate, or run, model trains, as opposed to collecting them. Wolf launched MTH Electric Trains in 1993 and began making a wide range of realistic O-gauge locomotives and trains. Young had rigged up a remote-control system so his son with cerebral palsy could operate trains on the family's O-gauge layout in California.
The company, which emerged from bankruptcy protection in May after settling a legal battle with MTH, has opened a New York office and showroom and is reaching beyond hobby shops this holiday season to stores such as FAO Schwarz, Macy's and Target.


Calabrese, a veteran of Marvel Comics, says the company will continue to make highly detailed scale model like its Union Pacific Big Boy steam locomotive and Amtrak Acela. But, inspired by the success of its Polar Express trains, the company will ramp up production of starter sets for children. Calabrese is also launching a series of the kind of Lionel trains that lured boomers after World War II, using some of the same molds and dies left from the 1950s. Calabrese is hoping that the remakes will entice more adults in their 50s and 60s to buy Lionel trains for themselves or to give to their grandchildren. Not surprisingly, some of these undertakings evoke the postwar years, when railroads were king and before expressways, shopping malls and sprawl changed America.
Chancey, who works for a pharmaceutical-industry consulting firm as a senior consultant and lives outside of Boston, tried to capture the flavor of New England railroading with mountains, rivers, mill buildings, an oil depot, scrap yard, skid row and outfitters store.
He also added hand-crafted pewter figures of his fellow O-gauge lovers Marty Fitzhenry and Lou Caponi. Woodworth says he remembers riding such famous trains as the Pennsylvania Railroad's Broadway Limited, the New York Central's 20th Century Limited and the Milwaukee Road's Hiawatha in the 1950s and 1960s, and he wanted them on his layout. On a recent day the system worked perfectly, stopping the Broadway Limited before it got too close to the Hiawatha.



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  • SeNSiZiM_KaLPSiZ, 05.10.2014 at 18:10:15
    Best electric train set with only one particular disadvantage involved in the manufacturing.
  • gizli_sevgi, 05.10.2014 at 15:25:59
    Five year old girl and a 1 year old boy and each express electric train.