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Model Train Categories
AHM/Rivarossi HO Scale Model Railroads & Trains
Model Train Categories
Rivarossi was an Italian model train company founded by Allessandro Rossi and Antonio Riva in 1945 in Como, Italy. Riva left the company in 1946 and Rossi continued to run Rivarossi until 1984. Rivarossi initially produced OO gauge trains that ran on alternating current using three-rail track. These model trains were produced primarily for children.
Around 1950, Rivarossi switched to production of HO Scale trains. Rivarossi was the first model train company to produce an HO scale model of the Big Boy, the largest steam locomotive ever manufactured. Rivarossi expanded to national production in the mid-1950s and sold internationally soon after. Rivarossi distributed the Big Boy and other HO model trains in the United States through Associated Hobby Manufacturers, or AHM, of Philadelphia.
Rivarossi trains enjoyed their greatest popularity in the 1960s. In the 1970s model trains declined in popularity and by the early 1980s the Rivarossi company ran into financial difficulties. The company was dissolved in 2004 and its remaining assets were sold to the Hornby company of Great Britain. Hornby Railways continues to produce model trains, including the Big Boy locomotive, under the Rivarossi brand.
Rivarossi was the first model train company to use Bakelite plastic in its production of HO Scale model trains
One of the first locomotives produced by Rivarossi was a model of the American Streamliner Milwaukee Road Hiawatha. This locomotive was produced from 1948 to 1954 and currently sells for high prices among collectors
By the 1970s, about 80 percent of Rivarossi’s sales were completed in the United States, where the popularity of the Big Boy model and distribution by AHM pushed Rivarossi’s business
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