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Model Train Categories
Buddy L Cars
Model Train Categories
The Buddy L toy company was founded in 1910 as the Moline Press Steel Company in East Moline, Illinois.
The founder, Fred Lundahl, manufactured pressed steel parts for the farm and truck industries. In his spare time, he
made toy vehicles for his son Arthur Brown Lundahl. These toys caught the attention of young Arthur’s friends and
their parents, so the Moline Press Steel Company began manufacturing toy vehicles in addition to steel parts. The
toys were so popular that Mr. Lundahl began manufacturing toys exclusively in 1921. He changed the name of his
company, adopting his son’s nickname Buddy L.
In 1927, Buddy L manufactured a model railroad set that ran on 3 1/4 inch gauge track. These large model
railroad cars were made of welded sheet steel. The track consisted of rolled steel rails welded to steel ties. There
were 14 pieces available in the original set. Buddy L also produced a 2 inch gauge train called the Buddy L
Industrial Train. Track for this set was stamped with rails and ties in one piece.
During World War II, Buddy L was forced to manufacture its toys out of wood, as steel was needed for the war
effort. Buddy L return to steel toys after the war, but used lighter weight materials. In the '70s, Buddy L was sold to
a Japanese company that began incorporating plastic into the design of the toys. China eventually took over the
manufacture of the toys, using mostly plastic.
The original prices for the Buddy L model railroad pieces ranged from $27 for the locomotive and
tender to $6 for the flat car
T-Reproductions of Johnson City was authorized to make replicas of the original metal trains in the '90s
Buddy L’s 3 1/4 inch gauge train was so large that it was often run outdoors
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