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Hand Built Locomotives & Trains

The very first model trains were hand built. In the 1830s, German craftsmen made model trains by molding brass or tin. They added hand-carved wooden fittings. These trains could be pushed along a track, but they were very fragile. French tinsmiths also made model trains, usually very elaborate in design and color scheme. These model trains did not run on rails, but could be pushed along the floor. English craftsmen took their inspiration from the industrial revolution and made toy steam engines by hand.

Many of the craftsmen who made model trains were employed making musical instruments. They came up with the idea of adding clockworks to their trains to allow movement. These trains were made of brass, were very elaborate, and were not made to scale. They were... Read more

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