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Model Trains

The first model trains were made in Germany in the 1830s. These models were manufactured similarly to toy soldiers, made by pouring molten brass or tin into a mold. The trains had rolling wheels and could be pushed along a toy track. French toymakers joined the Germans in making model trains, developing very elaborate models. Musical instrument manufacturers made self-propelled model trains that were powered by clockworks.

In America, the first model train was made by Mathias Baldwin of the Baltimore Locomotive Works in the 1830s. Other toymakers followed suit. In 1856, George Brown and Co. of Connecticut made the first American self-propelled model train, which used clockworks. Model trains grew in popularity in America after the Civil War. These trains were more durable, realistic, and affordable than European model trains.

In the 1890s, the first electric train set was invented by German toy maker Theodore Marklin. He also created the first sectional track and figure eight layout. These improvements to model trains caught on quickly in America. Model trains were widely popular until the late '50s, when public interest switched from trains to cars. In the '90s, however, model trains enjoyed a resurgence in popularity as the television show "Thomas the Tank Engine" helped to renew interest among both children and adults.

Recommended Items at Auction

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Lionel #6-36927 B&O Die-Cast Hopper 6-Pack Set
Nov 06, 10:00 AM EDT
Lionel #6-36927 B&O Die-Cast Hopper 6-Pack Set
by Redding Auction Service
Est: $0- $0
$5511 Bids
MTH O Gauge:
Oct 30, 10:00 AM EDT
MTH O Gauge:
by Gateway Gallery Auction
Est: $0- $0
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W&T Avery Beam Scales, Brass and Cast Iron, stamped Class C, with Set of 6
Oct 24, 7:00 PM AEDT
W&T Avery Beam Scales, Brass and Cast Iron, stamped Class C, with Set of 6
by The Collector
Est: AUD20- AUD40
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MTH 70-3023-1 Erie TriPlex
Oct 27, 10:00 AM EDT
MTH 70-3023-1 Erie TriPlex
by Weiss Auctions
Est: $400- $800
$6009 Bids
13pc Lionel Modern Trains Group
Oct 27, 10:00 AM EDT
13pc Lionel Modern Trains Group
by Weiss Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$1207 Bids
Modern Lionel:
Oct 30, 10:00 AM EDT
Modern Lionel:
by Gateway Gallery Auction
Est: $0- $0
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Aristocraft-Craft G Scale:
Oct 30, 10:00 AM EDT
Aristocraft-Craft G Scale:
by Gateway Gallery Auction
Est: $0- $0
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4 LGB American Freight Cars
Oct 27, 10:00 AM EDT
4 LGB American Freight Cars
by Weiss Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$1306 Bids
Lionel FastTrack Lot
Oct 27, 10:00 AM EDT
Lionel FastTrack Lot
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Est: $80- $160
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10 Lionel 6464 Series Boxcars
Oct 27, 10:00 AM EDT
10 Lionel 6464 Series Boxcars
by Weiss Auctions
Est: $100- $200
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Lionel Fastrack Lot
Oct 27, 10:00 AM EDT
Lionel Fastrack Lot
by Weiss Auctions
Est: $80- $160
$606 Bids
Lot of 4 American Flyer Passenger Cars
Nov 06, 10:00 AM EDT
Lot of 4 American Flyer Passenger Cars
by Redding Auction Service
Est: $0- $0
$606 Bids
MTH O Gauge:
Oct 30, 10:00 AM EDT
MTH O Gauge:
by Gateway Gallery Auction
Est: $0- $0
$426 Bids
MTH O Gauge:
Oct 30, 10:00 AM EDT
MTH O Gauge:
by Gateway Gallery Auction
Est: $0- $0
$426 Bids
Lionel 18305 I44 Pleasure Boat
Oct 27, 10:00 AM EDT
Lionel 18305 I44 Pleasure Boat
by Weiss Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$1906 Bids
MTH 20-3043-1 PRR T1 Duplex Articulated
Oct 27, 10:00 AM EDT
MTH 20-3043-1 PRR T1 Duplex Articulated
by Weiss Auctions
Est: $200- $300
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REA G Gauge 22004 UP FA-1 Diesel
Oct 27, 10:00 AM EDT
REA G Gauge 22004 UP FA-1 Diesel
by Weiss Auctions
Est: $80- $160
$1105 Bids
Lionel 24574 UP E7 AA Diesels
Oct 27, 10:00 AM EDT
Lionel 24574 UP E7 AA Diesels
by Weiss Auctions
Est: $200- $400
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Boxed Mantua Tyco HO Yard Beaver Set T6501:1298
Oct 27, 10:00 AM EDT
Boxed Mantua Tyco HO Yard Beaver Set T6501:1298
by Weiss Auctions
Est: $60- $120
$605 Bids
Modern Lionel:
Oct 30, 10:00 AM EDT
Modern Lionel:
by Gateway Gallery Auction
Est: $0- $0
$325 Bids
Modern Lionel:
Oct 30, 10:00 AM EDT
Modern Lionel:
by Gateway Gallery Auction
Est: $0- $0
$425 Bids
Boxed Tyco Mantua HO The Blue & The Gray Set
Oct 27, 10:00 AM EDT
Boxed Tyco Mantua HO The Blue & The Gray Set
by Weiss Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$1305 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Model Trains


Weiss Auctions

Weiss Auctions

Redding Auction Service

Redding Auction Service

Gateway Gallery Auction

Gateway Gallery Auction

Railroad Super Galaxy

Railroad Super Galaxy