Someone told me today that she didn’t quite get the appeal of model railroading, that it must be a male thing. And that’s fair: Model railroads were first invented by a dollhouse maker so they would have something to market to boys. That company still markets trains, but no longer markets dollhouses, so I guess [...]
I missed this bit of collecting wisdom from Rob O’Hara when he first posted it last month, but Rob describes his concept of mini-collections to keep his hobbies from taking over his life.
I saw a modern-production Lionel box car in a hobby shop one weekend. I wanted it, but I really wanted it in Marx 3/16 style, so it would look right with my Marx #54 KCS diesels pulling it. But I face very long odds of ever getting that car in Marx 3/16 unless I build [...]
The story of the 1967 train layout and stash brought up a couple of good questions, even as more facts failed to emerge. If something were to happen to you, would your spouse know how to deal with the collection you’ve left behind? I think it’s a valid question, and not just for trains.
Pricing collectibles is more art than science, and most guides have some errors in them, so large (or at least very vocal) numbers of people mistrust them. I still use them, however. Knowing how they’re produced–or would be produced, in a perfect world with perfect data–helps someone to use them to maximum effect. The principles [...]
The Marx 1590 is the best O27 switch ever made. It’s durable, works well with all makes of trains (just put a track pin in the center rail where the switch pivots so that Lionel trains can pass), and can run off accessory power without modification. The only downside is that it (allegedly) can’t be [...]
When you’re dealing with vintage toy train track, sometimes the insulators on the track will be damaged or missing. This will cause a short circuit and keep the train from running. But there’s a cheap and easy repair using material from an unlikely source: 2-liter soda bottles.
Frequently the trucks (the wheel/coupler assembly that sits under train cars) come unattached. Lionel trains from the 1970s and first half of the 1980s are especially prone to this, though other makes of trains aren’t immune either. And sometimes you just want to change the trucks–some Lionel and Marx O27 cars are just the right [...]
If you want a train for under your Christmas tree but don’t have a lot of money to spend, here’s how to find one and what to ask for. Find a store that deals in used Lionel trains, or find a local hobbyist. Search Craigslist or your newspaper classifieds for an ad stating, “I buy [...]
In the 1940s and 1950s, Skyline of Philadelphia manufactured and marketed a line of toy train-oriented building kits. Actually, there were two lines: One was a line of building kits made of cardstock and wood, and one was a smaller line of lithographed tin buildings, similar to the inexpensive toys made by the likes of [...]