I had an interesting question come in: Can you paint American Flyer train track? You can, if you’re careful about it. There could be a couple of reasons to want do that. Here’s what you need to know about painting electric train track and why you might want to do such a thing.
Ironically, the main reasons to do it are to make old track look less rusty than it is, or to make new track look old and rusty.
A.C. Gilbert provided a wiring diagram with its train sets and transformers. But if your American Flyer transformer wiring diagram went missing after all these decades, not to worry. I have you covered. Here are some tips for American Flyer transformer hook up for the best possible operation while using as little wire as possible.
Gilbert was more consistent than some of its competitors when it came to its transformers. But some of Gilbert’s terminology may have made it so simple as to make it confusing.
When the weather turns cold, people frequently ask me where they can buy a Lionel train these days. Then they check prices on their phone and follow up with a second question: Why are Lionel trains so expensive?
There was a time when Lionel built electric trains in the kinds of quantities that game consoles are today. That isn’t the case anymore. But even considering today’s smaller economies of scale, Lionel trains never really were inexpensive once you factor for inflation.
I was talking to a friend the other day about trains and especially about rust. He was very concerned about being able to get the trains out next year and enjoy them without having to clean or refurbish them again. Here’s the best way to store Lionel trains.
The best way to store Lionel trains is in the living space of your home. Try to avoid storing them in a garage or attic if you can. A basement is OK if it’s not too damp. The box they came in is ideal, but there are acceptable substitutes. You also need to be careful how you wrap them.
Diecast toys first appeared on the market in the 1920s, but the conservative Marx was slow to adopt it. Diecast toys from the 1920s and even much of the 1930s often have issues with breaking down over time. By the early 1940s, toymakers had worked out the issues. So early in 1941, Marx started developing its first diecast train, the Marx 999 locomotive.
Marx intended for the 999 to be a 1/64 scale locomotive to compete with American Flyer’s 1/64 scale O gauge line. It’s unclear how many Marx 999s made it out the door in 1941. Marx did sell limited numbers of them in 1942, but the start of World War II curtailed toy production. I’ve seen 1942 sets that would have included a 999, but Marx substituted whatever other locomotives they had on hand to sell through its inventory. Marx reintroduced the 999 in 1946 and produced it until 1959.
A couple of years ago, I spied a couple of lonely galvanized village houses in the seasonal section at Kmart. My wife told me that galvanized Christmas village buildings were popular and laughed at the irony that I was buying them, not her.
The largest maker of toy trains in the United States in the early 20th century was Ives, an old-line toy company headquartered in Bridgeport, Conn. Ives trains retained a following long after the company who made them went bankrupt. MTH produces reproduction Ives electric trains even today.
K-Line was a manufacturer of O gauge electric trains and accessories from approximately 1980 to 2010. Its scrappy, value-oriented approach to the hobby endeared K-Line trains to many of its customers.
K-Line Electric Trains and Lionel tended to target one another in their advertisements. They referred to one another as “Brand K” and “Brand L.” In 2005, the rivalry turned to litigation, which eventually resulted in K-Line admitting wrongdoing, going out of business, and Lionel licensing and selling products under the K-Line name from 2006 to 2010.