Collecting Classic Toy Trains


Collecting classic toy trains is probably the world’s greatest hobby. Many of today’s collectors received their first toy train set when they were young, often as a Christmas or birthday present. Collectors claim that the toy train set gave them an opportunity to imagine a whole new world, one that revolved around a steaming locomotive. When they become adults, the collectors of classic toy trains claim that working on their model’s layout is a way to relieve stress and escape from the pressures of day-to-day life.

Classic Toy Trains Collectors

Classic toy train collectors are an interesting a varied group of individuals. Some of them spend the better part of life, looking for the perfect train set. These collectors create model after model, and are genuinely thrilled to see the miniature world take shape. This type of train collector pours over catalogs, agonizes at toy train auctions, and continually shops at eBay and stores that sell toy trains. Others never touch a model train set, they prefer to read books on the construction and collecting of toy trains, they might even attend the toy train shows and auctions This type of collector is happy to sit back and dream about someday building a toy train model.

Some collectors spend hours fiddling with the scenery, touching up the paint, and designing structures, this collector thinks of their classic toy train model as an art form. Another type of classic toy train collector is fascinated by the mechanical aspect of the toy train, they spend all their time working on the mechanics of their model that they never even bother to add scenery. The thing all these collectors shares is a genuine love of classic toy trains.

Classic Toy Trains Magazine

Classic Toy Trains Magazine
Classic Toy Trains Magazine

In case you were not aware, there are magazines devoted exclusively to the topic of classic toy trains. You can learn a lot from such publications. Subscribing to such journals is a great way to educate yourself on the industry in general. It is also a way to learn about specific trains and their history. Further, you can get great advice and tips on how to set up your toy train environment at home. For example, if you picked up the January 2022 issue of Classic Toy Trains you learned how to make it snow on your layout. Model Train Layouts and Track Tips

Also, that issue had a couple of layouts focusing on Christmas. The publication’s modeler and photographer, Dennis Brennan, demonstrated how he depicted winter on a small section of the layout. He also to taught several more techniques you could use at home to make your layout more interesting. Next, the magazine journeyed to a winter wonderland to visit Mike Mitter’s S gauge toy train layout.

A section of that publication was dedicated to everything holly and jolly about Christmas, including a story about how two brothers enjoyed a layout their father would set up every Christmas holiday. If you have a locomotive that has no horn, the Classic Toy Trains weekend workshop article showed you how to transplant one from a building into a locomotive.

Classic Toy Trains Layouts

Very few collectors start out designing a large layout. The average size of the collectors’ classic toy train layout is 4X8 feet. This starter layout is typically an HO gauge. They add some scenery and a few buildings as they go, gradually expanding on the layout. Most classic toy train collectors will say that no layout, large or small, is ever complete. Discover Model Trains and Scale Trains

The layout of toy trains and their railroad tracks consists of scenery and landscaping. The structures are commonly made out of plastic or bits of wood. The mountains are made out of painted pieces of plaster or foam, while the rivers are created by plastic resin.

Garden Railroads

Classic toy rain collectors who are also fans of gardening can combine their hobbies with a garden railroad. A garden railroad is a toy train that runs on a rail road that is routed through your garden. A railway garden is a garden that is planted with miniature plants and landscaped to accommodate a garden railroad. People who design a garden railroad enjoy facing the same types of challenges in landscape and topography that the railroad companies face when they build new rail lines.

Most railway gardens are designed with roadbeds. A roadbed is a material, most often a ballast created out of rock dust and crushed rocks, that supports the track and allows for drainage. Some people who lack the time, patience, or ability to garden have been able to enjoy a garden railroad by incorporating it directly into their landscaping. Fans of garden railroads say it is a great way for the entire family to bond. Some ambitious railway garden designers have created water features in their gardens that include ornamental fish and live plants.