Is There a Difference Between Model Trains and Toy Trains?

Alison Rombough

One way you can know a true train hobbyist is by the way he refers to his collection. He will never call it a toy train, it will always be a model train. To actually refer to a collector’s train set as a toy, is a bit of an insult, and they won’t be long in correcting you.

Toy trains are simple replicas meant for young children. They are not near as detailed or as intricate as the toy trains are. Also, they are not nearly as expensive. Once you see some of the costs attached to these trains, you will no doubt agree that they are not for little hands. Toy trains are wonderful for children who have an interest in trains.

In fact, they can be a stepping-stone for more serious involvement in the future. The toy trains have nowhere near the detail that the model trains do. The model trains are exact replicas of the real thing.

Originally, the first trains were operated by winding them up, And then some were actually run by steam. This is referring to the 19th century period where they were popular in America and Europe. In time, they became more sophisticated in that they could change direction, and even puff smoke. They were fast becoming like the real thing.

The realism and detail of today is exquisite. There are numerous gauges and scales of these model trains available. In addition, there is no shortage on scenery and accessories. The hobby has grown to the point where the trains can now be run by computers and set on a timetable. There is no need to be lonely when it comes to this hobby either. There is a large gathering of clubs and associations in almost any city always looking for new members.

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