Christmas (special issue) is coming soon!

Posted by Rene Schweitzer
on Thursday, September 13, 2018

Most regular readers know that most years CTT publishes a stand-along special issue. Topics have varied from track plans, Lionel showroom layouts, Electric Trains from A to Z, and more. This year's special issue is one near-and-dear to most of your hearts, Christmas and Electric Trains. I've come to realize in working for CTT that many of you strongly associate toy trains with the holidays.

2018's special issue

During the past months, Roger Carp has been hard at work to find the best and most amazing Christmas-related toy train material for this special issue. Knowing Roger's work, I figured it would be a good issue. However, I was given the pleasure of reading/editing some of the material recently, and I soon realized how good it is.

Roger spent hours tracking down photos, reader memories, layouts, track plans, tips, catalog images, and so much more. I am including some sneak peeks of a few pages for you to look at. Click on any of them to enlarge.

I also received permission to include Roger's introduction here.

This publication will be mailed on October 26. And you won't want to miss it, trust me.

Several pages of reader memories (and old photos!) are featured.

Plenty of nostalgia.

Flyer fans--we have Christmas fun for you too!

Several holiday-themed layouts are included.

Need Christmas track plan ideas? We've got you covered!


Welcome to Christmas and Electric Trains, the eighth of an ongoing series of special-interest publications developed by the editorial and art teams at Classic Toy Trains magazine. Everyone who contributed to the creation of this colorful and magical 100-page look at how toy trains have enhanced and continue to add to the meaning of Christmas is so happy to be presenting a year’s worth of outstanding effort.

And, like many of you readers, we’re also wondering why CTT waited to concentrate on this terrific theme. Because for virtually every member of the toy train hobby, the enjoyment associated with those marvelous playthings began at Christmas or Hanukkah. Very likely, the holiday season still means electric trains for you.

A vintage Marx or American Flyer set may be running under a decorated tree in your home. Or something brand new from MTH Electric Trains or Lionel will be filling one of the neatly wrapped packages nearby. You can’t imagine celebrating without a toy train.

Neither can any of us. In the pages to follow you’ll discover newly written articles focusing in different ways on how Christmas and trains go together like eggnog and sugar cookies, Rudolph and his red nose, and mistletoe and kissing!

What’s in this stocking stuffer of a publication? To begin, three stunning and nostalgic O gauge layouts whose scenery and trains will remind you of winter and Christmas. Then photo-laden tributes to the magnificent displays of electric trains found in the store windows and toy departments of retail outlets across postwar America.

Getting excited? Be sure you’ve been nice and not naughty before moving on to a visit to the famous Lionel showroom. Can’t forget about the wish books printed by Sears, Ward, Firestone, and other national retail chains. They featured an array of brands, especially Marx, but also some exclusive promotional sets from Flyer and Lionel.

Best of all may be the memories and old pictures offered by readers. They remember what it was like to receive a toy train at the holidays in the 1940s and ’50s. Let’s hope their tales jog the minds of others who will then contact us at Classic Toy Trains to share their own stories. That will be the perfect gift of us at this special season.


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