What is the right size for O?

Posted 9 years ago by Bob Keller
Generally speaking, the phone queries we receive in the wake of Christmastime fall into two broad categories: Track types and train sizes. With the former, the callers usually have tried to expand the train layout they have had running around the tree, and discover an assortment of similar – but not directly compatible track brands to select from. Their question? “Why?” With the latter question, the callers have gone out to add a few cars to their railroad and suddenly di...

Summer in January

Posted 9 years ago by Roger Carp
Even though the weather outside in Wisconsin – cold and snowy with gray skies – reminds me we are in the middle of winter, my magazine schedule tells me it is summer. That’s right, we at Classic Toy Trains always work about six months ahead of the calendar. Right now, I am finishing my assignments for the July issue, including some fantastic layouts and outstanding articles on postwar collectibles. Essential to making the articles I write about vintage Lionel outfits, locomoti...

Collector or operator?

Posted 9 years ago by Bob Keller
Take a look at this photo. Is this an image from a collector’s Marx shelf, or is it a photo from an operator who runs New York Central? There seems to be a bit of an artificial divide between “Collectors” and “Operators,” but there really shouldn’t be any gap at all! The late John Grams (aka Ray L. Plummer) was one of Classic Toy Trains magazine’s most prolific contributors. Many years ago we had a discussion about operators versus collectors. He said ...

Welcome to the new!

Posted 9 years ago by Carl Swanson
Welcome to our redesigned website! Long-time visitors will already have noticed the clean new look and improved navigation. There are welcome little touches as well, like a much improved video player. That's important because our videos have a significant following. Many videos are open to all visitors including new product overviews, previews of upcoming issues, Senior Editor Roger Carp’s “Toy Train Emporium” collector-oriented videos, and a series of videos aimed at beginner...

Looking forward to York

Posted 9 years ago by Roger Carp
The happy feeling starts to hit me around August. This is the time when I remember that it is my turn among members of the editorial staff of Classic Toy Trains to attend the “York Show.” I’m referring to the legendary show for toy train collectors and operators around, the one the Eastern Division of the Train Collectors Association organizes in April and October of each year in York, Pa. I’ve had the good fortune to go to the show at least once annually on behalf of CT...

Not the same hobby - but better!

Posted 9 years ago by Bob Keller
I received my first trains as an infant in 1955. After about 1959 I had usually free access to setting my trains up, but my mother usually put them up the next time she vacuumed. They went into boxes in 1967 and remained there (other than being re-packed by military movers) until 1991. Yes, the locomotives all operated the first time power was applied. Applause for that good old postwar Lionel lube! When I went to my first train show, postwar-style or traditional trains (whether vintage or curr...

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