Toys & Games

Lionel Trains...
Lionel trains

...and its competitors,
Marx and American Flyer
Marx trainsAmerican Flyer trains

Also see the Model Trains for Girls item elsewhere in this gallery.

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There are 10 comments for this item.

Posted by freddo30 at 9:26 pm (PDT) on Sat April 2, 2016   
I have again procured all of the pieces of my 1954 Comet Freight Set by American Flyer plus a few extras and (just today!) repaired my switch control for more hours of great fun ... dad bought a used set for Christmas 1960 @ 17.50 when I was ... 4 --- there is still a surprising number of hobbyists and components available if you really want to relive your childhood ; plus a few great repairmen still working if your engine is sluggish or not working ...Q. who gives these to a 4 year old ? A. Cool dads
Posted by Bob Matthews at 4:06 pm (PDT) on Sat April 27, 2013   
Best part as a kid was setting up the intentional crashes Smile
Posted by Duff at 5:00 pm (PDT) on Wed April 18, 2012   
I agree about the unrealistic nature of Lionel's track; 3 tubular rails with widely-spaced metal ties. Yuck. I'm in the process of building a layout for my old Lionel "O" gauge trains (and a bunch of new ones), but I'm using track made by Gargraves Trackage. It's still 3 rails, but the center one is blackened so it's less noticeable, the rails have a realistic "T" cross-section, and there are reasonably-spaced wooden ties, as in this photo:

I think the 3 rails (center hot, ground on both outside rails) enables all sorts of wiring gimmicks, such as the ability for switch tracks to flip automatically as a train approaches -- this relies on the circuit being completed by a wheel axle, from one outside rail to the other.

The main advantage I can see to Lionel's track is that it's durable and easy for young children to put together. The Gargraves track is less so.
Posted by Alan at 12:20 am (PDT) on Wed April 18, 2012   
I agree with Tommie. I had an American Flyer just because it had realistic track.
Posted by paktype at 2:31 pm (PDT) on Mon March 19, 2012   
I think its O gauge (the larger one). I'm very interested in expanding the set but I can't believe how expensive a hobby it is. A switch is like $75.
Posted by SUBSURF at 8:08 pm (PDT) on Fri June 24, 2011   
MTH/Mikes Train House. Makes some quality stuff, I have a few of their larger pieces, collected over the years, but no setup. Is yours setup or still in the boxes. Either way take care of it it will become more valuable. When I see how much the Lionel set I had when I was 9 years old is worth today, I kick my self., what scale is yours, HO gauge, O gauge?
Posted by paktype at 4:45 pm (PDT) on Fri June 24, 2011   
I never had an electric train set as a kid and I always wanted one. My wife finally got me an MTH set for my 32nd birthday. Still have it.
Posted by WJV1955 at 11:26 am (PDT) on Wed July 28, 2010   
Good old Lionel trains. Brings back so many memories of Christmas when I was a child. When the train boxes came out of the basement sometime after Thanksgiving, you knew Christmas was close by. Was nothing more exciting than setting the train table up and making a new layout for that year. It made me a lionel collector to this day and they still bring out the kid in me.
Posted by Beth at 12:37 am (PDT) on Fri August 28, 2009   
My brother had a Lionel that if you put little white pellets in the smoke stack, it would puff smoke as it traveled around.
Posted by Duff at 3:15 pm (PDT) on Thu August 6, 2009   
I still have my 1957-vintage Lionel "O" gauge set (Santa Fe F-3 and Virginian FM diesel engines and Milwaukee EP-5 and Pennsylvania GG-1 electrics, plus passenger & freight cars and the big ZW transformer -- originally on a 4' x 16' table), and have recently been augmenting it in an effort to put together a large working layout. I'm going with Lionel's TMCC wireless remote control this time, and with the Gargraves Trackage system, since its appearance -- tie spacing, track cross-section, hidden center rail -- is much more realistic. But the layout is at our vacation home, and I'm not there often enough to get the project done.

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