Model Train History – Lionel and Atlas Model Trains

If you're a model train enthusiast then knowing something about its history is a must. Building these models is a hobby for lots of folks throughout North America. Many people started their hobby with a Lionel or Atlas model.

History of Lionel Model Trains

The Lionel brand has been associated with it for over 100 years. Making railroad models and trains were truly defined by Lionel. They helped to create the scales which are still used today. Most people buy the O scale for smaller children and the HO scale for serious enthusiasts. The size of the latter trains is one and a half times larger than the O scale.

You can get Lionel models in one of three categories. The Ready-to-Run variety is already assembled when you buy it and you just have to do some limited installation for your purchase to start running. The Shake-the-Box category needs you to assemble the parts but you don't have to be particularly skillful at it. And finally, the Craftsman type is suitable for scale model enthusiasts who have progressed to the level of model engineers. You've got to be technically skilled because assembling this train set requires very precise ability.

History of Atlas Model Trains

The Atlas model history began with Stephan Schaffan Jr, an inventive young man who grew tired of working in his father's company and started building these models as a hobby. He first made model airplanes then switched to trains when the owner of the model airplane store he frequented gave him some discarded train sets. He invented a method for these models to slow down on the railroad track by altering the voltage of the electricity to the brass tracks with a switch. He started the Atlas Model Railroad company and the switch set became a staple of the company.

Schaffan invented many other devices that have helped model train making become an interesting and rewarding hobby for enthusiasts. His company came to be known as the Atlas Model Trains. He invented pre-assembled tracks which have made the assembly of railroad tracks that much easier.