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In this video, we are going to discover an old tinplate model railway layout with power supply on a center third power rail. There are toy trains or model trains by the manufacturers Lionel, Bing and Marklin. The trains were produced between 1930 and 1950. The model railroad layout has a size of 12 meters x 3 meters. While HO scale and N scale are the most popular model railway standards of today, O gauge or O scale arguably remains the most popular toy train standard.
O gauge trains represent a variety of sizes: O gauge track happens to be 1/45 the size of real-world standard gauge track, so manufacturers in Continental Europe have traditionally used 1/45 for O gauge model trains. British manufacturers rounded this up to 1/43, which is seven millimeters to the foot. Manufacturers in the United States rounded it down to 1/48, which is a quarter-inch to the foot. In the first half of the 20th century, the earliest toy trains were made of tinplate because technological advancements in materials and manufacturing allowed tin to be stamped, cut, rolled and lithographed faster than ever before.
For example, Germany was the major producer of tin toys in the world in the early 20th century. The production of tin toys was discontinued during World War II because of the need for raw materials in the war effort. After the war, tin toys continued to increase in popularity but between 1950 and 1960 cheaper plastic ended the reign of tin toys.
Furthermore, it was during 1950 and 1960 that the modern emphasis on realism in model railroading or railway modelling started to catch on. Since then, trains have no longer been called “toy trains”, but “model trains”. However, some adult fans of toy trains operate their trains, while others only collect.