Voters Pick Lionel’s 115th anniversary celebration boxcar design…

By just 12 votes, Booth Rankins of Marion appears to have won the “Design Your Own Boxcar” contest held by Lionel, LLC. This means the iconic electric toy train company will produce an O-scale boxcar featuring his design as part of Lionel’s 115th anniversary celebration. Please click on this highlighted text to read the entire article…

How a model railway fights pancreatic cancer

When Peggy Keyes lost her husband to pancreatic cancer, she came up with a unique way to honor his memory.

She bought a building, and she created a model railway.

Not just any model railway. She built a museum. And she now runs that museum with the support of a team of volunteers and friends, donating 100 percent of proceeds to the fight against the disease that took her husband’s life. And she’s doing so while undergoing chemotherapy as part of her own battle against cancer Click here to read more…

In Memorian, Remembering Donald Brill, Our Train Buddy

Donald Brill
Longtime toy train collector, Donald Brill, promoter of the Northwest Jersey Train-O-Rama, the Dover Train Show, and member of METCA’s Board of Directors, died April 11, 2013, at age 73. He was very active until recently, living and enjoying his passion–as a train enthusiast.

Don had almost lifelong ties to the Dover community, serving as a member and former usher at Sacred Heart Church for over 50 years. His ties to Dover included a career as a Police Officer with eventual promotion to Detective.
He was instrumental in starting the Drug & Alcohol Juvenile Awareness Program for Dover H.S. students and also served on the Board of Education for 28 years.

But perhaps Don is best known, to his legions of ‘Train Buddies’ and to the thousands of toy train collectors who attended his Dover Train Show for the past 37 years, for being a train enthusiast. His early shows packed the Dover H.S. Gym and soon grew into the auxilary gym across the hall. In its heyday the show outgrew the two gyms, that’s when Don expanded the show into the school cafeteria with tables spilling out into the hallways. At its peak, the show had room for over 400 vendor tables. When the hobby began to decline and his show began to shrink in both size and attendance, Don never lost his enthusiasm for the toy train hobby.

He was a regular visitor to other area train shows and an enthusiastic supporter of the hobby. It was always reassuring to see his Red Ford Van parked outside a train show, because I knew somewhere inside the show I’d meet up with and talk trains with Don. Looking back, his contributions to the hobby are enormous! He truly was an Icon in the Toy Train Hobby. Our deepest sympathies to Don’s family and friends.

“We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.” –Robert Lewis Stevenson

Walt Disney the Railroader

Did you have a fascination with trains as a child? I had a Lionel train set and one of my granddaughter’s favorite new toys at our house is the Walt Disney World Railroad train set. Seeing her playing with it reminded me of a presentation at The Walt Disney Family Museum by Michael Campbell, President of the Carolwood Pacific Historic Society, who spoke about Walt’s passion for trains and how this passion drove him creatively. Continue reading…

LCCA Interview – The Sopranos Layout with Ken Bianco of Trainland

A special thanks to the Lionel Collectors Club of America for filming a great interview…See the interview here…

‘American Pickers’ on History Channel Have a Lionel Postwar Train Wreck

Fans of the highly popular American Pickers show History Channel witnessed a Lionel Postwar Train Wreck recently, when pickers Mike Wolfe & Frank Fritz paid $8,000.00 for Lionel Trains and see the set sell for only $3,400! A loss of $4,600. Just goes to prove that you really need to know your business. Read more about this bad deal by clicking here.

For years, Lionel Trains came from Hillside, N.J.

See a picture of workers assembling components of Lionel trains at the company’s factory at 28 Sager Place in Hillside, NJ, not long before the location was closed by the Lionel Corp, and read the entire feature courtesy of The Star Ledger.

Lionel Presents “Made in the USA” Train Cars

Lionel reintroduces “Made in the USA” boxcars with the U.S. Presidential Box Car Series
Forged from new tooling


All parts manufactured in America

Each boxcar fully assembled in America

Every package printed in America

Celebrate the return of Lionel’s renowned manufacturing tradition to American shores!

Click here to visit Lionel and read more.

Miniatur Wunderland, World’s Largest Train Layout

Advertised as the largest operating model railroad in the world  ‘Miniatur Wunderland’ covers 12,380 square feet, and features almost six miles of track and is still not complete.  Twin brothers Frederick and Gerrit Braun, 41, began work on Miniatur Wunderland in 2000 and expect completion in 2020!

The layout covers six regions, including America, Switzerland, Scandinavia, Germany and the Austrian Alps.

Although the layout is in Hamburg Germany, the U.S. is well represented  with giant models of the Rocky Mountains, Everglades, Grand-Canyon and Mount Rushmore.

It is expected to be finished in 20 20, when the layout is anticipated to cover more than square 19,376 sq  ft and feature almost 13 miles of track, by which time detailed models of parts of France, Italy and the UK would have been added

Its stats are amazing:  It’s composed of Marklin HO products exclusively, with more than 900 trains with more than 14,000 rail cars. The longest train is 46ft long.  Scenery includes 900 signals, 2,800 buildings, 4,000 cars – many with illuminated headlights….and 160,000 individually designed figures.  Thousands of pounds of steel and wood was used to construct the scenery… The 250,000 lights are rigged up to a system that mimics night and day by automatically turning them on and off. The entire system is controlled from a massive high-tech control center.

In total the layout’s construction has taken 500,000 hours and more than twenty-two million dollars to to together, the vast majority of which has come from ticket sales.

Gerrit said: “Our idea was to build a world that men, women, and children can be equally astonished and amazed in.”

Click this highlighted text to watch a four minute video of Miniatur Wunderland.

He’s Saving a ‘dying hobby’