Lionel Model Trains

Joshua Lionel Cowen, born in 1877, grew up with real trains. He saw all those changes in the trains and the innovations and modifications that resulted to the modern era engines and wagons. During the time that he founded Lionel in 1900, the trend was passenger lines like the peerless Twentieth Century Limited that represented the technology and sophistication of America.

Cowen brought in the interest of the Americans by the electricity used, which was still a rarity, and the complex railroads. The first trains were powered with acid-filled batteries, which were then replaced by the 110-volt electric transformer. Pre-assembled track and a set of engines and cars were in the market and a lot of homes, too. Influenced by the bustling economy and the growth of electric power, a lot of products like the World War defense production, war train with cannons, Racing Automobiles and a passenger train with internal lighting.

Cowen created his toy trains and was well-known among his peers. He not only created the trains, but brought in ideas like Lionels would prepare boys for their adulthood, involving their fathers created a great father-son bonding, etc and got people involved in this new hobby. Christmas saw many layouts from the Lionels, and also various trains that would be the envy of the neighbours. However, this trend did not keep up after the 1960s, during the destruction of New York's Pennsylvania Station, and also the passing away of Joshua Lionel Cowen.

The trend is back now and America is getting back to the railroads and model trains hobby. It is now a fusion of old traditions and new technologies. The high-speed passenger lines are back with the historical landmarks to rekindle the memories of the Penn station incident. The highlight of the 1970s was the Mickey Mouse Express, which was an instant hit and envied possession. By 1980s, the so-called hundredth birthday of Joshua Lionel Cowen saw the invention of seven commemorative boxcars, recreation of the greatest steam locomotive and the company itself rolling off into the hands of a Detroit-based railroad enthusiast, Richard Kughn.

The latest trend is the Lionel VISION line products that are realistic prototypes with the mechanical and operational realism. The Scale diesels, operating rolling stock and the interactive accessories. The Steam locomotive has a model fireman who opens the firebox door and shovels coal into the furnace. The Santa 3000 and Pennsylvannia steam locomotives come with the realistic features like shuddering of wheels, steam blowing, rumbling of the locomotive are all the special effects. The various technical and interior detailing are the most awaited models of all times.

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