First Train

Mr. SP May 3, 2016

  1. Mr. SP

    Mr. SP Passed away August 5, 2016 In Memoriam

    What was your first train? Mine was a Lionel Scout train that Dad got me for Christmas of 1951. Dad bought some accessories too. Crossing blinkers, semaphore, tunnel and bridge.
    I switched to HO in 1957 with a Revell train. 11013349_1_l.jpg
  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Unfortunately, I do not have my first trains, nor any pictures way back then. There were some pictures of my Lionel, later years, but they went missing and I have been unable to find what happened to them.
  3. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

    My first train was my mom's American Flyer 4-8-4 set with the older couplers. Still love that thing. My first HO train was the commemorative Bachmann Zenith Electronics set. I even repoweres the U36B with an Athearn drive. Only the 2 boxcars and the caboose still exist.
  4. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

    First train - O Scale
    A Lionel knock off 3 rail set put out by Sears. I recall the steam locomotive was a Santa Fe, may have been a 4-6-2 but not sure.

    Then a few years later my first HO scale train was a Tyco US Army set. I think the steam loco was an 0-8-0. The set had a box car, 2 flat cars, and a caboose. This led to the typical 4 x 8 layout with more engines and cars, and too much track. Good learning experience and great memories with my dad.

    Then a few more years pass and I discovered N Scale in 1968. First loco was an Atlas C-Liner in SP daylight colors which I only pulled freight with. This led to 2 small N scale layouts as a teenager.

    As the boy grew, the trains got smaller. This stuff is all long gone, only memories.
  5. Mike VE2TRV

    Mike VE2TRV TrainBoard Member

    First train, Christmas 1973, a Model Power train set with a Baldwin Sharknose, some freight cars, and a loop of track.

    Me enthusiastically unwrapping it:

    And the handsome young chap playing with it. I was quite a bit younger, and had quite a bit more hair:

    Since that fateful day, I am hooked.

    And that Baldwin... I still have it, and it runs like a new one after 42 years.
    Helitac likes this.
  6. Rocket Jones

    Rocket Jones TrainBoard Member

    Late 60's, for Christmas one year my brother got a Tyco train set with a Santa Fe F unit. I played with it more than he did, so a few years later I got a Tyco "Spirit of '76'" set. Had plans for a layout and got as far as benchwork, but mostly just set it up on the ping pong table and ran around in circles. Years later, in the Air Force, I traded all that HO stuff for a bunch of used N scale. My thinking being that it would be easier to cart around the world with me.
  7. retsignalmtr

    retsignalmtr TrainBoard Member

    My first train came on Christmas 1952. American Flyer steam loco and several cars. Eventually growing to several locos, including a Hudson with sound, all track with rubber roadbed, talking station and many plasticville structures. Unfortunately, my parents needed the storage space while I was in the Army and they gave it all away to a neighbor.
  8. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

    While my older brothers had their Marx tinplate I was entertained with my wooden push train.
    It did not take long before I noticed the bigger stuff. Eventually I was allowed to play with it also.
    Then I got into Lone Star Lectric 000 and graduated to Atlas and Arnold-Rapido N scale.
    This was the first electric train that was all mine.
  9. emaley

    emaley TrainBoard Supporter

    Like Rocket, I got a Tyco Santa Fe F unit with freight cars. I never had a permanent place for it and so the experiment was short lived. I built models for years after than until about 2010 when I decided a moving model with lots of detail would be fun. That is when the black hole appeared in my wallet and it has been sucking in everything in range ever since. I am afflicted with the N and Z scale disease. At times I've heard the call of all the other scales. I am worried that resistance is futlie.

  10. Ironhorseman

    Ironhorseman Staff Member In Memoriam

    At age of approx 9 or 10, (after WWII) I got a American Flyer 2-6-2 with enough track to make an oval. No switches or other such things except the transformer to run it. I spent many hours laying on my side on the floor with the lights off to watch the headlight come right at me, only to turn off a the very last moment. LOL
    My Uncle sold it, (with out my knowledge a few years later) along with my cousins' Lionel and my very cool erector set to pay off a gambling debt (according to my mother). Wish I still had both.
    Mike VE2TRV likes this.
  11. Mike VE2TRV

    Mike VE2TRV TrainBoard Member

    Before my Dad built my first layout, that was my main activity... those were magic moments... and sweet memories...:)
  12. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

    My first train set was a Tyco HO affair with a Santa Fe GP20 (I think) and a handful of freight cars. I had a 4x4 square of plywood in the basement family room floor with an oval of track including a bridge for no apparent reason. Kept me happy for quite a while. I still have the trains and most of the track, though the track is worse than useless now. A couple of years ago I got the crazy idea to detail and repaint the locomotive... got half way done and got side-tracked... so the loco is more or less "kaput" at the moment. I rather wish I hadn't done that.
  13. SP-Wolf

    SP-Wolf TrainBoard Supporter

    Received mine on my 8th birthday(Feb. 1971). It was the Arnold Rapido 0-6-0 with 2 cars and a caboose. My Dad also bought me a couple "extra" lengths of straight track so I would have an oval rather than 9-3/4" radius circle.

  14. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

    My first memory is of my (8 yr) older brother's Lionel stuff in 1939-ish. Christmas and birthdays added my stuff to the collection. Then in 1947 or '48 while I was staying with relatives, my brother convinced our folks that HO would be lots more fun, so traded the whole shootin' match for stuff I don't even remember. Though I still wish I had my GG-1, Madison coaches, 0-72 T-Rail track, and 2-cab transformer.
  15. rhensley_anderson

    rhensley_anderson TrainBoard Supporter

    Ok, here goes...
    My first train was just when WWII ended and was a Marx Key Wind, no power. It was a good choice. Then came the Marx power train. Both sets had tin plate cars. We moved to a new house. Then came the more modern train with plastic cars and a better Marx engine. At 14 or 15, I met HO scale at a neighbors house and the world changed.
    'Nuf said.
  16. Helitac

    Helitac TrainBoard Member

    My first,(maybe my Dad's first too), was in the mid '60's, I'm pretty sure it was Tyco, I remember an HO Santa Fe F unit, and some freight cars and a caboose, and an oval of track. The next year was the big flood in Oroville CA, we lost everything.
  17. ScaleCraft

    ScaleCraft TrainBoard Member

    In 1951, I got my Uncle's Lionel, then added my Dad's Lionel to it.
    Uncle got the 225E with cars, track and switches in Christmas of 1940.
    Dad's was a 252 pea green electric with cars with latch couplers (connected to the box couplers on the 225E).
    I still have and use the 225E, altho lettered Northern Pacific now with knuckle couplers. All those cars exist except the tank car.
    Ten years or so ago I fully restored my Dad's trains, proper color paint, new drivers, couple of latch couplers, bought some more cars, rebuilt the green switches, gave them all to my brother for Christmas, and he still has them.
    Couple of years later I added a 262 steamer and passenger cars, so he's all set.
    The 225E had a headlamp lens different than postwar, in that it projected the filament to the the shape of a candy cane. Still does, except replacement bulbs are "S" shaped.
    I can still picture our favourite track plan. So, I've been running these for 65 years?
    BoxcabE50 likes this.
  18. CarlH

    CarlH TrainBoard Member

    In 1966 when I was 5 years old my dad built me an HO layout on a 4x8 sheet of plywood painted gray, with two loops, one rising on the Atlas gray plastic pier/riser set to cross over the other via a bridge in one place and then back via a 30 degree crossing on level ground at the other end of the layout. The layout included 4 turnouts to allow bidirectional switching between the two loops, a 5th turnout to get to a long siding, insulated gaps and DPDT switches to allow me to set the direction and on/off separately for the inner loop, outer loop, and siding. It also had some roads (cardboard painted black with white lines in the middle), a railroad station, and a gas station for scenery, and the basic flavor of MRC transformer (I think I still have that). The first engine was some non-descript brand 0-4-0 camelback made out of all metal which was very heavy, which I believe my dad bought used.
  19. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

    I still have my brothers' Marx stuff. Santa Fe never had E7s but who cares. I posed them next to an O scale depot I built for someone. The baggage car is one my Dad scratch built from sheet metal.
    BoxcabE50 likes this.
  20. Thieu

    Thieu TrainBoard Member

    In the mid seventies, I got a Lima starters set for my 5th (?) birthday. This set was produced for the Hema, a Dutch chain of warehouses shops. Many kids here have started the hobby with these Hema sets. The remnants of mine are now in possesion of my brother-in-law, but maybe I still have the power pack.

    The engine was not very good: it stopped running at the day I got it...... It seemed impossible to repair, so I got another Lima engine. One or two years later, I got a Fleischmann starters set. The quality of that set was a lot better!


    Built some layouts, which were a mix of German, Dutch, Belgian, French etc equipment. Well, money was the key for my choice of purchasing stuff.....

    HO layout

    My first N scale train was in the nineties when I decided to restart my model railroading hobby. We didn't have a lot of space, so I choose for N scale and sold my HO stuff to my brother-in-law. My theme was mainly Dutch railways.

    Dutch N scale

    Around 2001, I started with USA trains. Eventually, I quit with the Dutch trains and switched entirely to USA railroads.

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