A model train is a toy that represents a train, distinguished from a model train by an emphasis on low cost and durability, rather than scale modeling. A model train can be as simple as a pull toy that does not even run on track, or it might be operated by clockwork or a battery. Many toy model trains blur the line between the two categories, running on electric power and approaching accurate scale.
The first widely adopted standards for toy trains running on track were introduced in Leipzig, Germany in 1891 by Märklin.
The earliest toy trains date from the 19th century and were often made of cast iron. Motorized units running on track soon followed, powered by a steam or clockwork engine. Some of these trains used clever methods to whistle and smoke.
Wooden toy trains are a system of small toy trains that run on wooden track, the track featuring grooves which serve to guide the wheels of rolling stock.
Traditionally, parts are made of hardwoods which resemble anthropomorphical, fictional, and prototypical railroad equipment. Early wooden trains connected to each other using metal hooks, these have since been mostly replaced by small magnets.
Most manufacturers have supplemented the wood with plastics, such as the use of plastic wheels mounted on metal axles. The majority of the rolling stock, track, fixed plant, and scenery accessories are still made of wood.
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