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Many American children started out with model trains with a Lionel train set. A train looping around the base of the Christmas tree is a common occurrence over the years. This ritual has been passed down over many generations over the years. Are you one of the lucky ones? The Lionel Train company was established before Ford Motors! Lionel makes trains in multiple scales, but they are best known for their 'O' scale trains. O scale is 1:48, which is twice as large as the other popular scale 'HO' (half of 'O'). Lionel O scale model railroad equipment has been produced with multiple levels of quality, from toy trains to special edition collectible. All Lionel O scale trains, modern to classic, will operate on any track with any power supplies and controllers. The size of Lionel O gauge trains is well suited for the casual weekend layout where it's set up on the floor, perhaps on a carpet (which can give a rough time to smaller trains which are more sensitive to variations in track height). The bulk of these trains allows for handling by the kids with little concern for damage from an occasional bump. For the older modeler, these are easy to work with. Stamped Steel Lionel Trains Before World War 2, most replica model trains were made using stamped steel, and then plated with tin for rust prevention, and these older toys are referred to as "tin plate" trains. Lionel has manufactured modern replicas of those tin-plate trains. Lionel has named these "Lionel Classics", and have minor changes from the originals, making them easier to identify as reproductions. Lionel O-Gauge Track A characteristic of all Lionel train track is that it has three rails. The middle rail carries power for the train. Some modelers have objected to this 3 rail design, claiming it is in-accurate for modeling prototype railroads. Lionel makes track curves in various radii ranging from 36" to 72." Be careful with your layout curves to avoid using too small a radii, longer locomotives and rolling stock requires larger radii. Having said that, an interesting layout with Lionel O gauge trains can be set up in a space as small as four by six feet. O Gauge Accessories Lionel produces a full range of accessories, from bridges to turntables, buildings, figures, vehicles, trees, etc., etc... Electrical, remote control of track signals, couplers and more complete the layout.

Lionel truly makes everything you need to have a great O gauge model train railroad!

Scott Watkins is a model train enthusiast, and he can help you to get started. Read more about Lionel O gauge trains, and subscribe to his free email series on how to get started quickly in this great hobby at his website:

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