• Lionel Standard Gauge

    Lionel introduced Standard Gauge in 1906, offering sectional track and compact size that was easier for children to assemble. More »

  • Lionel O Gauge

    Lionel introduced its O Gauge trains in 1915, once again offering a more compact train that appealed to a broader market . More »

  • Lionel OO Gauge

    Introduced in 1938 offering greater detail and a new size to compete with HO, Lionel's OO Gauge trains were introduced. More »


I am a novice model train collector myself and found that information regarding prewar trains was especially difficult to find. I decided to make a site that would assist novice collectors by providing basic information about the hobby of collecting vintage model trains.

There are many manufacturers, scales and types of model trains and it would be difficult for any one web site to cover everything effectively. There are already a number of great sites dedicated to post-war model trains so I decided to focus on prewar trains from Lionel to start with.

This site will cover the Standard Gauge, O Gauge and OO Gauge model trains and accessories offered by Lionel between 1906 and 1942. I hope that you enjoy the site and will be able to learn something in the process.

David Croft TCA #14-70267

Looking to buy model trains? Check out the where to buy listings.



Lionel's accessories are almost as popular and as much fun as the trains themselves! From the classic operating gateman to culvert loaders and burning switch towers, there is an accessory out there for every taste and imagination. Although there is a great variety in accessories, there are only a few different things you need to know to install and enjoy them on your layout.

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  • Where to buy Model Trains

    One cannot find model trains in nearly every store windows like in years gone by but there are still great places to find unique collectable pieces for a collection. More »

  • Blog: Buying Model Trains Online

    Buying model trains online is not the same as from a store. These posts will give you an idea of what to watch out for when looking for and buying that special piece. More »

  • Reference & Clubs Sites

    One of the most challenging and rewarding parts of collecting is learning about the trains. These links will take you to clubs and organizations that promote the hobby.. More »