Now Hear This, Trains — May 3, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Trackless Toy Trains

Hull & Stafford. USA, produced this handsome, embossed tinplate engine about 1870, The toy is completely hand painted in red, black and cream, and reaches ten inches in length. Wheels are cast, the bell is brass, the stack is painted wood, and there’s a truly powerful keywind motor tucked away inside the boiler. “Hero” was a popular toy train name in that era, but this beauty, I think, deserves the title.
Hull & Stafford. USA, produced this handsome, embossed tinplate engine about 1870, The toy is completely hand painted in red, black and cream, and reaches ten inches in length. Wheels are cast, the bell is brass, the stack is painted wood, and there’s a truly powerful keywind motor tucked away inside the boiler. “Hero” was a popular toy train name in that era, but this beauty, I think, deserves the title.
BY JACK HERBERT

JUST ABOUT EVERY SIXTH house on your block contains, somewhere within it, a toy train set. It may be relegated to the attic or on a high shelf in the guest bedroom, but toy trains, thank heaven, are never thrown out.

Think about it. Our fascination with all trains spans every generation. We love to watch the current Amtrack passenger Expresses roar by a suburban station at 110 m.p.h. taking our hats along with them. Most Wild West motion pictures sooner or later feature a marvelous old wood burner chugging through the sagebush, and ripe for the inevitable robbery.

Mystery stories whose settings are on the fast transcontinental trains are sure best sellers. Trains possess an aura of far-away places and mystery that have a universal appeal. Besides, what good would it do to be a Lady of Mystery, swathed in veils and affecting a heavy foreign accent, if you’re strapped in a coach seat on a shuttle flight?

Read the complete article by subscribing today! Click here now.