Model railroading hobbyists would be offended if you call their model train collection toy trains. For them, it would be like calling a classic piece of literature a novel. Besides, who can blame you? Toy trains and model trains are small in size and are powered by electricity or other types of power sources. However, you have to consider that there is a difference between toy trains and model trains.
Basically, toy trains in the early days were often powered by wind up motors. Some were even powered by steam. In those days, these toy trains were generally made of cast iron.
Then, electric trains followed. Some were powered by batteries, while there are other toy train sets that were plugged in where the electricity flowed on the tracks to power the train.
So, how do you differentiate toy trains from model trains?
First of all, toy trains are what you can easily buy in your local toy store. It is cheap and will not necessarily have all the details of a particular train. Usually, most toy trains are made of plastic and there are generally not enough details to tell what kind of model the train is.
With model trains, you will see that it will be a lot more expensive. It will usually be made with metal and will have several moving parts that resemble that of the real train. Model trains are exact replicas of real trains. From the engine detail to the paint, you will see that model trains will have all the visual references that can help you distinguish what kind of train it is.
Model trains will also be included with realistic tracks and cabins. Some will even have lights in the cabins, while there are even others where you can see miniature people inside the train.
In most cases, model train enthusiasts will spend thousands of dollars just to get their tracks and trains as realistic as possible. Some will even do a bit of landscaping and even dig a tunnel for the tracks. Model buildings are also added as well as a train station.
Today, you can even see model trains controlled by computers. This is how you can differentiate model trains from toy trains. Model trains are very expensive and can be quite a fulfilling hobby for most railroad enthusiasts. It offers realism and great detail on the train like no other can.
Today, there are several manufacturers of model trains. Always remember that model trains are not toys that you can give to your 10 year old son to play with. It is very expensive. Besides, you wouldn’t want to see a 500.00 model train flying off your house, would you?
So, the next time you are in a store to purchase your child a train set, try to settle for a toy train. However, if you are a railroad enthusiast who wants to get realistic working replicas of trains, then purchasing a model train is for you.
Remember these things and you can be sure that the next time you buy a miniature train you will know the difference between model trains and toy trains.
So, if you are enthusiastic about railroads, you might want to try considering purchasing model trains. You will see that this type of hobby is quite fulfilling.