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Author Topic: what was everyones frist train set  (Read 19276 times)
ebtnut

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« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2013, 02:15:01 PM »

My first train set was a Marx set from about 1951.  If memory serves, there were powered and dummy F-units painted Southern Pacific, a box car, flat car, gon and caboose.  All of the equipment was lithoed metal.  The cars only had two axles.  I eventually got a station building with a horn inside, and some more track for a figure 8.  That lasted a few years until about '56, when for my birthday I got an American Flyer S gauge set.  It had a New Haven Pacific and also 3 standard passenger cars - baggage, coach, obs. 
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Johnson Bar Jeff

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« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2013, 03:17:47 PM »

My first set was a Revell HO U.P. 0-6-0T (with "Omaha" on the side of the tank), a 50-ft Southern RR bulkhead pulpwood flat car, a 50-ft flat car with three giant-sized (for HO) logs, and a U.P. caboose. I think my grandpa got it cheap, maybe even used, but it ran fine for all my 1960s childhood. The log flat car got broken and disappeared years ago, but I managed to acquire a replacement for it from eBay. The train now has pride of place in my display cabinet, on the bottom shelf to signify that it's the foundation of my love for model trains.

Another early train, also from my grandpa (and I'm sure purchased used and cheap because the engine mechanism was broken) was a Gilbert American Flyer HO "Pacific Clipper" Northern Pacific passenger train--engine, combine, dome car, and observation--in the beautiful "North Coast Limited" two-tone green paint scheme. It came with an oval of Gilbert's "Pikemaster" track, an early form of roadbed track. The set was supposed to have a power pack, but it wasn't included in the set as given to me.

This train remained in practically like-new condition, as it wasn't used all that much during my childhood. My grandpa had replaced the broken Flyer engine mechanism with one of those old Athearn rubber-band drives, and it simply wasn't strong enough to pull those long, heavy passenger cars. About 20-odd years ago, as a Christmas surprise, my dad took the engine to the LHS where we had done train business since I was a kid, and the owner fitted the Flyer shell to an Athearn "super-power" gear-drive mechanism--so finally, after about 25 years, the train finally ran decently!

Recently, my dad had to spend a few days in the hospital to get his ticker checked out. While he was in the hospital, his house was burglarized, and--you guessed it--the Flyer set was among the items stolen. It was the only part of my vast assemblage of HO trains still under the parental roof. Dad thought the train had survived the burglary, but when I was visiting him for Christmas and went to set it up to run, I knew immediately that it was gone because the box was way too light in weight when I lifted it off the shelf in the closet where it was stored. The thief took the train and the "Pikemaster" track but left the original set box.

I will miss that train. Running it at Christmas at my dad's place had become something of a tradition for us over the past few years.
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TimR

Ephraim Shay, the Man


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« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2013, 06:59:13 PM »

First set, a 1971, 6 unit, HO Tyco Set from Sears. Burlington Northern. It didn't run Christmas day and had to be exchanged. I still have the complete replacement set to this day and it still runs. My next door neighbor had an AHM set and I ended up with some of the cars from his set. I still have those as well. Good times... Alas, all of the HO stuff now resides in a storage cabinet since On30 fever took me several years ago.
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Jerrys HO
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« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2013, 07:07:52 PM »

Like Tim my first set came from Sear's but it was an S gauge American Flyer from 1956 set that I still have today and still works. Actually it was my brother's first set that I aquired in 1964 when I was 2 yrs. old.

Jerry
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Doneldon

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« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2013, 12:10:06 PM »

J-J

I'm sorry to learn of your loss and I can imagine how you must feel about it. All of my Christmas ornaments were stolen when I left the navy, probably because the shipper saw me close up the boxes with dozens of elaborate, hand-made pieces inside. The boxes had all of the ornaments from my parents' trees and even what was left from one set of grandparents. So I understand the sadness and the anger.

Seemingly unimportant things can become touchstones for our lives, and real parts of how our traditions define who we are. It
can feel like such a personal assault when things like this happen. I'm sad for you and angry to hear that this happened to you.

                                                                                                                         -- D
« Last Edit: January 09, 2013, 03:41:52 PM by Doneldon » Logged
Desertdweller

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« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2013, 01:00:47 PM »

J-J,

I would like to add my condolences to those expressed by Don.

When we are passionate about our hobbies, these items become a part of our persona. For someone to steal them becomes stealing something by which we define ourselves.

Les
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Johnson Bar Jeff

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« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2013, 12:53:19 PM »

Thank you, Don and Les. I appreciate your kindness in commenting. Because of the "history" of the set, it really feels like a part of my childhood was stolen.  Sad

However, I am comforting myself with one notion about the burglary: The thief also took my grandmother's silver. With the price of silver so high right now, he probably thought he was going to clean up on that, except for one thing: The silver wasn't sterling, it was plate, and nobody who is buying wants plate. You can barely give that stuff away.  Grin

Don, that's just awful about the Christmas ornaments. I'm sorry to hear about that.  Angry
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Joe323

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« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2013, 02:50:12 PM »

Well if you really want to know my first train set it was a plastic push set with track made by Child Guidance at maybe 6 years old.

My first Electric set was from Lionel at arounf 10.
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rogertra


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« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2013, 08:23:11 PM »

late 1950s.  Hornby-Dublo three rail.  LNER A4 No. 7 "Sir Nigel Gresley" in LNER blue, four tin plate lithoed "Teak" LNER carriages and N2 class 0-6-2T and assorted freight cars.  All now collector's items but of no real great monetary value but all stored safely in my basement.
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jsmvmd

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« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2013, 09:27:54 AM »

1940 era Lionel, O27 Hudson with all the cars and accessories you could imagine, in an inner loop. Many happy hours with that and my Brother's O gauge K4 on the outside loop with a pier bridge and inner loop. I can say the Magna-traction worked 99% of the time.  Concrete floors did not seem to harm that old stuff!

Best Wishes,
Jack
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CJCrescent


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« Reply #25 on: January 12, 2013, 07:41:07 PM »

Mine was a wind-up Marx steamer, no tender, a boxcar, tanker and caboose.Except for the engine, which was plastic, as was the track, the cars were lithographed steel. I was 4

My next set at 6yo was a dual AF, with an Atlantic steamer and a PA-1. The Atlantic pulled freight and the PA pulled the passenger cars. I never wanted lionel, as it had 3 rails and didn't look a thing like the real one, and I didn't want it. I basically loved this set to death.

At 8 I got a Silver Streak Dbldr 40' SRR boxcar. Been in HO ever since, and I still have most of the cars I've built in those 50 years!
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Keep it Between the Rails
Carey
Alabama Central Railway
Jhanecker2

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« Reply #26 on: January 13, 2013, 07:43:25 PM »

Didn't get into Electric Trains until about  2004 .  I made mention to a friend that I had a " deprived childhood" in that I hadn't had an electric train as a youth .  My sister found out about that  and it gave her the answer to the question of what to get for someone who has a plethora of hobbies . First train set was a Bachmann " Harry Potter " set for Christmas  and so began  the journey .  Still  haven't built the permanent layout  but acquired many more trains and assorted tools and material and catalogs.   It did lead to  constructing a 4'x8' table , building a miniature  spray painting  compressor to  power  air brushes , and shelves to house  paint bottles and model spray paint cans and paint brushes .  My first toy train was also a wind up steamer with tender , boxcar ,and caboose .  Lithographed  for the New York Central  with hollow steel track   about  O - scale if memory serves.  J2
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M1FredQ

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« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2013, 09:30:29 PM »

When my Father left the AirForce after the Korean War to return to college he first married my Mom and got a part-time job to supplement his GI Bill. With his first paycheck he bought a Lionel complete set Hudson 4-6-4 with rolling stock, he bought a ZW Transformer, Light tower, signal bridge and some other accesories. He would set it up every year around the Christmas Tree and after I was born would photogragh me every Christmas under that tree with the train running around the track. When I was 9 or 10
he built a 5x8 foot table in the basement so the train was "up" all year round. My Uncle was a professional artist himself a veteran of The Korean War 1st Marine Division "Frozen Chosen", built us a beautiful mountain and tunnel and beautifully painted it. I didn't realize till years later that this was therapy for him as he suffered from Post War Stress  Syndrome. Only 6 of 152 of his men walked out of that conflict. Over the years my brother and I added to the set with the Tie Ejector and bumper car. When we went off to college it was all put into storage. After I was married and started a family it was my 5th chilld, my son joey who loves trains so much discovered
 all the packed boxes and started pulling boxes out begging me to set it up and run them. After my wife and i bought our first home I had a G-Scale Bachmann around the tree every Christmas but it wasn't till Joey was 5 I finally set up my Dad's stuff in the basement. It's amazing what our kids will get us to do. I can't tell you all the memories that have come flooding back from the day's of my chidhood and now all the memories my son joe and I are making with the lay-out we have made and am now re-making. We have more Engines and Rolling stock thank you WBB and are having a wonderful time.
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Johnson Bar Jeff

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« Reply #28 on: January 14, 2013, 11:25:57 AM »

When my Father left the AirForce after the Korean War to return to college he first married my Mom and got a part-time job to supplement his GI Bill. With his first paycheck he bought a Lionel complete set Hudson 4-6-4 with rolling stock, he bought a ZW Transformer, Light tower, signal bridge and some other accesories. He would set it up every year around the Christmas Tree and after I was born would photogragh me every Christmas under that tree with the train running around the track. When I was 9 or 10
he built a 5x8 foot table in the basement so the train was "up" all year round. My Uncle was a professional artist himself a veteran of The Korean War 1st Marine Division "Frozen Chosen", built us a beautiful mountain and tunnel and beautifully painted it. I didn't realize till years later that this was therapy for him as he suffered from Post War Stress  Syndrome. Only 6 of 152 of his men walked out of that conflict. Over the years my brother and I added to the set with the Tie Ejector and bumper car. When we went off to college it was all put into storage. After I was married and started a family it was my 5th chilld, my son joey who loves trains so much discovered
 all the packed boxes and started pulling boxes out begging me to set it up and run them. After my wife and i bought our first home I had a G-Scale Bachmann around the tree every Christmas but it wasn't till Joey was 5 I finally set up my Dad's stuff in the basement. It's amazing what our kids will get us to do. I can't tell you all the memories that have come flooding back from the day's of my chidhood and now all the memories my son joe and I are making with the lay-out we have made and am now re-making. We have more Engines and Rolling stock thank you WBB and are having a wonderful time.

What a lovely, heart-warming reminiscence! Great reading for me on a gloomy Monday morning. Thank you for sharing that!  Smiley
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MP2626

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« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2013, 10:25:41 AM »

It was probably around 1956-1957 and I was 6-7 years old.  My brother (who was 6 years older) and I received an American Flyer train set for Christmas.  This set had a Pennsilvania K-4 Pacific and 5-6 cars and a typical N (something) type Pennsy caboose.  As I had little money to spend on the layout at that point in my life and my brother did, from mowing grass and such, he bought more track, a couple of turnouts (called "switches" back then) and some Plasticville buildings.  He mounted the track to a 4X8 sheet of plywood and although he let me run the train, his being 6 years older and having more money invested in the layout, it was much more his, than mine!

One of the neighbor kids, who was even older than my brother, had an HO layout in his basement.   I thought HO to be much more scale like than my "high rail" American Flyer set and so started asking Santa for an HO trainset, which I finally got in 1959.  This was a Tyco set with a 0-4-0 side tank Booster loco, an MKT Box car, a Pennsy Gondola and a Bobber caboose and of course it was in Pennsy livery.  Along with this set I received a Varney Little Joe Docksider 0-4-0 and a Varney powerpack that had been the neighbor kid's who had the HO layout in his basement.  Thus began my deep and long lasting love for HO.  Incidentally I still have the Varney Little Joe, it runs and pulls more cars (for it size) than any other loco I have!
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