Lionel trains make great Christmas gifts, as they have for a very long time. Were you aware that they
originally became associated with Christmas from their inception? It’s true.
Lionel Trains were developed by Joshua Lionel Cowen, who simply adored trains from the exciting
days of his childhood, when trains and electricity were transforming the world around him. In 1900,
his love of trains and his innate inventiveness led to the creation of Lionel Trains and his first toy train,
The Electric Express.
The first electric Lionel model train sets were used to attract business for large department stores.
Prominently displayed in their street-level showcase windows, The Electric Express drew crowds eager
to see the colorful train set zipping around the track.
Of course, it wasn’t long before people wanted to buy the trains for their children – or was that really
for themselves? With a ready market clamouring for the product and the very obvious fact that Lionel
train sets make great Christmas gifts, Lionel electric model railroad train sets soon began showing up in
better living-rooms across America.
Mr. Cowen was a passionate model railroader, himself. He was convinced that boys who were exposed
to model railroading in their own homes would grow up to become better, more productive citizens,
and he marketed them accordingly, with very great success.
In the early days, most Lionel train sets were found in the homes of the more well-heeled of society.
They were exceptionally well-made and durable, with a focus on quality before quantity or lower
Things were difficult for Lionel Trains during the depression years, as they were for many, but Lionel
Trains survived, adapted, and found ways to lower costs substantially while maintaining the highest
Now Lionel Trains make great Christmas gifts for everyone, because not only are they still beautifully
detailed and crafted, but they are also affordable!
Trains and Toy Soldiers has a huge selection of Lionel Train sets and accessories. The folks at Trains
and Toy Soldiers are very helpful and love to talk about model railroading, too. By phone or by email,
they are the place to find Lionel Trains for the kid on your list, from 9 to 90!
written by: Dave Cottrell