How Much Do You Know About Model Trains?


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About This Quiz

It's a national and worldwide obsession. Did you know that model trains were such a pervasive pastime? From celebrities to average Joes, everyone is taking part in the model train obsession. How much do you know about this delightful - and potentially expensive - hobby? In this quiz, we'll explore all things model trains!

When was the first model train created?

The first model train was created in 1835. It was made to promote train travel!

What are model train backdrops called?

Backscenes are what the model train backdrops are called. Those obsessed with trains are just as obsessed with their backscenes!

Who was the inspiration for the modern resurgence of model trains?

Thomas the train is a popular personality in children's imaginations. Those who were raised on him are now obsessed with model trains!

Who was the first group to adopt the model train hobby?

Rich people in Europe were the first to adopt model trains. It was a very exclusive hobby at the time.

What shall be the modern trend in model trains?

Trains are being run with digital command control systems. It's inevitable that this should happen. The technology is getting more advanced every day!

What do modern computers allow us to do with model trains?

Computers make it possible to run multiple trains on one track. I suppose you could add animatronics as well?

Which of these celebrities had a ridable mini train?

Although all these celebrities were train enthusiasts, Walt had a ridable train. He built a track on his home property.

Which of these books featured a famous train?

The Flying Scotsman is actually a famous train. The "The Flying Scotsman" book was written by Quinn Fawcett.

What's the longest model train track ever built?

There's actually a model train track that is 8 miles long! It's the longest recorded mini train track in history.

Which of these is a famous manufacturer of toy trains?

All of these are big names in toy trains. Each company has its own place in toy train history.

What's the name of the famous model train museum in California?

The San Diego Model Railway Museum is one of several across the country. When you go there, you will be in heaven.

Which of these Asian countries has the biggest model train obsession?

Leave it to the Japanese to be model train enthusiasts. Their obsession is almost as strong as our own!

What is minimum curve?

Minimum curve is the tightest curve a train can make without derailing. This must be taken into account when deciding on the size of a model train layout.

How much do enthusiasts spend annually on model trains?

This is no joke. $424,000,000 is spent each year on model trains! That's a serious industry, to say the least.

What is the ratio for model trains that you can ride?

A ridable mini train is in the 1:8 ratio. You have to have some serious money to own one.

What did model trains used to be called?

Tinplates used to refer to small trains built for enjoyment. They were traditionally made of thin stamped metal.

Which generation is really obsessed with model trains?

Baby Boomers are particularly obsessed with model trains. They place them in gardens, show them at exhibits and place them in special displays.

In Britain, in which era were model trains quite popular?

In the Victorian era, special clubs would meet up to discuss model trains. Toy trains were too expensive for average people to own.

What is the most popular scale of model train?

HO scale is the most popular, and the most versatile. It's easy to add new details, and parts are not difficult to find.

Which rocker enjoys model trains?

Rod Stewart is a huge model train enthusiast. In fact, he usually books two hotel rooms -- one for himself and one for his trains!

Which of these do model trains run on?

Model trains can actually run on all of these! The diversity is what makes it so appealing.

When was the first electric model train built?

In 1901, the first Lionel electric train was built to be displayed in a shop window. The Golden Age of these electric trains would be the 1920s.

HO scale is related to which other scale?

HO scale is about "Half O." O scale is known as 1/4-inch scale, compared to HO being known as 1/8-inch scale.

What do people assume G scale stands for?

People assume it means "Garden." But it actually comes from the German word "gross," which means "big."

Before WWI, who produced most model trains?

Germany produced most model trains. But once we went to war with them, we couldn't get trains from them anymore! This inspired other people​ to manufacture them.

Which character on "The Simpsons" enjoys model railroading?

The Reverend is an avid enthusiast, but his setup is frequently damaged on the show.

Which famous musician is a minority owner of Lionel L.L.C.?

Neil Young is a big train enthusiast. He helped Lionel develop its digital train technology.

When did the first model train magazine come out?

The first such magazine was "Model Railroader," which still exists. Model train magazines are popular to this day. And now, there are several online publications to choose from, as well.

How does Z scale compare to N scale?

Tiny Z scale is just about half the size of N scale! That makes it itsy bitsy! It was invented in the 1970s.

What was the number-one toy for boys in the 1950s?

Toy trains were the number-one toy for boys in the 1950s. This explains the Baby Boomer fascination with model trains.

Which of these materials can be used for making track?

All of these materials can be used! It's also popular to use a nickel alloy mixture, which is light in weight.

When did scale model trains and toy trains become distinct?

The clear distinction was made in the 1950s. At that point, scale model railroading and toy trains took different tracks, so to speak.

When did digitized trains first rear their heads?

The 1980s brought the first digitized trains. They also had realistic sound-producing systems.

What is a popular design feature for most model trains?

Weathering is the process by which tracks and trains are distressed. This distressed look makes them seem more authentic!

Which U.S. museum is the headquarters of the Train Collectors Association?

This famous museum is located in Strasburg, Pennsylvania. It has trains that date back to the 1800s!

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