While as a Child I was Given a Model Train Layout, My Mom took me to New York By Bus…

Posted on September 1, 2014 · Posted in Bachmann trains
77REV-Grand Central Station-New York with Gloria Furlini

Grand Central Terminal in New York in a photograph much more recent than 1968, when I would have been using a Kodak Instamatic.

80REV-Cartier store-Fifth Avenue-New York,NY

Fifth Avenue in New York in the early 2000s. Back in 1968 my Mom yelled at antiwar demonstrators on this famous street. Happy Labor Day!

Back in 1968 I was in the 8th Grade living in Aberdeen, Maryland. While the small town near the Aberdeen Proving Ground was served by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1968, my Mom took my sister and me to New York by bus. I may have been given a model train layout, but here I am on a bus to New York City. Shucks! It was my first time, but far from my last, I visited this great city. While memories are sketchy, I know we were in New York on Labor Day weekend. In that year the Viet Nam War was reaching its height, and resistance to the war was in full swing as well. My Dad was serving in Viet Nam at this time with the United States Army. My Mom was very proud of my Dad and his service. She was an immigrant from Germany and seemed to  be especially grateful to live in this wonderful country.

Well, demonstrating is of course a part of what makes this country wonderful. As we walked Fifth Avenue back in that troubled year- Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were both assassinated in 1968- protesters were walking down Fifth Avenue chanting “Don’t Let Labor Pay For The War!!” I am not sure how labor was paying for the Viet Nam War. My Mom could not remain silent. From across the street she began shouting in her loud voice at the angry young protestors- my sister and I were a little nervous. A New York Police officer asked my Mom politely to keep it down…he didn’t want “any trouble”. Oh, how I love New York!

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Unlike Atlas Trains: Chasing Real “Fallen Flags” can Be Tricky

Posted on August 28, 2014 · Posted in Atlas HO Trains, Atlas trains, Love of trains, YourToyTrain Products
26REV-Fallen Flag Southern Railway

A cherished memory of Southern Railway on a Union Pacific manifest freight train east of Dallas.


Atlas HO 50′ Box Car (See the Atlas HO Freight Car Page) The Milwaukee Road. $24.99. Always brand new! Always timeless!

I love to railfan all over the United States and Canada. Of course most of my time is spent close to my home here in Dallas/ Fort Worth, Texas- luckily a major rail crossroads. One of my pleasures is to take pictures of freight cars from “Fallen Flags“, railroads that once operated but now have merged or otherwise have disappeared. I can spend a whole day on a main rail line, perhaps the Union Pacific Railroad Little Rock- Fort Worth Main Line east of Dallas, and maybe see 5-10 fallen flags over an entire day. Those are photographs I really cherish. I love the railroad industry today…but the proud history of over a century and a half of the railroad industry makes for some powerful heritage. This Southern Railway box car, seen on a train east of Dallas, is a reminder for me of the 1960s-1970s when Southern Railway proudly proclaimed “Gives The Green Light To Innovations”. With model railroading, thank goodness pristine mint “Fallen Flags” are just a few clicks away. Milwaukee Road? Not too many sightings down here in Texas. No worries! On our Atlas HO Freight Cars Page a brand new graffiti-free Milwaukee Road box car is always available.

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HO Train Tracks: YourToyTrains will not compromise on customer service:

For the YourToyTrains customer in Michigan, a happy ending on his quest for an Atlas track product (See August 13th, 2014 Post) was achieved after all. YourToyTrains is proud to stock 113 different HO Train Tracks items, a very all encompassing assortment to build your HO model layout. When a gentleman in Michigan (For privacy we do not reveal any personal information) could not find a particular Atlas item, I did find the older item (the product this new turnout replaced) at  a hobby shop in the Dallas/ Fort Worth area. This item was mailed to the Michigan customer, with my promise I would follow up to make sure the issue with Atlas was resolved. I did call the Marketing Department for Atlas at their Hillside, New Jersey, headquarters- I was assured the Atlas ATM281 Code 100 Mark IV  #4 Turnout Left would be shipping out to suppliers last week, and these orders would soon be filled. I followed up with my Michigan customer. The model train lay-out he keeps in his basement is for the joy of his grandchildren, and he did not have the luxury of waiting for  the new turnout as the grandkids were coming to his home very soon. He proudly told me he had installed the older turnout I mailed him- the older turnout was working “just fine” and the HO model layout was completely ready for the arriving grandchildren.


See our Atlas HO Track Category for this HO Code 83 3″ Straight Track (4 pieces) for $3.99. Browse our selection of 113 different HO Track products.


The River Pass Track Pack has a complete assortment of HO Track items to build your HO model layout. $89.95 at our HO Track webpage.

Rest assured YourToyTrains takes customer  service very seriously.

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The Legacy of Abraham Lincoln : Relive the Civil War with a Model Train Layout

Posted on August 22, 2014 · Posted in Bachmann trains, Love of trains, Railroad History, YourToyTrain Products

Bachmann HO Train Set: The Civil War (Confederate)

1Rev-Union Pacific Railroad Eastbound Stack Train

President Lincoln’s Legacy: A Union Pacific Railroad intermodal train in East Texas. Railroads are vital to the US economy.


Bachmann HO Train Set; The Civil War: Union

I recently reread my favorite book, “Team of Rivals” by Doris Kearns Goodwin, for the third time. I have read much on President Lincoln, and I marvel at this great man leading our nation at a time of a supreme test, the Civil War. President Lincoln’s legacy extends to railroads. In addition to doing some legal work for the Illinois railroads, one of President Lincoln’s friends was a railroad lawyer in Chicago who arranged inexpensive fares for delegates to the Republican National Convention in Chicago in 1860. Having a large number of Illinois people at that convention was one of the ingredients of Lincoln coming from nowhere to become a Presidential candidate. Most importantly, Lincoln signed the Pacific Railroad Act that created the Union Pacific Railroad and enabled the first transcontinental railroad to be built. With a model train layout from Bachmann HO’s Civil War train set collection you can teach your little railroader about this tragic but critical era in American history. And all the while your little railroader will be having a blast as they learn.   I have worked as a school teacher. Believe me, having fun helps learning.

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Travel Tip: If your child loves Lionel Polar Express, Folkston will be an awesome side trip

Posted on August 17, 2014 · Posted in Lionel trains, Love of trains, Train-watching for Kids, Travel Ideas/Tips
100RSZ-CSX intermodal train-Folkston Funnel

A CSX Transportation intermodal train on the main line from the Midwest and Northeast to Florida. All CSX trains entering Florida must pass through the “Folkston Funnel”.

133RESIZE-Folkston Railfan Platform-Folkston,GA

You and your family will have plenty of company in a safe, family-friendly environment.

Most railfans are well aware of the “Folkston Funnel”. In this small South Georgia city 20 miles west of Interstate 95 on Georgia Highway 40 you will find a magical place that loves and welcomes railfans. Not only is there a platform provided by the City of Folkston to watch trains (see photograph), there is plenty of free parking, plenty of railfans to talk to, a radio to listen to the train crews, a well lit safe place to watch trains at night, and a town that is very proud of its railroad heritage. If your son, daughter, niece, nephew, grandson, or granddaughter loves the Lionel Polar Express, a side trip off the Interstate would be a very rewarding, fun experience for the whole family.

Travel Hint: Folkston, Georgia is on US Highway 301- before the construction of Interstate 95 this highway was the main road for Florida vacationers. Check out the old motels and old roadside businesses to capture the feel of traveling US highways in the 1940s-1950s.

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With Model Train Sets loaded, All USA Trains product is loaded!


USA Trains G Reefer Gerber Boy. What a gift for a new Dad who loves G Scale!


USA Trains G Scale NW2 Freight Set New York Central with the “Lightning Stripes” livery.

With YourToyTrains approaching 5000 products on our ever-growing website, we are excited that we have loaded all the USA Trains product as of today, August 13th, 2014. While  we finished USA Trains, we are very excited in that manufacturers with much broader product lines are nearing completion as well. This effort by our small staff has involved- and will continue to involve- many hours of work as we finish our “Labor of Love“. However, with USA Trains completion, we have sharply increased our G Scale product. YourToyTrains will sell to all gauges! If you model in the large-size G gauge, take a look at our wonderful selection of USA Trains products. For examples I picked a Model Train Set and a Model Freight Car to provide just a few examples of USA Trains products we are selling at YourToyTrains.com. Have a look!

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Missing a piece of Atlas HO Track


The Atlas HO ATM281 HO Code 100 Mark IV #4 Turnout Left. Have you seen one?

I had a customer contact me regarding the Atlas HO Track Code 100 Mark IV Number 4 Turnout Left. He wanted to order this turnout, and we at YourToyTrains did not have the product in stock. From the comments of the customer, no other on line model railroad website has this product either. We at YourToyTrains are absolutely committed to outstanding customer service. Yesterday I called all the model train hobby shops in Dallas/ Fort Worth hoping to find a left switch that might still be on a shelf. I found the older Mark III Left Turnout at a hobby shop in this area, which I sent to my customer. He really wants the Mark IV, the newer version. If you have an Atlas HO Code 100 Turnout Left Mark IV you are not using, please send a message to my Blog. I will buy the product from you and then ship it to my customer. At YourToyTrains we will take customer service very seriously.

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Lionel Train Accessories? 326 choices at YourToyTrains !

Posted on August 12, 2014 · Posted in Lionel trains, News From YourToyTrains.com, YourToyTrain Products

The Lionel Cab 1-L Base 1-L Command Set- $199.99. Satisfying your need to “command and control”.


Lionel Classic Billboard Set. $11.99- What could be better to enhance your Lionel World?


Lionel Operating Coaling Station- $144.99- If you operate in steam, a coaling station is a “must” for your layout.

YourToyTrains is a relatively new site. I sometimes think we should have loaded all our product first, and then taken our place on the Web. However, the excitement and pleasure of watching an excellent Web Site for you lovers of model trains being built is something I am glad we are able to share. Take our catalog of Lionel Train Accessories. Lionel has taken its legacy of 100 years of model trains and built upon it with new management and new energy.  YourToyTrains proudly offers a remarkable 326 different products on our Lionel Accessories page. Our wide range of accessories include everything from billboard sets, a working coaling station, and even a “Command and Control” (Critical for us Men!) Command Set (All pictured). We are sure a quick look at our selection of Lionel train accessories will inspire you to reach new levels of detail and complexity on your own Lionel model railroad.

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Lionel Christmas Train Sets: For your loved one who loves trains, the best Merry Christmas ever!

Posted on August 8, 2014 · Posted in About YourToyTrains.com, Lionel trains, YourToyTrain Products
Lionel Silver Bells

Lionel O Gauge Silver Bells Remote Control Train Set. $209.95 on our Lionel Train Sets Site.

Santa's Christmas Flyer Set

Lionel O gauge Christmas Flyer Set $269.75 at our Lionel Train Sets Site.

As a consumer, I don’t like the fact I see Christmas decorations being displayed on Halloween. However, it is true with many folks having large gift lists (Those Grand Kids can really add up!) some of you may feel starting your Christmas shopping early just makes sense. Lionel has an outstanding selection of Lionel Christmas train sets that will meet the needs of that special child or grandchild (or nephew or niece as well) who loves trains.  With a heritage of over 100 years in the model train business, and new owners who are committed to keeping the Lionel brand an iconic American brand, you can be sure that special someone will have years of enjoyment from a high quality train set. Last year one of my best friends bought his little Grandson a model train off this site- and I felt great to make the sale. The child was newly born, and my friend bought a train set for “Ages 2  And Up”. No worries! He will save the set until the little boy is two years old…and he bought him something else in the mean time. My friend could have returned he product…I think he wanted to make sure I got the sale. It is great to have friends!

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It would take plenty of Model Train Accessories to model Prague!

Posted on August 7, 2014 · Posted in Travel Ideas/Tips, Woodland Scenics
107R-View from Prague Castle to Vltava RiverRevised

View of Prague from Prague castle. Photo taken by Clyde Smith.

Some years ago I took a vacation in Europe by Eurailpass (the train connection to this article!) which included a few days in Prague in the Czech Republic. The city is well known for its scenic beauty- remarkably it survived World War II with very little damage. A trip to Prague, especially for us big lovers of history, is a virtual trip in a time machine.  The city has street after street and neighborhood after neighborhood of beautiful buildings that make you feel like you are in the 1700s. The picture I took of the city from the heights at the Prague Castle gives some idea how beautiful this city is. With all the Woodland Scenics model train accessories I have loaded into YourToyTrains.com I still don’t think I have loaded enough product to build Prague. Well, if Prague was full of 19th and 20th Century buildings Woodland Scenics would come pretty close!

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