The first model trains appeared in Germany in the 1850s, following the boom in railways in the early years of the nineteenth century. Simple and attractive – but surviving today only in watercolour catalogues – these handpainted tinplate models bore little resemblance to the later US designs, which were on a larger scale, more brightly painted and more obviously intended for use in the nursery. The Golden Age of toy trains, 1890-1914, saw the standardisation of track and guage systems, with German manufacturers Marklin leading the way. Most models were specially commissioned in the first instance but gradually the locomotives and carriages became affordable to the general public, due to increased competition between manufacturers. The post-World War II years saw the introduction of plastic and the successful launch of the Hornby design, still popular today. In this authoritative and vividly illustrated guide, the authors (one British, the other American) trace this history, profiling the work of manufacturers and modellers from around the world and highlighting the refinements in detailing that have been achieved over the past 150 years.;Advice for today’s collectors includes information on purchasing and restoring as well as a practical guide on how to construct the best railway layouts.