Rivarossi Model Trains – The Italian Collectors Item

When Alessandro Rossi started his company in 1945, he knew that he wanted to make model trains. His fascination with trains began as a small child when he was given a Hornby Meccano train. This old clockwork train inspired Rossi to create Rivarossi model trains years later. He learned everything he could about the trains by reading subscriptions that his father bought him, written in both English and French.

At the time that Rivarossi was the only model train manufacturer in Italy. Rossi setup shop in a part of a factory the created electric commutators. This is where Rossi met his soon to be partner, Riva. Riva unfortunately wasn’t with the new company long, once he realized the direction things were headed.

Rivarossi started out producing solely the OO scale trains. In the early 1950s, the interest from America caused the company to start going in a slightly different direction with the production of HO scale trains. By the 1970s, Rivarossi sold mostly to the United States. Under pressure from their clients the company moved in the direction of creating the N scale trains.

Due to some financial difficulties, however, the name Rivarossi is not produced by its own company anymore. Today the intellectual rights and casts are owned and still produced by the Hornby company. While the Hornby line of Rivarossi is still a popular line, true collectors often search for the original trains that were once sold by Rivarossi. Their N scale line, however, is the property of Atlas motel trains so you can find many of their N scale designs here.

If you are in the market for one of these little gems you just need to take a stroll on the internet. Since these trains are exceedingly popular don’t be surprised if you find some of these pieces can be a little pricey. A great place to start your search is on EBay. You can often find good deals on these types of models. If you are looking for one in good condition, be sure to look very closely at the pictures.

Vintage pieces can date all the way back from the middle 1940’s which ran on AC power, unlike most of today’s trains. Rivarossi didn’t start developing and producing DC powered trains until the mid 1950s. The AC powered trains are probably the most difficult to find. Since they were not manufactured for as long as the remaining models produced by Rivarossi, these will be on the upper end of the range when it comes to prices.
With such a limited amount of trains made this way it’s little wonder why they are considered to be among the more popular pieces collected by enthusiasts.

Finding original 1940’s pieces might be a little difficult or pricey for many collectors. There are still extraordinary pieces available. Even if you aren’t interested in spending that much, there are other, newer models for you to choose from. Another popular version is their Big Boy. While this was one of the more popular pieces in the later years of the company, the original Big Boys are still sought after by most collectors. These HO scale models replicate the 1940’s engines that were so massive that it required eight axles per engine. The actual engines were used to help run supplies during World War II. Because of the historical significance of the actual engines, the replica trains have become popular.

If you still want one of these wonderful pieces and are willing to do a little restoration work, there are several vendors out there that have just that. You can get some for real cheap if you are willing to do some of the work. You might have to put in a new motor, or replace some other parts that are prone to wear but it is worth it to have a fully restored Rivarossi model trains. Be careful, however, when you purchase one of these second hand trains. You want to make sure that you inspect the engine as closely as possible. You want to ensure that the engine you are purchasing is not rusted in any way. There is some damage that may not be repairable and you need to look for that kind of damage. You also need to know your limits when it comes to restorations. You don’t need a train that needs more work than you can perform so it will be restored properly.

Rivarossi trains, even though they can still be found new, their vintage pieces are the prize for many. As the first Italian manufacturers, they are a true gems.

Model Train Manufacturers – Differences That You Should Know

If you are interested in model railroads you have many different manufacturers to choose from whether you are looking to expand your model railway or if you are starting for the first time there are several aspects to consider. With so many different scales, styles and models to choose from, you have to research you option carefully.

Atlas Model Trains

The Atlas Model Train company was founded in the mid 1900s. They specialize in HO and N scale models. They also have an offshoot company, Atlas O, which manufactures O scale model trains. Atlas trains’ founder Stephan Shaffan Jr. made the model train popular in the United States by redesigning them and making a switch kit. He also innovated many of the pieces such as a pre-assembled turnouts and flexible track. Today the Atlas Company has everything you need to easily set up your railway system. Beginners and experts alike will find something they enjoy.

Hornby Model Trains

Hornby Trains were founded in 1907 as Meccano Ltd. Until the First World War it sold other types of toys but Frank Hornby decided to introduce the toy train into their line 1920. Originally it was a clockwork train. He introduced the electric train a few years later revising them soon after to make them safer. Today, Hornby is among the top producers of O scale trains. They are also among the leaders in OO scale trains, having debuted it in 1938 under the name Hornby Dublo.
They also produce an N scale line under the name Lyddle End. This company is also known for its replica models such as Thomas the Tank Engine and the Hogwarts Express.
The Skaledale is another popular line that is offered by Hornby Trains. This OO scale line shares many of the same styles of buildings as that of Lyddle End.

K-Line Model Trains

The K-Line Trains were founded in 1975 by Maury D. Klein. With his innovation, K-Line began producing model trains that were compatible with several other major names in model trains. They went on to produce O, O27 and S gauge trains. Today, however, you can’t get K-Line trains manufactured by their original manufacturers. Due to snipping and lawsuits with Lionel Trains their intellectual property is now the sole property of Lionel trains. You can still purchase K-Line by Lionel which is manufactured solely in O and O27 scale.

Life Like Model Trains

The Life Like Model train company manufactures their trains in the HO and N scales. This brand is a geared towards those who are new to the model train experience. They offer you detailed trains at a fraction of the cost of other model trains. You can get them in either an extremely detailed version of the Proto 2000 or the slightly less detailed version of the Proto 1000. If you are interested in just getting started in the model train hobby, then this brand might be the one for you to start with. Their less detailed, but just as nice version, Proto 1000, is robust and able to be handled roughly, perfect for kids and new hobbyists.

Lionel Model Trains

Lionel model trains have been around from the beginning of the 1900s. They started out selling just O scale. Today they sell O, O27 and HO scale. They have anything from realistic models of trains to the more whimsical types. You can get antique models, that look like the trains from the 1800-1900s or you can find one that looks like the Hogwarts or Polar Express. They also have a variety of cars and trains that can suit any taste.

Roco Model Trains

Known for their HO, O and N scales Roco model trains are another good train set for those that are just starting out. They specialize in lower cost trains that look just as good as the more expensive models. They have three levels of trains, the playtime level is for children and beginners, professional is for more experienced hobbyists and the platin is for the hardcore enthusiasts. With its variety of levels Roco appeals to hobbyists of all levels that want to have model railroads on a budget.

LGB Model Trains

LGB model train specializes in only one scale train. The G scale train is the largest scale of all scales of trains. They are a normally used for garden or yard trains. These trains are simple to use and are robust enough for even the most inexperienced hobbyist to handle. You don’t have to wear kid gloves around these trains and many models are designed to withstand even the harshest of weather conditions.

Marklin Model Trains

Probably one of the oldest train companies, Marklin has been in business since 1859. They introduced their first clockwork train in 1891. Today they have HO, O, Z, N and Gauge 1 scale trains. They are also among the leaders in digital controlling of model trains. They have an innovative three track system that allows you to set up all sorts of layouts and still look realistic. This is probably the most complicated of all model trains and might not be ideal for beginners.