K-Line Model Trains – True Collectors Pieces

When it comes to finding the prize piece of your collection it all depends on manufacturer. With leaders in the industry such as Lionel, Hornby, and Life-like, it’s easy to overlook one of the original competitors of these giants. K-Line model trains hit the scene in the late 1970s as a major competitor to Lionel’s O and S scale trains. Made of slightly cheaper material they were able to price their products lower giving Lionel great competition. They lacked the prestige of a Lionel train but their price made them right for the picking.

Today, after a few lawsuits between K-Line and Lionel as well as other problems, K-Line was acquired by Lionel and they continue to reproduce some of the pieces that made K-Line famous. But for a true collector, a reproduction of the K-Line brand is just not the same.

You obviously can’t go out and purchase a new MDK Corp K-Line these days. They just don’t exist. So to get a true K-Line you have to purchase second hand. While these trains might not be considered a collector’s item as of yet, for a fan of K-line trains, they already are.

The great thing about these trains is that right now, you can still find many of these at the original asking price. Since not everyone views them as a collectible this is the time to get them at a bargain. You don’t want to pay thousands of dollars for one of these trains. They just simply aren’t worth it.

To find a good price you need to turn to the internet. It’s important to take your time at this point. Again, you don’t want to pay too much for your treasured find. Check out sites such as EBay and Yahoo to see what kind of deals you can get.

A good thing about the K-Line brand is that many of the K-Line cars designed from the mid 1980’s on are compatible with Lionel engines. That means if you have your heart set on one of the fancy passenger trains that was originally designed and marketed by K-Line then get it. It will work with the Lionel train, since the couplers were designed to be compatible. Incidentally, even though you can find the K-Line by Lionel line available you will not find their extravagant trains since there were the direct competitor to Lionel’s own line.

One of the other things that you won’t find on the K-Line by Lionel offerings is the S scale trains and engines. These locomotives were originally designed to run on A.C. Gilbert’s American Flyer line. Maury Klein, managed to acquire the track after Gilbet’s death. Lionel had their own line of American Flyer engines and cars but did not have the track. After acquiring K-Line they acquired the track needed to complete their American Flyer series so they no longer produce K-Line’s S scale locomotives.

This makes the S scale more collector friendly than any of the other models produced by K-Line. There is no replica or reproduction out there that meets the K-Line standard. For those interested in collecting K-Line products these might be more elusive than the rest.

K-Line is a collectors dream and nightmare. Because many people love these trains there are going to be many people out there that want to take advantage of others. For this reason always make sure you do your homework not just on the train itself but on the seller when possible.

K-line model trains have been on the market for over 30 years. They have been known not only for their innovative construction which allowed them to compete with more popular brands but for their beauty and price. A true collector’s item now that the original manufacturer is no longer in the picture. It’s easy to see why so many people enjoy the K-Line brand train, and it’s going to be harder to locate them as the years go on.

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.