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Thread: Who Invented Electric Trains?

  1. #1

    Default Who Invented Electric Trains?

    I was thanking God for the guy who Invented Electric Trains and I thought "who did invent Electric Trains? I bet one or more of the members will know!"

    I would love to hear about the history of Electric Trains, if anyone has the knowledge and the time to share it I would appreciate it.
    Keep High Balling, Be Safe & Have Fun!

    Louis

  2. #2

  3. #3

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    Thank you Mark, that was very interesting and I learned something as well. I had believed O gauge was the letter O but now I see that is it Zero.

    I guess it is up for debate who actually made the first electric train.

    If anyone has any further information I would appreciate it.
    Keep High Balling, Be Safe & Have Fun!

    Louis

  4. #4

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    Joshua Lionel Cowen, if not the actual inventor, certainly was a pioneer in creating a full line of electric trains along with a successful marketing campaign. Oddly enough, his first creation - a simple motorized wagon on a circle of track - was originally meant as a marketing tool for merchants to use in window displays. When customers were more interested in the little rail wagon than what merchants place in it, Lionel Trains was born. The rest is history.
    Dr. John
    Chief Engineer and Head Muckety-Muck
    Alabama Overland RR / Autauga Creek & Western RY

  5. #5

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    I had thought it was Marklin, but it appears that although Marklin came up with the concept of a "train set" which had interchangeable pieces which could be added and purchased one at a time to build a "layout" (a GREAT marketing idea- and the basis for the entire hobby ever since), the first Marklin trains were clockwork drive, and were introduced in 1895. The earliest actual electric toy (model) train I could find is this:



    This electric train was marketed by Jehu Garlick in 1895.

    To answer the question exactly as worded in the thread title, real electric trains appear to have been invented in 1837.
    From Wikipedia:

    The first known electric locomotive was built in 1837 by chemist Robert Davidson of Aberdeen. It was powered by galvanic cells (batteries). Davidson later built a larger locomotive named Galvani, exhibited at the Royal Scottish Society of Arts Exhibition in 1841.
    The first commercially successful electric trains were invented by Werner von Siemens

    Siemens AG is among the largest electrical firms around today of course.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoker View Post
    The earliest actual electric toy (model) train I could find is this:



    This electric train was marketed by Jehu Garlick in 1895.
    That is one very interesting locomotive. It appears it may have originally had only one axle powered and used a side rod to connect the second axle as evidenced by the bosses on the spoke webs above the hubs. Trolley pole looks insulated at the roof and a wire is visible through the cab window. Pretty advanced for 1895 I would say!
    Mike

    Lobuc Valley RR
    "The Hobo Route"

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