The first miniature toy trains were built in Germany in the 1830s. They were pushed or pulled by hand and were poor replicas of the real thing. These toy trains were made out of all kinds of materials, especially brass, lead and tin. Later, self-propelled toy trains came into play in two forms: steam-powered engines affordable only by the wealthy and clockwork toy trains for purchase by more modest buyers.

In the 19th century, German toy makers dominated the tin-toy market with top-notch companies like Lehmann, Bing, Issmayer, Carette, and Günthermann. However, it was a French company, E.F. LeFèvre Successeurs that made the first stations, signals, and sheds of tinplate to accompany its trains. The LeFèvre toy train tracks were rather primitive, made of tin and shaped into circles with grooves for the trains to use.

More Info: