National Toy Train Library

National Toy Train Library The National Toy Train Library is located in Strasburg, PA at the National Toy Train Museum. It is owned and operated by the Train Collectors Association.

The TCA website will be offline on Monday, October 18, 2021. This is a planned outage in order to transition over to a n...
10/15/2021
Train Collectors Association : Online Collections

The TCA website will be offline on Monday, October 18, 2021. This is a planned outage in order to transition over to a new and improved TCA website.

You can still use the library's online catalog during the outage. It is located here:

https://traincollectors.pastperfectonline.com/

The National Toy Train Library houses hundreds of thousands of items constituting a unique collection of information on the history and characteristics of toy trains in the United States and elsewhere. A work in progress, this catalog already provides a rare insight into a significant part of our ho...

To celebrate 75 years of American Flyer S gauge trains, we are highlighting a selection of S gauge paper from the librar...
10/14/2021

To celebrate 75 years of American Flyer S gauge trains, we are highlighting a selection of S gauge paper from the library's collection, including a 1946 dealer catalog advertising the 3/16" scale trains with two-rail track, real smoke, and choo-choo sound effects. Happy 75th Anniversary!

To celebrate 75 years of American Flyer S gauge trains, we are highlighting a selection of S gauge paper from the library's collection, including a 1946 dealer catalog advertising the 3/16" scale trains with two-rail track, real smoke, and choo-choo sound effects. Happy 75th Anniversary!

10/01/2021

York Week is coming up fast! If you are able to attend the York Train Show, make sure you drop by the Yellow Hall for the museum and library's deaccessioned items sale. Please see the hours below.

Tuesday, October 19th Noon - 5 p.m.
Wednesday, October 20th Noon - 5 p.m.
Thursday, October 21st Noon - 6:30 p.m.
Friday, October 22nd 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 23rd 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Happy Labor Day from the National Toy Train Library! Thank you to all the hard workers that keep the engines running.
09/06/2021

Happy Labor Day from the National Toy Train Library! Thank you to all the hard workers that keep the engines running.

Happy Labor Day from the National Toy Train Library! Thank you to all the hard workers that keep the engines running.

Are you a fan of MTH? Here are just a few of the comprehensive guides by Richard Ridolfo that we've purchased for the li...
08/18/2021

Are you a fan of MTH? Here are just a few of the comprehensive guides by Richard Ridolfo that we've purchased for the library's collection. They cover MTH Premier and RailKing engines, rolling stock, accessories, and more!

Are you a fan of MTH? Here are just a few of the comprehensive guides by Richard Ridolfo that we've purchased for the library's collection. They cover MTH Premier and RailKing engines, rolling stock, accessories, and more!

The library is highlighting a selection of famed toy train author and collector Louis Hertz’s books in a new display. Th...
08/05/2021

The library is highlighting a selection of famed toy train author and collector Louis Hertz’s books in a new display. The library would like to know, what is your favorite Louis Hertz book? Are you a fan of Riding the Tinplate Rails, Collecting Model Trains, or maybe Messrs. Ives of Bridgeport? Please comment below and let us know!

The library is highlighting a selection of famed toy train author and collector Louis Hertz’s books in a new display. The library would like to know, what is your favorite Louis Hertz book? Are you a fan of Riding the Tinplate Rails, Collecting Model Trains, or maybe Messrs. Ives of Bridgeport? Please comment below and let us know!

Norfolk and Western’s Class J No. 611 locomotive returned to the Strasburg Rail Road at the end of May this year. Recent...
07/29/2021

Norfolk and Western’s Class J No. 611 locomotive returned to the Strasburg Rail Road at the end of May this year. Recently, the library created a new 611 display to honor the famed steam locomotive. This 3-rail O scale version of the Queen of Steam was made by Williams Electric Trains and was featured in the company’s 1990 Crown Edition Line catalog. We would like to thank the National Toy Train Museum for loaning us this Williams Electric Trains O scale 611. The 611 is scheduled to depart the Strasburg Rail Road at the beginning of October.

Happy Independence Day from the National Toy Train Library!  2021 marks this nation's 245th birthday, but twenty years a...
07/04/2021

Happy Independence Day from the National Toy Train Library! 2021 marks this nation's 245th birthday, but twenty years ago, MTH celebrated our 225th birthday with this patriotic folder featuring an American Freedom 4-8-4 Gs-4 steam engine.

Happy Independence Day from the National Toy Train Library! 2021 marks this nation's 245th birthday, but twenty years ago, MTH celebrated our 225th birthday with this patriotic folder featuring an American Freedom 4-8-4 Gs-4 steam engine.

Happy Father's Day from the National Toy Train Library! #FathersDay
06/20/2021

Happy Father's Day from the National Toy Train Library! #FathersDay

Happy Father's Day from the National Toy Train Library! #FathersDay

Looking for some inspiration for a military-themed layout on this Memorial Day?  Try Model Railroads Go To War by Bernar...
05/31/2021

Looking for some inspiration for a military-themed layout on this Memorial Day? Try Model Railroads Go To War by Bernard Kempinski. Model various wartime scenes while learning about the history of military railroads, beginning with the American Civil War.

Looking for some inspiration for a military-themed layout on this Memorial Day? Try Model Railroads Go To War by Bernard Kempinski. Model various wartime scenes while learning about the history of military railroads, beginning with the American Civil War.

We are happy to see the return of the Norfolk & Western Class J 611 to Strasburg Rail Road!
05/28/2021

We are happy to see the return of the Norfolk & Western Class J 611 to Strasburg Rail Road!

What an amazing way to kick off the holiday weekend!
It's been a long journey, but we're excited to officially welcome Class J 611 to our station.
Starting tomorrow, you can catch a ride this weekend behind this American Icon. New excursion rides are now available Monday, May 31st!

Book your tickets now:
http://ow.ly/Fbpk50ECyCB

photo credit: @Christopher Po***ck

#strasburgrailroad #queenofsteam #classj #americanicon

Congratulations to Strasburg Rail Road on their nomination for best scenic train ride in North America!
05/14/2021

Congratulations to Strasburg Rail Road on their nomination for best scenic train ride in North America!

We’re very excited to be nominated for best scenic train ride in North America by USA Today! If you’ve taken a ride on our historic railroad, show us some love:

https://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-scenic-train-ride/strasburg-rail-road/

#strasburgrailroad #lancastercounty #amishcountry #usatoday

Happy Mother's Day from the National Toy Train Library!
05/09/2021

Happy Mother's Day from the National Toy Train Library!

Happy Mother's Day from the National Toy Train Library!

Did you know TCA is made up of 20 divisions spread across the country? This year one of those divisions is celebrating i...
04/23/2021

Did you know TCA is made up of 20 divisions spread across the country? This year one of those divisions is celebrating its 60th anniversary. TCA’s Metropolitan Division, also known as METCA, was founded in 1961. METCA covers parts of the Tri-State region surrounding New York City. To celebrate METCA turning 60, the library is sharing materials from its collection of division newsletters and convention souvenirs. Below is an excerpt from METCA’s first division newsletter, which was published on November 1, 1961, along with a patch and sticker from TCA’s 2015 National Convention hosted by METCA.

Did you know TCA is made up of 20 divisions spread across the country? This year one of those divisions is celebrating its 60th anniversary. TCA’s Metropolitan Division, also known as METCA, was founded in 1961. METCA covers parts of the Tri-State region surrounding New York City. To celebrate METCA turning 60, the library is sharing materials from its collection of division newsletters and convention souvenirs. Below is an excerpt from METCA’s first division newsletter, which was published on November 1, 1961, along with a patch and sticker from TCA’s 2015 National Convention hosted by METCA.

Happy National Library Week! Thank you to all the TCA members and public who support the National Toy Train Library. We ...
04/06/2021

Happy National Library Week! Thank you to all the TCA members and public who support the National Toy Train Library. We continue to exist and grow because of your support. #NationalLibraryWeek #LibrariesTransform

Happy National Library Week! Thank you to all the TCA members and public who support the National Toy Train Library. We continue to exist and grow because of your support. #NationalLibraryWeek #LibrariesTransform

Happy Easter from the National Toy Train Library!
04/04/2021

Happy Easter from the National Toy Train Library!

Happy Easter from the National Toy Train Library!

Through April, the National Toy Train Library is offering a 15% discount on duplicate books. Check out the latest list r...
03/31/2021
TCA Members - Duplicate Books

Through April, the National Toy Train Library is offering a 15% discount on duplicate books. Check out the latest list reflecting the new pricing, and call 717 687-8623, ext. 108, to verify availability and place your order. Library staff are available to take your call Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. EST. Prices do not include shipping.
http://www.tcamembers.org/library/duplicatebooks.shtml

Train Collectors Association's Members web site. Worldwide toy and tinplate train collectors society, promoting standards and wholesome hobby activities.

Happy St. Patrick's Day from the National Toy Train Library! Enjoy this video from the Casino Model Railway Museum, home...
03/17/2021
Casino Model Railway Museum , Dublin

Happy St. Patrick's Day from the National Toy Train Library! Enjoy this video from the Casino Model Railway Museum, home of the Fry Model Collection, located in Malahide, Co. Dublin, Ireland.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhfMu4V8Qe4

The Casino Model Railway Museum is Ireland's only model railway museum. Opened in January 2020 in the restored Casino thatched cottage in the heart of Malahi...

Among the many periodicals in the National Toy Train Library’s collection is The Open Road for Boys. First published in ...
03/05/2021

Among the many periodicals in the National Toy Train Library’s collection is The Open Road for Boys. First published in November 1919 as The Open Road, this magazine featured short adventurous fictional stories meant to capture young people’s imaginations and to promote the exploration of the outdoors. The magazine ended its run in 1954 as American Boy and Open Road. Below is the cover of the December 1941 issue featuring advertisements for American Flyer trains, Lionel trains, Gilbert erector sets, and much more. Perhaps the best tasting food brand advertised on this cover is Baby Ruth. Can you spot the one other food brand featured on the December 1941 cover?

Among the many periodicals in the National Toy Train Library’s collection is The Open Road for Boys. First published in November 1919 as The Open Road, this magazine featured short adventurous fictional stories meant to capture young people’s imaginations and to promote the exploration of the outdoors. The magazine ended its run in 1954 as American Boy and Open Road. Below is the cover of the December 1941 issue featuring advertisements for American Flyer trains, Lionel trains, Gilbert erector sets, and much more. Perhaps the best tasting food brand advertised on this cover is Baby Ruth. Can you spot the one other food brand featured on the December 1941 cover?

Happy Valentine's Day from the National Toy Train Library!❤
02/14/2021

Happy Valentine's Day from the National Toy Train Library!❤

Happy Valentine's Day from the National Toy Train Library!❤

We honor and remember the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. today. For America's Bicentennial (1975-1976), ...
01/18/2021
The American Freedom Train 1975/1976 Official Commemorative Program : American Freedom Train Foundation : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

We honor and remember the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. today. For America's Bicentennial (1975-1976), artifacts from the ministry of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. travelled throughout the United States on an American Freedom Train. Car number 10 carried Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s bible and a reproduction of his pulpit. https://archive.org/details/TheAmericanFreedomTrain19751976OfficialCommemorativeProgram/page/n27/mode/2up

Official commemorative program for the 1975/1976 tour of the American Freedom Train, a traveling exhibit of U.S. history and culture.

The National Toy Train Library is profiled in the January/February 2021 issue of American Libraries magazine!  Click on ...
01/05/2021
Bookend: All Aboard | American Libraries Magazine

The National Toy Train Library is profiled in the January/February 2021 issue of American Libraries magazine! Click on the link below to read the article. #TrainCollectorsAssociation #AmericanLibraryAssociation
https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2021/01/04/bookend-all-aboard-national-toy-train-library/

Librarian Lori Nyce works at the National Toy Train Library in Ronks, Pennsylvania, which holds 500,000 items related to model railroading.

Happy New Year from the National Toy Train Library! #HappyNewYear #HappyNewYear2021
01/01/2021

Happy New Year from the National Toy Train Library!
#HappyNewYear #HappyNewYear2021

On the Twelfth Day of Catalogs….Enjoy this image from the cover of the 1927 Butler Brothers Santa Claus edition catalog....
12/25/2020

On the Twelfth Day of Catalogs….

Enjoy this image from the cover of the 1927 Butler Brothers Santa Claus edition catalog. Three brothers Charles, George, and Edward Butler founded Butler Brothers in 1877. Initially, the company sold various products through mail order as a wholesale retailer. Later, the company developed several retail chains including the five and dime store Ben Franklin.

Early 20th century Butler Brothers catalogs often featured toy trains for sale including those made by American Flyer. Sadly, by February 1960 City Products Corp. of Ohio bought Butler Brothers and discontinued the brand.

The National Toy Train Library wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy Holiday season! #12DaysCatalogs

On the Eleventh Day of Catalogs….Can you spot the train on the cover of this F.A.O. Schwarz catalog? This Christmas cata...
12/24/2020

On the Eleventh Day of Catalogs….

Can you spot the train on the cover of this F.A.O. Schwarz catalog? This Christmas catalog is from F.A.O. Schwarz’s 100th year in business. The fabled toy store began selling toys in 1862. The 1962 catalog features an assortment of toys including wooden floor trains by Skaneateles, Legos, Dinky Toys, Lionel’s 0 gauge “Astronaut Rescue Special” set, and much more.

#12DaysCatalogs

On the Tenth Day of Catalogs…. This 1937 Christmas gifts catalog by Wholesale Radio Service Co. features eight pages of ...
12/23/2020

On the Tenth Day of Catalogs….

This 1937 Christmas gifts catalog by Wholesale Radio Service Co. features eight pages of 0 and standard gauge Lionel train sets and rolling stock. Other familiar names in the catalog include American Flyer, Buddy “L”, StromBecker, and more.

Wholesale Radio Service Co. sold its own brand of radios called Lafayette and developed its own ham radio division. After several corporate name changes, the company transitioned to using only the Lafayette name. In the 1950s, Lafayette Radio continued to capitalize on the popularity of its best-known brand. Unfortunately, this success did not last and by 1981, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and sold its remaining assets to Circuit City. #12DaysCatalogs

On the Ninth Day of Catalogs….The next catalog in our series is from B.F. Goodrich. This 1946 Christmas gifts catalog fe...
12/22/2020

On the Ninth Day of Catalogs….

The next catalog in our series is from B.F. Goodrich. This 1946 Christmas gifts catalog features a Lionel 2-4-2 New York Central 0-27 gauge locomotive on the cover. B.F. Goodrich, like Firestone, is known for its tires, but around Christmas time both companies issued mail order catalogs. B.F. Goodrich published these ‘wholesale’ catalogs selling a variety of products made by different companies including toy trains manufactured by Lionel and Marx.
B.F. Goodrich is celebrating their 150th anniversary this year!
#12DaysCatalogs

On the Eighth Day of Catalogs….Santa Claus is giving this family a big thumbs up as they spend time with one another aro...
12/21/2020

On the Eighth Day of Catalogs….

Santa Claus is giving this family a big thumbs up as they spend time with one another around their Christmas tree. This scene played out on the cover of a Western Auto Christmas gifts catalog. Inside the catalog, there are two pages featuring a combination of Lionel and Marx trains. A variety of other toys are also offered including bicycles, sporting equipment, radios, Gilbert science sets, toy trucks, board games, and musical instruments.

To learn more about Western Auto and its connection to Pepperdine University, check out this website created by a former Western Auto franchise owner.
https://www.westernautoradioland.com/history-of-western-auto

#12DaysCatalogs

On the Seventh Day of Catalogs…. This festive Christmas scene is from the cover of the 1954 Firestone catalog. If you lo...
12/20/2020

On the Seventh Day of Catalogs….

This festive Christmas scene is from the cover of the 1954 Firestone catalog. If you look closely, you can see a 0-27 Gauge Lionel double-unit diesel racing past Santa’s shoulder. In addition to the Lionel set on the cover, the catalog features two full pages of Lionel trains and two pages of Marx trains. Besides toy trains and Firestone’s iconic tires, the company offered a range of products in the 1954 wholesale catalog including dolls, stuffed animals, model airplanes, board games, bikes, radios, TVs, appliances, and much more.
#12DaysCatalogs

On the Sixth Day of Catalogs...This large format catalog is from the Blackwell Wielandy Company of St. Louis, Missouri, ...
12/19/2020

On the Sixth Day of Catalogs...

This large format catalog is from the Blackwell Wielandy Company of St. Louis, Missouri, founded by Paul J. Wielandy and Arthur M. Blackwell. The 1939-1940 catalog of holiday goods features toys and trains by Louis Marx & Co., Buddy "L", American Flyer, and more, as well as a full color 12-page insert of Lionel trains & accessories. #12DaysCatalogs

On the Fifth Day of Catalogs....Who doesn't know the name F.A.O. Schwarz, the famous toy store?  The "Toy Bazaar", later...
12/18/2020

On the Fifth Day of Catalogs....

Who doesn't know the name F.A.O. Schwarz, the famous toy store? The "Toy Bazaar", later F. A. O. Schwarz, was founded in 1862 by Frederick August Otto Schwarz. The catalog below highlights the excitement children of all ages experience looking at that toy shop window display! Lionel trains and accessories for 1933 are featured on pages 32 and 33 of this toy catalog. #12DaysCatalogs

On the Fourth Day of Catalogs....A "Spirit of '76" freight train set is featured on the cover of this OTASCO catalog. Th...
12/17/2020

On the Fourth Day of Catalogs....

A "Spirit of '76" freight train set is featured on the cover of this OTASCO catalog. The Tyco five unit Bicentennial set with a red, white, and blue diesel locomotive and caboose included a flat car with pipe, a box car, and a hopper car. OTASCO, or the Oklahoma Tire and Supply Company, opened its first store in 1918.

To learn more about OTASCO, check out this entry in the Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture: https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=OT004
#12DaysCatalogs

Address

300 Paradise Lane
Ronks, PA
17572

General information

The National Toy Train Library is a research library open to the public whose mission is “to acquire, conserve and preserve ephemera relating to toy trains in order to guarantee its current and future use and to provide access to its collection for research and studies.” The Library boasts the most comprehensive collection of toy train manufacturers’ catalogs in the world. It also contains most books and periodicals relating to the hobby. TCA members and the public are welcome to visit the Library to do their own research or research services are also available. Please call ahead before visiting since our hours can vary.

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