Time to Play…August is Toy Train Month at the Railroad Museum

Time to Play...August is Toy Train Month at the Railroad Museum

Perfect for train enthusiasts, rail fans, children and the young-of-heart of all ages, California State Parks and the California State Railroad Museum have deemed August as “Toy Train Month,” an annual celebration that focuses on the crowd-favorite Thomas W. Sefton Gallery and “Small Wonders: The Magic of Toy Trains” exhibit.

In recognition of Toy Train month in August, an entirely new selection of Buddy “L” toys – never before displayed at the Museum — will be introduced as part of the “Small Wonders” exhibit.  The special items added to the exhibit will include a Model T dump truck, fire truck, lumber truck, cement mixer, toy boat, toy airplane complete with its hangar, and a four-motor “air cruiser.”

With a few exceptions, these collectibles were manufactured in the late 1920s and early 1930s which are considered the classic years of Buddy “L.”  Plus, one very rare item — a late 1920s vintage Buddy “L” coach (bus) with gold gilding — will be on special display for one month only to protect it from fading.

In addition to these Buddy “L” toys, a colorful, reproduction modern-day Lionel trolley car set will be operating on the Small Wonders toy train layout during the month of August. Toy train manufacturer Lionel first introduced its model No. 200 “electric rapid transit” trolley car in 1906; painted in bright blue and yellow colors, this eye-catching addition features a powered (“motor”) trolley car pulling an identical but unpowered trailer car.

Also debuting on the layout as static additions are a Lionel model No. 100 (closed-body, circa 1915) trolley motor car and a model No. 101 (open-air, circa 1906) trolley motor car; a larger Lionel model No. 3 trolley motor car from 1908; and a highly-detailed engine house produced by German toy train manufacturer Bing in 1909.

The extensive and internationally recognized toy train collection was donated to the Museum by the Sefton family, along with funds to establish an endowment (managed by the California State Railroad Museum Foundation) to build the Thomas W. Sefton Gallery and to continue to curate and care for the Thomas W. Sefton Collection.

Accumulated over four decades by the late Mr. Thomas W. Sefton, the collection includes 20th century toy trains, Buddy “L” riding toys, and railroad-related artifacts, and featuring approximately 7,000 toy trains and a variety of accessories, such as locomotives and railroad cars from companies including Buddy “L,” Ives, American Flyer, Marklin, Marx, and Lionel. The “Small Wonders” exhibit showcases approximately 1,000 vintage toy trains, six interactive displays, and a magnificent operating toy train layout.

Railroad Museum admission is $10 for adults, $5 for youths (ages 6-17), and children ages five and under are free.  More information about the California State Railroad Museum is available at 916-323-9280 or www.csrmf.org

Toys, trains and trolley cars…it’s all aboard for some fun this August!

Photo: Super Chief Station at the California State Railroad Museum. By Orin Zebest/CC Flickr.

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About the author

Traci Rockefeller Cusack

Traci Rockefeller Cusack

Traci Rockefeller Cusack has 25+ years of media and public relations experience.  Her work experience includes News10 (ABC) as Promotion Manager from 1989-1998 (where she developed and launched “Coats for Kids’ Sake,” a winter coat drive that lasted 20+ years plus coordinated Oprah Winfrey’s first ever visit to Sacramento) and Fleishman-Hillard as Vice President from 1998-2005 (where she led the wildly successful statewide “California Grown” program and also produced the five-minute video that played on the Jumbotron on Opening Day at Pac Bell Park). In 2007, she launched T-Rock Communications and currently handles a wide range of marketing activities for a number of top-notch organizations.

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