Electric train

The term ” electric train ” refers to a train powered by electricity , whether “real” or a model.

Real Train

From 1882, the term electric train is used while it is envisaged to use electricity to move trains using accumulators 1 . In October 1903 , several German experimental railcars exceeded 200 km / h 2 . In 1924, the term “electric train” is used to talk about real trains electrically driven 3 .

Model Trains

The term “electric train” refers to a toy train on a reduced scale consisting of a locomotive powered by an electric motor (whether it represents a steam locomotive, thermal or electric engine), cars and wagons , as well as elements allowing them to drive: the track and the power supply, in the form of a regulating transformer or a Digital control .

The first public electric trains appear at the beginning of the xx th century 4 , but in 1887, a miniature electric train is envisaged for table service 5 .

In 1954, begin the beginnings of the models of Jouef ( Jouef ). However, the production of electric toy train French in France stops the st June 2001 in the factory of Champagnole in the Jura 6 .

Nowadays, the electric train and its accessories are most often grouped in a box called “departure”, including a locomotive, a few cars or wagons, enough to constitute a track oval and a power supply. This box is a base to start, by creating a decor and a realistic atmosphere, the practice of model rail .

There are miniature trains that are not powered by electricity: these can be live steam , as well as, more rarely, mechanical propulsion (spring, friction) or pushed by hand.

This simple game with a miniature train or playing the electric train is changing: rail model making ; its goal is to build a realistic model on which trains will be the central subject. Railway modelism then consists, for most of its practitioners, to build a network (sometimes improperly called ” circuit “) arranged and decorated, on which the model maker will circulate his trains based on the reality of the railway world.


  1. Popular Science: Illustrated Weekly Newspaper / Editor-in-Chief Adolphe Bitard , [sn], ( read online  [ archive ] )
  2. ↑ http://www.tubit.tu-berlin.de/fileadmin/a3533/uploads/UE_NwB1/Bahnenergieversorgung.pdf  [ archive ]
  3. ↑ http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b9023550d  [ archive ]
  4. ↑ Clive Lamming “Miniature Trains” Ed. Press LR group, Auray, 2007, 149 pages. ( ISBN  2-903651-40-X )
  5. ↑ http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k7559514j/f2.item  [ archive ]
  6. ↑ http://lestrainsjouef.free.fr/fr/histoire.html  [ archive ]

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