Image By The U.S. Army @ Flickr
Lima model trains have not been produced since 2004. This does not mean that the models are not still being sold. The company has such a rich history that is being preserved by other powerhouse companies such as Hornby, Bachmann and Heljan. If you are looking for a model train in the HO or N scales, you might want to consider the different types of model trains the company was well known for having produced. You may be able to enjoy the products more if you have a brief history of the company that produced the trains.
Lima started out as a company that produced the actual trains for the Italian rail system. When the rail system decided it could make its own parts, companies such as Lima needed to enter other markets in order to survive. Lima decided to enter the market of making toys. They produced whatever toys were popular at the time and would sell to the public. One of the toys they were well known for selling was toy trains. They also produced boats and cars. All were made out of aluminum because this was the material the company was producing the train parts out of.
As the popularity of model trains increased, so did the demand for more detailed models. Lima model trains were able to create models that were realistic looking. They were built out of the same material the real trains were made from. The problem they ran into was the market in the United Kingdom was flooded with their trains. The trains they ended up selling to a large part of the population were not of the highest quality and they developed a reputation.
In the United States and North America, the company was more known for the HO and N scale trains sold. The trains sold in the US market were of far better quality and they were able to regain some of the sales they were losing in the United Kingdom. The company began expanding outward from Europe until they were even selling to such remote locations as Australia. The company was able to enjoy a well-regarded product in many different markets around the world. Because of the damage done to the company, there was no way they could have survived.
After Lima Model Trains tanked in 2004, there was a two year gap in which people wanted to buy their trains but were unable to because no one was producing them. This is where Thornby, Bachmann and Heljan stepped in. They picked up production of the most popular models in order to enjoy the profits.
The unique trains that were offered by the company are still available today in the right markets. You can find original pieces sold by collectors. If you are looking to actually drive the trains, you may be better off buying one of the recreations made by Bachmann trains instead. Lima model trains were very good in theory, but the trains they sold were not always the best-constructed trains available.
Thanks for taking the time to read all about Lima Model Trains.