The 5 Most Popular Model Train Manufacturers

Dec. 2nd 2016

There have been a lot of different model train manufacturers throughout the years! People all over the world are familiar with Lionel, but you might be wondering which other companies are most popular among hobbyists. We've got just the list for you! Here are the 5 most popular manufacturers on the DASH Marketplace. 


Lionel trains drew admiration from model railroaders around the world for the solidity of their construction and the authenticity of their detail. During its peak years in the 1950s, the company sold $25 million worth of trains per year. In 2006, Lionel's electric train, along with the Easy-Bake Oven, became the first electric toy inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. Lionel remains the most enduring brand name associated with model trains in the United States, its products prized by collectors. 


MTH Electric Trains, a privately held company based in Columbia, Maryland that is formerly known as Mike's Train House, is an American toy train and model railroad designer, importer, and manufacturer. M.T.H. offers full product lines in HO scale, two-rail and three-rail O Gauge, One Gauge, and Lionel Corporation Tinplate.


LGB stands for Lehmann Gross Bahn - the "Lehmann Big Railway" in German. Made by Ernst Paul Lehmann Patentwerk in Nuremberg, Germany, since 1968 and by Märklin since 2007, it is the most popular garden railway model in Europe, although there are also many models of U.S. and Canadian prototypes. LGB caused a revival of garden model railroading in the United States when it was introduced. LGB trains are responsible for introducing "G" scale to model railroading.


Bachmann's brand is the largest seller, in terms of volume, of model trains in the world. Bachmann primarily specializes in entry level train sets, and premium offerings in many scales. The Spectrum line is the high quality, model railroad product line, offered in N, HO, Large Scale, On30, and Williams O gauge all aimed for the hobbyist market. Bachmann is the producer of the famous railroad village product line known as "Plasticville."


K-Line Electric Trains is a brand name of O gauge and S gauge model railway locomotives, rolling stock, and buildings. Formerly the brand name under which Chapel Hill, North Carolina-based MDK Inc. sold its products, K-Line was then acquired by Sanda Kan, a Chinese toy manufacturer that formerly acted as K-Line's subcontractor. Sanda Kan had licensed the use of the K-Line brand and intellectual property to Lionel. More recently, the Lionel license expired, and Sandra Kan sold the dies to several other companies, with some going to each of Atlas, Bachmann, and RMT. Many collectors consider K-Line's 1:48 scale offerings to be not only the best value, but also the very best mass-produced O gauge trains. 


Please keep in mind these trains are the most popular on the DASH Marketplace, but that doesn't mean they're the most popular in the larger model train community. Let us know your favorite manufacturer in the comments below!

All above company descriptions are taken from and the manufacturer's websites. 

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