In the 19th century, the railroad was the Internet of its day, connecting people with one another and moving merchandise and raw materials across great distances. Naturally, children were eager to play with pint-size versions of this new technology, and 19th-century toymakers obliged, cranking out model trains in wood, cast iron, and tin.
But they are tough to sell the idea of model trains to children today. They find trains are noisy, antiquated, and irredeemably boring. The average age of a model railroader is 40-plus.