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New Marx and Ameritrains


How Marx Trains came to be. A special thanks to James Flynn for taking time to provide this insight.

The idea to start Marx Trains, was more of an opportunity presenting itself, than a grand, well thought-out inspiration. We knew the owner of the Marx name, and he was willing to license it. We discovered a company that could lithograph on metal in our home town of Addison, IL. I had graphic arts training that I was not using. The owner of Marx thought that the existing train tooling, then in a warehouse in Buffalo, NY, could be purchased, reasonably. We determined (Debby and I), that a line of Marx-compatible trains could be developed that would compliment, not compete with vintage tin Marx Trains. With Marx Toys' support, we developed the tooling for the Canadian Pacific cars, based on the St. P & P old-time cars. Names were chosen for the 8 cars, that were not used on the prewar 6" Canadian Pacific cars. The names chosen were also places that we had visited on a trip the year we got married. I hand-drafted the artwork and Marx Trains was rolling.

I believe that we achieved our goal of making compatible, not competing trains. Trains that were logical progressions or off-shoots of what Louis Marx had begun, but discontinued when train production went to die-cast locos and plastic cars. Thanks to the support of Al Osterud , we were able to study archives models such as the "Girard Dinor" from in 1939, but never produced for sale, until we did it over 60 years later.

We decided to sell the company in 2004, as we were not able to move the company forward at the pace we wanted. We continue to support the owners of Ameritrains, and hope that they will be able to produce diesels, streamliners and other new products that our resources could not.

James R. Flynn 2/21/2007

My thanks to the Yahoo! New Marx / Ameritrains group for the above information.

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