All about MTH trains

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If you like model electric trains, you must have heard of MTH Trains, one of the most famous train manufacturers in the nation.

Like most successful companies, MTH Trains started as a small business managed by an entrepreneur.

Its founder, Mike wolf was barely 12 years old when he started selling trains that he assembled for another company, Williams Electric Trains. At the time, it must have been a great deal for Mike. He got to enjoy his favorite hobby and he made some side money out of it.

And he didn’t even have to move around, as he worked from the comfort of his own bedroom and received and dispatched orders by mail.

With time, he bought equipment and started manufacturing the trains himself. He sold them under his own brand until 1987, which he called Mike’s Train House. This name would eventually be abbreviated and become MTH Trains.

In 1987, Lionel, which was a giant manufacturer of toy trains and wasn’t bankrupt existed at that time, approached MTH Trains and made a deal with Mike.

The negotiations ended with MTH Trains becoming a subcontractor of Lionel and manufacturing the Lionel models under Lionel’s name. This allowed MTH Trains to grow even more and become the second biggest distributor of Lionel orders by mail in the country.

MTH Trains, who by then had long stopped being a business in a bedroom in Mike’s parents’ house, began expanding its lines and its products, manufacturing not only trains, but also other models.

For example, it started making models of New York’s subway cars, as well as models of Chicago’s “L” cars. The license for the reproduction of these cars was given by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

By the end of the 90’s MTH Trains had grown so successful that it was employing a staff of 135 people and had become the largest manufactured of O gauge trains in the nation, with revenues of $60 million dollars.

Nevertheless, MTH Trains has had its share of problems. The most common being a series of constant legal battles against other train manufacturers and trademark owners. These lawsuits have almost always been about trademark infringement, and in fewer cases, industrial espionage.

MTH Trains’ most constant opponent has been Lionel. After their break up in the 90’s both companies have sued each other several times. The legal problems continued even after Lionel’s bankruptcy. In fact, when MTH finally won the lawsuit in 2007, it was told that it has to wait until Lionel comes out of bankruptcy in order to be able to claim the money.

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