Model Trains Make a Pandemic Comeback – With Electronic Enhancements and Engineer Software

The New York Times reports:
Along with baking and jigsaw puzzles earlier in the pandemic, model trains are among the passions being rediscovered while people are cooped up indoors. Several companies that make trains are reporting jumps in sales. For many people, the chance to create a separate, better world in the living room — with stunning mountains, tiny chugging locomotives and communities of inch-high people where no one needs a mask — is hard to resist.

“Outside, there is total chaos, but inside, around my little train set, it is quiet, it is picturesque,” said Magnus Hellstrom, 48, a high school teacher in Sweden, who has indulged in his hobby while working from home during lockdowns.

“It’s a little piece of a perfect world,” he said.

The Times visits Märklin, the 162-year-old German maker of model trains, whose engines now include “tiny speakers that reproduce scores of digital chugging noises

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