What Is the History of the Miniature Train Company?

The Miniature Train and Railway Company was established in 1932 by Paul Allen Sturtevant, who also owned a machine shop in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. The company offered train sets for sale and lease to stores, carnivals and fairs. Post World War II, the company built the G-12 and G-16 train sets. In November 1956, the Allen Herschell Company purchased the Miniature Train Company.

In 1928, Paul built a 7.24-inch gauge scale model of a Chicago and Northwestern steam locomotive and installed the track around his home. In 1932, Paul leased his model train to his neighbor, a Sears executive, to run it at one of his stores during Christmas. The model became a huge attraction for the kids, who lined up to ride the train. Paul started his miniature train company the same year and received requests from various store managers for similar trains.

Paul built the models of the diesel powered Burlington Zephyr and the Rock Island E1 locomotives with 12-inch track gauges. The company’s manufacturing plant was located in Addison, Illinois and moved to Rensselaer, Indiana in April 1948. In 1946, the company introduced the G-16 train set, which ran on a 16-inch gauge track.

The company was sold to the Allen Herschell Company, which continued to manufacture the G-16s under the MTC name until 1963.