For generations of little boys -- and their fathers -- it wasn't
a merry Christmas without a toy train from Lionel under the tree.
The nation's #1 model train manufacturer, Lionel LLC makes more
than 300 lines of trains, steam and diesel locomotives, and
accessories. The company's sales peaked in the mid-1950s and then
declined as interest in toy trains has waned. Today, entry-level
models and new collectors driven by nostalgia are fueling
sales. The company has also been updating technology, releasing
more sophisticated control systems and more authentic replicas.
Founded in 1900 by Joshua Lionel Cowen, the train maker emerged
from a two-and-a-half year stay under Chapter 11 bankruptcy
protection in May 2008.