The past 3 years, my train set had been running around the Christmas tree. So after Christmas 2013, I decided that the old train, which I have owned since childhood (bought second hand around 1970, but probably much older than that – from the fifties or sixties) shall be used to build a real model railway.
But even so, it still also runs around the Christmas tree every year:
Christmas train (and tree) 2013
Originally, I had a Fleishman set running on a large piece of chipboard, which was painted green. Later, the Fleishman set was sold and substituted by the previously mentioned Märklin set with M-track, a few houses from Heljan, the classic Märklin 3000 steam machine, another slightly bigger steam machine as well as an American Santa Fe diesel locomotive plus a few railway cars.
There were lights in the houses. The entire house. Not only the windows. Even the roofs were lit. But I do not recall any other kinds of prototypicalities.
A small comment: The shift away from Fleishman happened because my father got tired of cleaning track.
When one lubricates the locomotives as well as I did, Märklin’s 3rd track for power is the optimal solution, even though the natural looks of Märklin M-track is a story that can be told very fast indeed.
But the need for frequent track cleaning disappeared, which made my father happy. And I did not care much about the looks those days anyway.