Classic Model Corp. was founded in 1969 by Fred Mills and Jerome Williams. They were one of many small modern era Standard gauge toy train manufacturers.
Classic Model Corporation (CMC) set out to produce their "Standard Lines" brand of trains, with a theme of "Standard Gauge Trains... Yesteryear Prices".
Similar to McCoy Manufacturing, CMC made
stamped steel trains with brass trim. All turned parts, including drive screws and cross head guides, were hand machined. Their initial offering
in 1970 was a small passenger set, pulled by the #12 loco. CMC locomotive engines were
powered by Pittman 12 volt motors and were worm driven using steel and micarda to ensure silent trouble free operation. They had die cast wheels with
nickel plated rims, and were designed for 3 rail operation. They could easily be converted from DC to AC operation. The #12 was also sold separately in
kit form for $64.95. The locomotive measured 12¾ inches long, 5½ inches high and was 4 inches wide.
Also in 1970 CMC produced a set of standard Lines Day coaches. Offered were the #13 Eagle, #14 America, #15 Columbia, and #16
Independence. These classic style coaches were outfitted with brass handrails and steps, and included clerestory with open transoms. They came with
stainless steel wheels and sold for $14.95 each. These coaches measured 16" long, 5⅜ inches high and 3½ inches wide.
These early passenger cars had punched out square windows. Other, more elaborate sets were
produced eventually. These trains were very appealing to operators, in that they were in the style of early Lionel.
They looked right at home pulled up next to an old Lionel #6 or coupled to some early freights. In 1971, CMC came out with three new locomotives
and three new freight cars. The #21 Express 2-4-0 locomotive with tender, the #21C Commuter 2-4-0 locomotive with coal bunker, and the #201
PRR 2-4-2 box cab loco were the new power units. The #105 caboose, #100 lumber car and #101 box car made up the freight consist.
Jerome Williams left CMC in 1971 to start Williams' Reproductions Ltd.
In 1973 Classic Model Corp. had a big hit with their "Milwaukee Limited" set. This set came with an electric outline
box cab locomotive and 3 coaches. This was the only set that had narrow vestibules on the coaches. It was available in either AC or DC versions
designed to work with either a Lionel type transformer or an HO type power pack. It sold ready to run for $165 or in kit form for $125.
The narrow vestibule coaches came in the #10 Hiawatha, #17 Chippewa and #18 Olympian.
CMC also issued a simple freight set that included the 0-4-0 steam loco, the log car, box car and caboose. In 1974 one new box car was
made - the #4101 Milwaukee Road Express car available in kit form for $22.95 or ready to run for $27.50.
1975 saw the release of 2 new locomotives and another box car. The #200 Bicentennial Special was a 2-6-0 mogul with tender.
It was manufactured in a limited run of 300 units. Measuring 23 inches long, 5½ inches high and 4 inches wide, it was priced at $155 in
kit form and at $199 RTR. The #89 Strasburg Railroad was also a 2-6-0 mogul with tender, and like the #200 was available for AC or DC operation.
The #4102 Pabst Blue Ribbon beer box car was available as a limited production run and sold for $22.95 in kit form or $27.50 RTR. The following
year (1976), CMC produced 6 new passenger coaches (three for the Centennial set and three for the Strasburg set) and 4 new freight cars.
These newer passenger cars now had larger, arch-top punched out windows. The #90 Walnut Crek pullman, #91 Cherry Hill Pullman,
and #92 Paradise Observation were designed to be pulled by the #89 Strasburg mogul,
and was sold as the #198 Strasburg RR train set for $119 in kit form or for $149 RTR. The #199 Bicentennial set included the
#1776 John Adams pullman, the #1876 Thomas Jefferson pullman and the #1976 Ben Franklin observation, and was designed to be pulled
by the #200 Bicentennial Special mogul. It sold for the same prices as the Strasburg set. Rounding out the year's releases were the #4103
Pennsylvania RR box car, the #4104 Uncle Sam box car, #4001 Union Pacific RR log car and the #4501 CMStP&P caboose - $25 each in kit form, $29 RTR.
Two new versions of a 10 wheeler 4-6-0 locomotive with tender were produced in 1977. They were the #1108 Southern RR and the #1108
Southern Pacific. These were modelled after the Southern RR 1100 series locomotives.
Charlie Wood of Hartford, Ohio purchased CMC from Fred Mill in 1978 and the company became Classic Model Trains
(CMT). Wood was very well known in the hobby world for developing 'Train Enamel' paints in 1967, a widely popular paint brand availble in the matching colors
used for restoration of early Lionel, American Flyer and
Ives tinplate trains. Prior to 1978, before the change of ownership, CMC had manufacturing locations
in Laurel, MD., New Carrollton, MD. and Columbia, MD. Wood moved manufacturing to his hometown of Warren, Ohio and made several changes to the line.
The majority of the early CMC trains are easily recognizable as they were always
labeled "Standard Lines". Wood designed an Erie box car and a Southern Crescent Limited passenger car. Other new items shown in the
Classic Model Trains 1979 catalog included a B&0 Time Saver boxcar, a Pennsylvania Electric locomotive, and a Southern
Pacific passenger car set. CMT also introduced a Standard gauge version of the "Camelback" 4-6-0 style locomotive and tender
with the #915 for both passenger and freight service, designed by Herb McBride. They also created the CMT #1108 Southern RR "Crescent ltd." passenger
set in traditional green livery. This set featured a nicely detailed 4-6-0 steam locomotive and tender, a baggage car, two pullmans and
an observation car. This new locomotive was created by reworking the leading truck on the 2-6-0 mogul, and implementing a new cab design
and recessed headlight.
CMT held true to the original styling of the trains while continuing to add to the passenger and freight line for more than 20
years. CMT implemented many improvements on the CMC line of trains. These mechanical changes were all geared toward making the trains run better,
and enabling the locomotives to pull more cars. Charlie Wood also introduced new heavier couplers for the trains and an improved process for
pressing drive wheels onto axles so they would not twist. Charlie Wood had been a member of the Train Collectors Association since 1966, and
in the 1980's CMT produced several special limited run TCA convention and Museum cars in Standard gauge,
including the 1983 Museum box car saluting Ives Toys (TTM #7783), and the 1984 TCA Museum Standard gauge box car
celebrating Voltamp Trains. Special CMT unique items were also created in the 1990's for the Toy Train Operators Society (TTOS)
like the 1990 Columbus Ohio National Convention 4-wheel Crane Car.
Production of Classic Model Trains by Charlie Wood had ceased in the late 1990's. The tooling was acquired by Arno Baars of Newnan, Georgia,
who was a long time collector considered to be an expert on smaller, lesser known modern era Standard gauge train manufacturers. Due to health problems the CMT
tooling and parts inventory sat unused for many years and Arno Baars passed away in 2016. Finally, a relaunching of the brand was made in 2017 with a company name of
Classic Model Trains, LLC based in Hinesburg, Vermont by a family friend and collaborator of Baars' named David Carse. The line started up again with a
release of 24 gauge and heavier metal tinplate Standard gauge freight cars with brass and aluminum detailing. The cars were assembled using traditional tab
and slot, hand soldered and welded joint construction methods in the United States of America. All trains were designed to run on traditional Standard gauge
42" diameter curves. For 2017 the company was producing cars from the eariler line up with improvements, and a few
new cars were added. These included a drop center flat car, a Livestock car, as well as an improved tank and refrigerator car design. Passenger cars
were to be released in 2018, and both steam and electric outline locomotive releases were in the works.
Classic Model Trains LLC Standard gauge Freight Cars
Link to Classic Model Trains LLC web site.