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I have two versions of old clockwork two-rail tinplate track.IMG_20210724_140439 One type has flat-top crossties with one nail hole in the center (Marx?). The other type has two holes per crosstie with a raised bump between them. I'd like to know what brands these are, approximate ages of production, and any other interesting trivia. Thanks for any info.

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Those both appear to be Marx.  The rail shape, crimp pattern on the tie, and straight pins are the giveaway.  Lionel mechanical track is similar, but the original examples I've seen has the pins with the short section with the smaller diameter close to the end.  Marx pins are straight.  Other manufacturers used somewhat larger rails and larger pins, with different tie designs.  Now, what year are they?  That's a good question...

I'll preface my remarks with this is what I believe to be the case... it's hard enough to get a handle on mfg. dates for Marx Mechanical trains, let alone the track!  I have examples of Marx two-rail track that have flat ties with no holes, flat ties with one hole, and flat ties with two holes... and combinations of no hole & one hole ties in the same piece.  The two-rail flat ties are plated.  It's safe to say that those are pre-war to perhaps just postwar.  It's interesting to see the piece with the raised bump in the middle, but with what appears to be plated ties instead of black ties.  Postwar Marx Mechanical sets are typically found with two-rail track that has black ties with the bump in the middle (with plated rails), but I'm not sure when Marx made the transition from flat ties to ties with the bump.  I believe it to be sometime in the era just prewar to just postwar, and same with changing from plated ties to black ties.  So, that's my best guess on the track with the ties that have bumps but are plated... sometime right around WWII.  I'll be happy to defer to anyone who has strong evidence to the contrary.  One note of interest - there is Marx two-rail track that also has the rails blackened instead of plated, but it isn't very common.

MarxCurves

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Charles' site is a great resource, but in this particular case, we disagree about the two-rail track in question.  His site identifies it as Hafner.  If I am remembering our communication on the subject, he saw a Hafner set with this track in it and that is why he identified it this way.  While I don't doubt his story at all, I believe that the preponderance of evidence points toward Marx.  Track is easily damaged and likely to be replaced in a set. 

But, that isn't meant to take away from his fantastic website.  He has done a great job on it!

Typical Hafner track:

HafnerCurveHafnerRedRail

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@WindupGuy posted:

Yes, Hafner.  They used a bell clapper that was flipped by those tabs to ring the bell as the loco went around the track.

Interesting !!!  And that reminds me that I saw a wind-up Hafner loco in a friend's collection, years ago,  which had a simple bell clapper feature to work with this type of track. It also had a battery powered headlight, see photo.

IMG_20210728_213801IMG_20210728_213730 Perhaps the track shown previously (Marx?), with a bump on each crosstie, was also for a noise-maker feature?

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