Train enthusiasts are a passionate lot. They revel in the nostalgia of simpler times when big steam locomotives were America's primary mode of transportation. Some consider themselves "transit archeologists" and enjoy tracking down the remnants of old train lines. Many collect railroad memorabilia, ranging from old rail spikes to apparel such as engineer hats.
Train Throw Blankets
A throw blanket or tapestry depicting classic rail engines and cars is a versatile gift. The recipient can use it to snuggle and keep warm while dreaming of engineering a big steam locomotive or he can proudly display it on his wall. Children love choo-choo trains as well, so they make a nice decorative element for a kids' room. You can find them online at such websites as Keepsakes Etc. (keepsakes-etc.com), which features throws such as Great American Trains, a 48 x 68-inch woven, fringed, two-layer blanket made from 100 per cent cotton and depicts nine different early American steam engines.
If your favourite train enthusiast has a man cave or recreation room dedicated to his passion, a retro train sign made from wood or tin would add a cool vintage design element to the decor The online retailer, A Simpler Time (asimplertime.com), offers an array of signs, including those with humorous slogans and reproductions of old time railroad signage. Several can be personalised with your favourite "conductor's" name, such as "Bob Anderson, Ride the Rails, Engineer for Hire." There are also tin retro logos of railroad companies such as Union Pacific.
Jewellery and Figurines
A railroad buff will likely appreciate any of the numerous railroad theme jewellery and figurines that one can find online. They range from key chains (including one that resembles a conductor's pocket watch), cuff links and belt buckets to wrist watches. There's even a desktop bank made from either copper or steel that resembles an early-19th century steam locomotive that can be personalised with the recipient's name and date of birth.
Train Christmas Ornaments
If you're looking for a unique Christmas gift for a train aficionado, Hallmark makes a series of tree ornaments that resemble some of Lionel Trains classic designs. There are locomotives, tender cars, observation cars, passenger cars and cabooses. You'll also find the gold plated Lionel 100th anniversary locomotive, which is bound to find a prominent spot on the recipient's tree. These ornaments rang in price from £9 for the 2007 observation car to £77 for the "Lionelville" ornament, which depicts a mountain setting replete with a training passing through a bridge and tunnel.