Miniature Train Company

This is my Tuesday series about ride manufacturers who have made rides for amusement parks. Today’s article is about Miniature Train Company.

Miniature Train Company, of Rensselaer, Indiana, operated from 1932 to 1956. It was founded by Paul Allen “P.A.” Sturtevant.

Sturtevant began making miniature train rides in 1929 out of a machine shop in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. The first model Sturtevant made was intended to be a toy for his son – it was an electric powered miniature steam type train. Friends of Sturtevant suggested he should sell the train commercially. He took their advice and began selling; it quickly became a success.

1950-04-08 The Billboard (p71)
This advert was featured in The Billboard on April 8, 1950, on page 71.

With that success, Sturtevant created a new company, the Miniature Train & Railroad Company (MT & RC), in 1932. After the first streamliner train, the Zephyr was released, MT & RC developed their own miniature version. They then began selling a G-12 miniature train. The company was quite successful which forced the company to continually expand operations, especially in the post-war years. This led to the development of the G-16 Limited and Suburban model miniature trains.

1950-09-05 The Billboard (p71)
Advert from The Billboard, September 5, 1950, page 71.

In 1948, the company relocated to Rensselaer, Indiana, and at about the same time was renamed Miniature Train Company (MTC). In November 1956, it was announced that Allan Herschell Company had acquired Miniature Train Company. Allan Herschell continued selling a MTC branded train until 1963. Allan Herschell Company would be sold to Chance Rides in 1970.

1952-04-12 The Billboard (p62)
Advert from The Billboard, April 12, 1952, page 62.

To read more about other ride manufacturers, click here.

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19 Replies to “Miniature Train Company”

  1. Two of my brothers, both deceased, were employed by MT in Rensselaer IN ,

    1. Hi Ken, Would you know where the factory was? I have found the road, which is North Cullen St in Rensselaer and used google earth to “drive” up and down and could not locate the plant. Looks to be a lot of green space on that street so guessing the building may have been torn down? BTW, your brothers did good work! I drive a MT built in 1955 for the City of Opelika, Alabama.

      1. The address should be 1132 N. Cullen St, Rensselaer, IN 47978. The make springs for Sealy Mattresses there now.

  2. I drive a model train for the city of opelika AL that was built in 1956 by MT.

  3. Hello everyone
    A friend of mine picked up crossing protection made by MTC, it looks like it all there and we would like to get it working, the point coil and caps seem to be in place. Any information on this would be great.

    1. Unfortunately, I don’t have the technical acumen to get it working. Hopefully someone will see your comment and will be able to offer help.

  4. I would like to pickup one of the MTC crossing signals to put up in our back yard. I have a full scale crossing signal to trade. allis920diesel at yahoo dot com. Hopefully in a couple years I can afford to pickup one of the trains to set up in our yard. I used to ride the one that was back behind the McDonalds in Richmond, IN.

  5. Your site has solved a train-load of questions that I have had for ages. Back in the 1950’s and ’60’s the Rhodes Department Store in Tacoma, Washington had a miniature train to ride in the toy department during the holiday season. I have wondered about that great ride that all of us kids loved. A photo from the Tacoma Public Library archives showed the name of the train builder, which led me to your site.
    To see a photo on the Library’s site, visit http://cdm17061.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p17061coll21/id/34114/rec/151

    Thanks!

  6. Eb I have purchased 1947 mtc g12 looking for info on how many were built mine appears to be pretty much untouched at this time I have reconditioned the Wisconsin single cyl engine and had body’s sandblasted to repair and paint along with the trucks one thing strange i have not seen on any picture of the g 12 is an os ilating lower front nose light which is in middle of of front mtc badge can someone give me some info on it . Thx I also can not find a production number as the g16 has

  7. I have recently acquired a g12 with compleat train with track and am thr understanding that it was in working condition when it was stored .it sets on a rack that it was built for in side a trailer . i was wandering what is the value of one of this trains and where would be the best place to look for finding a new home for it?

      1. I also purchased an MTC G-12 train recently. It was disassembled and stored years ago. It is complete and all original. It is number 585. I don’t have any history on it yet.

  8. Would you be able to point me in the direction of a company or private sellers that would have G16 parts, specifically, trucks. We are here in Roanoke, VA and are trying to repair one of our Zoo trains.

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