The history of Roco model trains doesn’t actually begin as one might expect. The company is a relatively new company when compared to others in this industry and was founded by Ing. Heinz Rössler and his wife in 1960. The motivation to start this company was based on an extremely healthy economy throughout the world, and the relative newness of a product called plastic which had just been introduced to the world marketplace.
The twist on this story is that Roco model trains did not begin by manufacturing model trains. This was to come at a later date. In fact, the first models this company manufactured were mini-tanks, and when their exporting efforts were successful in the United States, they then began to produce the HO, N, and following at a later time, the TT scale.
Heinz Rossler realized that using plastic injected molds would produce a far superior result than those represented by die cast metal. The result was more than successful because the new Roco model trains presented a higher degree of detail, and the cost to manufacture these model trains was reduced significantly by using this manufacturing method.
Again, production initially began with the manufacturing of military models. Specifically the mini-tank and the reaction to this model was excellent. Particularly in the United States where demand for this type of product with the type of detail the mini-tank presented was extremely high. In fact, the U.S. companies who had ordered these tanks were so enthusiastic about their sales results that they communicated to Rossler that he should not be reluctant to send unlimited quantities to them, because they would be happy to have the opportunity to make them available to their customers.
With the success of Roco’s military model line in the United States, the production for the first HO and O scale model trains began in Europe. These scales were soon followed by the introduction of the N scale. Both the N scale and the Ho scale enjoy the highest levels of popularity among model train enthusiast, and they are an excellent solution for those hobbyist who have limited space in which to build their layouts.
Both scales are well known for their exactness in detail, and for the opportunity they provide the hobbyist to add more scale miles of track to their layouts. Heinz Rossler’s decision to manufacture these two scales rocketed his company to the top of the model railroading industry, and have made it one of the biggest manufacturers in the world for these particular scales.
In addition, other innovations have played a large role in this companies success. For example, the inclusion of short coupling, and the Roco line system have attracted positive attention from model railroaders from every corner of the world. The later has made it possible for model train enthusiast to craft perfectly scaled roadbed tracks for the very first time in the history of model railroading.
When you add these innovations with the attention to detail which Roco model trains strives to maintain at the highest of levels, it is no wonder that this companies products are frequently one of the first choices of most model train enthusiast.