Il treno nasce così

Rond 1968 heeft Lima het boek “Il treno nasce così” uitgegeven. In dit boek staat een korte toelichting op, maar vooral veel foto’s over, het productieproces van Lima modeltreinen. In het boek zijn alle teksten 4-talig weergegeven, in het Italiaans, in het Engels, in het Frans en in het Duits. Op deze pagina is de originele Engelstalige tekst overgenomen.

How the train is born

We, at LIMA ’s realized that our customers and friends have been asking us to show a pamphlet “explaining” how the electric train was born. We hope to satisfy, and with our best wishes, to please you all.

Electric train: hate and love.

In regard to the electric train, it seems that adults react with two different attitudes. The passionate and the indifferent. Myself, among the so-called “squares”, belong to a third uncommon class: I feel, a kind of hatred against electric trains. Perhaps, this is the reason why LIMA entrusted me with the introduction to its monograph. Who could be more objective than l? No need to under-go psycho-analysis in order to know that every negative attitude has afar origin. An origin which often goes back to childhood. Yes, when I was a child I had an enormous, deep, undeniable passion for an electric train.

l dreamt and longed for one, and looked in toy shops tor hours. I was suggested to me that to appease this love of mine, the only thing to do, was to ask for, or to buy one myself. This was the heart of the matter. My parents, and myself, could not afford an electric train. At that time, ten years ago, they cost too much. Then-it was the classic amusement for rich children; the ones who were not rich, found their noses pressed against the shop window just looking in. No wonder my love changed to hate tor trains. The years went by and I became a father. Obviously, I tried to give to my children what I never had, when I was a kid. I remember, one day, I entered a toy shop: and enquired about miniature electric railways, I chose a large model and asked how much. l was surprised at the low price, for so many items. So little cost that if it had existed when l was a child, I could have bought it. Miracle?

Cheap quality? Stock to be cleared off? “No, Sir” answered the shop assistant rather amused, “that’s LIMA!”. My curiosity grew further. Then the newspaper sent me to Venice to make some reports, and I took the opportunity to visit LIMA’s factories there. The president of LIMA, who popularized the electric train showed me around his firm. l always thought that toys, and miniature railways, were manufactured by craftsmen only. l was wrong! LIMA‘s production — trains in scale HO, N and Giumbo trains for the younger child — is almost entirely automatic. l said almost, because, certain delicate stages of manufacture are still carried out manually. Automation means faster working processes, lower costs, and consequently, fairer selling prices.

This is the reason for LIMA’s terrific low prices. Another reason is, every single part of LIMA’s miniature railway is manufactured by LIMA itself. Even the transformers. Being well acquainted with industrial problems, it’s easy to understand the advantages gained for the firm and customer in not having to rely upon third persons. LIMA had to build three factories for the whole manufacturing cycle, where more than 500 skilled workers are employed. The commercial organisation is very efficient. Our electric trains are distributed through-out Italy and all over the world, and everywhere, they meet with success. Just to give an example, let me say that LIMA were able “to conquer” Japan, the country where the toy industry has reached a high in quality standards.

Leone Neri

( afbeelding: Mr. Ottorino Bisazza the Chief Engineer and President. / bron: boek Lima Il treno nasce così / page 17 )

Mr. Ottorino Bisazza the Chief Engineer and President – with his personal guidance, LIMA has become one of the most important of toy-industries, thanks to the firm’s policy of aiming at top quality and popular prices. Mr O.B. has made the electric train hobby, very popular, and easy to afford.

The structure of Lima

LIMA‘s electric trains are born from original drawings that LIMA gets from the most important railways Companies in the world. Of course, the drawings are worked out by LIMA’s technical staff which adapt them to the miniature trains productions requirements. The drawings made are sent to the mould production department. In this department skilled workers are employed as their task involves high precision and specialization. At the same time the list of the parts which will form the locomotives or the waggons, is passed on to the computers’ centre which helps the program’s forecast depending on the production’s requirements,

Manufactured parts go to the semi-finished parts store from where they are distributed to two departments whereas locomotives, transformers, waggons and rails are assembled and varnished on two different chains. Every single part undergoes very strict and severe tests in order to make sure of the perfect execution of it. The boxing department makes the choice of the items, composing different sets which common excellences are niceness and sturdiness. Lima is an industry with a complete production’s cycle. Even the boxes for packaging are made at LIMA’s: special machines built by LIMA itself make the specially shaped boxes.

( afbeelding: The structure of Lima (1) / bron: boek Lima Il treno nasce così / page 22 )

  1. Orders’ situation
  2. Program’s situation
  3. Process orders
  4. Semi-manufactured situation
  5. Finished goods’ situation
  6. Sales
  7. Orders
  8. Program’s situation
  9. Program’s data
  10. Orders developments
  11. Process orders
  12. Invoices
  13. Shipped
  14. Sales’ statistics
  15. Delivery note
  16. Order’s statistics
  17. Trade department
  18. Forcast department
  19. Raw materials store
  20. Machines department
  21. Semi-manufactured store
  22. Assembling
  23. Finished goods store
  24. Packing
  25. Boxing
  26. Administration department
  27. Shipment department


( afbeelding: The structure of Lima (2). / bron: boek Lima Il treno nasce così / page 24 )

  1. Direction
  2. Administration department
  3. Trade department
  4. Technical department
  5. Mould manufactured department
  6. Raw materials store
  7. Machines department
  8. Semi-manufactured store
  9. Varnishing department
  10. Assembly department locomotives and transformers
  11. Packages manufactured
  12. Varnishing department
  13. Assembling department coaches and trucks
  14. Boxing department
  15. Store department
  16. Shipping department
  17. Varnishing department
  18. Assembling department accessories and cheap items


( afbeelding: … / bron: boek Lima Il treno nasce così / page 26 )

( afbeelding: computer room / bron: boek Lima Il treno nasce così / page 27 )

( afbeelding: pantographs for the mould developments / bron: boek Lima Il treno nasce così / page 28 )

( afbeelding: some of the machines for the moulding supports and the plastic moulding machines / bron: boek Lima Il treno nasce così / page 29 )

( afbeelding: some of the machines for the moulding supports and the plastic moulding machines / bron: boek Lima Il treno nasce così / page 30 )

( afbeelding: some of the machines for the moulding supports and the plastic moulding machines / bron: boek Lima Il treno nasce così / page 31 )

This first series of photographs show the initial manufacturing stages: the technical department, computer room, the pantographs for the mould developments, some of the machines for the moulding supports and the plastic moulding machines.

( afbeelding: some of the machines for the moulding supports and the plastic moulding machines / bron: boek Lima Il treno nasce così / page 32-33 )

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( afbeelding: … / bron: boek Lima Il treno nasce così / page 35 )

The first ‘photo shows that the printing of symbols and writing on the waggons and locomotives are absolutely identical to the original ones. The other ‘photos show an assembling chain: some stages of electric motor assembling, the placing of electric motors into the trucks, and assembling of the trucks to the chassis.

( afbeelding: … / bron: boek Lima Il treno nasce così / page 38 )

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Al motors are tested for efficiency and smoothness of the truck’s performance. The following ‘photos show the mounting of the body bearing on the chassis, and the very severe test which ends a complete series of tests, for durability.

( afbeelding: … / bron: boek Lima Il treno nasce così / page 49 )

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( afbeelding: … / bron: boek Lima Il treno nasce così / page 51 )

LIMA ‘takes great care in the copying of the waggons. Every nation’s waggons are reproduced, rails and exchange points are manufactured ln a large range allowing the completion of every kind of line.

( afbeelding: … / bron: boek Lima Il treno nasce così / page 52-53 )

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( afbeelding: … / bron: boek Lima Il treno nasce così / page 57 )

A stage in the manufacture of level crossings, which make interesting and spectacular lines. LIMA produces electric motors and transformers needed for its sets. The ‘photos show the transformers main settling stages.

( afbeelding: … / bron: boek Lima Il treno nasce così / page 59 )

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A glimpse of LIMA’s testing laboratory. Here new models are tested, and all new lines are studied. The most interesting lines are produced in series, specially packed, and sold to those who wish to extend their railway equipment.

( afbeelding: LIMA’s testing laboratory / bron: boek Lima Il treno nasce così / page 72-73 )

All of LIMA’s production is packaged, and a variety of packing boxes are available. From the tiny box containing the spare part to the largest one containing the complete assembly for mounting a ready-to-work electric train.

( afbeelding: … / bron: boek Lima Il treno nasce così / page 75 )

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( afbeelding: … / bron: boek Lima Il treno nasce così / page 77 )

All over Italy are LIMA‘s miniature railways, in the cities. and the smallest villages, there’s not a place in Italy where LIMA has not supplied. The distribution is made through wholesalers and retailers. The most favourable sales’ period is from November to January, with the highest in December. With supply demands from all over the world, Summertime production increases, and reaches its highest peak.

( afbeelding: … / bron: boek Lima Il treno nasce così / page 78 )

Yearly export sales’ increasing percentage in reference to the year before.

( afbeelding: export sales’ increasing / bron: boek Lima Il treno nasce così / page 80 )

( afbeelding: export sales’ increasing / bron: boek Lima Il treno nasce così / page 82-83 )

The advertising and promotional activities


Remarkable indeed is the press advertising activity of LIMA — also the Important re-views for the children’s, weekly magazines, catalogue publications, — the cinema, radio and television. Promotional activity is pursued by initiatives which have the success of both retailer and the public.

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The FF.SS. (Italian railways of the State) entrusted LIMA with the task of carrying Out in scale – N – the reproduction of electric locomotive E 444. the notorious – Tortoise -. The photo shows the ceremonious presentation of the -Tortoise – to the Minister of Transport, On. Scalfaro, by the Directors of LIMA.

( afbeelding: ceremonious presentation of the -Tortoise – to the Minister of Transport / bron: boek Lima Il treno nasce così )

( afbeelding: Show Trade in Hong Kong / bron: boek Lima Il treno nasce così / page 93 )

( afbeelding: A Lima plastic in a big store of Tokyo / bron: boek Lima Il treno nasce così / page 93 )

( afbeelding: Lima’s stand in Amsterdam / bron: boek Lima Il treno nasce così / page 94 ) ( afbeelding: Lima’s stand om Wien / bron: boek Lima Il treno nasce così / page 94 )

( afbeelding: Shop window in Tokyo / bron: boek Lima Il treno nasce così / page 95 )

( afbeelding: Show trade in Singapore/ bron: boek Lima Il treno nasce così / page 95 )

Made by LIMA S.p.A. – Vicence
With the co-operation of the
Studio Time – Milan
Photographs and photoliths by
Fototecnica – Vicence
Printed by
Palladio – Vicence

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