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Author Topic: Train sets with accessories  (Read 2167 times)

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« on: September 28, 2013, 10:21:30 AM »

I'm not sure about some of you guys, but I think a train set is usually a great way to start a model railroad. You get the train and enough track to get you started. But sometimes, I feel if you want to start a model railroad, the train sets that come with accessories is a really good idea. Bachmann's sets that feature some kind of accessories would usually come with their signs and utility poles and (unpainted) figures, and I recall a few would even include their Plasticville suburban station building kit!

This kind of harkens back to the olden days of some train sets that would also include such accessories to add to the play value for younger ones and to also make the most of starting a model railroad; even some of Bachmann's older sets were like this:

It would be also a bit cheaper than buying the parts separately.

Any comments/opinions?

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« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2013, 05:23:14 PM »


Yes, train sets have their place. I think they are a pretty good idea for someone who is wondering about whether to get into the hobby, or perhaps for someone who isn't sure which gauge to model. I don't think they are especially good for other buyers.

Train sets tend to have low-line models, frequently including basic motive power which may not be reliable over the long run. (To Bachmann's credit, most or all Bachmann sets have good quality locos, not train set cheapies.) Train set rolling stock typically lacks detail, probably a more significant consideration for experienced modelers than new ones. Most sets have NMRA / X2f couplers (again, the B'man does better) and cheap trucks with plastic wheels. Power supplies tend to be very basic and low output, limiting their utility going forward. Track is often a high point, especially when the sets include roadbed-attached track (and assuming the new modeler plans to use the kind of track included in the set). In this regard, some B'man sets are a letdown with their steel rails. Come on, B'man, put the NS in every set.

                                                                                                                                                       -- D
« Last Edit: September 28, 2013, 11:10:16 PM by Doneldon » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2013, 07:44:31 PM »

I think pretty much everybody has gone to kadee compatable knuckle couplers. no more x2f devil hooks. model power even has talgo trucks with knuckle couplers.


Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA

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« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2013, 11:31:12 PM »

I think pretty much everybody has gone to kadee compatable knuckle couplers. no more x2f devil hooks. model power even has talgo trucks with knuckle couplers.

Unfortunately Life-Like still uses the X2F couplers. Are they still stuck in the 1980s or something?!
Of course I've moved up on my layout even though I also started out with a train set. Now I have more higher-quality locomotives, a better power pack, etc.

I know Athearn's train sets come with good-quality locomotives AND the nickel-silver E-Z track! These ones seem more geared toward the novice looking for a more high-quality set (hence the nickel silver track.)
The Walthers Trainline sets also have high-quality locomotives. I have a couple of Trainline locomotives, like the kind their sets include, and they have pretty good can motors and flywheel drive, and they also use Bachmann E-Z Mate couplers. But the Trainline sets come with the steel E-Z track (since Walthers now owns Life-Like, maybe they should include the Power-Loc track instead?)

Now HERE'S a rather hefty-featured Bachmann train set from the early days of E-Z track:

In addition to the usual signs, poles and unpainted figures, it also includes the Plasticville suburban station, farm building set, barn and silo, school house, signal bridge, even the picket fence and park accessory set! And all this for a 56x38 layout. I imagine this was for beginners that wanted to also have buildings on their first layout right away, to add a bit more imagination to their train operations.

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« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2013, 07:35:59 AM »

Yep, the Athearn sets are stocked with Bachmann's n/s EZ track.

Keep Calm and Carry On
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