Bachmann Message Board

Discussion Boards => General Discussion => Topic started by: Woody Elmore on August 25, 2012, 11:33:43 AM



Title: Bachmann trains
Post by: Woody Elmore on August 25, 2012, 11:33:43 AM
My neighbor is looking to buy an HO train set for his grandson (who is 11) for Christmas. He approached me for advice. Here is my question - how do I know what kind of track comes with sets or should I assume all the sets come with the black/steel trackage. The Bachmann ads do not mention the kind of track. We live about 150 yards from the shores of Oyster Bay, NY, and dampness is a huge problem. even keeping NS track clean becomes a chore.

Any advice would be appreciated - are there are sets that are better than others? by the way, they are not interested in DCC.

I have been model Railroading since Ike was president and the only set of trains I ever dealt with was Lionel trains given to me by my grandparents. I generally do not think sets have the same value or quality as buying individual pieces.


Title: Re: Bachmann trains
Post by: jward on August 25, 2012, 12:09:09 PM
the biggest difference between bachmann sets and what you can buy individually that i've seen is that set cars have plastic wheels, versus metal ones on the silver series cars. to me, that's not a fatal flaw. if it bothers you, just replace the wheelsets.

the locomotives in the sets i've bought, an ft, a gp40 and 2 0-6-0s, are all the same as what is sold individually.

all my sets came with steel track, you may want to replace that with ns if you live in a high corrosion area like the seaside.

the power packs are entry level, but usable. they have a low power output, so you probably wopuldn't want to run more than 1 or 2 locomotives at a time.


Title: Re: Bachmann trains
Post by: rogertra on August 25, 2012, 08:03:55 PM
"DO NOT buy a train set that comes complete in a box" is the best advice you can give anyone.

Regardless of what you read here, train sets are made from the cheapest products produced and are basically junk.

If you want to buy a quality "train set", go to a hobby store and purchase an Spectrum or Athearn locomotive in your favourite road name.   If you want to model an era when they were used, buy a matching quality roadname caboose.  Buy half a dozen assorted quality freight cars.  Buy enough nicklesilver set track, but not the kind with the built in roadbed, to form an oval, two left hand and one right hand, or more of each, switches and a reasonably priced powerpack.  Now you can set up a basic loop of track and siding and a spur to switch.

Yes, that will cost you more but at least come Boxing Day, it will still be working, unlike many of the train sets that come in boxes.



Title: Re: Bachmann trains
Post by: NarrowMinded on August 25, 2012, 08:17:01 PM
Woody the new sets come with Nickle siver grey roadbed.

NM-Jeff


Title: Re: Bachmann trains
Post by: Desertdweller on August 26, 2012, 01:31:32 AM
I would disagree that boxed trainsets are junk.  I have used several boxed Bachmann train sets for their components in the building of my present N-scale model railroad.

The thing to remember about any manufacturer's train sets is that they are designed to compete against similar train sets being built by their competitors.  And that they are designed to sell for a competitive price against similarly priced competitors' sets.

The one item in the train set that takes the brunt of this cost cutting is the locomotive.
You cannot expect the locomotive that comes in a $100 train set to be equal to a locomotive that sells alone for that price.

That is not to say you cannot find decent, serviceable locomotives in train sets.  But you get what you pay for.

I would advise your neighbor to buy a Bachmann train set of whatever complexity he wants.  Bachmann has an excellent warranty program he can use if anything in the set, including the locomotive, is defective.

If he finds the locomotive to be serviceable, but not up to expectations, keep it and the rest of the set and buy another locomotive of whatever sophistication he wants.
Unless he buys some giant thing that cannot handle the curve radius of the set, the track and power supply of the original train set will handle it.

The Bachmann N-S track, the power pack, and the cars (except maybe for the wheels) will be the same as Bachmann sells individually.  If you add up the cost of individual components and compare it to the price of the train set, you will see the loco is actually a low-cost component of the set.

Train sets are aimed at a cost-driven market.  Not as much so with individual components.  All Bachmann components are backed by a very strong warranty.

Les


Title: Re: Bachmann trains
Post by: Doneldon on August 26, 2012, 01:48:15 AM
Woody-

Although I don't recommend EZ Track for a whole layout due to the high cost, I strongly endorse it for a first experience with model trains. It holds together much better than track without roadbed and it stands up to repeated put ups and take downs better. That's very common with first trains.

                                                                                                                                            -- D


Title: Re: Bachmann trains
Post by: jward on August 26, 2012, 01:54:11 AM
roger.

while it was once true train sets were junk, that isn't necessarily so to-day. as i  saod in a previous post, the locomotives and rolling stock in the bachmann sets are good runners. certainly they are much better than the older sets, and i'd compare them to blue box athearn cars. the locomotives are no different than those you would buy seperately. the ft and gp40 do not have flywheels, but the motor is smooth enough that they don't really need them once they are broken in. another poster has stated that the new sets come with nickle silver track which leaves the power pack as the only weak link.

having been in the hobby most of my life, i remember the junk well. i also remember futile attempts to try to make decent runners out of some of that stuff. what's out there now isn't bad. i only wish i'd have had stuff this good when i was starting out.


Title: Re: Bachmann trains
Post by: Yardmaster on August 26, 2012, 01:56:24 AM
We like starter sets. They are a very economical way to get started.
Slippery slope..... :o


Title: Re: Bachmann trains
Post by: Jerrys HO on August 26, 2012, 08:50:14 AM
Woody

From what I have noticed from sets I purchased to the one's I see in my LHS, if the set is DCC it has nickel silver. Most all set's I have seen that come with the standard powerpack have the steel track excluding the  Acela Express set which has the standard power pack  with a DCC engine and nickel track.
I started with three set's and I am impressed with all three. (Digital Commander, Diesel Commander and the Iron King)

Jerry


Title: Re: Bachmann trains
Post by: jonathan on August 26, 2012, 08:50:37 AM
Woody,

I have experience with only two Bachmann train sets.  Both came with NS, grey roadbed, EZ Track.  The track works very well, and I incorporated it into my layout.  It ballasts well and looks just like any other track when scenic-ed.

The locomotives run well.  Sometimes you get plastic wheels on the rolling stock, sometimes you get metal wheels.

Regards,

Jonathan


Title: Re: Bachmann trains
Post by: Terry Toenges on August 26, 2012, 10:38:03 PM
We're talking about an 11 year old kid. A Bachmann starter set would be great to get his feet wet. Why go out and spend big dollars only to find out that he plays with it for a few months and then puts it in the closet with the rest of the things he lost interest in?


Title: Re: Bachmann trains
Post by: jward on August 27, 2012, 01:49:57 AM
We're talking about an 11 year old kid. A Bachmann starter set would be great to get his feet wet. Why go out and spend big dollars only to find out that he plays with it for a few months and then puts it in the closet with the rest of the things he lost interest in?

and if he didn't lose interest the quality of the locomotive and cars would be good enough to give him something to build upon.


Title: Re: Bachmann trains
Post by: Woody Elmore on August 27, 2012, 11:10:03 AM
Guys - thanks a lot for all the feedback. I've been into HO trains for 40 years and have some definite opinions about sets. When I hear sets I think of the Tyco junk from thirty years ago. I realize that sets have come a long way and I recommended Bachmann to them because of the warranty.

We looked at the sets offered by Bachmann and settled on 2 or 3 that are plain DC. When I mentioned DCC to his dad, an IT supervisor for a big Wall Street firm, his eye lit up. However this is for an eleven year old who grandfather couldn't tell a hammer from a screw driver. I am looking forward to being drafted into helping to build a little starter layout.

Thanks again for taking the trouble to respond..


Title: Re: Bachmann trains
Post by: Yardmaster on August 27, 2012, 11:58:59 AM
Bachmann EZ Command DCC is designed for folks who can't "tell a hammer from a screw driver".


Title: Re: Bachmann trains
Post by: Jerrys HO on August 27, 2012, 12:24:33 PM
Hammer- tool you pound nails with. ::)
Screw driver- tool that installs and removes screws, also used as pry bar. ::)

Watch it Yardy I use the EZ Command ;D and find it does more than other's say it will do.
Woody I believe the EZ Command would be great for the 11 yr.old and his dad. I'm 50yrs. young and love it

Jerry


Title: Re: Bachmann trains
Post by: jward on August 27, 2012, 12:37:13 PM
you can use a hammer to pound screws, but you can't use a screwdriver to screw in nails......lol


Title: Re: Bachmann trains
Post by: Johnson Bar Jeff on August 27, 2012, 04:06:02 PM
We looked at the sets offered by Bachmann and settled on 2 or 3 that are plain DC. When I mentioned DCC to his dad, an IT supervisor for a big Wall Street firm, his eye lit up. However this is for an eleven year old who grandfather couldn't tell a hammer from a screw driver. I am looking forward to being drafted into helping to build a little starter layout.

That 11-year-old might be more technologically sophisticated than his grandpa thinks he is, especially if the kid's father is an IT supervisor.

Just sayin'. ...  ;)


Title: Re: Bachmann trains
Post by: Ken G Price on August 28, 2012, 12:07:36 AM
As for DC or DCC it may come down to how much they want to spend.
Either one gets them started.
And if the experiment proves successful then they will be hooked and then can decide on what path to take for upgrades.



Title: Re: Bachmann trains
Post by: Woody Elmore on August 28, 2012, 09:07:09 AM
As I have written, the neighbors have settled on 3 sets. Grandpa has no opinion but grandma wants a steam engine. I have already warned about the effects of having a smoking engine so that's been ruled out.

As for the track -I have plenty of Atlas flex track in code 100 which I had planned to use in an On30 diorama (with the out of scale ties buried) so extending the layout is no problem.

I told the neighbors that the Bachmann DCC system would not be a technological nightmare to hook up. By the way the boy's uncle is also a tech guy who flew drones for the Army in the first gulf war and is very interested in learning more about DCC.

It was much easier when I was a kid - the main choice was Lionel or Flyer. Then you looked at the sets. Two wires from transformer to track and you were done. Like the song says "Those were the days, my friend..."

Once again thanks for taking the time to comment.


Title: Re: Bachmann trains
Post by: M1FredQ on August 31, 2012, 02:20:48 PM
My youngest(of 5) loved trains from the time I think he took his first breath.

At Christmas I have a G-Gauge set up around the tree(5x8). My wife would lay him

down in the middle he would fall asleep and he was a great baby.

3 years ago my Mother-in-law bought him a Bachmann HO starter set. I picked up a

couple of hollow core doors from the lumber yard put a piece of green in door out door

carpet and that kid built and rebuilt layouts daily or weekly. It was E-Z Track nickel with

the roadbed. The only thing we did was replace the plastic wheelsets with metal.

That set runs great!!!!!!!!!! we eventually added a couple of Bachmann steamers and

a couple more diesels including a SD-40. We added an inner loop and that little

transformer runs 2 trains!!!!!!!!!!! It's stuff like that that sold me on Bachmann!!!

Now we have a bigger lay-out with 4- hollow doors for the O-Gauge on the other side

of the basement, and it was a starter set that got us going with that. I know there's

junky stuff but what we got from Bachmann and "L-----" has worked well and the

quality of the sets was impressive!!!!!!!!!!!

Hope this helps.


Title: Re: Bachmann trains
Post by: Woody Elmore on September 10, 2012, 12:18:19 PM
I will help my neighbor assemble a layout. I used to be a big fan of homasote but this layout will use rigid insulation. It is light, easy to use and rather inexpensive when compared to other materials.                                     


Title: Re: Bachmann trains
Post by: M1FredQ on September 11, 2012, 09:49:12 PM
We recently tore down our layout to make better legs for the hollow doors.

Instead of putting the indoor-outdoor carpet back on( it sheds!) We got some of that "Blue"

insulation from Menards. It comes in large 4x8 sheets. We covered the layout painted it with

latex camoflage green paint my wife didn"t want to be used in the boys bedroom, layed the track

and screwed it in it looks great and really cuts down on the noise level. Now we have left overs to

build up hilly ares and make a small mountain