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Author Topic: 5 year old wants a train set  (Read 8292 times)
train2b

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« on: October 15, 2009, 07:18:42 AM »

Can anyone recommend a train set to start my 5 year old son with?  Are these sets easy to put together?
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pdlethbridge
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« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2009, 07:29:25 AM »

If it will be one the floor, may be a G scale set up. It would be easier for him to handle than an HO set. It could be put on a table but it would probably be making frequent trips to the floor.
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train2b

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« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2009, 07:35:55 AM »

Thank you, I will look for that. we are probably going to put in on a board to slide under his bed. Does the G Scale have the lights you can buy to put on the track like the HO Scales?
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train2b

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« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2009, 07:39:00 AM »

I only see HO, O, N and On30 Scale on the website.  Is the G Scale in retail stores?
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Nathan

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« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2009, 08:46:55 AM »

On this web site Bachmann lists it as Large Scale.  Some retail stores like Hobby Town and some hobby shops carry large scale equipment by a number of manufactures.  Several of the web retailers also carry large scale.
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pdlethbridge
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« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2009, 10:23:06 AM »

All of the large scale sets would be fine for your son. The steamer has a light, it makes smoke and has sound. All the sets have cars, track and a speed controller. here is a web page of some of their offerings
http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=bachmann+g+scale+sets&_sacat=0&_trksid=p3286.m270.l1313&_stpos=14609&_sop=16&gbr=1&_dmpt=Model_RR_Trains&_odkw=g+scale+sets&_osacat=0
« Last Edit: October 15, 2009, 10:31:30 AM by pdlethbridge » Logged
CNE Runner


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« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2009, 11:04:47 AM »

I would be concerned about the motor skill development of a 5-year old (let alone the level of cognitive development). Most model railroad 'equipment' is designed for 8+ year old children. Having said that, any one of the Thomas the Tank Engine sets would not only provide interest; but would correlate to the popular TV show (and the seemingly endless DVDs). Professionally, I would not recommend any scale below O-gauge (little hands and little trains do not mix). I believe Lionel has an extensive 'Thomas' line...check with one of the retailers on the Internet. Another source would be a well-stocked hobby/toy store.

Good luck to you and our future model railroader,
Ray
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"Keeping my hand on the throttle...and my eyes on the rail"
Terry Toenges


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« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2009, 11:33:16 AM »

I'd start with a cheap HO set and see what happens. Big or little (HO or G), you'll probably have a few broken parts when he puts the pedal to the metal. Large scale locos are pretty heavy.
I'm still thinking about the 6 year old Cub Scout and his camping tool at school. He seemed pretty squared away to me.
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Feel like a Mogul.
ABC
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« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2009, 01:24:39 PM »

Like Ray said above avoid S, HO, N, & Z scales. Also avoid purchasing engines and rolling stock with a lot of delicate parts because, God knows they won't make it past the first day. Try going with an introductory G or large scale set, the only drawback is that it is more expensive than an introductory HO set. I remember my father had an American Flyer S-Gauge layout and when I was a kid about 7 yrs old I went downstairs to run the trains and there was a B&O streamlined Hudson on the upper tier of the layout and of course I was running it pretty hard, and I ran it against a switch causing it to derail and fall 6 feet to the ground...it never ran again and the back part of the cab even broke off, not to mention the front pilot...looking at makes you wince. So moral of the story when you have kids younger than 8 avoid anything below O scale, or you'll be sorry when your band new engine doesn't run anymore because junior got a little too excited and...(you fill in the rest). It's great to get them started a young age, but use something that is suited to their ability/age, something safe for them and safe for the loco's sake.
But, if you are going to get an O (2 or 3 rail set) avoid steam locomotives as they tend to be more fragile, stick with perhaps an F unit (ie F3, F7, F9, FT, etc) , Baldwin sharks or an E unit (E6/7, E8/9, etc) they have the least amount of exterior parts to be broken or lost, all you can do is break/lose the horn for the most part on lower end models. So if you go the HO route, although I wouldn't recommend it, consider these...
Thomas with Annie and Clarabel (set)
This ready-to-run train set includes:
      Thomas the Tank EngineTM with moving eyes
      Annie & Clarabel coaches with international style hook-and-loop couplers
Product Code: 00642 

Santa Fe Flyer (set)
The Santa Fe Flyer includes:
EMD FT diesel locomotive with operating headlight
open quad hopper
gondola
wide-vision caboose
Product Code: 00647

Norfolk Southern Thoroughbred (set)
This ready-to-run train set includes:
    * F7 diesel locomotive with operating headlight
    * open quad hopper
    * gondola
    * wide-vision caboose
Product Code: 00691
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Frankv

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« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2009, 01:52:52 PM »

I have a grandchild about to turn 6 for whom I am building an HO layout. I cautioned him on how to handle the rolling stock and he has impressed me how careful he is. Unless you plan to continue to grow a layout with G scale I would go with HO. For a starter set I would recommend one featuring an F series passenger diesel locomotive. It is fairly robust and has the least amount of fancy detail that can be broken off. Also easier to get only 8 wheels on the track. For the same reasons I'd avoid a set with a steam loco - too many fragile working parts, tough to get little wheels on the track, etc. If you're willing to go on the internet, I have found "trainsetsonly.com" to be friendly and reliable. They have pretty good sales. You will probably find Ebay prices to be lower on average - I've found "internetrailroad.com" and "thefavoritespot.com" to be reliable, with the former offering lower priced  items (the Model Power brand) and the latter the more expensive stuff (Bachmann Spectrum). I'd avoid the used Ebay stuff and buy only new items with a warranty.  All this just my opinion based on my experience.
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pdlethbridge
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« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2009, 02:02:51 PM »

they have thomas in large scale. should be a good seller
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Frankv

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« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2009, 02:07:19 PM »

ABC's post reminded me about the Thomas line. They are the most robust, easiest to get on the track, and easiest to couple up that you will find. I have some for my soon-to-be 6 yr old. He doesn't mind mixing Thomas and proper HO scale stuff on the same track. The EBay sellers I mentioned offer Thomas also.
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rich1998

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« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2009, 03:04:55 PM »

Can anyone recommend a train set to start my 5 year old son with?  Are these sets easy to put together?

you did not say but i have to assume he does not want a push toy. i have seen a wooden set with wood track at my local hobby show that has a lot of stuff for that age.
if you go with electric type modify the power pack so the knob cannot go full speed. an engine flying of the track on a table cam be damaged when it hits the floor. he will not be happy.
lex
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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2009, 04:18:20 PM »

In our family, we have always started off with larger trains.  At 7 I got my first electric train - a MARX 0 gauge set - which I had no trouble putting together and running at 3 am Christmas morning, long before everyone else was up.  But I did have the advantage of playing with a Hafner 0 gauge wind up train for two years before that.

At the age of 4, my son was so frustrated with not being able to run my H0 layout that I bought him a used Lionel set.  He needed help screwing the track down to a 4' x 8' table, but he was quite capable of putting the train on the tracks and running it.  His train occasionally went flying off the table onto the concrete floor below but suffered very little damage.  In part this was because his table was only about 2 feet high, an appropriate height for a 4 or 5 year old.

Speaking of tables, I would deffinitely recommend one for your son's train, no matter what the scale.  A table keeps the trains up out of the dust/hair/lint on the floor and avoiding that keeps the trains happy and healthy for a long time to come.  But be sure to build the table strong enough to walk on.  Because of his size, your son will have to.  Even better, build it strong enough for you to walk on for times that you decide to join him.

There are basically two types of 0 gauge trains that you are likely to run into.  One type runs on 2 rail track and is made with more detail (which equals less ruggedness) than the 3 rail variety.  The other type of 0 gauge trains run on 3 rail track.  While the 3 rail trains are more toy like and have less detail, that equates to tougher and fewer pieces to break off.  The three rail track simplifies wiring, eliminating the complexities of wiring two rail track.  While there are many of us on this forum that can advise you on how to wire sidings, loops, wyes, figure eights inside ovals, and a host more problematic track configurations, these and other problems with 2 rail track will discourage your son's experimenting with different track configurations which is part of the fun of trains and painlessly educational to boot.

Lionel has already been mentioned as a source of 0 gauge trains running on 3 rail track.  Williams by Bachmann is another.  The MARX trains that I cut my teeth on are no longer made, but they and Lionel had a reputation of building tough, long lived toy trains.  I don't know about ruggedness of the modern 0 gauge 3 rail trains so I hope someone who is more familiar with aspect of them will chime in.

Jim   
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Growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional.
rich1998

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« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2009, 05:31:11 PM »

some years ago my grandson came with me to a model railroad show and we bought some lionel 027 and a couple manual switch tracks.  with a 4 by 8 foot layout he was very happy.
i have some tinplate marx 027 i use to set up for christmas but stopped doing that. they are much to loud when running.
 I found some plastic linoel 027 that are much quieter.

lex
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