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Author Topic: Bachmann trains  (Read 7114 times)
Woody Elmore

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« 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.
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jward


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« Reply #1 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.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
rogertra


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« Reply #2 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.

« Last Edit: August 25, 2012, 09:37:11 PM by rogertra » Logged

NarrowMinded


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« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2012, 08:17:01 PM »

Woody the new sets come with Nickle siver grey roadbed.

NM-Jeff
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Desertdweller

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« Reply #4 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
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Doneldon

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« Reply #5 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
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jward


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« Reply #6 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.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
Yardmaster


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« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2012, 01:56:24 AM »

We like starter sets. They are a very economical way to get started.
Slippery slope..... Shocked
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Jerrys HO
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« Reply #8 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
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jonathan


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« Reply #9 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
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Terry Toenges


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« Reply #10 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?
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Feel like a Mogul.
jward


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« Reply #11 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.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
Woody Elmore

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« Reply #12 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..
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Yardmaster


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« Reply #13 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".
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Jerrys HO
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« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2012, 12:24:33 PM »

Hammer- tool you pound nails with. Roll Eyes
Screw driver- tool that installs and removes screws, also used as pry bar. Roll Eyes

Watch it Yardy I use the EZ Command Grin 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
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