Top products from r/modeltrains

We found 52 product mentions on r/modeltrains. We ranked the 130 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top comments that mention products on r/modeltrains:

u/BavarianBuilt · 9 pointsr/modeltrains

I can't recommend a Bachmann HO Starter Set enough. I got this particular one for my four year old son and truth be told I probably have more fun playing with it. The size is perfect IMO as it looks the part of a model train but won't take up half your basement like an O scale.

The Bachmann EZ track is very easy to assemble/disassemble and we set it up on the carpet in our family room. It's also very easy to build upon. We go to model train shows a few times a year where we buy extra track pieces and train cars for about $40 bucks total. We now have a huge layout with tons of cars.

When my son gets older I've got a crate of O scale trains and track that I'd like to restore. In the meantime though, this Bachmann HO fits the bill perfectly.

Hope this helps.

u/heres_one_for_ya · 1 pointr/modeltrains

I totally agree with what CiderDrinker said. I started out on a 4x6 and got a feel for what I liked, built some models, and really affirmed that I wanted to keep going with the hobby. I started out with Bachmann EZ track and I suggest you do the same. Actually I would recommend using Kato's version of EZ track, called Unitrack. I hear better things about the quality, etc... But the "plug and play" aspect will let you focus on the basics of setting up a layout without getting bogged down in things like electrics, feeder wires, etc.

My advice to you... Plan plan PLAN! Download one of the track planning softwares on the sidebar. I have the free version of AnyRail which is more than plenty. It has every track library possible including Kato and Bachmann. If you really want, get a basic layout going but don't lay down anything permanent. Then you can see things hooked up and working which is pretty satisfying. But in the meantime, plan out a more permanent layout with one of those track planners. I've made some mistakes in planning by just setting things up without really planning out how everything will work, and to be honest I'm kind of losing interest because I don't have a ton of things to "do" on my layout right now.

You'll hear this in any FB group or subreddit, so I'll just start the conversation. Buy a copy of Realistic Track Planning... I haven't read it yet but I have a copy and I need to get into it. Everyone tells me it's a great book to have around. Pick up a couple more of those books too. Maybe one on trackwork, one on realistic operation, one on scenery... whatever looks interesting to you :) . The moral of the story is, have patience and know that it might suck to wait so long but the end result will be far more fulfilling than just winging it and hoping it works out!

The best part about this hobby is all the learning and information. You will make mistakes and come across things you like and don't like, and can adapt from there

u/roborabbit · 2 pointsr/modeltrains

Model railroading is such a broad topic that has so many facets to it that you can get advice on. Even within scenery and laying track there is so much to discuss that it is dificult to give general advice. Here goes:

  • Plan ahead. You will have a lot more fun running trains if you have a well designed track plan. If you plan even just a few well placed sidings you will have fun rearanging cars. You can get advice here if you draw up some track plans.

  • Lay track well. Nothing will ruin the fun of running trains faster than poorly laid track. Kinks, s-curves and tight radius turns will lead to frequent derailments.

  • Minimums. For HO scale a 4' x 8' layout is a tight minum. With modern equipment it will look unrelistic on tight radius curves and your trains could derail.

  • Train shows and train clubs. Look for some in your area. A great way to meet people and have them give you hands on model train advice.

  • Books. There are lots of great books out there on helping you build your first layout. These books I have and like: The scenery manual. Bench work. Track Planning.
    These books look interesting for a beginer: scenery. Step by step. If the books are out of print then search Amazon for a used copy or find them at a train show.

    Tell us about what your plans are. How much space do you have? Do you have track yet? What kind of track? Are you going to model a specific area or road? Do you have a DCC system? If you give us some specifics we can give you better advice on what you will be building.
u/FoosYou · 2 pointsr/modeltrains

Not that I know of. I use SCARM, which is free, and it's worked pretty well aside from a bit of a learning curve. I hear a lot of people use Anyrail but I like free :)

I also highly recommend the 101 Track Plans book.

u/SevereWxEddie · 5 pointsr/modeltrains

I would highly highly highly recommend picking up the book ["101 Track Plans for Model Railroaders."] ( There is essentially a whole chapter dedicated to 4x6 sized layouts, as well as 4x8s, and it is a resource that will pay dividends if future space opens up as well.

It's a great idea book, and with only so much space to work with, a lot of interesting designs have already been created for that space.

Another resource you might consider, especially since you already are using Atlas track, is any of the Atlas HO track planning books. They may not have as much variety as 101 Track Plans, but some of them show you how to build a complete railroad from start to finish, which could be useful.

Hope this helps!

u/sharkamino · 1 pointr/modeltrains

For HO, go with a new set with modern EZ track which is much easier to set up for around the tree, it just clicks together and stays together then easy disassembly.

$80 gets you DC analog control no sounds, Bachmann Trains - Santa Fe Flyer Ready To Run Electric Train Set - HO Scale $80.

If you can increase your budget, $225 gets you DCC digital control and SOUND, Bachmann Trains - Thunder Chief DCC Sound Value Ready To Run Electric Train Set - HO Scale.

u/01_this_dude · 2 pointsr/modeltrains

Could you use Amazon. Im not a steam person so I dont know exactly what your looking for or what "cheap" is for you but I found some if you wanna check them out.

Bachmann Trains - Chattanooga Ready To Run 155 Piece Electric Train Set - HO Scale

Bachmann Trains - Durango & Silverton Ready To Run Electric Train Set - HO Scale

Bachmann Trains - Pacific Flyer Ready To Run Electric Train Set - HO Scale

Bachmann Trains - The General Ready To Run Electric Train Set - HO Scale

Bachmann Trains - Overland Limited Ready To Run Electric Train Set - HO Scale

u/fotbr · 5 pointsr/modeltrains

The best answer I can give you is to look at 101 Track Plans for ideas. While most of the layouts featured are based around HO scale, a 4' x 8' HO layout fits fairly comfortably in a 3' x 5' area in N scale, and with a few changes, can often be made to fit a 2' x 4' area.

In a small space, you have to be selective about what you put in. It will likely mean tight turns, so running big steam locomotives and the larger diesels are probably out of the question. Passenger cars and long freight cars are going to look funny on tight curves, and some may not run well at all.

Other ideas for you:

u/AdamUndefined · 2 pointsr/modeltrains

I find HO slightly cheaper and easier to find stuff, but you can definitely pack a lot more N scale into a small space. If you don't have a lot invested in HO yet it might be worth the switch. I was able to find a few model railroading books at my local library to help me out with planning a new layout. The second one is British so some of the terminology is different than you might be used to, but it still had a lot of knowledge that is applicable regardless of location you are modelling.

u/Mock_Frog · 3 pointsr/modeltrains

Pelle is from Denmark. I agree, his work is a great place to start if you'd like to get a feel for how to model western US scenery. He has written several books that describe in depth how he creates his scenery, I suggest checking them out. They are not too advanced that a beginner couldn't follow along easily.

This book describes how he built the first rendition of his Mojave themed layout:
Mountain to Desert: Building the HO scale Daneville & Donner River

This book shows some new techniques that he employed rebuilding it:
Rebuilding a Layout from A to Z

This book describes the construction of around 4 dioramas that are each set in a different locale. One of them is a western desert themed one:
Essential Model Railroad Scenery Techniques

u/0minus273 · 1 pointr/modeltrains
u/bean_patrol · 8 pointsr/modeltrains

I'd advise sticking to one of the scales used by model railroaders because it means you'll be able to easily add to it year after year. I also recommend avoiding battery powered trains because they're kinda meh whereas trains powered through the rails typically last longer if cared for. So for scales look into O and HO and decide what you think would look best around your Christmas tree.


For the traditional O scale train from the likes of Lionel:

here's one for $99.99 but it's a smaller diesel train.

here's a steam version but it's $109.99


O scale doesn't really come cheap so if you wanted you could opt for the smaller HO scale:

here's a Bachmann set for $85

here's another Bachmann at $92

and another Bachmann at $81

the cheapest Christmas train I could find is from the British company Hornby for $65 this one is OO scale but is compatible with American HO scale as the track gauge (size between rails) is the same. Apparently there's two versions of this and this one is $60.

You should be able to find reviews for all of these products very easily on YouTube.

u/alampros · 1 pointr/modeltrains

My condolences - I, too, caught the bug about 6 months ago. :)

Joining flex track is really easy. Simply slide the joiners onto each piece and solder them from the bottom or outside. You might have to remove a few ties and replace them after you're done wiring your power drops.

DCC power requirements are a bit more complex and wholly depend on what scale you're using. These two books were key to helping my understanding.

If it helps to know, my N scale 12x8 layout runs very well on the 2amp NCE PowerCab starter set. In short, it depends on how many locos you want to run simultaneously. I've run 5 locos at once with no problems.

Here's a table from the DCC Guide that really cemented it for me:

u/TallForAStormtrooper · 1 pointr/modeltrains

I strongly recommend starting with a simple operations plan that covers what trains will do on your layout. You don't need to use prototype rules but if your trains have nothing to do besides go round and round for no reason, you will get bored after a couple weeks. Knowing why your railroad exists will inform your track plan much better than what will fit in your space.

For example, I'm building a railroad which carries supplies to a dam construction site.

Track Planning for Realistic Operation by John Armstrong is the bible for model railroad track planning.

I also like Byron Henderson's website for learning basics while waiting for the book to arrive from Amazon, and for tips and tricks which the book doesn't cover.

u/nickhalfasleep · 8 pointsr/modeltrains

John Armstrong's Track Planning for Realistic Operation is a great book:

I like Lance Mindheim's books for modern operations on smaller layouts too:

u/crazy_balls · 1 pointr/modeltrains

Depending on your scale, and where it is on your layout, you might just consider building the interior with card stock, and just hand drawing on them. That's actually what this book says to do, and it doesn't look half bad. When I get home, I can scan that page for you if you'd like to see it.

u/Tavyr · 5 pointsr/modeltrains

I believe this is pretty much required reading around these parts. If nothing else it'll give you some good ideas to build upon.

u/ceejayoz · 1 pointr/modeltrains

Yes. There are ready-to-go products like, or you can do it yourself with your own sensors.

u/0-4-0 · 3 pointsr/modeltrains

You could get a Christmas train (basically a decoration) for £50~ and set it up around the tree just to test the mood/interest and then expand on it.

But you'll need to know what era/country/scale/railroad company etc he likes to get something specific.

I also saw a Hornby starter set in the middle aisle of Lidl yesterday if you have one near you

u/jpamills · 1 pointr/modeltrains

First, decide on your scale. HO, N or Z. Then, decide whether you are modelling any particular country. If not, you can pick up for example the Christmas Train packs for quite cheap. That will give you an analogue controller, a loco, and a loop of track. Hornby (OO scale, compatible with HO track), sells their Christmas train pack for 81 euro om

All DC analogue locomotives are compatible with each other. Digital (DCC-fitted) locomotives will not run on analogue track. DCC locos expect a fixed high voltage. Analogue locomotives expect variable voltages. Some digital systems will allow you to run a single analogue locomotive along with the other digital locomotives. If you want to play around with digital, again I suggest looking at a DCC starting set. Hornby has one coming in for around 200 pounds...

u/PinkFloydPanzer · 1 pointr/modeltrains

Also if you are modelling the Old West I suggest to you these books

This layout is my personal favorite, it takes place in the deserts of central AZ near Jerome and Clarkdale. It doesn't have a specific era because he runs everything from an 1870s locomotive to a 1960s diesel but if you want you could make it in any era up until 1960. Here is a look at some of the pictures in the book and a little more background

and the Amazon link

And also this is fun, its a Colorado Rockies/High Plains layout that takes a whimsical approach.

u/Darnell_Jenkins · 6 pointsr/modeltrains

This and This

Edit: Look into some bachmann nickel silver HO scale EZ track too.

u/ljumo · 1 pointr/modeltrains

Looks like that amazon has same price on polar express, what is difference between these two models, other than the price obviously?

Lionel Polar Express Remote Train Set - O-Gauge $330

Lionel The Polar Express LionChief Train Set with Bluetooth Train Set $250

u/ptc075 · 2 pointsr/modeltrains

I bought Lionel's Pennsylvania Flyer set last year as a black Friday special, believe it was only $180. Fantastic value, and more surprising, the engine is actually damn nice (for its size anyway). It's no Big Boy of course, but it ran around the tree just fine. Hell, for that price you could buy 3 of them and tripple head them, and still have change left over compared to the price of a Big Boy. (Of course, if you want a BB, get that, just realize you're looking at more like $1300 not $300).

If you go used, be careful, Lionel has used that name for decades across multiple sets and price points, so it can be hard to tell them apart.

u/Jeff_Faust · 1 pointr/modeltrains

What track are you using? Were there any pieces taken from something like this?

u/Trainguyrom · 5 pointsr/modeltrains

If you're ok with On30 (That's O scale narrow gauge, running on HO gauge track), Bachmann has a trolley set almost identical to that, but specifically Christmas themed:

I highly recommend shopping around. For whatever reason, Bachmann's equipment tends to retail for lower prices than listed on their site. I often see companies selling their equipment at as much as 50% lower without calling it a sale.

For example, here's Amazon with prices ranging from 100-150:

u/gec44-9w · 3 pointsr/modeltrains

If you are looking for a HO scale 4-4-0 American the Civil War sets by Bachmann are a good place to start.

u/kodack10 · 13 pointsr/modeltrains

The price is $224, the same price it was when I bought this set over Christmas. Also, it's a shit set. I had to have Amazon replace it due to problems with both locomotives, and guess what, both locos in the replacment were also broken. Problems ranged from spontaneous failure to respond until powered down for several minutes, to super loud bearing/bushing screams making it sound like a 7 year old CPU fan about to go out, to the hand rails being broken in the packaging. Imagine your soundtrax module loaded up with this engine note and you get the idea of what it's like to drive these

I repaired the two least broken ones and they are still the worst engines in my collection.