new to model trains

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by rosebay, Nov 28, 2002.

  1. rosebay

    rosebay New Member

    I'd like to purchase a small model train set - track, engine, passenger cars, etc. Maybe 4 pieces. I really don't know where to start - but do know that I would like the train set to be true to the 1800's to match my Dickens Village town.

    Any suggestions or help?
  2. Railery

    Railery Member

    Hi aj :) one suggestion is to go check out your model railway hobby shops. Find the one u feel most comfortable at. Re: for advice, price and atmosphere. Happy Tracking :D
  3. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Keep in mind that the train that you purchase will need to be in the scale (or close to it) of your Dickens Village otherwise the train will dwarf the village or the village will dwarf the train:eek: Might suggest that you take a piece of the village with you when you go shopping for the train so you can compare them. I'm not sure what scale (if any) Dickens Village is but I think its close to HO scale. Hope this helped.:)
  4. rosebay

    rosebay New Member

    I tried to find the scale of the Dickens Village, but couldn't. But, I did find out that the On30 is the usual choice for Dickens Villages.

    Found the size, which is helpful. Now I just have to find the right 'era'.

    Thanks to all for your help.
  5. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Great!!!:) That means that the Dickens Village is at or about O scale...1/4"=1ft. Take a look at the Bachman ON30 sets. They should fit the theme nicely. In fact Thomas Kincade is selling one to go with his Christmas Villages but its a bit pricey. Check the hobby shops!!!:)
  6. DanRaitz

    DanRaitz Member

    You can take a look at the Bachmann On30 train sets on Bachmann's web site:
    The On30 sets retail for $260.00 but with a little shopping you can find them for less.

    Dan Raitz
    Escondido, CA
  7. Lighthorseman

    Lighthorseman Active Member

    On30 Sets...

    While the MSRP is $260.00, all you need do is check some ads in your Railway magazines. There are stores selling these sets for as low as $89.00.

    I've found that these trains run beautifully. Be sure to let us know what you find!
  8. rosebay

    rosebay New Member

    Wow!!! $89.00??? I've been diligently searching for the Bachmann train set on the internet and have found a set for as low as $150 on the internet, but not yet $89. I will definitely pick up a few railroading magazines and buy my first railroad set.

    I did visit a railroad hobby shop and became quite interested in Garden Railroading. Being an avid gardener, this really caught my eye. A bit pricey, so I will start small, and if I really enjoy it, I may be posting questions about Garden Railroading.

    As a matter of fact, my first question would be.... I have two large dogs (Lab & Rott) - how do you ensure the train system doesn't get destroyed by large dogs? Are they that sturdy?

    As soon as I find the $89 system and set up with my display, I will post and let everyone know the status. Thanks to all for your help.

  9. mykroft

    mykroft Member

    O Scale is fairly Kid Proof so it may suvive 2 large dogs (Anything smaller won't).

    Note that O is a Scale and a Gauge (Distance between rails), On30 is O scale, 3 foot gauge(Rails are 3 scale feet apart, or 3/4" apart) and 1/4" scale is another name for O Scale. So O scale buildings et al are OK to add, but any Engines & Cars will need to be On30
  10. akrrnut

    akrrnut New Member

    Although I haven't tested this yet, I'm not sure that Bachmann's On30 trains will withstand the intense attention of a couple large dogs! You might want to make sure they stay out of the reach of your pets. Lionel O gauge trains probably would survive a close encounter, although they're not usually to scale, and are quite a bit larger than the On30 trains.

    As far as Large Scale trains being pricey, you get what you pay for. LGB trains are among the best in the industry, bar none. They're designed to handle just about any weather, except maybe golf-ball sized hailstones! Aristo-Craft trains are almost as good, and Bachmann are somewhat lower down the quality chain, though their prices are more reasonable for starting out.

  11. TR-Flyer

    TR-Flyer Member

    Just wanted to put in my $0.02 for S-gauge. These trains work well with the Dept 56 and Lemax buildings. Several of our club members use them on our modular layouts. You could get the Franklin engine and several cars or use one of the more modern engines depending on what you're trying to do with your display. I would not recommend them for outside use.

    "S" is a little smaller than "O" and bigger than "HO", 1:64 vs. 1:43 and 1:87 respectively. A good source for “S” is Mark Preman at Also, ebay has an auction on several franklins in progress. Check out:

    I often have trouble getting long addresses like that to work so just go to ebay and type in a search on “american flyer franklin” You can see what else is available currently for American Flyer by leaving the “franklin” off the search.

    Here’s a couple pics showing some Lemax stuff on one of our modules at a show in Winston-Salem.

    Attached Files:

  12. TR-Flyer

    TR-Flyer Member

    And another one, try and get the size right this time.

    Attached Files:

  13. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    For a Garden Railroad you want to use the large scale trains. The On30 won't be reliable outdoors because it uses ho track, and you will have corrosion problems. LGB is expensive, but Bachmann makes a nice set for a lot less. Since I model in ho, I don't know the price off hand. Garden railroaders generally leave track and buildings outside, but bring the trains in when not operating.One way to minimize or eliminate damage from the dogs is to put in a retaining wall with fill behind it, and elevate the outdoor layout out of their reach, unless they are jumpers. The easiest way to bring trains inside when not operating is to have a switch lead going through a tunnel into a garage or shed.
    I hope this gives you some ideas. Trains are a great hobby, and model railroaders are some of the friendliest people I've ever met.
  14. gregbva123

    gregbva123 Member

    to match dickens village, you need O Scale. Lionel, Mike Trains or K-line and more.


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