thoughts on the empire builder train set?

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Grindar, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. Grindar

    Grindar Member

    Looking for a decent starting point for an nscale layout.

    I've got a mckinley explorer tucked away somewhere, but that's not enough rolling stock for anything other than a basic loop of track.

    Was thinking about getting the empire builder train set, but I have no idea what the quality is like.

    I've been out of model railroading for years, for lack of space, and might finally have enough to build one of Mike's door size layouts, looking at either the 3 lap pretzel or the folded dogbone immediately underneath.

    I know that given the set has been around a while and it's a starter set, the quality's probably not high, but it costs about as much as an n-scale steam locomotive by itself. Is it worth the money?
  2. BRPHO

    BRPHO New Member

    I have the Empire Builder set.

    It is the set I started my n scale layout with.

    I myself think it is a very nice set for the price.

    Some people will say the quality of Bachmann isn't up to par with the more serious model railroader products on the market but it suits my needs just fine.

    The set comes with a big oval of track, plenty of freight cars and a very nice looking steam engine.

    I did have issues with my steam engine from the get go out of the package though.

    I sent it back to Bachmann for warranty service and they sent me a brand new one as a replacement in return.

    A very pleasant experience overall!!!

    I am very pleased at this point!!!

    I would recommend the set coming from someone who has a nice layout but isn't a real serious model railroader.

    I have a hollow core door layout useing the bachmann easy track from the sets.

    I can run 3 trains on seperate loops I have set up.

    It has been a lot of fun in my spare time and my kids enjoy it also.

    I hope this helps!

    Wayne :thumb::thumb:
  3. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author Member

    The Bachmann non-Spectrum locomotives are better than they used to be; it's just important to make sure that it is the newer improved locomotives that you are getting.

    With individual locos it's easy-- make sure they are in hard plastic two piece (top and bottom) cases, not paper boxes, not "swing top" plastic boxes, etc. With sets this may be a little harder.

    I believe that Bachmann's "repair policy" is mostly swapping yours for a new one.
  4. GWoodle

    GWoodle Member

    The "trainset" quality Bachmann locos may suffer more from sitting on a shelf before you get to buy it. The loco may be unsold, but hardly "new". The loco
    most likely will need a cleanup & relube job to get it to properly break in.

    I doubt if any "trainset" locos & cars come in a plastic case like the newer product.

    For about 2 years now, Bachmann has been producing all new rolling stock & engines with their new knuckle coupler. It has become a major issue with all the old unsold Rapido sets in the pipeline. A visit to Hobby Lobby will show you what I am talking about. You may need to visit a good LHS to see if they carry Bachmann replacement trucks/couplers for the set.
  5. BRPHO

    BRPHO New Member

    I personally dont have a problem with rapido style couplers.

    Are they prototypical?

    No but they do function fine for my needs on my layout

    Just depends how realistic you want your layout to be I suppose?

    I change the trucks /couplers out of the newer style couplers back to rapidos when I purchase rolling stock that doesn't have rapidos installed.

    Rapido couplers have always worked flawless to me and I will keep on using them.

    I think there is way to much variety in n gauge couplers on the market today.

    At least years ago when everyone was primarily using rapidos you had some consistency in the hobby.....

    Just my 2 cents in what best works for me.

    I live by the old saying (KISS) Keep it simple stupid.

    I do and it does work well! :thumb:

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