How To Select A Quality Model Train Set



Being exposed to the hobby of model railroading for the very first time can be a little overwhelming and, at the very least, appear to be a hobby which requires a great deal of knowledge and may even be a pastime which can be kind of expensive.

In some respects this is somewhat true, but not entirely. Model train layouts are not built overnight, and because of this, there is actually plenty of time to master the various skills which are necessary to build a layout, and costs can also be spread out over a period of time, which then makes it possible to follow a budget that makes sense.

With that said, most hobbyist begin by purchasing a model train set before anything else. The challenge here, when you are new model railroader is in determining whether your choices are satisfactory or not. Are you really buying a quality train set which will give you years of enjoyable use, or are you buying something that will literally fall apart after a couple of weeks of use.

So, the question then relates to how you satisfactorily answer this question, and also get the most value for your investment. The answer isn’t that challenging, but does require some assistance from railroaders or model train store employees who posses a certain degree of experience.

Another alternative when searching for an experienced hobbyist is to reach out to your local model train club. These can be found by searching the internet for clubs which are local or found in the area in which you reside. Also, clubs frequently allow the general public to visit at least once a month, and this creates an excellent opportunity to see what a well designed model train layout really looks, and ask questions which relate to your concerns about getting the best train set for your money.

The biggest challenge when trying to decide on which train set to buy is that there are so many different manufacturers and different types of train sets from which to choose. Where do you even start? A good way to begin is by seeking the advice of a hobbyist who has been involved in the pastime for awhile as was previously mentioned.

More often than not, you’ll find that the experienced model railroader is willing to provide advice, and this advice is sprinkled with good and bad stories involving purchases. Always information which is good too know.

Before you buy anything, however, you must begin by selecting the scale that you would like to build your model train layout around. Often, the scale which is selected relates more to the actual amount of space which is available for the modeler to build his or her layout.

When the space is limited the smaller scale is the logical choice. Conversely, when space isn’t an issue, the hobbyist has the luxury of choosing any scale the he prefers. As an example, the HO and N scale, although different in size relative to the prototype, are the more popular choices.

When purchasing a model train set the age of the user is another important consideration. In some instances the set is for a child, or possibly someone’s grandchild. If this is the case thought should be given to operating interest, ease of use, and the ability to expand the layout if the interest level increases.

Alternatively, if the set is being purchased for use by an adult a variety of other issues must be considered before a final decision is made. For example, you’ll want to decide if you want to run your locomotives using a Digital Command System or standard DC power.

With the former, you’ll be able to run multiple locomotives, operate a variety of accessories, and control other important components simultaneously. If you choose to run your trains with DC power many of these same things can be accomplished, but to accomplish this is much more complicated, and involves a great deal of electrical knowledge and, in the end, more time to complete each project and expense over what could be a lengthy period of time.

If the model train kit you purchase is a quality kit it will include the following:

1. A sufficient amount of track. If the set is of high quality the gauge will be common, the track will be metal, and it will also have integrated roadbed.

2. The transformer which is supplied with starter sets will often prove to be insufficient for the average model railroaders needs and wants. Some high quality sets include more advanced power packs, but it may be that this is a component which will have to be upgraded.

3. Because having a railroad that runs smoothly and with the least amount of trouble is an important issue, a good quality train set will include rolling stock which has wheels that are made of metal, and couplers that actually look like the real thing that also include knucklers that will couple all cars.

Finally, good quality train sets can be purchased at your local model train hobby shop, and as always, your shopping can be made all the more easy through making your purchases online where you will find numerous merchants who offer all types of train sets.