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13 Reviews
5 star:
 (6)
4 star:
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3 star:
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2 star:
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Basic HO Train Set at a Great Price
I am not a serious HO model train hobbyist but do look for good quality operation and appearance. I have several used HO scale GN locomotives for display purposes and wanted to buy sufficient track to make an oval to test and occasionally run them. When I checked prices, I found that the cost of buying the track alone was not insignificant. This complete Empire Builder...
Published on May 14, 2012 by Bob M

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for a starter set but not really suitable for serious hobbyists.
This set is a good starter set for kids or maybe even old timers who want to set something up on a table in the family room. However, I was ordering this to integrate it into my much larger layout. I was disappointed in several items. The locomotives are very lightweight compared to my others from Athern and Likelike, and therefore had much less pulling power because...
Published 13 months ago by Gregg Bartley


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Basic HO Train Set at a Great Price, May 14, 2012
By 
Bob M (Washington State) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bachmann Empire Builder Ready To Run Electric Train Set - Ho Scale (Toy)
I am not a serious HO model train hobbyist but do look for good quality operation and appearance. I have several used HO scale GN locomotives for display purposes and wanted to buy sufficient track to make an oval to test and occasionally run them. When I checked prices, I found that the cost of buying the track alone was not insignificant. This complete Empire Builder train set at about half of the MSRP is a great deal. Buying this set got me all of the track I needed plus two powered locomotives, two passenger cars, and the power pack and controller. The 22 inch radius curved sections are needed to run the long passenger cars.
The quality of the items provided in this Empire Builder set was much higher than I expected after looking at other sets in hobby shops. The locomotives in this set are excellent runners and nicely finished with a lot of detail, as are the two passenger cars. I was surprised by the good quality of the controller. I had expected some cheap controller like the ones that used to be supplied with slot car sets but instead found this to be solid and provides precise analog control of the train from low speeds to full throttle. The track supplied is the black-base steel-railed EZ Track which is Bachmann's lower priced track compared to their gray-base nickel silver rail track. That might be an issue for a long term frequent user although I've heard of people using it in their layouts for many years without problems.
Care is needed when assembling the track to insure that the rails properly mate with the rail joiners. The manual emphasizes this (if you read the manual) and Bachmann has excellent how-to videos on You Tube that show this in detail. If the joints are not made properly, derailing is usually the result. Like all trains of this size, properly getting the locomotives and cars on the track with all wheels properly railed can be a little tricky (at least for me) but the rerailer-terminal track section (and a good flashlight) can help. Once my track was properly joined and the train properly on the rails, it ran great, very smooth and no derailings all the way up to full throttle completly around the oval.
I can't address long term reliability since the set is new but I recommend the set to anyone in the market for a starter HO train set. Serious hobbyists would probably not be interested in an analog train and would pay many times the cost of this set just for a digital control locomotive, but for a starter set, this is great.
Five stars for completeness of the set, great fit and finish, and quality of operation at a great price.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great starter set at an unbeatable price, November 14, 2012
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This review is from: Bachmann Empire Builder Ready To Run Electric Train Set - Ho Scale (Toy)
This is great for a first time buyer or someone who just wants to expand their existing set. Good quality and complete.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect in every way !!!!!!!!!!!!!!, December 31, 2012
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This review is from: Bachmann Empire Builder Ready To Run Electric Train Set - Ho Scale (Toy)
Being older now I have enjoyed model trains ever since I was very young. This train is by far one of the most great looking and running trains I have owned. The color and detail is excellent and both the F7-A locomotive and the F7-B locomotive are powered. Its like getting two engines for the price of one. The passengers cars are both long and very detailed one having a domed roof that is tinted. The track is a larger oval (63") in order to accommodate and compensate for the longer passenger cars which are exquisite in color and have "Great Northern "Empire Builder" on them. From opening the box to running this train take about 15-20 minutes. Smooth and quite and a pleasure to stare at. Dream come true for a man who never lost the excitement of a model train. Great price for a lot of train and track and fun. Free shipping at Amazon also. Can't loose.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bachmann Empire Builder ho train, August 20, 2013
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This review is from: Bachmann Empire Builder Ready To Run Electric Train Set - Ho Scale (Toy)
Great train . Plenty of power to get it up the slopes . One drawback , the coaches are way too long to fit in cuvres and tunnels . If you have a big oval it will work fine . I have the coaches on a wall display .and use the two engines to pull my 10 cars . The price I paid for all the track and engines is well worth it .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for the money, January 28, 2014
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This review is from: Bachmann Empire Builder Ready To Run Electric Train Set - Ho Scale (Toy)
Santa did a great job with this train set. It looks great, runs great, and the kids absolutely love it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for a starter set but not really suitable for serious hobbyists., October 23, 2013
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This review is from: Bachmann Empire Builder Ready To Run Electric Train Set - Ho Scale (Toy)
This set is a good starter set for kids or maybe even old timers who want to set something up on a table in the family room. However, I was ordering this to integrate it into my much larger layout. I was disappointed in several items. The locomotives are very lightweight compared to my others from Athern and Likelike, and therefore had much less pulling power because they start slipping under a large load. For visual realism, the A and B units should be pretty closely coupled, but when these units are coupled together, they are about an inch apart (which you can see in the photos). That just doesn't look very realistic at all. The regular coach car was OK, but it has the wrong trucks on it for a 1960's vintage car. I think Bachmann (to save money, no doubt) just used the trucks that they also put on their 2010 era commuter rail cars, which look nothing like the ones that were on the real Great Northern coaches from the 50's and 60's. The Budd extended dome car is pretty cool looking, but when it ran, at least one of the wheels was a bit unbalanced so that the coach would rock back and forth. That was very noticeable at higher speeds. I think this was also the reason that it kept uncoupling from the coach directly behind it. So, to recap, this would be a perfect set for a adolescent or young teen who is into trains. It is a very nice starter set and doesn't look at all like the cheap Tyco sets that we all had as kids. But for the serious enthusiasts, I would recommend buying all the items separately.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great starter train..., January 11, 2013
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This review is from: Bachmann Empire Builder Ready To Run Electric Train Set - Ho Scale (Toy)
Arrived in two days of ordering and arrived undamaged. Set up was fairly easy, but as I read with other reviewers the track took some work to get the rails even so that the train did not jump the track. Once that was resolved the train ran very nicely. However I would have liked a little bit more power as i thought even at it's highest it was a bit slow.Basically a bigger transformer would be recommeded. I purchased this for my grandson who is 7 1/2 yrs old. I read where other reviewers mentioned that the HO scale would be too hard for children under 10 to handle but he handed all aspects of the setup(he did alot of it himself) with no problems and understood what needed to be done with the track once he got it home.

I would reconmend this set as a starter set for yound/old train lovers or someone who just wants a train around the Christmas tree.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great but not the most accurate, April 4, 2014
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This review is from: Bachmann Empire Builder Ready To Run Electric Train Set - Ho Scale (Toy)
It is a great set for the price that I got it at, $110 (it was on sale) It has high-quality rolling stock, but on the carriage car the trucks are not accurate. This set is, at MSRP, overpriced. you could buy all of the pieces individually (Although hard to find all of them) for about 3/4 the price. The sale price is a great value though. Buy it only if it is on sale
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5.0 out of 5 stars CHRISTMAS PRESENT, January 15, 2014
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This review is from: Bachmann Empire Builder Ready To Run Electric Train Set - Ho Scale (Toy)
FOR MY GRAND SON, HE LOVED IT. BACHMANN HAS ALWAYS BEEN A GOOD PRODUCE. DON'T KNOW WHAT ELSE TO SAY.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great starter set for youngsters, December 30, 2013
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This review is from: Bachmann Empire Builder Ready To Run Electric Train Set - Ho Scale (Toy)
Although probably not for the experienced train enthusiast, it serves well for the younger kids learning how to "play" with ho scale trains. My 3 year old grandson learned how to slow, stop, and reverse direction in no time at all! Nice quiet running engines.
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Bachmann Empire Builder Ready To Run Electric Train Set - Ho Scale
$239.99 $159.00
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