Most helpful positive review
42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
For the money...
on December 10, 2010
...this is not a bad HO set, really.
We found this locally last Christmas on sale, so we bought it to go under the Christmas tree. The track worked well on our shorter pile carpet. No issues of train wheels popping off, or derailments. The engine is just an 0-6-0, so maybe that is why some had issues, not really sure, I've never had the train derail or axles come out of the trucks. I set the set up a couple weeks ago in our basement on a piece of 4x4x5/8 flooring board I had left over, built a frame for it, put it on saw horses. I had to tighten a few of the slip on joints that go between the rails, but my almost 4yo son will go downstairs and (after I plug it in for him) run the train for 30min-1hr at a time. The included buildings should be glued with model cement. The signs, people, telephone poles and some of the other scene items are detailed decently for HO and the cost of the set, but really, if you are serious about building a layout with this included in it, you will have to spend some time painting the people (they are all buff colored head to toe), painting signs, etc. I may take the time when I have nothing better to do this winter.
The controller DOES have an accessory power tap, so you could run lit buildings, street lights, etc. Also, you will need to clean the track and locomotive wheels occasionally to keep it running at it's peak (any train requires this), and check the slip connections (small needle nose pliers, or just put a small dent in them with a small flat head screwdriver until they fit tight). The smoke liquid requires heat to work, the heat comes from the drive motor as best I can tell, so really it makes perfect sense that you have to run it at 80-100% for a few minutes for it to get going. Once it does start generating smoke, you can back the speed down to 65-70% and still get a small steady output.