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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.
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on December 26, 2013
I just received this set and am having a little trouble understanding all the negative reviews. It was very easy to set up and I have not had any trouble with cars flying off tracks or wheels falling off, even at full speed. (One set of wheels had fallen off in the box; I simply snapped them back into place and that was the end of it.) Yes, the set is made of plastic, but it is hardly flimsy, and the locomotive is considerably heavy and more substantial than I was expecting. If you are at all careful about assembling the track, I honestly don't think you'll have any problems. The set comes with lots of little extras that are reasonably easy to put together and make the whole enterprise a lot more fun than if it merely included trains and tracks. I'm not sure what people were expecting for the price they paid for this set, but from my perspective it delivers everything it promises and is the perfect introduction to HO-scale training for a newcomer like me.
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on September 20, 2008
This is a cool toy!! It is fun to watch it go around its loop.BUT sometimes the wheels pop off.They are easy to put them back on and usaly stay on.Still it is a fun toy!.
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on February 2, 2013
I have had this set for 3 years now, (not from Amazon, mind you, but Hobby Lobby) & aside frome the smoke being sporadic & one coupler being broken in the box, (replaced for less than 2 bucks @ a hobby show), have no complaints at all. The locomotive looks great & runs strong, my wheels have not "popped off", the structures (with a little paint & glue) hold together fine & look for the figures, painting during the winter time is a fine diversion, in my opinion, much like tying flies for fishing. Mine stays up year 'round, love to watch it run & hear my Great-Niece refer to it (as well as the song), as "Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo..." She is a fan of the Colorado Railroad Museum & has seen a train or two...
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on February 10, 2014
My daughter has wanted a train for years. Finally bought this one as a reward for All A's for first semester. She was so happy, she cried. Thanks! Great price, great product, great shipping.
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on February 6, 2016
Bought this train for my grandson but the cars are very hard to put on the tracks. Much too hard for a six year old. Cheap plastic wheels and since the cars are made of plastic and so light it is hard to get the cars onto the track. Once this is accomplished the train runs well but don't dare touch a car when it is moving!!
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on February 14, 2016
OK, so after reading through some of a reviews and having had it set up for a week, I feel that I can give a fair assessment of the set. For starters, I did purchase the set from a damaged truckload store, so I didn't expect much right off the bat. Especially with the price I paid. It sat in my garage for a week before a neck injury started to cause me to wake up randomly. Obviously, the first thing to go together, is the track. The easy connect system goes together good, though one of the tracks was missing one of the electric transfer clips, this was still in the box thankfully. Setting up the cars on the track was fairly easy, considering I have never put one together before, it does become obvious that the manufacturers make these as life like as possible, which with some common sense, makes the coupling quite easy. The big issue I had was in placing the cars on the track, the wheels wouldn't always track right and would have to spend another 10 seconds getting them on just right. One person complained about not being able hook up the cars to the back of the engine, which tells me that they probably didn't hook up the short coal car to the engine first because of authenticity, it's the only car to hook up to the back of the engine for a reason. With everything set up and ready to go, made a few runs and then I fubared it by over filling the smokestack with smoke fluid which got all over the tracks and wheels. So right now it'll only pull partial payload. Have a wahlthers track cleaning car coming in hopes of cleaning the track. Otherwise my only complaint would be that the engine is too light for maximum operation performance, but the great thing about sets like these is that they can be expanded and mixed up. I'll probably retire the engine when I upgrade
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on February 10, 2016
My son loves this train set. It is great. It does fall off easy though so be careful around it because it is hard to fix back on the tracks. You have to be eye level with the tracks and wheels to but the train back on the track...what a pain.
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on November 19, 2014
It is what I expected but one coupler randomly decouples. I have had trains ranging in scale from N to G, including O, O27, and other HO gauge, that never had that problem. It,s not a show stopper but it is irritating, especially when I am entertaining relatives or neighbors.
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on March 1, 2013
Bought this for a gift for going around the Christmas tree. Ran great the whole holiday season. Read issues of disconnecting as it ran, other issues, but we had no issues.
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