Most helpful critical review
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
An acceptable train set.
on July 18, 2012
I consider this merely an adequate train set. I purchased it to get an idea of the size of N scale locomotives and rolling stock, and I was debating between building an HO or N scale layout, and I've always used HO in the past. For that purpose, this set certainly satisfied my yearning to size up N scale.
The set comes packaged very neatly, and the power pack is quite clever compared with the HO sets I grew up with. It uses an external power pack "wall wart" that plugs into the throttle. While this would be useless for a layout, it is a great match for a portable train set like this, and it is important to keep in mind that this is a toy, really. The throttle unit has accessory connections, and plugs into a rerailer/power track via a flat connector. The connector is prone to coming loose without provocation. If you have power issues, check this connection. I've had this style of connector in the past on HO sets for Christmas tree use, and they exhibited similar issues, so this is not isolated to this set. The locomotive is a cute 0-6-0 locomotive, with reasonably good front and side detail. Despite the complaints of one reviewer as to the lack of wheels under the cab...an 0-6-0 should not have wheels there, and this is accurate to the prototype. The headlamp is not lighted. The motor sticks out the back of the cap, leaving an unsightly metal bulge. Really distracts from the otherwise decent realism. The tender is wired for power on the front wheel set, helping to avoid stalls. The locomotive runs reasonably well, and I was able to get it to climb mild inclines with all three cars and a few coins. Low speed operation is mixed...it doesn't start well, but it will run at low speed reasonably well if you decrease speed gradually. The cars consist of a boxcar (door does not open), gondola, and caboose. The detail on the cars is acceptable, other than the fixed boxcar door. The cars run a little noisy, although I suspect the EZ track might be partially to blame. It snapped together reasonably well, only one do-over was required. A circle is a little boring, so ideally they should update this to a slightly larger oval.
In summary...a decent toy with a few minor flaws. Those flaws are excusable at this excellent price.