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on November 20, 2008
I ordered the H0 Santa Fe Flyer Train Set from Creative Toys & Hobbies. I had a large collection of H0 engines and cars as a child. The tracks they have now are much more durable and adaptable. I was suprised that nothing was loose in the package. Everything came in great condition, and earlier than expected. No complaints.

For those of you considering ordering this for a child under the age of 10, keep in mind they should be supervised. H0 trains run on an electrical current. While durable, they are not intended to take a beating from children.
0Comment48 of 51 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 13, 2009
I got this for my birthday, and I love it. It is so good - the track is good, the train is good, every thing is good. I am 11 years old. I think someone would need to be at least 10 to enjoy it.
0Comment48 of 51 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 2, 2007
The main reason for buying the Santa Fe Flyer train set was to get a christmas present for my "old man", who loves trains with the Santa Fe logo on it. To make him happy I decided to get a locomotive as well as a freight car with the Santa Fe logo on it and place both on a track in a nice display box.

Coincidentally, as I browsed through the toys section of my local supermarket, I ran into the Santa Fe Flyer train set from Bachmann. It comes with the needed Santa Fe locomotive as well as three freight cars. So instead of spending around 60 US$ (MSRP according to Bachmann's website) for the locomotive itself, I got away with only a portion of it.

Needless to say I had to try out the train set, even though the locomotive will be a display item only. After reading the posted reviews on Amazon I was frightened to do so, but got pleasantly surprised. The set comes with an easy to read, step by step manual. Putting together the so called E-Z track system was actually easy, even though it takes some patience to do so (it gets you a 36" circle). It also takes a little bit to get the locomotive and the freight cars onto the rails, but this is a very detailed toy in a small scale and not a Tonka truck. Power comes via the included speed controller, which is connected to the rails via plug-in wire (cannot be mixed up). The locomotive runs very smoothly, even at a slow speed. The knuckle couplers make adding cars to the locomotive/train an easy task. All in all, this set comes with all you need to get started and the items are of a very good quality.

On the package it recommends an age of 8 years or older. This is o.k. if your kid is patient enough to deal with something detailed and delicate like this. Otherwise you might have to help a little bit.

Considering the price of it (I paid only 30 US$), the set is a great deal. Especially if you want to find out if your kid is into model railroad as a hobby. And if not, use the set for yourself, buy additional equipment and turn your attic into a big HO scale train scene. ;-)
11 comment65 of 72 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 28, 2009
I purchased this train for my 4 year old despite the bad reviews. The reason why I purchased it was because I knew what I was getting. A good quality train set would cost 3 to 4 times the amount I paid for this train set. Also this train has a recommended age for an older child so I knew I would need to closely supervise my son. Setting up the train was a pain but once we got the train going it was fine. Just to note the engine is very sturdy and the wheels are made out of metal but the rest of the trains, the hopper, gondola and caboose is made out of plastic. I feel this is a good starter set and I can slowly replace the rest of the train cars with higher quality cars. I also appreciate that I can plug in this set instead of constantly replacing the battery.
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on December 25, 2011
Management Summary:
My train was not at all ready to run "out of the box". I am happy now, but I was ready to return it after about 1 hour of troubled use. I eventually settled down and troubleshot a few problems with the set and it is now running very reliably. The controller has fine control and locomotive runs very smoothly. It took me about three hours to fix the problems I found. 1 hour tearing my hair out, 2 hours fixing the problems.

Major Problems:
1) The cars would always decouple and/or derail when backing up. Some times they would decouple while running forward.
2) The train would "stick" on certain portions of the track at low speed, but not at high speed. Once it got stuck I had to use full throttle to get it moving again.
3) The couplers do not line up. You have to push them into alignment. They are difficult to decouple.
4) The train is difficult to line up on the track.

1) Every metal rail has sharp burrs sticking up on the ends where it was cut from the stock used to make it. I filed them smooth with a fine file, but level with the rest of the track face.
2) The caboose had 3 wheels that were not rotating freely, the hopper had two. I had to gently spread open the trucks until the wheels rolled freely. I used a tiny spot of light gun oil on each pivot point. 3 in 1 oil would probably work well.
3) The couplers appear to need a straight piece of track in order to self-couple. There is no straight track included in this set. I used my fingertip, or a pencil eraser to push from the "outside of the curve" side to keep them aligned. I have been lifting the cars in order to decouple them. A pencil tip, or straightened paperclip can be used to decouple them.
4) The train set comes with a "rerailer" section of track that is designed to realign the wheels back on the track if there is a minor misalignment. I set the locomotive on it as close as I can get and then gently roll it back and forth over this section then once it rolls free, I use the controller to drive it around the track a couple of times to make sure it is running smoothly. I then stop it beyond the rerailer and set the next car I want on the rerailer and run it back an forth across it. I couple it to the locomotive. Repeat.

My train set was securely packed and undamaged. The packaging is a little daunting as the locomotive and rolling stock have some very fragile details on them. They are held in-place within a vacuum molded plastic that took a few minutes to figure out. Just push up or down on the cavity that holds the piece and then gently lift them out one at a time.

The rails are tied in very securely with something I find annoying, twisted plastic-wrapped stiff wire. Pliers are very useful in order to untwist it, or cut it if you don't plan on repackaging them.
11 comment29 of 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 21, 2010
My husband and I bought this trainset for his Grandmother who has always wanted a "real" trainsset. She is obviously not a fanatic who needs state of the art stuff, just got happy seeing it going round and round, and this train was perfect. The track was easy to put together for me, with good eye-sight and patience, but it was still a bit tricky. The only time it de-railed was when the rail was on the floor and I was walking around making the floor move a little.

I don't think this is a toy for kids at all, but it's a great buy if your looking for a basic train set for an older kid or a grown-up.
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on December 6, 2011
This train works great. Although it is not for a 4 year old, I am not sure why a 4 year old can not work it. The only problem a young kid may have is trying to get the train railed initially. Set up was easy and the train has never derailed in the 1 week I have owned it. The speed isnt as fast as trains I have had previously but the slower speed is probably more to scale than the cheaper trains I have owned. The speed controller lets the train move at a crawl and doesnt "jump" to a start. The train stays on the track for as long as you run it at full speed. I was worried when I read the reviews but then noticed a few people had bought this for a 4 year old. If you have a 10 year old or are somebody who likes running trains as a hobby then this is a great set!
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on December 14, 2011
Despite reading some negative reviews here on Bachmann trains, I took a chance and ordered the Santa Fe Flyer kit. I don't know what some of these reviewers are doing wrong or what they expected, but my experience with the train is nothing but positive. Well, almost (more on that later).
Opening the box I was impressed at how well packaged the whole kit is. Nothing loose to bang around or do damage. Within 15 minutes I had it all together and running without once looking at the instruction sheet. This stuff is pretty straightforward for anyone with a modicum of common sense and technical ability. None of the wheels on the cars came off and once I figured out that the EZ-track has to go together smoothly (do not force it or the rails will be uneven causing derailing) I was good to go.
I had also bought a handful of other Santa Fe line cars and some more track, which brings me to my one and only gripe about this set. The two freight cars included (a gondola and a coal car) are from different freight lines. Why put together a kit called the Santa Fe Flyer and then not include matching cars from the Santa Fe line? Makes absolutely no sense. Thankfully, the caboose has the Santa Fe logo on it.
Other than that I am more than pleased with the quality, detail and operation of this train set. It will be circling the Christmas tree for years to come and is a viable replacement for the original Lionel train we had when I was a kid growing up in the '60s.
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on January 30, 2013
easy to set up - and a lot of fun. Its a 36" circle - but a great starter (and expanable) train set for a reasonable price - enjoy!
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on January 17, 2010
I am very pleased with this train set. It is well built and works flawlessly. It was very easy to setup and it runs quite smoothly. The engine feels very solid and I am confident that it will last for some time. A very good starter kit. The track included is simply a small circle, so I highly recommend buying Bachmann's starter track kit. Overall this is a great kit and my kids love it as much as I do.

Edit: After 2 years of ownership!
I still LOVE this little train set. I truly do not understand the other negative reviews. I have NEVER had the wheels fall off when I wasn't doing something stupid (like accidentally knocking the car off the table), and then when I actually do have to put the wheels back on, it takes less than a second (literally). The track is super easy to assemble and the connection stays strong. I think the quality of this set is great, especially for the price. The engine may be a little loud for some people's taste, but for a starter kit, what do you expect? It's NOT going to sound the same as the engines that cost a few hundred dollars.
I still recommend getting the extra Bachmann track set. It's not too expensive and it allows you to really enjoy this train instead of just driving in a small circle. It also solves the problem that people are having with getting the train on the tracks. The extra track set includes 2 "re-railer" pieces that are designed to get the wheels aligned up and on the tracks. All you have to do is set the train down on the track, regardless of where the wheels line up, and run it back and forth with your hand a few times over the "re-railer" piece and, voila! The wheels are perfectly aligned and it is ready to roll! Takes 5 seconds to accomplish.
So, after 2 years of ownership, would I still recommend this set? Absolutely. I'm loving it, my kids are loving it, everyone that gets a chance to play with it loves it. As we speak, the freight car is loaded with my kids' lego figures driving them through the Christmas village! Good times.
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