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on June 2, 2010
My parents always had a christmas train layout when I was younger. I wanted to continue that tradition with my 2 children. I purchase this train set with my mothers recommendation. She remembered buying Life-Like trains for my childhood train layout.

I love this set! It has all kinds of accessories! Buildings, stock pen, little people and cows even some little cars that makes my son very happy. The figure-8 track is great because I let each child have one side to control. My mom mentioned how much easier the track was to put together than the old kind of track. We could even lift it up and carry it to another room while it was connected.

If you are looking to start or carry on a tradition of trains in your family... get this set! My kids love it!
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on October 22, 2012
This is a good train set to use for when you're starting a model railroad layout. Even though the Power-Loc track is designed so that it can also be used on a carpet, I went and instead placed the track on an appropriate-sized piece of plywood on an old dining room table.

This is somewhat in between of a starter and mid-range train set. You get a GP38-2 Santa Fe diesel locomotive (Standard DC, as this is not a super-expensive high-end DCC proDUCT), five realistic freight cars and a caboose, a full figure-eight setup of Life-Like's Power-Loc track (it uses a 90-degree crossing track section, unlike other figure-eight train sets that would use trestles for an over-and-under setup), a modular stock pen building kit (complete with small plastic farmer, cow and pig figures), railroad crossing, Snap-Loc train station building kit (no glue needed!), a couple of small plastic automobiles and pickup truck, three full-size model trees (instead of the puny ones usually offered on Life-Like's other train sets), several small signs and telephone poles, and the control pack.

I had also set this train set up on a SceneMaster grass mat, SceneMaster Ground Cover Shaker Container - Mixed Lichen, a few additional trees, and some more building kits such as a Life-Like Trains HO Scale Building Kits - Woodlawn Police Station,Life-Like - Downtown Business Center Kit HO,Life-Like Trains HO Scale Building Kits - Ace Super Market, even a Kentucky Fried Chicken building kit (also from Life-Like), along with a couple of assorted Walthers and Bachmann-Plasticville building kits, and I also added onto the track setup with a Life-Like Trains Power-Loc Track Expander Set - Double Oval and a log-dump station operating accessory kit, as well as a few additional freight cars (from Life-Like and Tyco), and I pretty much had a good model railroad in the making already set up! The train would run very well, though due to the Power-Loc rails being steel, I would regularly have to clean them a lot using the SceneMaster Maintenance Kit (a very handy pack for any model railroader!) Even though I do sort of miss it including trestles like many other older Life-Like sets had, I do like how the 90-degree track crossing keeps the whole layout at level. That's rather convenient!

I got this train set back in late 2010. Now almost two years later, it's still the same kind of setup, but I have since upgraded from the Power-Loc track to the more professional Code-83 track variety (using the HO True-Track Starter Set (18) and some additional True-Track sections), gotten even more additional Life-Like freight cars and locomotives (I especially like the Life-Like Trains HO Scale Steam locomotive with Coal Tender - Pennsylvania Railroad and the Life-Like Trains HO Scale Powered Locomotive - F7 AT&SF to make it a bit more "vintage"), and even more operating accessories and building kits (both a mix of new stuff from Walthers and Life-Like, and older Life-Like, Bachmann and Tyco stuff) to really help the railroad grow more and more! I'm even considering getting nickel-silver power-link adapter track sections for Power-Loc so I can use the railroad crossing gates on it again; they don't make a Code-83 version!) I may also replace the older horn-hook couplers on the locomotives and several freight cars with new Kadee knuckle couplers or something (not everything at once; knuckle couplers usually are backwards-compatible with horn-hook couplers anyway!)

BTW, this train set actually appears to be a modified version of Life-Like's older (Super) Power Charger train set, with the same locomotive and caboose and similar freight cars and many of the same accessories, but with a bridge and trestles for an over-under figure-eight instead of the 90-degree crossing, and a signal bridge building kit (it was dropped a while afterward for some reason), and no train station building kit (this is only exclusive to the "Freight Runner" version.) I do have to admit I think I like the Freight Runner better, as it's one of the few figure-eight sets to have the whole layout at level and also includes the nifty train station building kit!
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on October 1, 2010
i love this train set! i put it in full speed foward and the cars stay on the track. but be careful when you put it in full speed reverse, the cars might form a crash! the train set comes as took us 30 mins to get it up and running. the figure 8 track is really big and cool. this train set is totally worth 80.00! if you are looking for a train for your 11 year old, GET THIS ONE!!!!!!!!! i recomend this train 100%Life-Like Trains HO Scale Freight Runner Electric Train Set
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on January 6, 2008
We purchased this for our 10 year old. It came as advertised and he enjoys it. 2 words of caution. It is for patient kids and the cars, specifically the connection pieces are delicate. One of the connectors on one of the cars has broken. I don't fault the manufacturer, it's just that type of toy. The track goes together well and there appears to be much opportunity for expansion.
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on December 25, 2012
I got this item as a Christmas present for my kids, since they really enjoyed other train sets they have seen. Luckily I tried to put it together Christmas eve, so it would be functional on Christmas day for them to start playing with. There were so many problems I found I had to return it. Thankfully Amazon's return service is excellent to work with (I'd give them 5 stars but I am rating this based on the product, not Amazon's sale of it). Here's what was wrong with this.

1. 3 track pieces were missing.
2. 1 Track piece was broken, missing the connector on the end.
3. One of the cars had random metal pieces inside of it. This looks like a production screw-up where something fell off of the machinery and got stuck inside, not something broken inside of the car.
4. Several pieces on the boxcars were broken off.

After all of this, I still decided to put it together, and try to just replace the missing/broken pieces with the company after Christmas. I managed to get a functional track design setup despite the missing pieces. The Engine itself was easy enough to get on the tracks and in place, as well as hooking up the controls. This part ran well, and no complaints there. Unfortunately due to the way the box cars are setup it is impossible to keep them on the tracks running for any length of time, and getting all of the box cars hooked up, and running was not going to happen. In addition the piece of track that was a passover for cars, was not wide enough to accommodate all of the box cars through it, so they would fall off when the train got to it. Overall, don't waste your money on this one. Get a better quality set that can actually be used and reliable.
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on March 14, 2011
Growing up, my dad would set up a model electric train set around Christmas time. We would come home and send that train zooming around the track religiously. This set really takes me back. The engine is sufficiently powered for plenty of zoom, with a nice touch of detail and light up cab and headlight. The cars and engine stay on the track very well even at high speeds - train derailments were not an issue. If realignment was needed, the realigning section of track does the job perfectly.

This set also comes with plenty of accessories (buildings, cars, people, fences, animals etc...) to spruce up your model town. Highly recommend this HO scale Walthers train set. Can't beat the price!
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on January 11, 2014
I just turned 70 a few months ago, and I've always wanted to have a model train set. Now that my grandson has one, I decided it's time to pleasure myself as well. So I sent away for this set, although it was labeled as used but in "like new" condition. Well, imagine my disappointment when I opened the box and discovered several 'key' pieces missing ! The power pack, without which the train won't fly, and several pieces of track without which the layout couldn't be set up. Well, Amazon and the seller refunded my money including the shipping, and told me not to return the set, but to donate it to someone who could use it as-is. And that would be my grandson, whose dad will use it to expand their set. In the meanwhile, I ordered another set available (uh, you guessed it) from the same seller (again-used). I'm anxiously awaiting its arrival and hoping against hope, that this one will be complete. Please, Amazon, be my Christmas hero and send me a complete set.
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on February 1, 2014
I like the way the tracks click together. Unfortunately, in reverse the cars come off the track way too easily, even at slow speeds. Also, it's very difficult to put the cars back on the track. This toy is just collecting dust in a box, and my son loves trains.
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on December 14, 2012
This was a birthday present for my son. This was the one thing he wanted. After setting the train set up, the engine only ran for about 4 times arouind the track, then quit. After checking several things we found the the transformer was only putting out 5 volts instead of 16. Called the manufacturer and they sent us another one (after calling them a couple times and after waiting 3 weeks), then the engine would not work, we decided to send it back and get another brand.

Sorry, I would not recomend this to anyone.
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on December 28, 2012
I hope that if you're a train lover, you would consider this particular electric train set. This was purchased for my 4 year old son. It's a little advance for him in terms of set up, etc. So, my husband put the track together. It wasn't well packaged - both ends were open and the box was warped (so why am I leaving a 4 star review?). There were a few small track pieces missing - but a little reconfiguration and my husband altered the track to where it would work. I think we'll be sending in the form that came with it to request missing pieces.

Nevertheless, this was put together and the train was placed on the track. My husband does this with no problem - but when I was playing with my son, I had alot of trouble aligning it perfectly where it would run on the track. The cars are, to me, difficult to put together....but my 7 year old daughter had to show me (that's pitiful) that you just lightly press them together and they automatically hook together. Well, that was pretty nifty. It is very lifelike - and we like that. The controller is easy to use - off in the middle, forward to the right, backwards to the left - the further you go to either side, the faster. This was quickly mastered by my 4 year old. If the train is not properly placed on the track - it won't go.

It comes with a million other little pieces. Teeny tiny little pieces. This is a HUGE track, so if you had a big plywood board where you would keep this set up at all times, you're in good shape. This is the kind of track and set that once you set it up, you leave it. There are little crossing signals, stop signs, power lines, a little building/ train station, little animals (pigs and cows), fence pieces, teeny little people, cars and trucks. It really is a cool set. I just don't have the room to leave it set up all the time.

Things I love the most about this set:
Easy enough for a 4 year old to control it *once it's set up*
Would be an amazing set if you had the room to set ALL of it up. And leave it up.
Realistic looking. LOVE the little headlight that comes on. So fun.

Things my 4 year old loves most about this set:
it's a train.
placing the little cars on the track at the crossing and letting the train crash into it and push it off the track. Yeah, that is sick, twisted and morbid and I'm sorry.
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