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on March 4, 2016
While Bachmann HO trains are regarded more as "toys" in the professional HO model railroad community (rather than authentic models of actual prototype railroads), there must always be an entry point for those new to the hobby. Bachmann faithfully fulfills entry-level, "new hobbyist" interest quite well and quite inexpensively.

This set comes with a steam locomotive (Union Pacific RR 0-6-0 with operating headlight and slope-back tender); 2 rolling stock freight cars (a gondola and a boxcar with actual sliding doors), and a "generic" caboose in Union Pacific livery - all that any kid / person needs as an entry to the hobby. As usual with complete, inexpensive train sets, this set also comes with a 36-inch circle of curved "Snap-Fit E-Z track" (18-inch radius curve segments, black roadbed). The "Snap-Fit E-Z track" system is designed especially for young people to easily align and push the tracks together and they snap into place making it immediately usable on floors, carpets or wood platforms without much hassle. For a more realistic look, the tracks are Nickel-Silver and don't rust or get tarnished as much as the old brass rails did. The cars couple together with the Bachmann "E-Z Mate" knuckle couplers (somewhat compatible with HO professional modelers standard "Kaydee" style knuckle couplers). Finally, the set includes a generic DC power pack (speed controller) with wiring, power indicator light and direction switch. One of the curved tracks holds the plug-in terminal "re-railer" to power the train. (A "re-railer" is a piece of track that is designed with embedded guides between and outside the track rails. One simply sets the car or locomotive down on it, rolls the unit back and forth a few times and the track easily aligns the wheels of the unit inside the rails so the trains roll on the tracks. No eyestrain or careful adjusting of the wheel trucks necessary.)

The set says ages 14+, but I got started with trains at age 7-8, so use your own judgement about who the set is intended for. The set is R-T-R (Ready-to-Run - meaning no extensive assembly of anything) and with the purchase of some extra 9-inch straight tracks and a pair of turn-outs (commonly and IMPROPERLY called "switches"), one can begin to make all kinds of track layouts.

I also strongly suggest getting the Bachmann E-Z Track Expander Set, which comes with both left and right powered turnouts; 9-inch straight track (4-pieces); 18-inch radius curved track (4-pieces) and 2 Hayes bumpers (to put at the end of short stub tracks or sidings off the main line. Get a couple of books on HO model railroading, some buildings, some figures and a 4x8 foot piece of plywood and join MILLIONS of us relaxing and watching the trains go in and out of tunnels, rolling down the mainline, changing tracks and "delivering goods" in your own miniaturized world! Similar to ANY hobby, your pocketbook will be the limit, but your imagination will take you past that.
8 people found this helpful
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on December 28, 2016
My kids were more excited for this set than the XBox they asked for! They have been playing with the set non stop since Christmas (3 days now). EZ track makes set up and take apart easy. Only recommendation is to get an expansion pack for track. My kids weren't super thrilled with the train just circling. They are designing a fancy layout for it!
5 people found this helpful
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on March 30, 2014
I bought this for my 4 year-old son for his first train set. He is obsessed with trains. I wanted to get him a real electric train set. I thought that this would be a great starter set for the price. It came packaged very well. All the cars and engine looks and feels to be well made (China). The track system is really easy to put together. The raised track can be put on thick carpet if needed. It's just a small circle, so it won't overtake your living room. I got the steam engine version because he likes it more than the diesel version. It was not clear if this unit smokes or not. You would think it would be a big selling point for the company! It does not say anywhere on the box, but in the instructions, it says it DOES. It does not come with any liquid smoke. You can buy it off Amazon for $13 or your local hobby store. The cars hook up nicely. The only reason why I rated it a 4 star is that the front 2 wheels of the locomotive come off the track when going clockwise (it must pull harder one way). If you put the train going counterclockwise, than it never comes off. Strange I know (maybe it's just my unit). But with that said, I have had no problems with it. Transformer is solid and has an extra port on the back for accessories (it says 16 ac volts). With that said, I am very happy (and my son) with my purchase. I do recommend this set for any one wanting to try out model railroading!
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on November 17, 2012
I purchased this set with a bit of hesitation after reading mixed reviews. We have had it for about 2 weeks now and the set runs great. So far, we have had no trouble with it at all and my 9 year old son can easily sit with it for an hour at a time. Will be getting some extended track for it. Great value and quality for the money.

UPDATE: We have had this set now for a month. My son has used the train every day with quite a bit of enjoyment. There have been no problems with it and it works fine. I still feel that for the money, there is a lot of value here and we are happy with the purchase.
36 people found this helpful
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on December 24, 2016
I found this to be a quality set. If you follow the instructions and are careful putting the track together (don't just snap them together, make sure the rails go into the rail joiners, not over them) the train should run very smoothly. The engine and cars seem well made and worked flawlessly so far.
I am pleased with my purchase.
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on March 5, 2018
Works very well. I am overall satisfied as a 1st time user of HO train stock. But the couplers are not easy for my grandson (7-8), and keeping the train cars on the track especially the coal car is very difficult even for a patient adult. Good value relative to other options from my point of view.
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on December 26, 2013
EZ track is an excellent system. Well-made, fits tight, looks good, makes solid connections and kids can participate much more in track assembly. Also great for temporary assembly and can be put away easily. Wish we had this when I was a kid.

The engine and cars are of good quality with nice detailing. The engine runs smooth and quiet, but gets stuck on every switch and rerailer at low speed because of a hump over one of the axles underneath... even the rerailer/power feed section that comes with the the set, which is totally unacceptable! This can be fixed by filing down the hump, which is a harmless alteration but come on -- it should come ready to use out of the box.

On the simple loop with no accessories or turnouts, the power pack shorted out after 10 mins and would not fully reset after any period of waiting. Christmas had to be saved... I got out to a store and found a replacement, for which I paid more than I paid for the whole set in the first place. Bachmann has said that they will replace the defective pack, I am sending it out today. Hopefully no nonsense.

The verdict is this... if you are a budding hobbyist and going to take the train and the parts from the box and mix/match with other trains you already have, this is a nice little set and a good value. If this is a first train set and you are relying solely on what's in the box to make holiday/birthday dreams come true, do NOT get this set... between the delicate parts, unreliable power pack (see other reviews) and engine that needs modification to avoid getting stuck at low speed, there's just too much that can go wrong.
5 people found this helpful
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on May 25, 2017
This is a fine electric train set. I've had dozens over the years and it performs very, very well. The locomotive operates great with the track and controller, it's capable of very delicate speeds, something lesser sets cannot perform. For the price, I can easily recommend it! A great gift for kids as an introduction to model railroading.
2 people found this helpful
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on October 2, 2017
Got this for my 3yr old. It was supposed to just be for Christmas time, but we've had it out all year. He's VERY rough on it and it's held up well. No issues at all!
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on December 6, 2015
after running it continuos at medium to slow speed for about an hour it develops a squeak thats a little annoying. I will try lubing it up. Its a good looking train, no whistle or smoke which is disappointing but i knew that going into it. very entry level train. good for a beginner. track systems easy to work with but a little chin for the hobbyist.
2 people found this helpful
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