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on December 21, 2016
This kit contains everything you need for a very basic setup. It's pretty bare-bones but it doesn't sell itself as anything more than that. You get 1 locomotive, three rolling stock (cars to follow the locomotive), 12 pieces of track that make a circle, one controller, and one AC adapter. $70 seems like a pretty good value for this.

However the set cuts some corners in some pretty upsetting ways. The controller in the kit cannot power remote turnouts. The couplers LOOK like the couplers from other Bachmann products, but they aren't; these couplers lack magnets and perform really poorly. Due to this frustrating to get the components of the train to link together. You need to spend an additional $20 for a controller that is compatible with turnouts.

I don't recommend this kit for these reasons.

That said, the track is the same as normal Bachman track and the locomotive is pretty nice for the price. It seems identical to the same make and model sold separately, except the cheaper couplers. These couplers are even called "dummy couplers" in the instruction manual. That's... insulting. Even Bachmann admits how crappy the couplers are.

Let's look at how expensive it would be if you were to buy these components separately:
Bachmann GP40 N Scale: $40
2x Bachman N Scale 11.25" radius curved track: $10 x 2 = $20
AC adapter + Controller: $70 on Amazon but $20 on Ebay (multiple listings): $20
1 Pack of Bachmann Rolling stock from their website (includes 3 freight + 1 caboose): $20

So for $100 instead of $70 you can have all these components with an extra freight car, a remote compatible with turnouts, and working couplers instead of the cheap-O ones included here.
Better deal on the whole. You won't have to spend $20 for a pack of couplers and $20 for a better controller.
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on October 23, 2016
Great N-Gauge train set! Assembly is easy and well thought out. Diesel engine starts smoothly and has no dead spots in the commutator. A nice train set for under the small Christmas Tree this year. Nicely constructed and close-up images with a camera, it looks like the real thing. Very good detail.
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on December 27, 2016
Let me preface by saying that N-Gauge trains are quite delicate and need to be handled with care. Having said that this particular set has a design flaw that will stop you in your tracks--The GP 40 Diesel Locomotive couplers have a "snap fit" type cover that holds the actual coupler in place. The rest of the included cars use screws and have replacement couplers. But because of the locomotive's coupler design, the coupler cover "pops off", which in turn allows the coupler to fall out. This will happen under normal use, i.e just while pulling the three included cars around the track. I have included pictures of my attempt to keep the coupler cover attached, but in the end the coupler still fell out from the cover.
Soooo, long story short: Because of this design flaw the engine is very soon rendered useless. Buy only if you also buy several other locomotives to replace the included one that will break.
PROS:
1) Nice details (on par with Lionel O Gauge), and other than the explanation above, good build quality
2) E-Z track is actually easy-- a 6 year old can figure it out.

CONS:
1) No straight track pieces included in this set--all you can build is a perfect circle track
2) Aforementioned coupler system on locomotive is a design flaw
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on February 11, 2018
Excellent item. Very satisfied.
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on December 12, 2016
couplers are very bad quality, they come off without touching them ! other than this the set is fine for me as a new rail roader
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on June 15, 2013
If you are gifting this for a child, be prepared for them to run the train in circles a few times before they put it away and fire up the computer... UNLESS you are really prepared to take on the task of providing this as a start toward a hands-on hobby the old fashioned way. That means getting a permanent or temporary use train layout board, and then planning the track route, the scenery, buildings, vehicles, people and all the other imagination focused ideas from plan to completion to make this a long lasting project that does not need to have a video display to use or operate.
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on November 17, 2016
I AM VERY SATISFIED WITH THE THUNDER VALLEY SET.IN FACT,I PURCHASED A SECOND SET FOR A LAYOUT I AM WORKING ON.BACHMAN HAS QUALITY PRODUCTS VERY WELL MADE. I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND THEM.
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on February 28, 2015
this set is descent and its a great train set for beginners especially for those looking to get into the hobby. Keep in mind this is a N scale set so do your homework before purchasing. While I am happy with it, mine came with couple of bend tracks I wasn't to happy about it. Other then that it's a great started set.
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on May 7, 2016
Very small, very cool!
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on September 1, 2016
Give A Way, Customer is loving it.
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