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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 September 2, 2017
I've all ways wanted a train set. I'm 56 yrs old and my dream has come true. I bought the Bachman Trains Thunder Vally. It was easy to put the track together, the transformer worked great and even the lights come on as it runs around the track. I found a new hobbie!
Its a great starter set. From this set, i will built city!
Thank you Bachman and thank you Amazon. It arrived in 2 days and packaged it perfectly. Can't wait to grow my city.
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on February 23, 2018
This set is good. The locomotive is fast however it is a bit more noisy than others I have. One thing I did not like is that the set I ordered showed that is contained the model 44212 power pack however came with a model 44211 power pack. I specifically ordered it thinking I was going to get the first power pack as I had switches to use and needed the accessory hook up on the 44212. It seems to me that Bachmann is no longer providing the 44212 power packs in their sets.
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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 September 16, 2017
I bought this as a started set because I needed the track. I have a few engines and no way to run them. This set went together and was running in no time. It came with instructions but I never opened them.
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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.
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.

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 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
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on September 3, 2014
Bachmann's ready-to-run starter train sets are an excellent way to discover if you really want to be a model railroader. The detail is very good even in N-scale. The locomotives are not the best on the market; however, Bachmann offers free replacement in the first year so you won't be burned if you get a lemon. The EZ Track works OK on carpet, but I would suggest mounting the track on plywood. Connecting and disconnecting the rail joiners repeatedly will damage them and that can interrupt the electric circuit. After mounting, tightly crimp the rail joiners with needle nose pliers or better yet, solder them. PLEASE NOTE: jerky performance of the locomotive is usually due to dirty track. It is easily cleaned with a pencil eraser. Also, the locomotive's motor bearing needs lubrication. Bachmann has several videos on YouTube showing you how. This is a fantastic hobby and a real treat for children. Though it is not intended for under 14 years old, I have supervised my young grand children for hundreds of joyous hours
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