As there are so many train sets out there, it would be difficult for you to know which one is right for you or the train-loving person in your life. Where some sets are better than others, the perfect set is the one that meets all of your needs. We are sharing some tips to help you find the right model train set.
What Scale Is Best?
Model train sets are made to one of the different common scales designed in proportion to real trains. Generally, hobby standard means that the same scale trains will perfectly work together without issues. Well, deciding which scale will work for you is, in part, a matter of choice. Where some people like smaller scale like “N” for its smaller layout, others like larger “O” scale trains or the outdoor potential of “G” scale trains for their easier handling. Now, which scale is perfect for you is up to your personal taste or available space. For instance, a G gauge set would be overwhelming in a small apartment, while an N or Z gauge would be invisible in a large garden. Moreover, kids are unlikely to do well with tiny models that require a lot of fine motor finesse.
What type of Power Packs are best?
Until now, model train sets normally came with a basic power pack. Such transformers usually provide enough power for a train plus a few accessories. One can control the speed and direction of the train. However, the speed control is often not really precise.
Now, we have relatively more options. Most of the higher-end model train sets include a larger and more reliable power supply. For instance, Lionel includes only a basic power supply but a radio control with multiple sound controls in even their most basic sets. The advantage of a better power supply is the reliable operation for years and the support of larger layouts. However, with conventional control, they’ll still only run one train at a time.
____ offers something similar with their DCS system in O Gauge. While it provides command control like DCC, DCS will only work with MTH locomotives.
What Type of Track Is Best?
The conventional tracks have been built to standards developed by the NMRA, ensuring they would work together. Today, most N, HO, and o train sets have “integrated roadbed track.” This track has a raised moulded plastic base that represents the ties and ballast. Different manufacturers have developed their own line and call this type of track by their own trade name. This track type is best suited for beginners, especially younger modelers and temporary layouts, even on carpeted floors. The only disadvantage of these new track systems over conventional track pieces is that they are not universally compatible. Due to the patents with the new track style, each manufacturer has had to make their own track system, and they are not compatible with each other.