Whether you are a model railway fanatic or looking for your child’s new favorite toy, the best train sets come in different sizes, prices, and design - so it is very likely that you will find a train set on the market that is the right choice for you. The question is - how to choose the best one?
Best Train Sets - 2018
Bachmann Rail Chief Set
This motorized train set is powered by an EMD GP40 diesel locomotive and comes with an operating headlight. It is a 5-car, HO-scale set, with a 47” by 38” track. Aside from the incredibly realistic-looking cars, this set also includes a steel roadbed track, miniature people, and a signal bridge. This 130-piece set is great for newbies, as it is very easy to set up and can be ready to run in no time.
Lionel Pennsylvania Flyer Train Set
This remote control train set comes with a locomotive, a 3-dome tank car, a boxcar, and a caboose, as well as a 40” by 60” fast track that is durable and easy to connect. The remote of this O-scale train set can be used to turn the train on or off, blow the whistle, blow smoke, and control the speed level.
Bachmann Trains Santa Fe Flyer Set
This HO-scale train set comes with an EMD FT diesel locomotive with operating headlights, two freight cars, an off-center caboose, and a 36-inch snap-fit E-Z track. If you’re not looking for a battery operated train set, this might be the choice for you as it comes with a speed and direction controller, both powered by a plug-in electric source. This set was designed in a “war bonnet” paint scheme and revives a southwestern theme. Finally, as this is one of their top-rated electric train sets, you will often find it listed in eBay’s daily deals and discounts.
Lionel Polar Express Train Set
This set is a wonderful example of themed remote control trains. It was inspired by the movie “The Polar Express”, but it could also be fun for those not familiar with the movie. This O-scale set comes with a lot of fun features like smoke, a whistle, chuffing sound, a bell, as well as voice announcements like “All aboard the Polar Express!”. It also comes with four popular character figures from the movie.
Lionel Hogwarts Train Set
This O-scale train set will be the perfect choice for the Harry Potter fans, no matter how young or old they might be. The set includes a 4-6-0 locomotive with operating headlights, two passenger coaches, and one combination car. The 40” by 60” track includes eight curved pieces, two straight sections, and one terminal section. Using the remote, you can turn the train on or off, control the smoke, the direction, and the sound – including some famous lines from the movie sequel. It is easy to set up, so the only thing left to do will be to cross the Platform 9 ¾, and hope that Dementors don’t stop your train for a quick check-up. If Harry Potter had Internet at Hogwarts, he would have probably looked up Amazon discounts since this model is a tad expensive.
Bachmann HO Red Rock Express Train Set
If you were looking for the best HO-model trains, you could consider that search over! This train set comes with a diesel locomotive with operating headlights, three freight cars, and a caboose. It can be set up on a 36-inch circle of steel E-Z track and includes a power pack and a speed controller. The set is designed in a “war bonnet” paint scheme, and it is a perfect starter pack – extremely easy to set up, control, and operate.
Bachmann Trains Night Before Christmas Set
This G-scale train set comes with a lot of interesting pieces. There is the 4-6-0 steam locomotive with operating headlights, a gondola, a bobber caboose with a Santa figure, and the 64” by 51” oval track that includes twelve pieces – ten curve ones and two straight. The locomotive has a few interesting features – a bell, a whistle, and smoke. This set also includes a power pack and a speed controller. To make it easier for you to set up, manufacturers included an illustrated video and DVD instructions.
LGB Passenger Starter Set with Lights, Sound, and Smoke
This amazing G-scale set includes an engine, two cars, a circle of track, power, figures, and 51” in diameter track. It features directional lights – front lights activate when going forward and rear lights activate when the train is backing up. The locomotive makes a steam sound when the train is speeding and also features a smoke generator. You won’t need additional tools for this set since it is ready to run upon unpacking.
Lionel Pennsylvania Keystone Special Set
This O-scale set includes a 0-8-0 locomotive, a boxcar, a caboose, and a special searchlight car to add to the realistic feel of the whole set. The train can be controlled via remote with different features like realistic train sounds such as chuffing, whistle, bell, and announcements, as well as turning it on or off, and controlling the forward and reverse speed. You can also download the LionChief app and control the train via the app.
Bachmann Industries Whistle & Chuff Thomas Set
This HO-train set was designed for Thomas & Friends fans or anyone looking for a great starter set. The main feature of this set is the Thomas the Tank Engine locomotive with speed-activated sounds and moving eyes, resembling the character from the cartoon. Other fun features include whistles, puffs, and steam exhaust sound upon stopping. This train set will perform best if installed on 15” radius curves or greater. The package includes a 36” circle of snap-fit E-Z track, a speed controller, a power pack, and an illustrated manual.
Lionel DC Comics Batman Phantom Train Set
This is a themed O-scale train set that is unique-looking and futuristic. It was inspired by the Batman movies and includes a locomotive with operating headlights, two additional cars, an easy operating remote control, and ten pieces of FasTrack. The set was modified to fit the mystic Batman theme and features different sounds like train humming, bell, horn, and Batman talking. The lighting is another feature that makes this train set unique. The car windows have green illumination, and the engine has a headlight that flashes when speeding and going forward. This set is highly stylized and distinct; therefore, it might not be the right choice for you if you are looking for a starter pack as it will be hard to add pieces to it.
Lionel Trains Pet Shop Set
This might be the perfect set for you if you are looking for a fun toy for your child that will help them boost their creativity, and develop their problem-solving and motor skills. This O-scale set includes a diesel switcher, a LionChief remote, a boxcar, a gondola, a bobber caboose, and a pack of animal figures. You can use the remote to control different sounds like a horn, a bell, and special announcements, as well as operate headlights.
Bachmann Trains McKinley Explorer Set
This is a ready-to-run train set that includes a locomotive, passenger cars, a snap-fit E-Z track, a power pack, and a speed controller. It comes in N-scale and HO-scale alike. The main differences between the scales are mostly associated with the size of the track (the N-scale comes with 34″ x 24″ oval of nickel silver E-Z track; while the HO-scale comes with 63″ x 45″ oval of snap-fit E-Z track) and the number of passenger cars (the N-scale has three; while the HO-scale has two). No matter what scale you go for, this model can make the perfect starter set.
Lionel Windy City GP38 Set
This O-scale set features a locomotive, a unibody tank car, an autoloader with four removable automobiles, as well as a quad hopper with a removable coal load, and a caboose with interior lighting. The locomotive can be controlled to go forward, neutral, and reverse. The numerous sound features like diesel reviving, a user activated horn, bell, as well as a train crew dialog are what makes this train stand out from the rest.
Bachmann Industries Yard Boss
If you are looking for the best train set adults would enjoy, this might be the choice for you. This N-scale train set includes everything you need to start your own railroad – an E-Z track, a roadbed system, power supply, 0-6-0 steam locomotive, and a set of different cars including a tender, a boxcar, a quad hopper car, and a caboose. Designed for experienced train hobbyists, it is, therefore, slightly more complicated to set up. Considering its purpose, it is clear why this train set doesn’t feature sound effects and instead includes a number of small, highly detailed components.