Christmas Village

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Holly

New Member
Hello & thanks for allowing me to join your group.

I was finally able to expand my Christmas village last year with enough room to add a train! I was so excited, and after a ton of research ended up buying one, and then another Bauchmann On30 train set. The first one was listed as "new" on Ebay and turned out to be a complete disaster (lol-my fault I know). I actually spent about three weeks trying to get it up and running before finally just taking the loss and giving up. I then bought a much more updated On30 on Amazon, that ended up not being much better. This train was unusually loud but worked great for about 5minutes until it slowed down to a crawl and then would barely move. The engire was screeching by this time. Sigh. I troubleshooted it for a few days before returning it, so I didn't have a train after all. :)

I'm now ready to try again and get one set up for next year, but I'm pretty hesitant to invest in a Bauchmann again. I'm honestly not sure what to get, and was hoping to get some advice here.

My houses and accessories are all Dept 56 and Lemax, so I know I need to get either an O or On30. I was wondering if the Lionel O gauge trains have less issues than the Bauchmann On30's? Are they easier to operate and keep on the track? I know that they're more expensive, but honestly it'll be worth it if it actually works, doesn't fall off the track every 30 seconds, & I don't have to worry about trying to fix it or sending it back. I also looked into battery operated "ready to use" train sets, but the only ones I can find are close to G gauge....which would be too big for the village.

I'm sorry to ask so many questions, but I just don't want to fail again at what should be a very simple task....finding a train.
Thanks so much for any help you can offer,
 

Mixed Freight

New Member
Hi Holly,

Welcome and glad to see you join up. I just joined myself recently. This O-scale (& O-gauge) forum has been rather quiet recently. Probably due to summer getting here along with multitudes of Covid restrictions being dropped. People want to get out, and who can blame them? Me too!

Well, in my opinion, Bachmann On30 is more scale inclined and probably best left to seasoned scale model railroaders. On the other hand, for what you want to do, Lionel O-gauge would be much more satisfactory. There's actually a lot of folks that combine Lionel O-gauge trains with Dept 56 and Lemax houses and accessories. Mainly at Christmas time, but occasionally throughout the year too for that matter. Yes, they are easier to operate, will stay on the track much better, run like clockwork, and are pretty reliable. With that in mind, if they are a little more expensive, then they far more than worth a little extra cost just for ease of operation and plain fun value.

For your purposes, I would highly recommend a Lionel "Polar Express" set. I think it offers the best bang for the buck out of all of Lionel's different train sets. Not to mention it's perfect for a Christmas-themed layout. You should be able to find a nice set on E-bay, Amazon, or a multitude of on-line O-gauge e-tailers. Do a little research on them before ordering the first set you see. Give it a try and see what you think. 👍:)
 

Holly

New Member
Hi Holly,

Welcome and glad to see you join up. I just joined myself recently. This O-scale (& O-gauge) forum has been rather quiet recently. Probably due to summer getting here along with multitudes of Covid restrictions being dropped. People want to get out, and who can blame them? Me too!

Well, in my opinion, Bachmann On30 is more scale inclined and probably best left to seasoned scale model railroaders. On the other hand, for what you want to do, Lionel O-gauge would be much more satisfactory. There's actually a lot of folks that combine Lionel O-gauge trains with Dept 56 and Lemax houses and accessories. Mainly at Christmas time, but occasionally throughout the year too for that matter. Yes, they are easier to operate, will stay on the track much better, run like clockwork, and are pretty reliable. With that in mind, if they are a little more expensive, then they far more than worth a little extra cost just for ease of operation and plain fun value.

For your purposes, I would highly recommend a Lionel "Polar Express" set. I think it offers the best bang for the buck out of all of Lionel's different train sets. Not to mention it's perfect for a Christmas-themed layout. You should be able to find a nice set on E-bay, Amazon, or a multitude of on-line O-gauge e-tailers. Do a little research on them before ordering the first set you see. Give it a try and see what you think. 👍:)
 

Holly

New Member
Hi Holly,

Welcome and glad to see you join up. I just joined myself recently. This O-scale (& O-gauge) forum has been rather quiet recently. Probably due to summer getting here along with multitudes of Covid restrictions being dropped. People want to get out, and who can blame them? Me too!

Well, in my opinion, Bachmann On30 is more scale inclined and probably best left to seasoned scale model railroaders. On the other hand, for what you want to do, Lionel O-gauge would be much more satisfactory. There's actually a lot of folks that combine Lionel O-gauge trains with Dept 56 and Lemax houses and accessories. Mainly at Christmas time, but occasionally throughout the year too for that matter. Yes, they are easier to operate, will stay on the track much better, run like clockwork, and are pretty reliable. With that in mind, if they are a little more expensive, then they far more than worth a little extra cost just for ease of operation and plain fun value.

For your purposes, I would highly recommend a Lionel "Polar Express" set. I think it offers the best bang for the buck out of all of Lionel's different train sets. Not to mention it's perfect for a Christmas-themed layout. You should be able to find a nice set on E-bay, Amazon, or a multitude of on-line O-gauge e-tailers. Do a little research on them before ordering the first set you see. Give it a try and see what you think. 👍:)
Thank you so much! You’ve been very very helpful and I’m definitely going to look into that train set. Thank you!!
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
I'm now ready to try again and get one set up for next year, but I'm pretty hesitant to invest in a Bauchmann again. I'm honestly not sure what to get, and was hoping to get some advice here.
Sorry you had trouble with the Bachmann trains. If you buy a truly new one Bachmann honors their guaranteed for life claim. I've sent many items back for repair or replacement.

My houses and accessories are all Dept 56 and Lemax, so I know I need to get either an O or On30. I was wondering if the Lionel O gauge trains have less issues than the Bauchmann On30's? Are they easier to operate and keep on the track? I also looked into battery operated "ready to use" train sets, but the only ones I can find are close to G gauge....which would be too big for the village.
Yes, O will stay on the rails better than the On30 which runs on HO scale track. If for no other reason than the wheel flanges are way over sized.
Lionel makes many Christmas themed train sets if you want that rather than an ordinary train. Also note that Lionel makes several different levels of quality/pricing. In general you pay for what you get.

Personally I like the one at the bottom of this page of the 2020 "big book" catalog. Well, it doesn't link to the page number. Page 166 is the one I was talking about.
http://catalogs.lionel.com/2020/BB/

And this years catalog
http://catalogs.lionel.com/2021/BB/
 
Last edited:

Mixed Freight

New Member
Sorry you had trouble with the Bachmann trains. If you buy a truly new one Bachmann honors their guaranteed for life claim. I've sent many items back for repair or replacement.


Yes, O will stay on the rails better than the On30 which runs on HO scale track. If for no other reason than the wheel flanges are way over sized.
Lionel makes many Christmas themed train sets if you want that rather than an ordinary train. Also note that Lionel makes several different levels of quality/pricing. In general you pay for what you get.

Personally I like the one at the bottom of this page of the 2020 "big book" catalog. Well, it doesn't link to the page number. Page 166 is the one I was talking about.
http://catalogs.lionel.com/2020/BB/

And this years catalog
http://catalogs.lionel.com/2021/BB/
Hi Iron Horseman,

I hadn't realized that Lionel was starting to make so many different Polar Express/Christmas train sets, that one needs to specify WHICH set!
By advising Holly to check into a Polar Express set, I was really talking about the good ol' standard original set that been around now for almost 20 years or so (pp. 154 & 155 in the 2020 big book you link to). It has the 2-8-4 die-cast Berkshire engine and the 3 passenger cars, like in the Polar Express movie. The Berkshire engine by itself is almost worth the entire price of admission in my opinion. Everything else in the set is practically thrown in for free.

The set you mention in the 2020 catalog, pp. 166 &167, the North Pole Central Snowflake Limited, I have to admit is pretty neat and has some really nice, high-end equipment. But "The Snowflake Limited"? What a name, for this day and age! And a $1000.00? Kinda' pricey for a Christmas train set, in my opinion. Oh well, for anybody that likes it and can afford it, what the heck? Go for it! 👍 :)
 




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