Ever run a "train set"train on your layout

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I had fun tonight. I guy I work with gave me a brand new never run Bachman train set from 1978. The engine is chrome with red paint it is a Sante Fe GP 40 I think.Anyway it came with the standard gondola,cattle car, coal car,box car and caboose. The engine had never been out of the box. I lubed it and cleaned the wheels and put it on my track and let it go.It took about three times around, stopping and starting and then it took off. I let the engine itself run alone for about a 1/2 hour then I hooked the cars up and let it go. Man, I had a blast. It was fun to watch a 30+ year old never ran "train set"go on my layout, horn hook couplers and all. In a way it was sort of a nice break from the scale speed,detail,smooth running "modeltrains". I had to run it at a high speed(like a kid would do) to make it go but man once it got going it was cool. It gave off that old electric smell like an old slotcar track.You guys from back in the day know what I mean. Kinda funny to see a 20.00 train set blow by a 300.00 engine.When I first got the set I planned on painting the engine and making it a dummy and scrapping the cars but after getting it to run as best as I can, I am leaving it alone. I will put the whole set on a display shelf and every once in a while put it on my layout.PS: I thought to myself what kid who got a trainset as a gift would not use it but the guy who gave it to me said that he never had any interest in trains he liked rockets. Lucky me


In Training Down Under.
I have the Cat train set from Norscot, all metal. It was dcc ready so I popped a decoder in and ran it for fun. Kinda neat too, but not 30yrs old.


Steve B

up until last night (don't ask) we ran a 1960's hornby steam train "6201 Princess Elizabeth" and it goes like a trooper, it'll still be going strong when everything else is dead and buried.


New Member
I am a newby here but believe I can relate a bit. Just experienced that the thrill of trains never dies. I have two grandsons 4 and 2 who are crazy about trains and have many Thomas trains (toy pull type) at home. This led me to dig out my old Lionel set to show them. A Christmas gift to me in 1956. I later purchased an electric 'Thomas' set for the 4 year old. But while shopping I purchased an Athern BB Ironhorse set for all. At a later date I went back to purchase a bit more track and wound up purchasing another Athern Passenger train set which was on sale. As the boys were coming for a 5 day visit I set the three trains up on a blank 4x8 sheet of plywood with the passenger train on the outside loop, Iron Horse freight set looped inside and 'Thomas' on the inside loop. This was all a surprise for the boys and I don't know who had the most fun, boys or Papa. With supervision the 4 year old done a fair job of operating his Thomas. After sharing a video on building landscapes (both boys totally glued to video throughout showing) we now have a 4 1/2 year old that is wound tight about building a layout and can't wait to get back to Papa's house to continue. And here I am still slipping back down to the basement to run the trains every so often.


When the 5 year old twin grandchildren come, the Thomas, Annie & Clarabelle run by the rest of the LC fleet. They were part of a set.


My son (3 years old) LOVEs the whole Thomas series. I have a Thomas w/ Annie and Claribel and also James with the 2 "troublesome trucks". These two get the most track time on the layout I am building right now. James was a gift from his Aunt this past Christmas. When we couldn't easily run both James and Thomas at the same time, I converted them both to DCC. So, now we can run them both at the same time with more ease. They are both good running trans, although they need to be funning a little fast to run best. Thomas seems to be the most sensitive of all my trains to any dirt on the tracks, though.


Not my very first, but one of my first trains (I was 3) was an HO passenger train "set" my parents cobbled together probably from the bargain bin somewhere. It consisted of a Mantua/Tyco dual motor B&O F unit (only made one year -1960), a matching A unit dummy, a Fleischmann yellow tinplate German pizzacutter-flanged passenger car labeled "Pullman" and "Union Pacific" that I believe is actually a Swiss prototype, an AC Gilbert HO Northern Pacific coach from their "North Coast Limited" set, and an Athearn B&O heavyweight observation car.

I recently reconstructed that train from ebay purchases - I found amazingly a dual motor B&O F + dummy B unit on ebay, literally brand new in the box... 45 years old. The Fleischmann car is somewhat collectible, but I think I scored one in pretty decent shape for $15. Minty w/box, it's worth $100. I got the Athearn obs for about $20 I think, and it's vintage production in the orange and cream box. The NP coach believe it or not is the original one from 1960, which has survived the decades of abuse and storage. Even the original horn hook couplers!

Hearing the sound of those dual Tyco buzzers - picture two locos that don't run the same speed stuck in one shell - really brought back memories. Also the ozone smell. The only difference between this set and my original is that the Tyco dummy unit is a B rather than an A.

I also managed to find the complete NP North Coast set. Gilbert made four cars - a combine, coach, dome, and obs. The pair of plastic F3s were made by Varney, possibly the worst diesel unit drive of all time. Yes, worse than Tyco's Gimball which is downright smooth and silky in comparison.

Funny because for Christmas this year I gave my brother a "train set" (he's 47). He just moved to smaller quarters and has no layout, so I bought him a Proto RS2, some freight cars, a caboose, and some Kato Unitrack plus a vintage Marnopower throttle, so he can set up temporarily on the floor, and easily put it away when he's done. I found that being able to run trains - even just around in circles - is better than just stacking them on the shelf or bench. I know having my Karpet Route upstairs has kept me motivated, although probably has made me drag my feet on the "real" layout getting started.


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