Choosing An HO Train Set

An HO train set is a great way to into or start someone in the great hobby of model railroading. HO scale is still one of the most popular scales. The huge variety of locomotives and rolling stock and accessories as well as being a bigger than n scale but not as big as O scale makes it great starting point. Below are a few things to consider as you shop for a HO train set.

HO Train Sets On Amazon

HO Train Set Options.

Let’s start with the time period you would like to model. Again, there are plenty of options. While starter sets in HO are somewhat limited, you should be able to find something from the steam era all the way up to the modern era. Keep in mind, this is your starting point and you can certainly branch out from there, and you will. Right now the two main players in HO scale sets are Bachmann and Lionel with Bachmann being more prevalent. A very basic set in HO from Bachmann can be had from under $150. It is just a locomotive, a couple of cars, a caboose, an oval of track and a controller. If you want more cars and track in your set, well the price goes up.

Growing Your HO Train Set

Some set up their trains once a year during the holidays, others get just a little more involved, taking over the entire basement or garage. Growing your layout is a simple as adding track and stock. How detailed or complicated is up to you. You may choose to stick with the brand of track you start with or you may get into more of a flex track or even hand lay your track. Some even hand build their own turnouts. My father did, but he was way more patient than me. It’s all up to you to add as much detail and interesting scenes as you can imagine.

Build Your Own HO Train Set

You can also put together your won HO train set, picking and choosing your track locomotives, rolling stock and controller. If you have some experience in model railroading, this may be a better option as your tastes are even more specific and you know what you are shopping for. Shopping on ebay will also open up opportunities for some great buys if you know what you are looking for. If you are just looking to get started quickly in model railroading, buying a complete package may be the best option for your HO train set.

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Broadway Limited N Scale T1 Locomotive

Broadway Limited Imports BLI N Scale PRR T1 4-4-4-4 Steam Locomotive
Broadway Limited N Scale PRR T1 Locomotive

As steam locomotives were reaching their peak, along came the PRR T1 4-4-4-4 steam locomotive. Broadway Limited Imports (BLI) has captured this beauty in n scale with some awesome features. First introduced in 1942, the BLI n scale model is typical of the production model produced in the 1950’s. The prototype had a few knocks against it including being expensive to maintain and operate as well a being prone to wheel slip. You won’t have that problem with the BLI version. It has a cast boiler as well as a precision designed drive train for excellent slow speed and pulling power. Available in 5 road names for PRR as well as an undecorated model. PRR ordered 50 more units after a couple of demo models. You can find more prototypical information here at Wikipedia.

Operating Perimeters Of The BLI N Scale T1

The BLI T1 Duplex is designed to run on code 55, 70 or 80 rail. Minimum recommended radius for the locomotive is 9.75 inches. It is set up to run with both DC or DCC. The sound will operate in DCC but if you want sound in DC, you will need to use the BLI-1011 DC Master Analog Control Module. The Paragon 3 sound system offers a boat load of sound and choices. As a matter of fact when I looked at the available sound options available, my head started spinning a little bit. I am one of those guys that would likely open the box and runt the T1 with factory settings. For those of you more detail orientated, you can dial it in to an exact setting.

Reviews Of The BLI T1

You will find a few reviews of the Broadway Limited T1 in n scale. They all point the same way. Excellent detail, smooth running, great sound and better than hoped for! This really is an iconic locomotive that has been done very well. List price is around $420 but you will find them online routinely under $300. If you are a PRR fan, you will be very pleased with your Broadway Limited N Scale T1 locomotive. For you HO fans, BLT offers one of you too!