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 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.