the best quality model train brands

AT&SF Orie Jun 5, 2011

  1. AT&SF Orie

    AT&SF Orie E-Mail Bounces

    hello im wanting to know what the best companies to buy trains from are. a list from best to worst would be great or just tell me who to stay the "beep" away from would be great too i hear bachmann is no good which saddens me because i just bought a engine from them if this topic is in the wrong place im sorry
  2. Mike VE2TRV

    Mike VE2TRV TrainBoard Member

    I can only speak about the best from personal experience - in no particular order: Atlas, Kato, Intermountain, Stewart, Proto... run smooth, good detail, solid construction.

    What you can definitely stay away from is toy train set stuff, regardless of brand.
  3. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

    Are we discussing HO or N scale?

    If N scale, allow me to echo what Mike said. You can't go wrong with those brand names.

    With regard to N and HO: Bachmann Spectrum has come along way and slowly. There is still room for improvement so, approach Red over Yellow. However, I've been impressed with my purchases as of late.

    I hope that helps.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 5, 2011
  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    What scale is of particular interest? What was it you bought that is now causing angst?

    Bachmann has come a long ways of recent years. They are a market leader in On30, with pretty good reviews on service.

    HO is better than it used to be, and there has even been improvement in N.

    Boxcab E50
  5. Kenneth L. Anthony

    Kenneth L. Anthony TrainBoard Member

    I don't understand the question about "brands" of model trains. I am interested in modeling a particular prototype railroad and scene, so I look first for who makes a model of what I want, and then start looking at quality.
  6. Seated Viper

    Seated Viper TrainBoard Member

    When I started to look at US outline N, a few months ago, other modellers warned me to keep clear of certain brands because of their toy-like features, bad running, and so on. Bachmann is one of them! So far as performance is concerned, I have been told that the SPECTRUM range of Bachmann is reasonably okay. Most of my locomotives come from Atlas, with some Kato. Some members of this forum have commented about bad examples from those two, so reputation is not always spot on with reality. You might have a good one from Bachmann!

    The cars the locomotives pull are of a varierty of brands, but most have had couplings changed to Micro Trains 1030 units, and I'm planning to change over to MT fittings on all the locomotives as well.


    Pete Davies
  7. COverton

    COverton TrainBoard Member

    Steam or diesel? I don't have many diesels, but of the few I have, I would say Proto 2000 and Atlas Gold/Master series are excellent. I have two Athearn Genesis SD75M's that are exquisite in detail, but their running qualities needed some work.

    For steam, Proto 2000, Broadway Limited, Mikes Train House, and a very few Bachmann Spectrum models are about as good as they get. I also have a newest issue of the Hornby/Rivarossi Chesapeak & Ohio 2-6-6-6 Allegheny which I like very much. I can't speak for all the other new releases from that outfit.

    The very best HO steam came from Marklin/Trix until they stopped production in that scale about 7 years ago. If you can find a USRA or NYC Mikado 2-8-2 from Trix at anything under $400 new, snap it won't regret the decision.

    I can't recall reading any negative posts about Kato in HO. The detail is not as good as Genesis, but they run very well and reliably.

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