Updated: June 14, 2015

Train Set Reviews:

Train sets have always been at the top of the Christmas lists for young boys. There's something fun about the idea of having an electric train set that you can control with different types of trains, terrain, track layouts, scenery, etc. Most of us start with a play toy train set, usually a few plastic train cars that hitch together and go around a track that makes noise. I remember when I reached about the age of 10 I badly wanted a real electric train set for Christmas one year and was willing to do anything to get it. I had seen my brothers have plenty of fun over the years with their sets and I wanted one for myself. I did get the set (don't have it anymore), but it was so exciting opening up the box with all the freight cars and parts. Train sets today are even more realistic with detailed designs and faster moving tracks. The tracks are much easier to assemble and the landscape/scenery items like trees, water, snow and foliage make the train set come to life. Below we will discuss the most popular and best selling train sets per customer reviews and owners opinions.


The top train sets are made by Lionel, Atlas, Bachmann, Walthers, Rapido, Athearn and Marklin. We ventured out on the Internet to track down what consumers feel are the best train sets and tried to make a list on this page for you to see. At Trainsetsonly.com we took a look at the HO scale train sets they offer. The top ranked train sets are the Athearn - HO Warbonnet Express Train Set ($75.42), the Bachmann - Amtrak's Acela HO Scale Train Set ($248.61), the Model Power - F7 Metal Set w/Truck & Autos UP HO ($138.19), the Walthers - Trainline City Express Set GN HO ($114.98), the Rapido Trains - TurboTrain Set - Diesel Passenger - New Haven (New York, New Haven & Hartford) for $385.66, and the Marklin-Trix - Hogwarts Express w/C Track and Mobile Station ($471.53). Train sets come in various "sizes" or "scales". The N scale is the smallest size of trains, the HO scale is the most popular, the G scale are the largest trains, and the O Scale train sets (namely Lionel trains) are the ones you most likely will see going around Christmas trees. N scale trains are probably too small for young children but the HO scale sets are great if you have the space. G scale train sets can be used both indoor and outdoor. Lionel train sets are our personal favorites and their top sellers are the Polar Express Train Set ($239 - this is a great Christmas gift for kids, if a little pricey), the Holiday Tradition Special Set ($209.99), the Ballyhoo Brother Circus Train Set ($299.95), Mickey's Christmas Express ($299.99), and the World Of Disney Train Set ($299.99) (more Lionel train sets here). If you are looking for something a little cheaper, we suggest the Lifelike Electric train sets - the Iron Horse Train Set ($95) is a great starter train set for any child that includes 3 train cars, a caboose, and an oval power loc track. If you want to change the layout for your train, then try the highly rated Atlas Layout Packages that come with track, switch controls, connectors, track block controllers, and selectors. The basic Atlas Layout packages are $70 and the intricate layouts cost $300+. Trains can be a lifetime of enjoyment if they are introduced at a young age as a hobby that you can build on forever.

Model Trains - Ho Scale Models:

Train building is a great hobby meant for all ages. Models trains allow for creative minds to make fun layouts and build passenger cars, freight cars, diesel engines, and locomotives. An excellent site is the Lionel.com homepage with resources on all model trains. They even have a fun section with train sounds, some free screensavers to download, and wallpaper images for your desktop. Lionel.com offers a "getting started" guide on determing if your child is ready for a train set, tips on buying your first train, learn train lingo, ideas on track layouts, and much more for the ultimate train hobbyist. They go over the Ho scale, N scale, G scale and O scale train sets and describe the difference between scale and gauge. If you want to chat online with other train hobbyists, then go to Trainclub.com. It's an Internet club for collectors and operators of model trains - American Flyer, Athearn, Atlas, Backmann, K-Line, LBG, Lionel, MTH, Riviossi, Williams, and Weaver. You can search their classified ads for trains, get into a live train talk forum, or look at the "tips and tricks" section. They also have an online calendar that tells you about upcoming train shows across the country.

Lego Train Sets - Train Tables:

Legos has made train sets for years and kids love them - browse the list of the most popular Lego kits online. The top sellers are the Passenger Train ($79.99), the Cargo Train Deluxe ($149.99) - complete train features an engine with working headlights, cargo wagon, caboose, crane car, and flatbed car. All run on batteries. If you want to build just train engines from legos, then checkout the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Locomotive ($39.99), the High Speed Train Locomotive ($24.99), or Small Train Engine Blue ($19.99). The Nilo Lego playtables (train tables) are the perfect compliment to any Lego train set. The Thomas the Tank Engine table is the most popular set and is expensive at $277. The BRIO Play Table Frame with Station Graphic ($159.99) is another excellent choice at Creativetrains.com.