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My son loves everything about trains and Owns tons of the motorized Tomas trains and sets and has every Lego train set out but has been begging for what he calls a "Real Train" I have held him off for some time because of his age I did not want him to get overwhelmed and get a bad taste for the hobby before he really gave it a chance.
his birthday is coming up and I feel could handle the responsibly of getting started in Model Trains but I am lost where to start.
I have read many sites looked at many starter kits and am scared to make the wrong chose for him. because of limited space I am leaning to N but see that HO is also very popular. At first I would like it to only take up a 4x4 table so it does not take over the house.

Cost
I am wanting to keep the cost of the Train Set as close to $200 as possible as I know there will be other cost like a table, tools and such.
 

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My son loves everything about trains and Owns tons of the motorized Tomas trains and sets and has every Lego train set out but has been begging for what he calls a "Real Train" I have held him off for some time because of his age I did not want him to get overwhelmed and get a bad taste for the hobby before he really gave it a chance.
his birthday is coming up and I feel could handle the responsibly of getting started in Model Trains but I am lost where to start.
I have read many sites looked at many starter kits and am scared to make the wrong chose for him. because of limited space I am leaning to N but see that HO is also very popular. At first I would like it to only take up a 4x4 table so it does not take over the house.

Cost
I am wanting to keep the cost of the Train Set as close to $200 as possible as I know there will be other cost like a table, tools and such.

How old is he?

N are somewhat delicate.
HO, you won't get much on a 4x4.
O is better for little hands but you need a much larger space.

For your space N scale would be the best.

For quality you can't go wrong with Kato.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
How old is he?

N are somewhat delicate.
HO, you won't get much on a 4x4.
O is better for little hands but you need a much larger space.

For your space N scale would be the best.

For quality you can't go wrong with Kato.
he is turning 9

Does Kato have a reasonably priced starter kit?
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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he is turning 9

Does Kato have a reasonably priced starter kit?
At nine he should not chew on the trains.:D

If he respects the delicate nature of N scale he should be all right with them.

Kato makes a good quality product, this starter set is $150.

106-6272.jpg

Do you want a passenger set instead?

Check out the Kato site.

http://www.katousa.com/N/rollingstock.html

Ask here if you need to.:D

Fifer a member here has a kato passenger set $199,

check out his site too http://www.n-scale-model-trains.com/html/n_scale_train_sets.html


maybe you want an Atlas starter set he has some freight sets listed.
 

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Kato and Atlas are good brands for beginners in N. In HO, Bachmann and Atlas trainman series are good.
 

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No matter which scale or maker you go with get a DCC starter set and not a DC set, it is the way all of them are going and will give him the greatest long term enjoyment!:)
 

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I say get a basic starter set without the bells and whistles and let him try it out before ya get too into it! Many modern sets are DCC ready. Life-Like and Model Power aren't DCC friendly and absolute garbage. I say go HO first, try it out for year, then next year, get an set and maybe ya could sell the HO and fund it for N! Or trade maybe.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I was talking to my son and he really wants a steam engine. So I am looking to get a starter set that will fix on a 4x4 table steam engine. Can I get this and DCC for under 200.
 

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N scale steamers are very fragile and unless you know your son is exceptionally handy for his age,I don't recommend it.Steamers are more sturdy in HO,however steamers do need wide curves to run well,wich you'll have a hard time to obtain on a 4X4.It means a 22 in. radius circle max. running on the edge wich I believe is tight for an HO steamer.

Yes you can get a DCC set or a starter set for under $200. but not both.A reasonable quality DCC equipped steamer will go that high alone,in either scale.You could go the cheap equipment way,sorrow usually comes with it,your choice.
 

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http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bachmann-50...735223?pt=Model_RR_Trains&hash=item27aefff7b7

Here you go. DCC and HO scale steam engine all in one package. And under $200. The Bachmann EZ Command is entry level DCC. Aside from address changing, there isnt any other programming that can be done with this controller, but it gets your foot in the door for DCC. And that little steamer is wonderful. We've had ours for almost a year and the only issue we have is if it sits for more than a week or so, it has to be cleaned to get it running smooth. But aside from that, it pulls a few cars and works on 18"R track quite well.

Just found the same set for $50 cheaper!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/BACHMANN-ST...850310?pt=Model_RR_Trains&hash=item588b47a4c6
 

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I've got basically that same engine (but non-DCC) and it's been a reliable runner. Even with my 4 & 7 year olds playing with it.

Have you considered some kind of slide out table for under his bed? It would allow you a little more room for the trains without it taking over the house.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I've got basically that same engine (but non-DCC) and it's been a reliable runner. Even with my 4 & 7 year olds playing with it.

Have you considered some kind of slide out table for under his bed? It would allow you a little more room for the trains without it taking over the house.
that is a good Idea, I will look into designing that.
 

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http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bachmann-50...735223?pt=Model_RR_Trains&hash=item27aefff7b7

Here you go. DCC and HO scale steam engine all in one package. And under $200. The Bachmann EZ Command is entry level DCC. Aside from address changing, there isnt any other programming that can be done with this controller, but it gets your foot in the door for DCC. And that little steamer is wonderful. We've had ours for almost a year and the only issue we have is if it sits for more than a week or so, it has to be cleaned to get it running smooth. But aside from that, it pulls a few cars and works on 18"R track quite well.

Just found the same set for $50 cheaper!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/BACHMANN-ST...850310?pt=Model_RR_Trains&hash=item588b47a4c6
Well unless I get some bad feedback or someone suggest a better deal this looks like what I will be going with.

Thank you everyone for all the input. I am sure I will be back with more questions as we get deeper into the hobby.
 
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