Collecting Model Train Guide

When it comes to model trains, there are some brands that are geared towards kids and are sold, as toy sets then there are also others that are designed for collectors. With toy trains and collectibles almost looking alike sometimes, it can get pretty confusing which one to start your collection with.  If you are looking to score the latest LGB starter sets out in the market today, read on below on some pointers to help guide you in the buying process.


If you are thinking of getting into model railroading big time do not immediately jump in the bandwagon what you are getting yourself into.  Model train collecting is a vastly satisfying hobby and getting into it with the right information and tools at your disposal will help you avoid some of the common pitfalls that beginners often commit when they start out.

Do your research. Read books and magazines and attend model train shows in order to get a grasp on what type of model trains you prefer the most and how you want to invest time and money in.  Do you prefer an indoor railroad set or sets for garden trains? In short you need to get a feel of the hobby and a vision on how to go about it before you begin the process of purchasing your 1st collectible locomotive.

Condition Counts

Condition is mandatory when it comes to model train collecting. Model trains are not merely models stuck in a box and displayed to friends from time to time.  These things were built to run and they should otherwise it is a waste of time and effort. If you have your eye on a particular expensive set but don’t have the experience to operate and maintain it, it is always wise to begin with a starter set that is similar in gauge and scale so you can get your feet wet on how to handle it properly.

Starter Kits

As mentioned above, purchasing a starter kit is an excellent way of getting into the model train experience without costing an arm and a leg.  The great thing is that starter kits are available for all the major brands such as Bachmann, Tyco and Lionel to name a few. Select a starter kit according to the locomotive, which is almost always the most essential piece anyway in a train set.  Choose a separate unit for the power supply as the stock that comes with the starter normally does not last that long.

Maintenance Tips for N Scale Model Trains

The N scale models of trains sets are popular to hobbyists and beginners alike because these trains are just perfect for people that want to run long trains or keep the focus on the scenery.  For people that have limited space or want miniature details, the N scale is perfect.  Here are some maintenance tips to consider for N scale model trains.

Keep Railroad Tracks and Wheels Clean

Whether you are using G scale sets or N scale sets it is always considered a wise decision to keep your railroad tracks and wheels clean. We all know that dust and soil on the track have a negative effect on performance especially tracks with smaller gauges like the N scale.  For example, a bit of lint or grit may be equal to a tiny pebble to a bigger model.  Moreover, powered tracks can also collect scale from metal oxides when unlike metals of the track begin to meet the rolling stock wheels.

Do not use Excessive Lubricant

Any toy that has moving parts will need lubricants in order to keep the machine going. However too much lubricant especially for smaller models is bad. For example, the tip of a toothpick can hold enough lubricant to keep an N scale model train running smoothly for hundreds of hours.  Over lubrication will allow dust and other grit to collect which results to more frequent cleanings and lesser time enjoying the tracks.

Refer to Manufacturer Recommendations

It is always a good choice to refer to the manufacturer recommendations especially with regard to maintenance of your N scale model train. The instructions contain crucial information on how often the car or engine requires cleaning as well as the amount of lubricant needed to keep it functioning at optimum capacity.

Use Foam Cradle

We all know that the smaller the parts, the more fragile it is. Unless you are cleaning garden railroad streetcars you will need to be more careful when it comes to cleaning and maintaining your N scale trains. Enclosing the car or engine with soft foam will provide protection from damage, prevent paint from scratching and allow you to work much more comfortably and at ease.