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Bachmann Garden Trains and AccessoriesGarden Railroading Primer Articles: All about getting a Garden Railroad up and running well Best Choices for Beginning Garden Railroaders: a short list of things you're most likely to need when starting out
Large Scale Starter Sets: Begin with a train you'll be proud to run Bachmann Garden Trains: Narrow Gauge models designed to run well in your Garden Railroad
Large Scale Track order Form Buildings and accessories for outdoor railroading
Large Scale Christmas Trains: Trains with a holiday theme for garden or professional display railroads.Free Large Scale Signs and Graphics: Bring your railroad to life with street signs, business signs, and railroad signs
Garden Railroading Books, Magazines, and Videos: Where to go to learn even more
Collectible Trains and Villages: On30 Trains and accessories designed by Thomas Kinkade and others

Written by Paul D. Race for Family Garden Trains(tm) and Garden Train Store(tm)



Bachmann starter sets, such as the ones shown on this page, make an excellent initial investment, even if you're still trying to decide what kind of railroad you want or exactly where you want it to go. If you later wind up modeling a whole 'nudder different kind of railroad, the Bachmann trains are sturdy and inexpensive enough to keep as backup, to use around the Christmas tree, or to let the kids or grandkids run.

Bachmann's Large Scale trains are accurately detailed models of real narrow-gauge trains that used to run in North America. Most narrow-gauge trains in this country ran on tracks that had the rails 36" apart. (This was in contrast to "standard-gauge" trains, which had the rails 56 1/2" apart.) Such railroads included the Denver and Rio Grande (later the Denver and Rio Grande Western) in the West, and the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad (nicknamed the "Tweetsie") in the East. There were a host of other narrow-gauge railroads all over the United States, most of which were absorbed into other lines by the middle of the 20th century. But such variety leads many Garden Railroaders to invent their own railroad names and locations and feel good about it--since something similar most likely existed somewhere.

Models of narrow-gauge trains tend to be charming and to look old-fashioned compared to models of standard-gauge trains. They also tend to be larger in scale, so the figurines and accessories that go with them are larger and less likely to get lost in the undergrowth. If you want to know all there is to know about garden train scales, refer to the article Which Scale Should I Model on the Family Garden Train's Primer page.

These trains work great outside and are designed to hold up to sun, heat, cold, and dampness. However, when you do move outside, you'll want to purchase some track that is made for the garden (The track that comes with the trains isn't), and you'll want larger curves anyway--trains look better and run better on wider curves. Some other pages that might help you with such decisions include:

Update for 2016 - Bachmann manufactures these trains in huge batches, and doesn't make another batch until the previous batch of the same train has pretty much disappeared from the shelves. So from Bachmann's point of view, the second and third train on this page are - technically - discontinued. They are brand new, with a lifetime warranty, so you never have to worry about getting parts. The only reason I'm pointing this out is that supplies of these trains is getting a little "thin" in some areas, and we don't expect a new batch for a couple of years.

On the "good side," Bachmann made another batch of the Virginia and Truckee set that they call the "Silverado." Whether you are interested in modeling this particular Western short line or not, you have to admit that the locomotive has one of the fanciest paind jobs you've ever seen on a model train. I'm sorry not to have a REAL closeup of the locomotive, but mine's in storage due to a move.

A Note about "Buyer's Guides" We post these descriptions to help you make informed decisions and to learn what is available, even if the suppliers we usually recommend have a short supply. In some cases, we will allow a description to remain on line, even without a supplier link, if we have reason to believe that the product will become available again later. If you want a particular product, but we have no supplier button or the supplier's page says they are sold out, let us know, and we'll try to help you find one elsewhere. We apologize if this causes you any inconvenience or confusion.

For more detailed information about why model trains and related products seem to "come and go" and why I have stopped listing prices for products, please see our article "About Pricing and Availability."

Note about Suppliers: While we try to help you get the products you want by recommending suppliers with a good record of customer service, all transactions between you and the supplier you chose to provide your trains or other purchases are governed by the published policies on the supplier's web site. So please print off any order confirmation screens and save copies of invoices, etc., so you can contact the appropriate supplier should any problems occur. (They almost never do, but you want to be on the safe side.)

Bachmann Starter sets

Starter Sets include an oval of track (14-20 pieces), power pack and speed controller, and an illustrated Bach Man instruction manual. Many include a "how-to" video as well. Several of the most recent and most popular sets are shown below. For more information or to check pricing and availability from one or more of our suppliers, please click on a "check stock" button.


Bachmann North Woods Hauler Logging Set - In honor of the narrow gauge logging trains that went places the big standard gauge trains couldn't, Bachmann has reintroduced a classic mogul (2-6-0) locomotive that they made years ago, but have updated for this offering, and added a log car and a "bobber" caboose that was typical of logging operations.

Bachmann has reengineered this locomotive several times so it's more reliable than ever. It has operating headlight, smoke, speed-synchronized sound, and a coal tender.

Ringling Bros, Barnum and Bailey - Fifteen years ago, Bachmann's circus trains were among their most popular. Two years ago, Bachmann reintroduced their biggest circus train under agreement with Ringling Bros, Barnum and Bailey Circus to include their name and design elements.

The locomotive is reengineered so that that it runs smoother and pulls better than the old stock. Bachmann has reengineered this locomotive several times so it's more reliable than ever. It has operating headlight, smoke, speed-synchronized sound, and a coal tender. It pulls three circus car. The last car is a lighted "combine" coach, for extra fun running at night.

This train is officially "discontinued," which means that Bachmann won't be making another batch for some time, possibly for yers. So if you like big trains, and you like circus trains, don't wait too long to get this one.


Bachmann Union Pacific Freight Set - The Union Pacific Railroad was actually started during the Civil War, running westward from Iowa, with the hope of connecting with another railroad coming East from California. Eventually it did, and and now the UP is the largest railroad in the United States.

This 4-6-0 locomotive has the funnel-shaped smokestack of mid-to-late 1800s locomotives which might have to burn wood - the big smokestack was designed to help catch cinders which might otherwise land on the coach roofs and cause a fire. The locomotive has an operating headlight, smoke, speed-synchronized sound, and a coal tender. It pulls a stock car and caboose.


Large Scale Christmas Trains: Trains with a holiday theme for garden or professional display railroads.Bachmann Christmas Sets - To see Bachmann Large Scale trains that are painted specifically for Christmas, please check out our more track options for garden railroads, please check out our sister site's Large Scale Christmas Trains page.


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Give your Trains Room to Run

Trains look better and run better on wide curves. The track packaged with the trains on this page uses narrow curves and is not designed for use out of doors. Save it to put around the Christmas tree or for other indoor uses and give your trains room to run outside.

The most widely used kinds of track for garden trains was invented by LGB. AristoCraft and USA Trains make a similar version with better connectors. And Bachmann has recently introduced their own solid brass track (don't order the "indoor track" by accident).

The following track products are compatible (although the shape and color of the ties might vary a little from one brand to the next. They all UV-resistant ties and solid brass rails in a formula that weathers to a nice realistic brown color in a few years outside. Think of your train as the "software" and your track as the "hardware." No matter how nice your trains are, they will never run like they should unless they are running on the best track.

Where we could find a working Amazon link we have included it. But we provided the product numbers of brands we couldn't find online in case you find them in a store and wonder what they are.

Although most Large Scale track circles use 12 pieces to make a circle, this track is designed to be mechanically compatible with LGB's 1600 curves (also called R3), which use 16 pieces to a circle.

CURVED Track with Solid Brass Rail AristoCraft/
GeneratioNext Std. Gauge
(US) #
AristoCraft/
GeneratioNext Narrow Gauge
(Euro) #
LGB
(Euro) #
Bachmann # Piko # USA Trains #
5'-Diameter Curve Track (12 pieces make a circle. LGB calls this "R2".) 30110 11500 15000 (R2) 94654   R81500
6'-Diameter Curve Track (12 pieces make a circle)         35213
 
8'-Diameter Curve Track (16 pieces make a circle. LGB calls this "R3".) 30115 11600 16000 (R3) 94655A 35215
R81600
10'-Diameter Curve Track (12 pieces make a circle.) 30120 11800     35217 (24 pieces make a circle)
R81700
15'-Diameter Curve Track (24 pieces make a circle.)     1800      

STRAIGHT Track with Solid Brass Rail AristoCraft/
GeneratioNext Std. Gauge
(US) #
AristoCraft/
GeneratioNext Narrow Gauge
(Euro) #
LGB
(Euro) #
Bachmann ) # Piko # USA Trains #
1' Straight Track (usually comes in a box of 12 pieces) 30030 11000 10000 (300mm)
94651 35200 (320mm) R81000
2' Straight Track (usually comes in a box of 12 pieces) 30060 11060 10600   35208 R81060

Large Scale Track order FormTo see many more track options for garden railroads, please check out our Track Order Page.

Click to see exclusive, licensed train collections in your favorite sports team colors!


Visit related pages and affiliated sites:
- Trains and Hobbies -
Return to Family Garden Trains Home page
Return to Big Indoor Trains Home page
Garden Railroading Primer Articles: All about getting a Garden Railroad up and running well Big Indoor Trains Primer Articles: All about setting up and displaying indoor display trains and towns. Garden Train Store: Index to train, track, and other products for Garden RailroadingBig Christmas Trains: Directory of Large Scale and O Scale trains with holiday themes
On30 and O Gauge trains to go with indoor display villages and railroads
Visit Lionel Trains. Click to see Thomas Kinkaded-inspired Holiday Trains and Villages. Big Christmas Train Primer: Choosing and using model trains with holiday themes Free Large Scale Signs and Graphics: Bring your railroad to life with street signs, business signs, and railroad signs Click to see HO scale trains with your favorite team's colors.
- Christmas Memories and Collectibles -
Visit the FamilyChristmasOnline site. Visit Howard Lamey's glitterhouse gallery, with free project plans, graphics, and instructions. Click to return to the Old Christmas Tree Lights Table of Contents Page Click to sign up for Maria Cudequest's craft and collectibles blog.
Click to visit Fred's Noel-Kat store.
Visit the largest and most complete cardboard Christmas 'Putz' house resource on the Internet.
- Family Activities and Crafts -
Click to see reviews of our favorite family-friendly Christmas movies. Free, Family-Friendly Christmas Stories Decorate your tree the old-fashioned way with these kid-friendly projects. Free plans and instructions for starting a hobby building vintage-style cardboard Christmas houses. Click to find free, family-friendly Christmas poems and - in some cases - their stories. Traditional Home-Made Ornaments
- Music -
Heartland-inspired music, history, and acoustic instrument tips.
Best-loved railroad songs and the stories behind them.
Visit musings about music on our sister site, School of the Rock With a few tools and an hour or two of work, you can make your guitar, banjo, or mandolin much more responsive.  Instruments with movable bridges can have better-than-new intonation as well. Acoustic-based, traditional, singer-songwriter, and folk music with a Western focus. Check out our article on finding good used guitars.
Carols of many countries, including music, lyrics, and the story behind the songs. X and Y-generation Christians take Contemporary Christian music, including worship, for granted, but the first generation of Contemporary Christian musicians faced strong, and often bitter resistance. Different kinds of music call for different kinds of banjos.  Just trying to steer you in the right direction. New, used, or vintage - tips for whatever your needs and preferences. Wax recordings from the early 1900s, mostly collected by George Nelson.  Download them all for a 'period' album. Explains the various kinds of acoustic guitar and what to look for in each.
Look to Riverboat Music buyers' guide for descriptions of musical instruments by people who play musical instruments. Learn 5-string banjo at your own speed, with many examples and user-friendly explanations. Explains the various kinds of banjos and what each is good for. Learn more about our newsletter for roots-based and acoustic music. Folks with Bb or Eb instruments can contribute to worship services, but the WAY they do depends on the way the worship leader approaches the music. A page devoted to some of Paul's own music endeavors.