Electric Train Set For Christmas


Instead of the standard gift exchange at Christmastime this year we’re considering one gift for the family.  Brad is the right age for the once in a life-time train set and the rest of us has good memories of other train sets of Christmases before.

Years ago, Elv’s mother picked up a train set and oddments pertaining thereto at a garage sale.  She was surprised with Elv’s delight.  He says, “She had no idea that I, at 17 years old, would set it up in the living room on the hardwood floor  of  the farmhouse where we lived.”  It’s the loss we regret the most from our house fire three months after we married. 

This morning I’ve been looking online at train sets.  I soon realized that I needed a 101 course on scale and gauge.  And how ever am I to know if a steel gauge on road bed means that the track is metal and will stay together without after market soldering?! And what serious train enthusiast wants a Harry Potter train set!  The passenger train sets are boring.  And do I want that new and popular scale Z? I doubt it. Can you imagine the guys’ big logger hands handling the tiny pieces without flying apart themselves? What we really would enjoy is going to cost just as much as all our gift buying combined ever did! How about a G scale  train…the cars are close to 7 inches high. They call it a garden scale train. I can just see a rail set up in the flower gardens with the little train choo-chooing in and out among the dahlias, marigolds, and shrubbery, can’t you?

I’m in the market for somone’s old castoff  boxes of trains and tracks sitting back there under the eaves in the attic.  The tracks have to be metal and the we prefer that the train is industrial with an engine or two, coal cars, log cars, box cars, and a veritable caboose. And of course, it should be powered by electricity. 

3 thoughts on “Electric Train Set For Christmas”

  1. Yes, Arla, trains are a man's lifetime toy! Rudy Blyer has train track close to the ceiling and still plays with his train; it does take maintenance. He knows some of the answers to the questions you asked.

    When Dales lived in Indiana Marks had a big train things going and the guys spent lots of Sundays playing train. Go for it!

    Love MOM!


  2. I was about 5 years old when I came out to the living room Christmas morning and found a train running around and around on an oval track with my name on a card in one of the open cars. I can't remember what scale it was, maybe N. The cars were about 10 or 12 inches long and maybe 4 or 5 inches high. The track was oval shaped with three rails with the oval about four feet by two feet. There were no houses or anything, just those three rails, a transformer, and a spot that I could decouple cars if I hit a switch when it crossed that spot. This last feature wasn't the set's strong point. The engine was a dark blue Sante Fe switch engine from maybe the 1930's, but it looked like the one that I saw working sometimes. There was a white box car, a green open coal or ore car, and a gray flat car with two orange “electrical wire” spools held on by rubber bands. The caboose was red.

    I loved that train and spent hours just going around and around that short little track. My brother played with it later. I still have it in its original box. As far as I know it would still work if I could find a rubber grip for one of the drive wheels. And no, it isn't for sale.

    My cousin had an HO train, which was smaller but had more realistic track. His had a working headlight, and one night we turned a clear plastic napkin holder upside down over the track and watched the whole thing light up when the train came through.

    Unless you really are going to set it up in a garden, I'd recommend the HO. The guys hand will be able to handle the smaller sizes.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s