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Bachmann Trains

Updated on December 11, 2017

Bachmann Electric Trains

Bachmann electric trains are made by Bachmann Industries, a company founded in the United States, and are one of the most popular brands of trains around. Bachmann model trains are made in four scales: Bachmann HO scale, Bachmann N scale, Bachmann On30 scale and Bachmann G scale. When it comes to price, Bachman trains tend to cost a good bit less than European model trains -- though many Bachmann trains (but not all) tend not to be quite as detailed either. The quality of Bachmann trains runs from inexpensive "toy trains" (not based upon an actual real-life prototype) to more detailed "model trains". And speaking of toy trains, Bachmann also makes some fun Christmas train sets ideal for putting under your tree!

Bachmann Spectrum HO Scale Acela Set

Bachmann Spectrum HO Acela Set
Bachmann Spectrum HO Acela Set

Bachmann HO Scale Trains

HO Scale is the most popular scale of model trains. At 1/87th the size of a real train, these electric trains are big enough to show lots of details, but small enough to have a layout on your dining room table. Bachmann HO trains run in quality from dirt-cheap toy trains for kids to the upscale Bachmann Spectrum model trains, which are more detailed models at a higher price, and Bachmann has train sets for everyone in between those extremes.

Bachmann Thomas the Train HO Sets are the only officially licensed Thomas the Train HO products in the United States. These are sturdy toy trains, with controls that are easy for young children to use (remember, these are electric toys, so adult supervision is requied). Bachmann has sets for the engines: Thomas, Percy, James and Gordon (and maybe others I've missed).

Bachmann Spectrum HO Train Sets are more highly detailed train sets, such as the Bachmann Amtrak Acela train set pictured above. Bachmann also makes some very nice Spectrum steam engine sets modeled after U.S. prototypes.

Bachmann DCC HO Train Sets allow model train engineers to use the latest Digital Command Control. Bachmann DCC trains allow the use of chips that can allow for control of multiple trains at one time with the Bachmann E-Z Command controller, and also allow for many different sound effects and lighting settings. The Bachmann Digital Commander set is a reasonably priced Bachmann DCC starter set with 2 engines, 3 freight cars, an oval of track, power source and DCC controller, all at a very reasonable price.

Bachmann HO Scale Thomas the Train Set

Bachmann N Scale Locomotive

Bachmann N Scale Train Set

Bachmann N Scale Trains

N scale is the 2nd most popular scale of model trains in the United States. Bachmann N scale trains are produced modeled after a wide variety of prototypes -- from old wood-burning steam engines, to coal, electric and diesel powered prototypes. Again, Bachmann produces these to fit any budget: from inexpensive Bachman N scale starter sets to DCC enabled trains (Digital controls).

Bachmann On30 Train Set

Bachmann On30 Scale Train

Bachmann On30 Scale Trains

On30 is a somewhat unique scale of model trains, less common but certainly appealing to some niches of train modeling. On30 scale uses HO scale track (and wheel sets) but the bodies of the train are O scale.

On30 scale is often used to model narrow-gauge railroads, such as those in the American West (for example, the Denver & Rio Grand set above), which were used in mountainous terrain where it was necessary to use a narrower track. On30 is also used for some Christmas trains and Christmas trolleys -- allowing HO modelers to use their HO track to run big and fun Christmas toy trains.

Bachmann G Scale Train Set

Bachmann G Scale North Pole Set
Bachmann G Scale North Pole Set

Bachmann G Scale Train Garden Railroad

Bachmann G Scale Trains

Bachmann G Scale trains, also called Bachmann Large Scale trains, are made in the largest scale that is widely commercially available. G scale trains are often used in Garden Railroads (or Garden Railways) and are also popular for Christmas trains and Christmas trolleys. While many of the Bachmann G scale trains are less detailed toy trains, Bachmann also makes detailed G-scale model trains that have many of the details of the original prototype trains.

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I just found a bachmann set in a garage. in is the empire builder #24009. It looks different than the ones I see on the internet. the box has the train heading toward the right on mine, and the cars are a little different than the ones on the internet. the car behind the engine has 3780 on it and instead of the state of main car it has a gerber baby food car. One person told be that bachmann quit making the gerber car in the 70's. the set has never been set up. the box is in very good shape and the cars have never been removed.

      does anyone know anything about this set?

    • lyndoman profile image


      7 years ago from London

      To be honest I'm not considering Bachmann as a starter set, I think I will go with Hornby. But some of the detail in the Bachmann trains rock. But I eventually want to go DCC and can I run both makes on one DCC set up.

    • funwithtrains profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from USA

      @New G Man: You should be able to run the North Pole & Southern set outside (though I would not leave it outside when not in use). Have fun!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I've had my trains since I was 8 and I am 20 now and they run fine. All bachmann. Bachmann 4ever!!:)

    • profile image

      New G Man 

      7 years ago

      Hi All!! I'm new at this so please forgive me---

      I live in Maine and I heard that Bachmann G Scale is not to be run out doors. I'm looking at a North Pole & Southern and was wondering if it could run outside and be expanded through the yard? Thanks, Frankie

    • profile image

      Train Sets 

      8 years ago

      Looking at this hub takes me back a few years! I can remember receiving my first electric train set when I was seven or eight. The Bachmann trains look great I particularly like the look of the Bachmann N Scale Locomotive. Nice Hub!

    • profile image

      Paul Casey 

      8 years ago

      Wow, the Bachmann Spectrum HO Acela Set looks like a blast. There are alot of modern railway systems in eastern europe that would be fun to make scale layouts of.

    • PaulGoodman profile image


      8 years ago

      What a great exposé on Bachmann! I really like the look of their G Scale. I'm going to look into whether the wife will let me expand the garden to put one of these through it. Great hub!

    • MyTrainBrain profile image


      8 years ago from Kansas

      Wow I had forgotten about the north pole special train, I had a good time with it. Thanks!

    • profile image

      Cody O'Leary 

      8 years ago

      Bachman, your 2-8-0 are WIN! i love them, i wish though they where cheaper though so we can buy them XD

      anywho, just wanted to say good job on the conso's, really nice

    • funwithtrains profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from USA

      Thanks Deryck, I should have said Bachmann was founded in the USA -- I have now corrected that.

    • profile image

      Deryck Coleman 

      9 years ago

      All Bachman products are made in China not the US. The 'Spectrum' range has some excellent models. Both On30 and 1:20 Scale items are more expensive but are superbly detailed. To look at you would think 'brass' (you would also need some to purchase especially with the current exchange rate.

    • funwithtrains profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from USA

      Hi gatorman, hard to diagnose the problem without seeing it, but I have a couple of thoughts: (1) if you think that uneven track is the problem, you can get new Bachmann pretty cheaply here: (2) if the track seems o.k., you may consider adding a little weight to the cars to help them hold the track better -- you can find those here: -- Good luck!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I have an HO Bachman Wonderland Express I bought 10 years ago. I have tried to use it once a year at Christmas to put around my tree. However, it is so delicate that the cars habitually come off the track. This is so frustrating, I have had very little enjoyment with this train. Any suggestions?

    • funwithtrains profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from USA

      Thanks Bob, seems like many of us have good memories about model trains!

    • Bob Ewing profile image

      Bob Ewing 

      9 years ago from New Brunswick

      This took me back a few years to think about an old friend's father who was ana vid model railroader, thanks.

    • funwithtrains profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from USA

      Thanks pjdscott! Yes, I have the Acela set and it is very nicely done, and runs smoothly and fast (like the real thing). It's also kind of nice to have a model of a train I've actually ridden -- somewhat of a rare opportunity here in the U.S. these days.

    • pjdscott profile image


      9 years ago from Durham, UK

      A super hub - I know a lot about bachmann since they make excellent British outline 'OO' stuff. The Acela set looks superb - I wonder how many youngsters are still receiving train sets as presents? It's a lovely hobby and thanks for promoting it!


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