Finding a hobby nowadays isn’t that difficult because there are far too many options than there were in the previous decades. However, if you like to spend your free time on a hobby that would engage your skills, help you improve them, and even help you get to have some bonding time with family, it wouldn’t hurt to get inspiration from hobbies from previous eras.

Take model railroading and train sets as an example. Although they made it huge in the previous century, they were an invention of the 19th century, with German manufacturer Märklin being the first mass producer in 1891. Over the years, they’ve undergone advancements, keeping up the pace with technological changes.

So, although it would be like taking up an age-old hobby perhaps your father, grandfather, or even great-grandfather were also fond of, it’s still with a modern twist. Especially when you consider the range of highly realistic electric train set models you can find at the RC specialised stores.

Read more: Model Train Sets: Learn Something More About These Vintage-Inspired Toys


Which Toy Train Set Is the Best?

model trains

From Hornby’s Harry Potter Hogwarts Express, Flying Scotsman, Santa’s Express, High-Speed train, and Coca-Cola’s Summertime set, to Lionel’s North Pole Central, Thomas and Friends, and the Polar Express, these are among the exceptional and popular ones. There are also some historic models you can choose from and have fun learning more about the way they were built and the way they worked.

Some of the available choices are collection sets, play sets, feature sets, and rolling stock plus accessories. Out of these, the first is sought after by both beginners and collectors for their high quality and durability. The second is battery-operated, while the third comes with all the needed supplies for a beginner to be able to create a complete layout.

The fourth is an option with some limited-edition models and provides hobbyists with the chance to customise the layout with unique pieces. The electric power also offers more options you can select from, such as AC (alternating current), DC (direct current) and DCC (digital command control). AC is the main choice for three-rail systems, DC for two-rail, and DCC for the more pro-hobbyist sets when you require more power.

As for tracks, there are both plastic and metal alternatives that you can choose depending on the budget and quality you’re after. This makes the hobby fit for people of all ages and entertaining for the whole family. To reap all the benefits it can offer, including basic electrical skills, dexterity, and enhanced planning of the layout and available space, you ought to know how to find the suitable electric train set for you, your knowledge, and the fun you’re after. Start by considering the scales.

HO Scale

HO scale model railroad

This is one of the most popular scales you can find the train sets in, which is the 1:87 scale, half of the O scale, with a .625-inch track gauge. Because of this, you can find them at most hobby stores, and for most of the trendy models.

What’s behind this popularity is the perfect size of these models which makes them fit any home, any room, or even any corner. So, even if you don’t have too much of a space for the hobby in a tiny home you can still make room for a toy of this scale.

N Scale

This is the 1:16 scale with a .375-inch gauge. It’s half the size of the HO models, and as such it’s even better for compact homes. Thanks to this, you have the flexibility to build a bigger layout without worrying about the space. However, remember that the smaller the model, the less details you can get.

O Scale

With a 1.25-inch gauge, this is the 1:48 model scale. Although it’s big, one of the benefits is high detailing that looks very life-like because of the precision it’s done with. As most run on three-rail tracks, you can create layouts without requiring any complex electrical wiring.

G Scale

G scale model train

These models are in 1:22.5 with a 1.75-inch gauge. These are truly large, the largest you can find, and as such, they’re perfect for large areas you can use only for them – it could be a garage, a larger metal shed, or an open space like a garden.

Z Scale

This is one of the smallest options of model sets available, with the 1:220 scale and a 0.256-inch gauge. They got this letter because it was said no other smaller train would ever be made. One great thing about these tiny models is you can carry them anywhere with you, so you can have a part of your hobby no matter where you are.

S Scale

This is a higher-end option with the 1:64 scale size and .883-inch gauge. This used to be the standard, as it was the most common model choice available years ago. It’s also known as American Flyer.