How to Find the Best Model Trains to Begin Your Collection

TrainLife specializes in providing the best model trains for the most enthusiastic of collectors. However, our online store is a great place for those just starting out with their own model train collection. Here's what you need to know when beginning your model train collection.


Decide on the Scale

When beginning your model train collection, the first thing you need to decide what scale your model train collection will be based on. For the beginning, we recommend the HO scale at an 87.1:1 ratio, since it is the most common scale and will be the easiest to start getting the trains you desire and the accessories. The other scales you may want to look into are the O-Scale and the G-scale which are 48:1 and 22.5:1 respectively.


Find Your Locomotive

While you’re on the hunt for the best model trains, the first stop you should make is finding your locomotive as it is the power of your train. So what should you look for in a locomotive?

  • First, make sure it fits your scale.
  • Second, make sure it fits your theme and era of your collection.
  • Once you know those two things, the third step is to pick whether you want a steam, diesel, or catenary locomotive.

So what are you looking for?

Steam locomotives are often a popular choice since they can be quite realistic and feature smoke stacks with bottled smoke liquid. Diesel models feature realistic diesel sounds and catenary locomotives are unique with their overhead wire contact system. Model railroad stores and online train stores will feature all types of locomotives.


What Is Your Vision?

As you start your model train collection, keep in mind your overall vision of your collection. As you add on rolling stock and purchase accessories, make sure they fit your vision and theme. There are many carriage cars to choose from and you can add passenger cars, coach cars, flat cars, box cars, dining cars, theatre cars, etc.


Where to Find the Best Model Trains

When looking for model trains for sale, you want a model train store that has selection to help you choose all the various parts of your collection. If you’re looking for HO Scale model trains you will want a track to go along with it. Eventually, you’ll work your way to having structures, figures, and scenery supplies as well. When you’re looking for where to buy, make TrainLife your one-stop shop. We will meet all your needs, whether model trains, tracks, or accessories.

We would love to help you start your collection, visit our website and let’s get you started!




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