Top 8 Best N Scale Train Sets: Complete Buying Guide of 2021
You are fond of N scale train sets but not sure which one suits you. Sounds relatable? I know! Railfans face this dilemma all the time! These train sets are really wonderful. So, your fondness for them is quite understandable.
There are so many options available in the marketplace. The wide variety is bound to make you perplexed. But don’t worry, I have got it covered to save your time. Here, I will help you to find the best n scale train set that will keep you entertained.
So what are you waiting for? Be prepared to purchase a spellbinding and amusing set that will keep you entertained with its features by the time you reach the end of this article. Therefore, let us dive into the real talk without further delay!
Bachmann Trains – Spirit Of Christmas Electric Train Set
5 out of 5
Kato USA Model Train Products N CB&Q Streak
5 out of 5
Bachmann Trains Empire 68 Piece
4 out of 5
Kato USA Model Train Products N Amtrak P42
4.5 out of 5
4-8-2 Light Mountain Dcc Sound Value Equipped Steam
4.5 out of 5
Our Top 8 Best N Scale Train Sets in 2021
1. Bachmann Trains – Spirit Of Christmas Ready To Run Electric Train Set
Get ready for a festive addition to your tree this Christmas with the Bachmann Train – Spirit of Christmas set. This is the perfect train set to keep under your Christmas tree. It will enhance the festive mood and make Christmas more joyous for you.
But wait, that is not the only thing it offers. It is completely ready to go, so you don't have to put in the effort to create the set from scratch. A 0-6-0 steam-era locomotive and tender powers this train set.
Plus, it includes an old-time combine car and two old-time coach cars. These are all decorated to give you the perfect holiday vibes. Moreover, it features a 34 inch by 24-inch oval E-Z track. The track is made out of Nickel Silver. The roadbed track is also made out of Nickel Silver.
Apart from that, you will also get a power pack and speed controller with this train set. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about your train running out of power. Also, the speed controller enables you to take control of the train.
This train set has an N scale ratio of 1:160. You can, therefore, imagine the dimensions of the set. It will serve as a great train set for first-timers since it is completely ready to go and therefore does not require any kind of expertise.
So hurry up, and don’t forget to grab yours this Christmas!
2. Kato USA Model Train Products N CB&Q Streak Zephyr UNITRACK Starter Set
The Kato UNITRACK starter set is the ultimate train set you can get your hands on. It cannot get any better than this. So keep reading to get to know the amazing features that this starter set offers.
This N scale train set has a loop of Kato UNITRACK with a dimension of 4 inches by 3 inches. The loop also comes with a re-railing crossing.
You don’t have to be tensed about the train running out of power. That is because the set comes with a Kato 12V power pack. There are plugs that you can use to connect the power pack to the Kato UNITRACK loop which makes it incredibly easy for you to use.
As its name suggests, this set has a complete CB&Q Silver Streak Zephyr locomotive and Budd corrugated car set. Among these, there are five individually lettered cars and one locomotive. You will have the advantage of upgrading all of the cars with optional interior lighting kits.
The EMD E5A Silver bullet pulls this gorgeous set of trains. Apart from that, E5A is also DCC friendly.
An instruction booklet will guide you on how to use this train set. After that, you will be able to construct complex basement layouts, all thanks to the UNITRACK’s modular snap-track design. A seamless front cowling and special skirted trucks boost the speed of the train.
You are bound to get mesmerized by this gorgeous 40’s era train set.
3. Bachmann Trains Empire Builder Ready To Run 68 Piece Electric Train Set
The Bachmann Train Empire electric train set is one that is tough to beat. This 68 piece freight train set will entertain you and keep you busy. You will never get bored of this amazing train set.
If you are an experienced hobbyist, then this is the ideal N scale train set for you. This ready to run 68 piece freight train set is powered by a Northern 4-8-4 steam-era locomotive and tender along with operating headlights.
The set of cars that come with this set include a single dome tank car, wood braced gondola car, plug-door box car, open quad offset hopper car, wood reefer car, wood stock car, center-flow hopper car, offset cupola caboose, and wood reefer car.
It also includes 1 curved plug-in terminal rerailer, 8 pieces of straight tracks, and 11 curved tracks. Other accessories include 24 pieces of the railroad and street signs, 12 telephone poles, a power pack, speed controller and an instruction manual to help you set it up.
The power pack will make sure the train does not run out of power, and the speed controller will help you control the speed of the train.
Apart from that, this Empire Builder train set comes with a 44 inch by 24-inch oval-shaped nickel silver E-Z track. This exclusive E-Z track by Bachmann is designed with a snap-fit track and roadbed system. I forget to mention that the set has an N scale of 1:160.
4. Kato USA Model Train Products N Amtrak P42 Superliner Phase IVb Starter Set
The Kato USA Model Train N Amtrak P42 Superliner is the perfect starter set for amateurs. If you are someone who is attracted to rail and train sets, then this is the ideal setting for you.
This UNITRACK starter set opens the door for endless possibilities. It includes a P42 Genesis locomotive and 3 Amtrak Superliner Phase IVb passenger cars. Not only that, but this set also includes a loop of Kato UNITRACK. The loop comes with a re-railing crossing.
The 12V power pack that comes with this train will make sure your train never runs out of power. Moreover, the power pack can easily be connected to the Kato UNITRACK loop. It comes with easy to use plugs that will make the process very simple.
An instruction booklet will help you assemble this set. Thanks to UNITRACK’s modular snap track design, you will be able to build the track however you want. Be it a complicated design or just a simple one, you can fulfill all your rail-track desires with this set.
Since this is a starter kit, you will not need any kind of prior expertise to play with this set. The rail tracks are easy to build; they can be enjoined in a quick click, and separated with a single snap. Therefore, this is perfect for beginners who have just discovered their love for trains.
5. 4-8-2 Light Mountain Dcc Sound Value Equipped Steam Locomotive Southern #1489
The powerful features of the Light Mountain Dcc steam locomotive Southern train by Bachmann will make you crave its purchase. Not only is it a treat for the eye, but it is also packed with interesting elements. Thus it is undoubtedly the best n scale train set out there.
This set is sound equipped with Dcc econami. It also has a dual-mode NMRA compliant decoder. Since it is a factory set for 4-8-2 realism, it offers a lot of different variations of sounds. These sounds include 16 different types of whistles, 6 bell types with several variations, 5 air pumps, and 4 primary version chuffs.
Along with that, you will also find grade crossing signal, blowdown, coupling/uncoupling, water stop, brake squeal/ release, “all aboard”/ coach doors, and 4 dynamos plus cylinder cocks in 16 bit polyphonic sound. How cool is that?
Wait, it doesn't end here. It has a precision motor that works efficiently. Along with that, features such as an operating headlight, a gear drive, and a completely hidden drive train make it one of the best in the market.
The accessories such as the pop valves, bell, handrails, and whistle are incredibly detailed. The E-Z Mate Mark II coupler, rear, builder's plate, and dummy coupler make the train look realistic. The train also has traction tires.
Die-cast metal is used to make the chassis of the train. Along with that, the driver axle bearings are also made of metal. All of these perform best on tracks with a radius starting from 11.25.
6. N F7 Freight Train Set Santa Fe Bluebonnet 5-Unit Set
The N F7 Freight Train set is the perfect set to kick off your journey. This product by Kato USA Model Train Products is sure to keep you entertained and help your interest in this hobby grow more.
Although this set does not include any tracks, it is one of a kind on its own. The F7A locomotive included in this set will give you an idea about the features that this set offers. Plus, this set also comes with 4 assorted freight cars.
There is a total of 5 pieces of cars in this set including the locomotive. That makes it the ideal choice of any beginner who has just started working with such models. If you already have a track layout set up, or intend to buy Kato’s master series tracks, this is the one for you! The beginning train created from this set will inevitably make the experience enjoyable.
All you have to do is add track and power, and you are good to go! Since this set does not include a power pack, make sure you have one with you beforehand.
The trains meet the same high standard as every other product offered by Kato USA Model Train Products. Therefore, they are capable of being expanded or rolled into existing layouts, making them very versatile.
It is can also be the perfect gift for people being introduced to train sets. So make sure you grab this.
7. N Superliner Set, Amtrak/Phase III C (2)
If you are a hobbyist interested in train sets, then the N Superliner set is one that you simply cannot afford to miss out on. This one is among the various brand new N scale items offered by Kato.
This train set is engineered with utmost precision so that you can get the most realistic experience. Apart from that, you must know that Kato is known for its quality products. And the same quality standard is maintained in this N scale train set too.
The details used in the trains are crafted carefully. They are created to match real trains that you come across in real life. The only difference between the real ones and the N scale is, one built to be used as toys and the other one is for use in real-life transport.
Otherwise, you will not be able to find any difference between the appearance of these N scale Amtrak trains and the real ones. The details used in this Superliner set by Kato makes the set truly capable of matching the real ones.
This set comes with two Amtrak Superliners which will keep you busy and entertained throughout the day. The operation of these trains on all types of curves and tight clearances is superb. And, amazingly it is very fast.
I’m telling you, this is a keeper!
8. Bachmann Industries E-Z Track Nickel Silver E-Z Track Auto Reversing System
Bachmann Industries has always delivered high-quality products. This E-Z track auto reversing system offered by Bachmann has lived up to the top-notch standard Bachmann is known for. I can assure you that you will not regret spending your money on this one.
This set is equipped with Bachmann’s exclusive electronic auto-reversing E-Z track system. The E-Z track is made from Nickel Silver. Not only is it fun to play with this set, but it is also very easy to set up. The tracks have a grey roadbed made of Nickel Silver.
Thanks to the E-Z track, you will have your tracks set up in no time. Along with that, this is the perfect track to transit freight and passengers from one point of your layout to another. You will get a stop time of 5 to 7 seconds. This is more than enough to drop off passengers and parcels.
In this set, you will get 2 pieces of 5" E-Z track, 4 pieces of 11.25 radius curved auto-reversing E-Z track, 4 pieces of 5" straight auto-reversing E-Z track, a power pack, 2 Hayes bumpers, and a variable speed controller.
The variable speed controller will enable you to determine the speed at which your train is traveling. Also, you can add other accessories to this set, but you will have to purchase them separately.
This set has an N scale ratio of 1:160, which is the standard set by the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA). The set does not include a trolley.
The Buying Guide For N Scale Train Sets
Now, before you purchase anything, you will have to consider a lot of factors. All that glitters is not gold. Therefore, you cannot just decide to buy a product just because you like its appearance. It sounds difficult, doesn’t it?
But there is nothing to worry about as you are reading the buying guidance right now. If you manage to keep an eye on some crucial factors, you will not face much difficulty in finalizing the product you want to purchase.
When you intend to buy something, the first thought that comes to your mind is: How much will it cost? Money plays a very crucial role in everyone’s life. Financial limitations are bound to hold you captive, and that is perfectly normal.
To make sure that you don’t interrupt your daily necessities, you must think of a budget. You will have to carefully evaluate the amount you spend on basic needs every month. The amount of money that remains after that is the amount you will spend on other things.
Now, I’m sure an N scale train is not the only thing you need to buy apart from your basic amenities. Therefore, you will have to analyze all your expenses and finalize an amount you will be able to spend. Only then, you can start looking at options within your budget.
N scale train sets do not only consist of trains and tracks. There are a lot of other accessories that can come as a part of these sets. You will have to take a look at the accessories that come with the set.
Most sets include a power pack and speed controllers along with the trains and track. Make sure you get your hands on one of these. Otherwise, you will have to buy a power pack and speed controller separately, and no one wants that extra hassle.
Each set has a locomotive. While that is fixed, the number of cars in the set differ greatly. Some sets may have five cars, while some can have two. Therefore, you will need to decide which one you prefer.
If you already have several cars, then you can undoubtedly go for the ones with two cars. But if you don't, then you will be more inclined towards the ones with more cars.
Now, there are a lot of brands in the market which claim to sell the best n scale train set. But most do not live up to their claims. While some brands are disappointing, there are other, more authentic brands in the market too.
The question that arises here is: How do I know which brand is better? Well, don’t worry, mate! This is an era where technology rules everything. All you have to do is look up the brand on the internet. You will have all the details of the company in front of you in no time.
If you come across any negative element in those details, I would advise you to steer clear of that brand.
They say don’t judge a book by its cover but here, we must judge the brand value by the brand history we see. So, if you see that the articles you read about the brand are positive, you are good to go for it!
I am sure you don't want to spend your hard-earned money on low-quality things. Do you? I know that the answer is most definitely a firm no. No matter how much money you have, you will never want to spend it on temporary things that do not last long.
To save yourself from this wastage of money, you will have to make sure that the N scale train set that you are buying is of high quality. And how are you going to do that?
First of all, if you come across an N scale train set that fits your budget and requirement, you need to read the product description thoroughly. Take a look at the products that the manufacturer has claimed to use in the manufacturing process.
Do a bit of research about the materials mentioned in the description. Besides that, read customer reviews very carefully. They will give you clear insights into the practical capabilities and faults of the product.
If after all of this you still think that the product will live up to its claims, then the path to your purchase is clear.
Frequently Asked Questions
What size is an N scale?
It is a popular model railway scale. Although the scale ranges from the ratios 1:148 to 1:160, the distance between the rails is 9mm in all cases.
How many cars can an N scale locomotive pull?
The capacity of the locomotive mainly depends on the manufacturer. Different locomotives are manufactured with different pulling capacities.
Some locomotives may not be able to pull more than 20 cars, while other more good ones manage to pull up to 45 train cars.
What are sound decoders in an N scale?
Sound decoders are units that are installed in onboard with the model of your layout. They are installed along with a speaker to create sounds that will come from the locomotive itself.
What does it mean when a set is Dcc friendly?
Dcc is the abbreviation of Digital Command Control. When a turnout is said to be DCC friendly in an N scale train set, it means that you will be able to control each locomotive on an electric section of a track independently.
That’s all, folks! I am going to end this brief discussion on the best n scale train sets here. The n scale train sets that I have discussed above have been reviewed with careful consideration. Each one of them stands out in their way.
However, the ideal n scale train set for you will be the one that fits all your requirements such as your budget, choice of accessories, and the brand you prefer. I hope that you have found your ideal n scale train set by the end of this article. Only then I will feel accomplished.
Thank you for reading until the end of this carefully analyzed article.