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A Model Train Beginners First Train Set

A question that I am asked A LOT is by beginners is

“What train set would you recommend as a good start for my first layout?”

I’ll be honest with you, I’ve been into model railroading for more than 30 years now, so it’s been a while since I’ve bought a “starter” train set. 

However, what I would suggest to anyone looking to get the hobby to go straight into DCC (Digital Command Control) rather than DC (Direct Current) – for more information about DCC have a look here.

Another suggestion would be is not to be over ambitious with your first layout, Many of the amazing layouts that you see which take up whole rooms started out as a simple 4 x 8 layout which just grow overtime, usually due to a modelers confidence in creating layouts.

Anyway, I’ve asked around some of the members in the Insiders Club who have started on their layouts within the last year what their recommendations are for a beginners first train set.


For modelers in the US the train set recommended for beginners most was the Bachmann Trains Digital Commander Ready – To – Run DCc – Equipped Ho Train Set


This set comes with everything that a beginner could need to get started: 2 DCC trains, an EZ command DCC controller and the track is Bachmanns own EZ track (EZ track is essentially track that is already fitted to a roadbed)

While this set only comes with a loop of track, EZ track is available in extension packs to help you increas the scale and complexity of your layout.

Bachmann Digital Commander trains sets on Ebay


For modellers in the UK and Australia the highest recomended train set for a beginner was the Hornby R1126 Mixed Freight 00 Gauge Digital (DCC) Train Set


This set includes 2 DCC trains, a loop of track with a siding, and a Hornby Select Digital Control.

As with the Bachmann set, Hornby also sells additional expansion packs, making it easier to expand your layout.

Hornby Digital Train Sets on Ebay (UK)

Hornby Digital Train Sets on EBay (AUS)


I’m hoping to add to this list of recommended trains, but I’ll need your help to do it.

If you know of a good train set that you would recommend to a beginner in the hobby then let me know in the comments or contact me.

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About Dan Morgan

Dan Morgan is on a mission to encourage more people to give model railroading a go... There is just no better hobby in the world!

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