The Best Electric Train Sets for Model Railroaders

While electric train sets are a great way to get started with a model railroading hobby, they’re sometimes the only way to get specific locomotives and rolling stock into your collection. Given that you often get track and other components in the box when you buy a train set, such a purchase is a great way to enhance your collection in one fell swoop.

steam locomotive for railroaders

Let’s check out the best electric train sets, whatever your reason for wanting one. All these sets are DCC ready, making it easy for you to get started or add them to an existing collection.

An electric train set that’s worth the splurge

If you’re treating yourself and splurging on a new electric train set for your model railroading, our Lionel O-scale Amtrak Acela High-Speed Train Set is an incredible purchase.

All Lionel’s high-speed sets have been re-engineered to enhance their reliability while maintaining their innovative features. Officially licensed by Amtrak, this set comes with a range of features, including different horn and bell pitching options so you can fully customize your trains for your layout.

Buy the Lionel O-scale Amtrak Acela High-Speed Train Set.

An electric train set for collectors

If you’re an adult who’s looking for your next collectible piece or are looking to gift a train set to a grown-up, this Kato State of Illinois Set in N-scale is an excellent buy or gift.

This is an immaculate set that you might even decide to leave in the box. This collection has been made and painted by hand, meaning they all have elements of uniqueness and will likely prove highly collectible.

While you don’t get any tracks with this set, the locomotive and three passenger cars you do get in the box are stunning.

Buy the Kato N-scale State of Illinois Set.

The best electric train set for beginners

If you’re a total beginner and want everything, including the track in your first set, or are buying for a child who’s too grown up for Thomas and Friends or the like, this Bachmann HO-scale Track King Set is a great choice.

You get everything you need to get started, including:

  • EMD GP40 diesel locomotive with operating headlight
  • Single-dome tank car
  • 40′ boxcar
  • Flatcar
  • Off-set cupola caboose
  • 47″ x 38″ oval of snap-fit E-Z Track including 12 pieces of 18″ radius curved track, one piece of straight track, and one plug-in terminal rerailer
  • Powerpack and speed controller
  • Illustrated instruction manual

Buy the HO-scale Track King Set.

The best electric train set if you love modern trains

While model railroading often centers around the historical eras of our railways, today, there are several incredible examples of modern trains available to add to your collection.

One of our favorites is this Piko HO-scale Eco-Friendly 4-Unit Set, which brings a stunning level of detail and performance at a fantastic price.

Buy the Piko HO-scale Eco-Friendly 4-Unit Set.

The best electric train set if you love the history of railroads

Are you a model railroader who loves tipping your hat to our railways’ incredible past?

The Nickel Plate Road was an iconic railroad running from New York to the Midwest and had some of the most eye-catching locomotives and rolling stock you could find anywhere in the country. You can even catch some of them still operating today as part of the Norfolk Southern Railway!

Our Lionel O-scale Nickel Plate Road Work Train Set will help keep any extension and upgrade works on your railroad running efficiently while giving you an iconic set to adorn your landscape. There’s even a four-car add-on set if you have the space and track to run a locomotive pulling eight cars!

In the box, you get:

  • LEGACY SW8 locomotive
  • TMCC Ballast tamper
  • 40′ Flatcar
  • 8000 Gallon tank car
  • Kitchen car with sounds
  • Bunk car

Buy the Lionel O-scale Nickel Plate Road Work Train Set.

The best electric train set if you love iconic American brands

When it comes to American-born brands, not many are as easily recognizable or iconic as John Deere.

If you’re a model railroader and a fan of John Deere products, you’ll be in dreamland with this Lionel O-scale John Deere LionChief Set.

In addition to being great for fans of iconic American brands, this is also a great first gift for a young model railroader, especially if they already have John Deere toys!

In the box, you get:

  • John Deere GP38 diesel locomotive
  • John Deere Tank car
  • John Deere Flatcar with tractors
  • John Deere Caboose
  • Eight pieces of O36 curved FasTrack
  • Two FasTrack 10″ straight track sections
  • One LionChief FasTrack Terminal section
  • One Plug-Expand-Play Power Lock-on section
  • Wall-pack power supply
  • LionChief remote for locomotive

Buy the Lionel O-scale John Deere LionChief Set.

The best budget-friendly electric train set

Last but by no means least, if you’re looking to get started with a simple train set or seeking a budget-friendly addition to your collection, our Hornby HO-Scale Acela Train Set is an exceptional option, giving you a three-car electric train, oval track, track mat, and speed controller at a fantastic price.

Buy the Hornby HO-Scale Acela Train Set.

Show us your new train set!

Which train set will you go for? Whether you’re a total beginner, an experienced model railroader, or buying for someone else, there’s 100% an electric train set for you! As well as our recommendations in this blog, you can view our full range of train sets here.

Remember to tag us on Instagram when you post your pictures of your new electric train set in action so we can check out your layout!