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While there are some “popular brands” that need little introduction, it is quite clear that many modelers appreciate some direction as to the many options available, and I am frequently asked which brands or makes & Models I would recommend.

Actually, for quite some time now, I have received numerous requests to add a section on “Makes and Models of Model trains” to this site.

So, while this is not quite the type of content I had in mind for the site, I have nevertheless decided to oblige you by adding a small section on current Manufacturers to get those of you with minimal experience started..

You will find here a current list of the more popular brands.

Keep in mind:

  • Many Manufacturers have come and gone, and while some are thriving, others are having a hard time surviving.. One thing is for sure however, They All need our support!
  • I am not paid by any manufacturer or distributor, nor do I receive any commission for promoting anything- Be warned however, that I may be biased based on my own personal experience with a particular brand!
  • There are completely different sets of rules that apply to “good runners” as apposed to “collectors items”.From my experience I have found that commanding a high price tag does not means it runs equally well, with a “cheapy” often outperforming models costing hundreds of $!

    I believe the Criteria that really matters to the new modeler boils down to..

    (i) Availability
    (ii) Budget
    (iii) Functionality
    (iv) Compatibility
    (v) How well the model is going to run on your track.

    General Remark:
    On a global scale, the US & UK modelers probably have access to the greatest choice of brands, with models being imported from most manufacturers worldwide. European markets are dominated by Trix, Marklin, Roco/Fleishmann, PIKO, Brawa and a few others, while the east is pretty much spoiled with KATO, Tomix, Micro Ace, etc.

    For the rest of us, it is much more complicated. So while the Internet has indeed made it possible for anyone to purchase almost anything.. that said, I have also learned that no matter how good a particular brand is, if it is not available, affordable and/or supported, then most modelers will probably start by buying the brand that’s available on the shelf of the local hobby shop.

As I have a great fondness of “German Quality”, let’s start there:

British Brands:

US Companies:


Manufacturers that sell Z-scale model train sets include:

Time permitting, I may add to this section..

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