|Written by Paul D. Race for and|
This page is a "buyers' guide" that describes Bachmann On30 products that run by themselves. All of the products on this page run on HO or On30 track, so they're good add-on's to any On30 or Hawthorne Village® railroad. They're also the right size to look good with a collectible village, such as those by Department 56® or Hawthorne Village®. Some folks use these where they don't have room for a full starter set. Other folks add these to existing railroads or display villages to add "kinetic interest."
The best example of these fitting into a tight space is the Reversing Streetcar set near the bottom of this page - it allows you to easily set up a streetcar system that goes back and forth on a fireplace mantle, shelf, or spinet piano where you couldn't fit a "regular" train set.
For "serious" model railroaders, the rail cars on this page include a built-in DCC decoder. This is a feature that allows you to control more than one train on the same track, if you also purchase the Bachmann DCC Controller.
Update for 2015 - On30 trains seem to be coming back, slowly but surely, after a period in which very few were made because nobody had money to buy the ones they had already made. Most of the pre-recession stock is off the shelves, but a few new pieces are available. if you see something you like don't wait too long.
Note about Availability and Pricing: Before Bachmann started making On30 trains, only a few handcrafted brass pieces a year were usually available for On30 hobbiests, and the market was very small. The number of people modeling any particular narrow gauge line was even smaller (unless you count Rio Grande, which has a relatively large following). To this day, Bachmann tends to make relatively small runs of most On30 products. For example, they may order one batch of an East Broad Top (EBT) set, then not make another EBT set again until they've also modeled a dozen other lines. So if you see any On30 products for a railroad you want to model, get them now - they may not be available for long, and once they become unavailable, they may remain so for years. If you "click through" to see details on a product, and nothing happens at all, or you are routed to a supplier's home page, please let me know and I will remove the product from the buyer's guide until I can find a replacement or another supplier. For more detailed information about why products seem to come and go and why I have stopped listing prices for certain products, please see my article "About Pricing and Availability."
Street CarsBachmann On30 Closed Streetcar - This is the streetcar that comes with the set at the bottom of the page. It is also available separately; you may run it on any track that comes with On30 or HO trains, but it won't go back and forth unless you buy the automatic reversing set below. The On30 Christmas Train page offers a version in holiday colors if you prefer.
Rail TrucksIn the past, Bachmann has made several On30 rail trucks based on one originally built by the Rio Grand Southern. Last year, only one was available from my preferred vendors - the snowplow being offered by Bradford Exchange to go with their Hawthorne Village Christmas displays.
As you can see, there is some very nice detail, and if Bachmann ever reissues these again, or you can track an On30 rail truck down elsewhere, you'll probably enjoy it. In the meantime, if you're interested in buying or just learning more about this product, click the link below:
This year, a few more are available, although a couple of them are in very short supply.
DCC-Equipped Rail BussesBachmann has also introduced a line of rail buses that would look at home on any narrow gauge railroad that needs to save money. Note: All of these products have DCC installed, for more convenient remote control on indoor railroads.
Update for 2014 - Last year there were six selections below. Now there are three, and at least one is in very short supply. Hopefully Bachmann will reintroduce the other colors, but in the meantime, don't wait too long if you think you want one of these.
Automated On30Streetcar Set - Bachmann's On30 Street Car set is the perfect solution for display villages that aren't big enough for a loop of track. The weathered "car barn" hides a reversing mechanism, so your trolley can deliver passengers from one end of your village (or your fireplace mantle) to the other automatically. The Bachmann streetcars are models of real streetcars that graced US towns and villages a century ago.
Note:These sets come and go quickly. Right now Amazon lists some vendors who have stock but that may change quickly - this is a very popular product.
The On30 Christmas Train page offers some versions in holiday colors if you prefer.
Note: To extend a "back-and-forth" railroad, you will need to use special track. (Regular HO track, even the EZ track that comes with the trains above, won't work, because of the extra wiring necessary to run the reversing mechanism.) For straight pieces, use Bachmann #44548 track. For curves, use Bachmann #44549 track. .If you have questions about this, please contact me and I'll try to help you out.
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