Our Guide to Bachmann Trains

Our Guide to Bachmann Trains

What are Bachmann Trains?

Bachmann trains are currently one of the largest manufacturers of model trains in the world. They’re currently a Chinese owned company but were first founded in Philadelphia in 1833. From 1833 right through until 1966, they were manufacturers of a variety of different products; originally vanity products made from ivory and tortoiseshell, then into plastics as well as being the first sunglasses manufacturer in America. 

Now, they’re one of the largest manufacturers of electric model trains in the world, offering products in nearly every category; from N scale trains right through to G gauge model trains. 


What is the history of Bachmann Trains?

Bachmann began in 1833 by Henry Carlisle. Originally a manufacturer of items like parasol handles, Spanish combs and handles for walking canes, they were a luxury goods brand. By 1912, they had introduced a line of optical frames, that would lead them to become the first manufacturer of sunglasses in America.
This line was so popular, they were purchased by the US military during WWII. 

The sudden popularity of N scale train in 1966 caused Bachmann to enter the market, and in 1970 they also entered the HO model train market. 

In ‘88 they began production of both their Spectrum line, which is a higher quality line and their Big Haller line, a G scale product.

In 2007 they purchased Williams Electrin Train company, which signalled their expansion into O scale trains as well. 


What are the different sizes of Bachmann Trains?

Bachmann offer trains in nearly every single size. Their products range from:

  • N scale since 1966
  • HO scale since 1973
  • O scale since 2007
  • G scale since 1988
  • On30 since 2001

On30 are O scale trains built to run on HO scale train track. 


Are Bachmann Trains worth anything?

It depends on your budget. A good Bachmann train to get you into the hobby will set you back somewhere between the ranged of $150-$300. Alternatively, Bachmann offer trains that go up to $1,699 on their own site, but that’s definitely an investment for a serious hobbyist. 


What is the most expensive Bachmann Train? 

The honest answer, not particularly. Some models of Bachmann trains from the early ’60s might sell for a few thousand dollars depending on their rarity, but no prices out there to make you scoff. 


What is the best Bachmann Train set to buy?

The Bachmann Rail Chief Read-to-Run set is probably the best value for money to get you into the hobby. It comes with more than 100 pieces of track, scenery and train, which is more than you’ll need to build your first layout. 

If you’re looking for something to step up an existing collection, take a look into the Bachmann Digital Commander, which comes with a DCC control unit that will help add multiple trains to your set up. 


What Scale is Bachmann Trains?

Bachmann primarily focuses on the more popular scales of trains and are one of the largest manufacturers of both HO and O scale trains in the world. 


Who owns Bachmann Trains?

Bachmann trains were originally created by Henry Carlisle in Philadelphia, but are now owned by the Kader group, who are based out of China. 


Where are Bachmann Trains made?

While originally manufactured in America, since being purchased by the Kader Group, all Bachmann trains are manufactured in Dongguan, China.

Now that you’ve got a handle on Bachmann, consider taking a look at some other Brands of Model Trains. Alternatively, dive right in to your first purchase by looking at our Top Electric Trains Review.

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