Guide to High Quality Ho Model Trains

Around the world the HO scale of model railways is by far and away the most popular. As a result of this popularity there are many firms producing products for a HO layout, and there are of course some firms that are producing to the highest standards. It is perhaps difficult for me to name all of the best firms as I live in the United Kingdom and therefore model in the slightly larger OO scale, but despite this I have been impressed with some of the continental firms producing model trains.

In particular I have noticed that the Fleischmann group have been producing some of the most detailed and advanced model trains in the twenty or so years that I have been modelling.

The firm of Fleischmann has been in existence since 1887 when Jean Fleischmann created his Nuremberg toy company. It wasn’t in fact until 1949 that the first trains were produced, and these were built in the then popular O scale. Three years later though the first HO (1:87) scale models were produced by Fleischmann. Right from the outset Fleischmann decided that emphasis would be placed on producing high quality model trains whilst making use of the latest technology.

To ensure that top quality products are produced, the Fleischmann firm takes additional care during the production and manufacturing process. This means that all products are researched, including going back to original plans for the locomotives, carriages and rolling stock. These plans are then reproduced in miniature scale, meaning that the dimensions of the models produced are within 1/10 of a millimetre of the true scale.

All this means that when buying Fleischmann products you are guaranteed to be purchasing highly detailed and sturdy locomotives, carriages and rolling stock. This quality though does mean that Fleischmann model trains are not the cheapest on the market. Most new locomotives are going to cost between GBP150 and GBP300, although the popular Fleischmann HO DB BR95 steam locomotive retails for about GBP395. The more expensive models though do come with in built sound though. Carriages and wagons are cheaper, with wagons running at about GBP10, and carriages at GBP20. There is also a wide selection of products available second-hand on such sites as eBay.

In addition to locomotives and rolling stock, Fleischmann also produce the means to control the model trains on a layout. Recent innovations has seen the Fleischmann Digital Controls being produced, through the use of latest technology again, model trains can be pre-programmed to run as you determine.

I have only purchased the two rail locomotives and wagons from Fleischmann, but I believe that it shows the quality of the firm that they also produce many of the same models in three-rail variants, so they are compatible with Marklin track and products as well.