Product Reviews

Enjoy our in-depth reviews of great new model railroading products in a variety of popular scales, presented by the Model Railroad News staff. Please contact Editor Tony Cook to have your product considered for review.

LGB’s Grizzly Flats Railroad in G Scale

September 27, 2018

LGB’s Grizzly Flats Railroad in G Scale

While Ward Kimball’s work as a lead animator and feature director for Walt Disney is well known, many are not familiar with the fact that he was also a rabid railfan, toy train collector, and model railroader. In fact, this enthusiasm led to Kimball and his family building a three-foot narrow gauge railroad, which he named Grizzly Flats, in their backyard in San Gabriel, California.

ScaleTrains ET44AC GEVO Tier 4 Diesel Locomotive in N Scale

September 22, 2018

ScaleTrains ET44AC GEVO Tier 4 Diesel Locomotive in N Scale

The new General Electric GEVO Tier 4 diesel locomotive model released by ScaleTrains.com raises the bar for N scale motive power. The separately applied details and attention to road specific changes across the releases really shows the dedication to making these models as close to the prototype as possible.

New Alco RS-11 by American Models in S Scale

August 24, 2018

New Alco RS-11 by American Models in S Scale

American Models has produced a solidly-running and accurately detailed example of the popular Alco RS-11 diesel locomotive in S scale… The model is so alluring, it may even convince you to switch scales.

Coal Dealer Trestle in S Scale from East West Rail Services

July 26, 2018

Coal Dealer Trestle in S Scale from East West Rail Services

An elevated coal trestle is a common “action accessory” on many toy train layouts, but there are prototypes for those “toys” that did an important job of helping to supply coal for many communities and industries.

Very, Very Late Steam Era: Illinois Central Ice Reefer in O Scale from Atlas O

July 24, 2018

Very, Very Late Steam Era: Illinois Central Ice Reefer in O Scale from Atlas O

A classic example of 20th century North American rolling stock was the ice-cooled refrigerator car. Atlas O offers a 40-foot steel body version of this long-serving type of freight car, decorated for Illinois Central and many other road names.

Tip-Up Transfer: Toledo, Peoria & Western Caboose in HO Scale from Bluford Shops

July 17, 2018

Tip-Up Transfer: Toledo, Peoria & Western Caboose in HO Scale from Bluford Shops

The detail on this HO-scale transfer caboose model is very impressive, as is the excellent application of the various colors. Bluford Shops did a very commendable execution Toledo, Peoria & Western paint scheme, right down to yellow handrail accents and eye-catching silver truck sideframes.

A Star is Born: Trix SNCF class 241-A Steam Locomotive in HO Scale

June 19, 2018

A Star is Born: Trix SNCF class 241-A Steam Locomotive in HO Scale

The real SNCF class 241-A is currently the largest restored hand-fired steam locomotive running on European rails. The Trix 241 A 65 pulling a string of Orient Express sleeping cars would look good on any layout.

Where There’s Smoke… Built-Up Fire Station from Menards in HO and O

May 18, 2018

Where There’s Smoke… Built-Up Fire Station from Menards in HO and O

This new Menards Collectibles built-up fire station is available in HO and O scale, and includes figures and vehicles, as well as a number of details that add to the product’s value and enhance the building’s eye appeal.

Not Just Another F-unit: Athearn Genesis EMD FP7 in HO Scale

April 17, 2018

Not Just Another F-unit: Athearn Genesis EMD FP7 in HO Scale

Athearn’s Genesis FP7 isn’t just another F-unit model. As my closer examination of the model reveals, it’s a high-quality HO scale model characterized by accurate road-specific details with high-end decoration and the usual quality Genesis drivetrain.

VIA Rail Canada RDC in HO Scale by Rapido Trains

March 14, 2018

VIA Rail Canada RDC in HO Scale by Rapido Trains

You won’t find a better RDC model that offers such fine detail right out of the box. From its scale proportions, road-specific features, and smooth engineering and performance, this model clearly stands up to its claim of being the “absolute” example of a Budd RDC.