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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am sure this comes up from time to time, but the industry also changes over time. I found some older posts about American made trains and many of them are defunct (some even recently). Is there anything still made in USA?

The reason I ask is I recently had a child and would like to buy a train set for his first Christmas. I had looked into Hartland Locomotive Works a few years back, but they have recently ceased and cannot find any dealers who still have products.

I am looking for either a set; or a combination of train cars, locomotive or track. I know being made in USA and not wanting things made in China is not for everyone, but its an earnest hope of mine to be able to find something.

All the best,

Krod
 

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Some times you can find the older Playmobil sets which were basically 1/24 scale, but made in Europe (Germany perhaps). I still have the diesel set (engine, 2 cars, track, power supply) new in the original box with all the accessories which needs a new home. It would ship from massachusetts or picked up locally. $200 plus shipping takes it away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I appreciate everyone's ideas. In an ideal world this would be something new. As it sounds, this sort of thing simply doesn't exist anymore (or only in limited number of items). I tried to find new Hartland trains, but cannot find any still in stock with dealers.

As a secondary option, I would consider something made elsewhere in the world, simply want to stick away from items made in China. If that opens up other ideas that people may have, I certainly appreciate the time taken to reply.

All the best,

Elliot
 

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I appreciate everyone's ideas. In an ideal world this would be something new. As it sounds, this sort of thing simply doesn't exist anymore (or only in limited number of items). I tried to find new Hartland trains, but cannot find any still in stock with dealers.

As a secondary option, I would consider something made elsewhere in the world, simply want to stick away from items made in China. If that opens up other ideas that people may have, I certainly appreciate the time taken to reply.

All the best,

Elliot
If not being made in China is your concern, Why not get something LGB or PIKO then?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If not being made in China is your concern, Why not get something LGB or PIKO then?
I had actually looked into LGB a bit, but everything either wont tell you the origin (presumably China as people tend to be proud of their country of origin unless it China), or says made in China.

I am not familiar with Piko, so will have to look into that. Thank you for the pointer.
 

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I had actually looked into LGB a bit, but everything either wont tell you the origin (presumably China as people tend to be proud of their country of origin unless it China), or says made in China.

I am not familiar with Piko, so will have to look into that. Thank you for the pointer.
I had actually looked into LGB a bit, but everything either wont tell you the origin (presumably China as people tend to be proud of their country of origin unless it China), or says made in China.

I am not familiar with Piko, so will have to look into that. Thank you for the pointer.
Most Piko products ae made in Germany. Looking at used HLW makes sense, but don't know if much is out there.
 

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I had actually looked into LGB a bit, but everything either wont tell you the origin (presumably China as people tend to be proud of their country of origin unless it China), or says made in China.

I am not familiar with Piko, so will have to look into that. Thank you for the pointer.
Anything made by LGB pre mid 90’s was all made in Germany, and current marklin LGB is made in Hungary, not china.

Piko makes all their G scale products in Germany, but does make HO products in China.

I know you mention wanting something new but any lightly used German made LGB is fantastic stuff and not to expensive on eBay and similar places.
 

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I don't know if I'd go with Piko.
I own 2 of their locomotives, and also 2 of their Drover's Cabooses (a 0-6-0 Santa Fe switcher, and a Reading 0-6-0 Camelback, and the 2 cabooses are Southern Pacific, and D&RGW,respectively.).
The locomotives both run great.
They both have sound,smoke, and are DCC Ready.
That being said, I think that they can be overpriced for what you get .
They both put out a lot of smoke, and the sound is awesome.
My problem is that their locomotives are totally made out of plastic.
Everything but the wheels, and working parts.
Plastic.
And there is a lack of detail on many of their locomotives that I find frustrating.
The tender and locomotive hook together via a plug on the bottom of the tender, which can be a bit frustrating to get properly aligned.
The lack of detail, and all plastic construction, in my book, makes them seem kind of cheap.
On the other hand, their cars are well made,with great detail, and they give the LGB versions of the same cars a real run for the money.
So, I'd say Piko locomotives "Maybe".
And Piko cars a definite "Yes".
Piko Customer service is located in San Diego, California.
And it's top notch.
If you really want to buy American Made trains, you'll have to go with early Lionel G Scale trains,Kalamazoo, or the now defunct Hartland Locomotive Trains.
I believe that some Delton and Aristocraft trains were also made in the US, but I'm not 100 percent certain of that.
USA Trains was already mentioned, and they can be rather expensive, but are of the highest quality.
Although most USA Trains products are now made in China...Bummer !
My top 5 choices are for G Scale trains in general :Bachmann, LGB, HLW , USA Trains, and Lionel Trains.
Bachman , while made in China, is one of the very best makers of G Scale trains, and their customer service, while not perfect, or as good as it used to be a few years ago, isn't too bad.
Older LGB products were made in West Germany,but many of their items are now made in China, so you'll have to check out the model before you buy it.
And , yes, I think that there is a difference between the LGB products that were made in West Germany, and China.
I have a coach made in West Germany, and a combine that was made in China.
To my mind, the one made in West Germany is of better quality than the Chinese made combine.
It may depend upon your point of view as to which is better.
As far as LGB being made in Hungary goes, I haven't come across any of their newer products, so I am unable to offer an opinion on the quality of those newer versions of LGB trains.
Anyway, I wish you good luck with your search !

Andrew
 

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I don't know if I'd go with Piko.
I own 2 of their locomotives, and also 2 of their Drover's Cabooses (a 0-6-0 Santa Fe switcher, and a Reading 0-6-0 Camelback, and the 2 cabooses are Southern Pacific, and D&RGW,respectively.).
The locomotives both run great.
They both have sound,smoke, and are DCC Ready.
That being said, I think that they can be overpriced for what you get .
They both put out a lot of smoke, and the sound is awesome.
My problem is that their locomotives are totally made out of plastic.
Everything but the wheels, and working parts.
Plastic.
And there is a lack of detail on many of their locomotives that I find frustrating.
The tender and locomotive hook together via a plug on the bottom of the tender, which can be a bit frustrating to get properly aligned.
The lack of detail, and all plastic construction, in my book, makes them seem kind of cheap.
On the other hand, their cars are well made,with great detail, and they give the LGB versions of the same cars a real run for the money.
So, I'd say Piko locomotives "Maybe".
And Piko cars a definite "Yes".
Customer service is located in San Diego, California.
And it's top notch.
If you really wan to buy American Made trains, you'll have to go with early Lionel G Scale trains,Kalamazoo, or the now defunct Hartland Locomotive Trains.
I believe that Delton and Aristocraft trains were also made in the US, but I'm not 100 percent sure of that.
USA Trains was already mentioned, and they can be rather expensive, but are of the highest quality.
Although the USA Trains products are now made in China...Bummer !
My top 5 choices are for G Scale trains in general :Bachmann, LGB, HLW , USA Trains, and Lionel Trains.
Bachman , while made in China, is one of the very best makers of G Scale trains, and their customer service, while not perfect, or as good as it used to be a few years ago, isn't too bad.
Older LGB products were made in East Germany,but many of their items are nw made in China, so you'll have to check out the model before you buy it.
And , yes, I think that there is a difference between the LGB products that were made in East Germany, and China.
I have a coach made in East Germany, and a coach that was made in China.
To my mind, the one made in East Germany is of better quality than the Chinese made coach.
It may depend upon your point of view as to which is better.
As far as LGB being made in Hungary goes, I haven't come across any of their newer products, so I am unable to offer an opinion on the quality of those newer versions of LGB trains.
Anyway, I wish you good luck with your search !

Andrew
Not to be pedantic but LGB was made in West Germany, and Piko is a former East German company 😜

Most people seem to like the Marklin LGB Hungarian made stuff, Only thing I've heard is that the plastic used is slightly weaker. Although I personally only have and buy older W. German made LGB

Also i'd be inclined to agree on your opinion of Piko locos, I've had one of the 25 tonners for 2 years and it's an awesome little thing, I just dislike how fragile the handrails are haha (but i haven't broken them yet!)

I still personally wouldn't hesitate to recommend Piko though despite these shortcomings
 

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Oops ! Sorry about the LGB gaffe !
I know they were made in West Germany.
I'm must be using a rented brain today...
I fixed it.
Sorry !
Piko is Ok, but I will probably not buy another one.
Too much plastic for my tastes.
I opened my 0-6-0 up shortly after receiving it.
It was purchased new at a very good price.
As I remember, the gearing is all plastic as well, and that concerns me as to just how long it would last under daily usage.
Needless to say, my 2 Piko locomotives spend way more time in the closet than they do on the track.
They would be great if they were made to be a bit more robust...
 

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I thought the first LGB porter (metal whistle and metal handles) were made in korea. Also I thought the 2-4-0 in sets that came with the tender were made in China. First 2-4-0 difference I saw was non-magnetic screws.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So is all LGB now made in Hungary? I thought I had heard it was all or mostly in China now. I cannot seem to find each starter sets origin, or even individual locomotives/cars origins. I know LGB historically are relatively bulletproof having seen some over the years, but that was probably when it was made elsewhere as its been 20 years or so.

I tried to find some new or even used Hartland and its sort of like finding hens teeth from what I can tell.

I certainly appreciate the heads up that Piko isnt the nicest products as that will spare me from making a costly mistake.

I certainly appreciate all of your time in responding. Keep it coming.
 

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what about ebay? Kalamazoo was made in the US and then later taken over by Heartland.... I respect your quest for an American made product. I'd look for NOS or lightly used on ebay or the facebook "swap and shop" sites.


Greg
 

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Oops ! Sorry about the LGB gaffe !
I know they were made in West Germany.
I'm must be using a rented brain today...
I fixed it.
Sorry !
Piko is Ok, but I will probably not buy another one.
Too much plastic for my tastes.
I opened my 0-6-0 up shortly after receiving it.
It was purchased new at a very good price.
As I remember, the gearing is all plastic as well, and that concerns me as to just how long it would last under daily usage.
Needless to say, my 2 Piko locomotives spend way more time in the closet than they do on the track.
They would be great if they were made to be a bit more robust...
FYI, in the GREAT majority of ALL G Gauge locomotives the gears are made of some sort of plastic. Even LGB. Amongst the pool of all G Gauge locomotives, there are very few that actually have all metal gearing. Plastic gears are not bad. They are more robust than realized, but are indeed designed to be the wear point and (hopefully) the point of first failure. You would rather replace a worn/failed idler gear for less than $10, vs. a motor for $50+ wouldn't you? I have an LGB mogul from the mid eighties that still have all of the original gearing...... and other than the worm on the motor, the gearing is plastic.

With that said, my opinion of PIKO, I can't disagree about the lack of cosmetic details but that isn't a detractor. The internals from my experience are in line with LGB. Back to cosmetics..... if you stand back 5-10 feet a lot of the details get lost anyways. In addition, some of the highly detailed locomotives, the details easily break off with handling them. PIKO has a place in my book with their lack of details, and just in my opinion, it's not a bad thing. It just depends on what you are looking for..... is it something that is going to be handled a lot (put on and taken off the track a lot)? Are little ones going to be playing with it? If so, the PIKO would probably be better in that situation than the higher detailed stuff as there are less details to break off. PIKO's customer support in my experience has been top notch as well. I would not write them off so quickly. If you do end up getting a 0-6-0 or 2-6-0 PIKO, I would recommend adding quite a bit of weight to it though, as they come too light.

Edited to include a snapshot of my PIKO 2-6-0 in the garden. I think it has a place, and looks quite good (again, just my opinion) pulling that string of LGB coaches/caboose.
Train Land vehicle Sky Cloud Vehicle
 

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If you're seeking a set for a child...AND you plan to have a hand in operations...you might even consider Roundhouse Live Steam. Totally wonderful company with factory in England. Probably not what your seeking...but something to keep in your back pocket in case! I think this is the kind of company you're looking to support. They also have some "sparkies" as well, but they seem rather pricey whereas their steam models are a good value.
 

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We don't make trains, but all Bridgewerks power controllers are made in the USA, and most of the parts that go into them come from American manufacturers as well. Final assembly is in Oregon, the cases are made in Washington, transformers in California, our printed circuit boards come from an Oregon company, etc. Some of the components are not made in the US, but we try to avoid China as much as possible - and the parts that we are having issues sourcing are all from overseas.
 
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