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I would suggest considering purchasing Fastrack (easier to use and less likely to cause hand injuries than Menard's track) and a LionChief loco to go along with the rolling stock.  Purchased second hand would be most economical, but a deeply discounted starter set would also be good value.  Yields basic command control features and sound for the least outlay.   Also gets you a power supply and extra rolling stock.  Would also check the rolling ability of the freight cars as occasional cars haven't always rolled smoothly.  No question Menard's rolling stock is good value and appropriate for rougher handling than most other contemporary products.

Go to and in the search field type in these words: train stuff.

Then, scroll through the current product listings to see what you think the boy might like. Open hopper cars are often popular with younger children because they like to put stuff inside. Boxcars with colorful schemes, such as the M&M cars just released, are a safe bet.

If it is for an older child, you’ll have to assess his interests to make your choices. 

Should you decide to use Menards track, when putting together start by inserting one pin in a hole at a time. Once this is done the track should go together easy. I'm 73 years old and am very old school. I prefer the tubular track over Lionel's Fast Track. However, if the young man can't do the above then definitely go with the Fast Track.

Last edited by jim sutter

I love the Menards PRR cabooses with alternating bright red leds. They are built rugged and have lots of painted details, frosted windows, white interior leds, nice sharp graphics and unique car numbers.

As a plus, accidents are way down across my single track mainline rolling 3 to 5 LionChief and LC+ trains at once with all those EOT lights a-blinking. 

The loaded flat cars are fun too, so many to choose from. Some have wood decks also.

I picked up some bare UP flats that were loose on the shelf upstairs on the mezzanine for under $8.00 ea. 

As stated above, some tweaking of wheels or trucks or couplers may be needed but they are still a great value to me.

A Cripple Creek engine house and a water tower plus the free stuff are due here this Friday along with layout expansion lumber and supplies. Can't wait. 

This OGR forum and Menards Train Stuff plus Lionel Concord are what got me into the hobby after 63+15/16 years.

Will you still need me

Will you still feed me

When I'm sixty four.


Last edited by JimmyJohns
@Mike Wyatt posted:

Couldn't find Menard's cabooses on their website??

I just did a quick search myself and it looks like they are out of stock on all cabooses.


@Woof you could always get a Lionel caboose ( product numbers: #9341, #6017, #6417, or #6257) instead of a Menards one.  You can find them on that very large auction site anywhere from $5-15 for one in very good condition.


Jim Sutter:  I'm from the Old School too! 

I'm 74 (BLT by Lionel 7-4-1946...LOL) and received my first Lionel Lines 027 set for Christmas 1951.  My little fingers never had any problems working with tubular track either.  Half the fun of playing with my trains as a kid was putting the tubular track together.  Tinplate Forever!

Joseph Toth Jr.

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