The Collective: Review of Star Trek Electric Train Collection

TrekMovie continues our look at the heirloom quality Star Trek collectibles from the Bradford Group with an unusual set that brings two hobbies together: model trains and Star Trek collecting. The Star Trek Electric Train Collection is a first of its kind Star Trek item and TrekMovie has all the details below in a review with pictures and video.  

 

Starfleet TRAINing
The Star Trek Electric Train is an HO gauge track scale train set featuring lights and classic Star Trek imagery. The basic set (locomotive +2 cars, track & powerpack) will cost around $210, which is not unusual for an heirloom quality train meant to be kept for generations. The locomotive, for example, is very heavy and the quality of the item is apparent. The chassis is solid metal and the wheels are steel alloy and the train runs smoothly and reliably on the track.



Basic Star Trek Electric Train set with locomotive, 2 cars, track and powerpack (not pictured)

The Star Trek Electric Train is a subscription item, which means the set is sent to you one ‘issue’ at a time, each about six weeks apart (although you could change the frequency of the order by calling or emailing Bradford). Each ‘issue’ costs $69.95. Here is what you get with each issue of the set:

Issue 1: Diesel locomotive featuring the USS Enterprise and lights

Issue 2: Coordinating engine with the crew of the Enterprise featured on the sides. This issue includes a free HO track set.

Issue 3: Passenger car that lights featuring James T. Kirk. This issue includes a free power pack that runs the train on the track.  [with three issues you have all you need for a basic train set]

Issue 4: Lighted passenger car featuring Mr. Spock (includes free tracks to expand the railroad).

Issue 5: Lighted passenger car featuring famous Federation and enemy Star Trek spaceships (includes a free "splitter" track piece).

Issue 6: Lighted passenger featuring various TOS aliens (includes a free "splitter" track piece).

There will be more issues to come, but they have not yet been announced by The Bradford Group.

Family Fun
Blending old fashioned trains with futuristic Star Trek might seem like a strange idea. Yet, the idea works because the original Star Trek is itself nostalgia now (and 40 plus years old). Also, both Star Trek and trains are family hobbies, and this train set combines two hobbies into one experience.


Set with 6 issues

Like Star Trek fans, there are many kinds of train aficionados. The word "Anorak" is British slang for any obsessive fan, but stems from train fans (or ‘trainspotters’) who know every route and train on a line, not unlike some dedicated Trekkies. In fact, the Star Trek Voyager character Annorax from the "Year of Hell" episodes (who was very committed to restoring the Krenim timeline) was named after this ‘Anoraks’. And like Trek, there are also more casual train fans, but whatever someone’s commitment to the hobby, trains and Star Trek are always wonderful shared family experiences. My own family has had a nice time collecting the Star Trek Electric Train ‘issues’ and reconfiguring the track, running the train, and most importantly, enjoying time together in a common. What is also nice is the generational (and next generational) aspect to the Star Trek train. My father and mother, who are both in the 70s, have been enjoying seeing each new train issue, along with
my myself, my wife, and our 7 year old son. Each generation having fun with this ‘classic’ collectible.


Front view of locomotive

The train is a financial commitment (although you could cancel anytime). However, there is something very charming about collecting something together as a family that has such a nice history (both trains and Star Trek) and sharing that with each other. And there is something nice about thinking that someday, despite living in a McDonaldized world, our grandchildren might be playing with an item my father and mother admired.


Video showing 6 issue set

You can begin your subscription for the Star Trek Electric Train Set at Collectibles Today.

 

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Sehlat Whisperer
July 4, 2009 4:00 pm

First? Anyway: Awesome! But my puppy would swallow it whole. Ugh!

July 4, 2009 4:07 pm

” In fact, the Star Trek Voyager character Annorax from the “Year of Hell” episodes (who was very committed to restoring the Krenim timeline) was named after this ‘Anoraks’.”

No, he wasn’t. The scenes with Annorax, Chakotay, and Tom were a pastiche of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The name “Annorax” is an anagram of Aronnax, the narrator of that novel. (Although Annorax plays the Captain Nemo role, Chakotay is the Aronnax equivalent, and Tom is Ned Land.)

July 4, 2009 4:08 pm

I have this set and it’s very nice. As for pets, my cat enjoys chasing it around!

July 4, 2009 4:17 pm

It looks ridiculous. Seriously, $210 for a standard train with generic star trek stuff pasted on it.

July 4, 2009 4:21 pm

oh dear how unawesome.

TonyD
July 4, 2009 4:35 pm

While well done, the mix of Star Trek and classic electric trains is a somewhat odd one.

Maybe they should have made the locomotive look like the Anti-Grav Air Tram from ST:TMP that Admiral Kirk first appears exiting.

July 4, 2009 4:40 pm

While I admire trains and sets like these, I really, honestly, must say I would get more use and enjoyment myself out of a Star Trek toilet brush, seriously.

Alf, in pog form
July 4, 2009 4:43 pm

If you people think this train set is all types of awsome, you should see my Star Trek rubber chicken collection.

Third Remata'Klan
July 4, 2009 4:47 pm

Interesting.
On the first car, with the crew photo, they use for “Star Trek” a font created for the new movie. (Same one one the action figure packaging….)

jastrek_montreal
July 4, 2009 4:56 pm

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL. WHAT A DISASTER !!!!!

in other news…..

Radam
July 4, 2009 4:58 pm

Why? Seriously.

July 4, 2009 5:06 pm

Feh.

What I’M waiting for are Star Trek salad tongs!

That One Guy
July 4, 2009 5:13 pm

12,
Sorry, you’ll have to settle with the official Star Trek Spork and Toaster.

Jef
July 4, 2009 5:15 pm

Glad I don’t do HO anymore. If it was O gauge 3 rail I’d have to think about getting one.

The Rusted Robot
July 4, 2009 5:26 pm

You should see the Enterprise bottle opener I just got….now that’s awesome, and useful too! Get it now from scifigenre.com

VorpalK
July 4, 2009 5:28 pm

Nope. Do not want. Not an accurate train reproduction (unless Paramount has some promotional train I dont’ know about). Has nothing to do with Trek apart from the pictures. Definitely not worth the money.

The TOS Purist aka The Purolator
July 4, 2009 5:51 pm

Why does it have the TNG Starfleet logo on the front?

And couldn’t they use more of the actual TOS font on this thing? Despite all the pretty pictures it’s not TOS enough to be worth anything.

Hat Rick
July 4, 2009 6:47 pm

Thanks for the nice review, John Tenuto. It’s quite nice and your efforts to keep us up to date are appreciated.

jastrek_montreal
July 4, 2009 6:48 pm

I’m still shocked over that idea that a company has made this and has marketed this to the public ! and also invested in manufacturing this !

Third Rail
July 4, 2009 6:56 pm

If it would have been a Lionel Train, I would have considered it.

Kevin Dilmore
July 4, 2009 9:29 pm

Hey, can that Bachmann turner go into overdrive?

Now THAT’S a train that’s takin’ care of business!

Wow … it’s late.

starfall42
July 4, 2009 10:14 pm

They should have done a “Wrath of Conrail” car.

July 4, 2009 11:15 pm

I Love all the Star Trek classic Stuff ! And this Train is HOT STUFF!

SciFiMetalGirl
July 4, 2009 11:48 pm

I saw this advertised, and have to admit I was curious about it. While I now feel that this set is not for me, I do applaude their efforts!

Thanks John for the outstanding article!

Jim Nightshade
July 5, 2009 12:46 am

Wow-sounds like most fans are not interested in this-same feeling I got when i got the offer in the mail last year-not worth the price plus takes up too much room for what it is-imo-also doesnt it need a trek tunnel and trek town to go with it?

Spockish
July 5, 2009 1:39 am

The train looks nice and artsy, but I gave up model trains at the age of 5. And moved onto race cars, first big bulky ones, the did hot wheels, then cars that could race on tracks that were up side down, we even made loop to loop tracks because our hot wheels could so our race cars had to. Even did jumps but that killed the cars almost as fast as a baseball bat. And we felt if you had a electric train you were old enough to have ridden the wild open range with the cowboys and Indians.

Then we moved on to Major Mar Mason and GI Joe’s that loved to kill Barbies, or at least make them lose a arm or leg or get a crew cut.

After that we moved on to as you guessed it playing Star Trek with our AMT phasers and Communicators. And if we had model ships, we did not have phaser beams or photon torpedos so we would use rubber bands to shot at the other ship flying by. A wad of 25 rubber bands could destroy a plastic model for real.

July 5, 2009 4:18 am

Lame-I thought it meant one of those real electric trains, like an electric car, except a train. Besides, it goes too slow. And my grandparents already have another train.

July 5, 2009 4:34 am

Seems a bit pricey for a toy train with only two cars (two cars? TWO cars?) and an engine. Toys should be priced for play.

Didn’t these people see Toy Story 2? This thing will become possessed by the voice of Kelsey Grammer and turn evil, if it hasn’t already happened. Those who do not learn the lessons of Pixar are doomed to repeat them.

Bugs Nixon
July 5, 2009 5:53 am

Krusty the Clown crowd barriers… Krusty the Clown birth control pills…

MrAtoz
July 5, 2009 8:15 am

agreed.
lame

The Chief
July 5, 2009 8:19 am

#6, that is a great idea.

I guarantee you, some Trekkie’s rich grandparents are ordering this for them for Christmas as we speak! Those of us without rich grandparents shall have to go without.

John Tenuto
July 5, 2009 11:10 am

#2

You are wrong Mr. Bennett. Check into the making of the episode before making such assertions.

Enterprise
July 5, 2009 2:12 pm

About as useless as Star Trek plates.

MvRojo
July 5, 2009 2:58 pm

#9. That seems more like the logo created for the 40th Anniversary.

And this train looks incredibly lame and the video just made me laugh.

July 5, 2009 3:42 pm

#2: C.L.Bennet: I believe your information is from an editorial comment in the STEncylcopedia which was explicitly noted within the text as speculative.

One can always go and ask the Okudas, and maybe you even have another (more reliable) source, but, good gracious, man, you could stand to be a bit more polite to Mr. Tenuto. Won’t kill ya.

Re: the train. I like trains, but $70/train? I think not! I might buy the whole thing at $60, but not separate installments of that exorbitant amount!

Andy
July 5, 2009 9:23 pm

My brother works for the Bradford Group in Illinois and helped design this piece… they just photoshop different logos and graphics onto an existing Bachmann plastic train body. I visited his workshop in 2004 and he showed me this very train model (since we are both avid trekkies), but he assured me it was not worth much more than the few dollars the train itself cost from their chinese manufacturer.

It’s funny, they have not changed a single graphic since he pulled the prototype form the forgotten bin to show me 5 years ago!

ilkers
July 5, 2009 10:38 pm

why oh why :)

July 6, 2009 1:19 am

#36: It probably sat in the bin until someone noticed there was a new movie, at which point a dusty “time to cash in” light began blinking somewhere :)

Canadianknight
July 6, 2009 8:01 am

#36 – Andy, your brother was right on the money.

I love how some of these companies slap “heirloom quality” on their items just so they will sound better. If this set lasts so that the grandkids can play with it, I’ll be honestly stunned.

In addition to being a Trek fan, I’m also an HO model railroader. This is an entry-level Bachmann train, which is low quality garbage. Further, they have the audacity to charge you over 200 bucks for this crap? This is (at best) a 90 dollar train set (that is missing some of the cars) with some photoshopped Trek stuff on the sides. Whopdedoo!!!

You can get a pretty dang decent HO locomotive for that price, and it will last far longer than this POS.

…and then it’s 70 bucks per car thereafter? Dude, you can get incredibly accurate, pre-assembled, REAL quality HO train cars for half that price. Fully weighted, with accurate markings and scale magnetic couplers.

Sorry John. Usually, I agree with the majority of your reviews. However, this is complete and utter trash. Plus it’s ridiculously overpriced to boot.

Wouldn’t spend a dime on it.

steve2
July 6, 2009 9:05 am

I am not sure I get this. Seems a bit kitschy to me.

Felderburg
July 6, 2009 5:44 pm
July 6, 2009 7:50 pm

Sheesh. What a bunch of unnecessarily negative nellies. Sometimes, I don’t know why you bother Mr. Tenuto…but I AM glad you do as I enjoy all your articles on Trek merchandising, collector that I am.

Don’t you folks get it? It’s the first time in a while that manufacturers are actually producing copious amounts of Trek merchandise. Ok, so some of it isn’t your cup of tea but is it really necessary to be so nasty about it? So smugly superior? So high school?

Canadianknight
July 6, 2009 10:15 pm

Nothing wrong with calling a turd a turd. If this was a decent quality train, I’d be tempted.

It’s not. It’s crap. And worse, it’s overpriced, simply because it says “Star Trek” on it.

Seleya
July 7, 2009 12:19 am

There’s real potential if they get into the scenery. Wormholes, dilithium mines, starship yards, various homeworld captials… whole new vistas of collectibles for third parties to offer. :-)

July 7, 2009 6:28 am

#43– Lordy. It’s only a train. Relax.

July 7, 2009 10:22 pm

#45-It’s a POS, and a POS is a POS, no matter how you try to polish it.

Here’s a better Star Trek trainset idea:

A monorail set (based on the shape of the shuttlecraft from STV: The Final Frontier) bearing the name Nortrak (based on Amtrak, but instead now called North American Rail Corporation). This set would come complete with pylons, lights. the whole shmeer. As for the decals, it would say ‘Nortrak’ and then in smaller script, ‘United Earth Republic Transit Authority’ ending with the United Earth Republic symbol. This set would also contain a sound-effects card that would say out station destinations, and all the other stuff you hear on a train now and would most definitely hear on a train then in that future.

Another train set inspired by/based on/suggested by Star Trek would be a bullet train in the similar colors as mentioned above. Actually. I would love to see a maglev (magnetic levitation) trainset inspired by/based on/suggested by Star Trek, but considering how maglev’s haven’t even been built yet for ordinary transportation, there’s no way a company could make a maglev trainset-it would probably cost a thousand dollars and then some. So, the two types of trainset I’ve mentioned would have to be what we get; both are better than this POS made just to slap ‘Star Trek’ and sell it as merchandise.

Canadianknight
July 8, 2009 12:20 am

#45 – Please don’t tell me to relax. I ain’t stressed. I’m simply pointing out it’s a crap quality train that costs far too much.

The Good German
July 8, 2009 5:06 pm

Very nice! Fine Product!

larry
August 9, 2009 12:00 pm

All you dummies commenting dont know what your talking about saying its a cheap peice of crap, dont you know this thing will be worth over a thousand dollars soon? and it will be rare cause all you poor peeps cant afford it, thats why i bought 17 sets, and will sell them in a few years and make over 20 grand.
Besides I like it and its a wonderful looking train.

cya poor peeps
larry

Stuart
November 5, 2009 7:19 pm

I am both a ST hobbyist and a model RR hobbyist. I like the idea of the ST train set. I have a few questions however. First I notice it is a Bachmann. Does it have a built in DCC decoder, is it DCC ready? Is the B unit powered? Does it have a flywheel? Does it use knuckle couplers or old style horn and hook? Do the cars have metal wheels? Frankly for $210 it should have DCC, with both A& B units powered with flywheels. All wheels should be metal and couplers be knuckle type. Also I think the choice of the F3 Electromotive diesel was the wrong one fro this train. Although I believe that trains with steel wheels will run on steel rails will still be around in the 23rd and 24th centuries, they will not use a diesel engine for power and be of far more advanced design.

wpDiscuz