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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.