I mentioned the Argos /Hornby Anglian set because I beleive it is a better-made loco than the cheaper, smaller-engined sets...although I may be wrong there......last B12 I looked at had the Triang XO4 motor in it....and because it IS a set I'd fancy buying for myself. if I had that much cash to blow on an un-necessary.....personal choice there, I'm afraid.
All depends on what one wants to DO with that trainset?
How one personally envisages developing things?
20-30 years ago, the given advice from those that knew..was to buy a goods train set, as it had greater play value than a passenger set...and goods trains of a recogniseable type were still commonly seen...or had been 10 years beforehand.
An additonal track set which included a point
was also advised.....although these days, such items can be found included in sets anyway.
These days, people more associate trains with passengers....so perceptions [and consequent requirements] differ.
IF.....I were putting together a ''trainset'' that included the best items available, to achieve an objective [for a minimal cost]..then I wouldn't use most of the stuff currently found in trainsets.
the OBJECTIVE I had in mind being, to encourage a beginner into the world of model railways.
To achieve THAT, I consider RELIABILITY of operation, ie running, to be of primary importance.
so, I would assemble a GOODS train set, comprising ONE of two locos, covering ancient/modern, and importantly in this day and age,RECOGNISABLE, [bearing in mind, the accessability of Preserved lines] types.
those types would be, Hornby's J94 0-6-0ST.....for steam and preserved aspects.....or Hornby's 08 diesel shunter...which might cover all three.
both possess excellent low speed running abilities, and excellent reliability over points.
Wagons would be from the better of Hornby's or Bachmann's ranges.....ie the more realistic vehicles, rather than the current tendency to use older model designs.....or colourful ones.
Open wagons, low sided, or flat wagons...all capable of recieving ''loads'', created by the owner....[first steps in actual MODELLING???]...a van or two...maybe a nice oil tank as well.......
Brake vans of the BR sort are essential too...even if not used in more modern times, they CAN be altered, paintwise, for departmental use
If the set contained a point [it ought to] then I would include some signals of an appropriate sort....plus a loading gauge....lights, telegraph poles, level crossing bits, etc???
All cheap to make, and include in the set?
What also could be included in such a set [apart from a basic controller of better quality]........is a set of printed card [cut-out?] buildings or scenic items.
perhaps a goods shed, oil storage facility, maybe a loading dock.... signal box.....etc?
with todays excellent printing available, realistic-looking card models can be created simply and cheaply........and included as part of the packaging???
[just look at Metcalf, Superquick, etc???}
The idea of the above is to give the new buyer INSPIRATION regarding what could be achieved?
as an aside, how nice and encouraging it would be, if someone actually created a SHUNTING trainset??
the above stock would fit the bill....but for TRACKAGE......why get wrapped up with the idea of OVALS all the time?
why not....include sufficient track/points to assemble a SHELF-type layout..requiring as little space as possible...say, 4 or 5 feet by around 1 foot wide?
Sufficient track to create either something like Inglenook sidings.....or John Allen's TIMESAVER plan?
plus, instructions [or CD rom?] outlining how the real thing worked, and suggesting different sorts of shunting puzzles?
I get the feeling there is always a PRESUMPTION of prior knowledge, to a degree....when putting together trainsets...?
some of the posts on this forum prove the opposite actually exists........and there is no reason why it shouldn't.
explanation IS needed.......the trainset IS the first rung of the model railway ladder, for most of us......after all?