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Passenger Train or Boost?

Fxguy1Fxguy1 Champaign, ILMember Posts: 7
Looking for some advice on a purchase. My soon to be 6 year old son wants to get a lego train set. At $160 the city passenger train is pretty much the same price as the Lego Boost set. I was thinking if he can build a train using the boost set then getting him the Lego Boost would be more versatile than the City Passenger train.

What are the comparisons between the two sets? Pros and Cons for either set? Looking for advice on which one we should get.....

Thanks!
 

Comments

  • monkyby87monkyby87 Member Posts: 311
    Well the Boost is meant to help motorize and add some interactive stuff to sets. But you’ll want a train set to start in order to utilize Boost for what you want. 
  • Fxguy1Fxguy1 Champaign, ILMember Posts: 7
    So you couldn’t use boost in itself to build a motorized train?
  • MrShinyAndNewMrShinyAndNew Member Posts: 244
    edited February 1
    The Boost smart brick is relatively huge as it has two motors built in. If you want a train, you really are better off buying the train set. Lego trains tend to be built with special train-specific parts: track, wheels, bogeys, couplers, and platforms, not to mention the motor, remote, and smart brick.

    Lego is combining their programmable bricks (like Boost) with their motorized parts (like trains) into one family called Powered Up, but the product line is a little under-developed right now. In the future it will be easy to take the colour sensor from the Boost set and attach it to the train (like I did here) but right now that requires third-party software to make it work.

    If you're only buying one set, the train set makes a nice train and it goes around the track. You'll probably want to buy more track, and more track, and more track, then more trains - eventually, anyway. But you get a full train and track system from one of the train sets.

    If you buy Boost, what you're mainly buying is a toy programming tool that lets you experiment with a little bit of robotics. The set is designed for building certain models with the pieces that come in the box. It's so specific that of all the sets I own, only the Boost set is kept in its own box, because if you want to do any of the activities you need all the Boost parts handy. It does have quite a lot of fun activities and it lets you freestyle a bit, but it doesn't (yet, anyway) let you combine Boost and a Powered Up train together into one program.

    They're both great sets but if you want a train better get a train. And track. Lots of track. With switches. Seriously it's a bottomless pit but it's fun all the way down.

    A friend of mine built a Boost train but as you can see the Boost brick is already too wide for the track and you can't easily hide the unused ports and motors.
    monkyby87gmonkey76EvilTwinstluxLittleLori
  • monkyby87monkyby87 Member Posts: 311
    edited February 1
    Fxguy1 said:
    So you couldn’t use boost in itself to build a motorized train?
    I meant to write more in my post but it messed up haha. The boost set is really just a programmable device that can be used in conjunction with Legos, but making a train out of it might be challenging. Trains require some specific parts, and trying to make a train out of the Boost could end up being costly if you don’t already have the train parts. I would recommend buying a train set, and look into the Boost later on. Boost also may not be as fun right out of the box and takes some getting used to. 
  • mr_bennmr_benn United KingdomMember Posts: 834
    edited February 1
    Definitely get the train if you want a train.  Naturally, once you have it, it can be customised in any way, and you can add more track, and maybe in the future you could also get the Boost to do things like cranes or crossings or whatever, but in terms of a fun factor and having all the things you need, it's all in that train box. 
  • Fxguy1Fxguy1 Champaign, ILMember Posts: 7
    Thanks everyone for the advice. Sounds like the train set itself is the best way to go for now. At least additional track / accessories / additions arent that expensive. Any resources for lego train building? I know about brickmodelrailroader.com but just stumbled upon it recently. We have an HO layout that we've been working on on and off for a while but think he'd really love the lego set and having his own layout. 

    Is there one set that is better than another as far as a first train set? Is it remote controlled? 
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 1,461
    #60051 is a good start, gets you the basics. #7597 Toy Story Train is my grandson's favorite, and I motorized it at Christmas by building a freight car with the running gear from #60051 (now replaced by the same parts ordered direct from Lego).

    The downside of Lego trains is they need a lot of space. Nope, more space than that. Here's a link that discusses Lego trains in fairly good detail.
    http://montystrains.net/workshop-blog/2018/2/22/track-planning-for-lego-trains-part-2-track-geometry-and-tips-tricks
  • monkyby87monkyby87 Member Posts: 311

    Set #60197 is the current passenger train set that includes a motor.  It's $160 msrp.  It includes 3 train cars and track to get you started.  You'll definitely want more track, as others have said.  The set gives you enough for a decent oval shape layout, but it's pretty basic.  You can also take out the motor from this set and use it in another train if you wish, it's not too challenging to do so.

    I really like the old style steam engines, and enjoy the Lone Ranger Constitution Train Chase and the Toy Story train.  But those are retired sets and also are not motorized.  Plus, they can be expensive on the after market, which is how you'd have to buy it.  So you should probably stick with a current set to get started.  Set #60051 as the above poster mentioned is good too, and was actually my first motorized set.  It's a basic passenger train as well, but I don't know how expensive it is nowadays since it's not the current set.

  • Fxguy1Fxguy1 Champaign, ILMember Posts: 7
    Update....we purchased 60197-1 and are having a lot of fun. Definitely going to be purchasing additional track shortly. So what are some upgrades / accessories that we can purchase? I saw a lighting kit on amazon but there has to be more out there. The switch tracks, are those remotely operated? What about signals / crossings, are those available to purchase somewhere? 

    Totally down the rabbit hole now..... (of course we've been down the Lego rabbit hole, just not the train tunnel until now... lol )


    sid3windr
  • awbbawbb UKMember Posts: 4
    As far as the passenger trains go at the moment, that's about it. AFAIK, #60197 Passenger Train and #60198 Cargo Train are the only train related sets (certainly in the City line) currently available from Lego. #60198 is more expensive, but certainly worth the extra money in my opinion. You get so much more "play" value out of it with the components and even the opportunity to do a heist, there's a basic crossing and some buffers with that as well as a control tower. You get some more track too (including a switch) and is generally a more interesting build, in my opinion.

    Lego brought out #60098 Heavy-Haul Train in 2015

    The 2014 releases were: 
    #60051 High-speed Passenger Train
    #60052 Cargo Train.

    2011
    #3677 Red Cargo Train

    2010 
    #7938 Passenger Train
    #7939 Cargo Train

    2006
    #7897 Passenger Train
    #7898 Cargo Train Deluxe

    For some reason Lego didn't release a Station in 2018 (well, #75955 Hogwarts Express has platform 9 and three quarters) as they did for their sets in 2014 (#60050), 2010 (#7937) and 2007 (#7997) which is about all you would normally get. 2010 had #7936 Level Crossing as a slight change of pace as well.

    2003 had the City World line, which has some nice sets:
    #4511: High Speed Train
    #4512: Cargo Train
    #4513: Grand Central Station
    #4514: Cargo Crane
    #10027: Train Engine Shed
    #10028: Train Level Crossing

    I won't get into Creator sets as with those and basically everything that has been retired, they're sort after sets and you have to pay a hefty premium for virtually all of them (I think the 2014 models can be had for near RRP still BNIB, but not the station, that's nigh on double).

    I would say, your best bet is probably looking for a cheapish used #60198 or #60052 on eBay or other. They're quite often split which can be helpful. Though some sellers will sell the locomotive with no Power Functions/Powered Up, so make sure on that, for a bit of on and off track variety.

    As for switches, out of the box, it's all manual. I've not delved into automation, but believe it to be possible with some 3rd party motors - 4DBrix are probably the most well known.

    https://www.instructables.com/id/LEGO-Train-Track-Switch-Automation/


  • M1J0EM1J0E Calgary, ABMember Posts: 462
    ^I can’t say I’m into trains at all, but some of those world city ones look awesome!  I’m assuming it’s possible to use them in a ‘modern’ setup by replacing the track?  I’ve always wondered, but not sure I need to go down the road of trains lol
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 11,949
    I wish they would re-release the #10027 Train Shed.  I strongly desire four more of them.
    davetheoxygenmandmcc0sid3windr
  • Baby_YodaBaby_Yoda The world's backsideMember Posts: 1,229
    Aw, come on. What's a few hundred dollars each on the aftermarket gonna do? It's for a good cause, after all. I mean, you gotta store your trains somewhere when you're not using them.
    SprinkleOtter
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 11,949
    Many hundred dollars...
    Baby_YodaSprinkleOtter
  • M1J0EM1J0E Calgary, ABMember Posts: 462
    That building is probably tops on my list of City theme buildings that pay attention to architecture & nailed it.  I would have to have one in a train layout.
  • awbbawbb UKMember Posts: 4

    #10028: Train Level Crossing

    This should be #10128. Fat fingers.
  • awbbawbb UKMember Posts: 4
    M1J0E said:
    ^I can’t say I’m into trains at all, but some of those world city ones look awesome!  I’m assuming it’s possible to use them in a ‘modern’ setup by replacing the track?  I’ve always wondered, but not sure I need to go down the road of trains lol

    A lot of the YouTubers seem happy enough to run Power Functions/Powered Up trains on 9v track. I don't have any 9v but the gauge is 6 studs on both, if that's what you were thinking?
  • Speedman29Speedman29 UKMember Posts: 1,298
    Fxguy1 said:
    Definitely going to be purchasing additional track shortly. 
    We bulked out our track stash using eBay. I did some maths on new prices/Bricklink etc and worked out cost per piece to see if the Ebay auctions were actually good value. Often people will sell the full oval from a set. I picked up a few for under £10. We also got a really good deal on a pile of straights. And after LEGO retired the track packs and brought new ones out with the PU details, the older sets were on sale in stores.

    Buy curves in multiples of four (that makes 90º turn) Buy points pairs of left and right, then you can make best use of them.
  • M1J0EM1J0E Calgary, ABMember Posts: 462
    awbb said:
    M1J0E said:
    ^I can’t say I’m into trains at all, but some of those world city ones look awesome!  I’m assuming it’s possible to use them in a ‘modern’ setup by replacing the track?  I’ve always wondered, but not sure I need to go down the road of trains lol

    A lot of the YouTubers seem happy enough to run Power Functions/Powered Up trains on 9v track. I don't have any 9v but the gauge is 6 studs on both, if that's what you were thinking?
    Ah good to know, as I don’t know anything about trains.  Thanks!  So you don’t even need to change tracks out from the ‘older’ 9V ones to use with newer trains.  
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,416
    All Lego trains use the same gauge track just different forms of propulsion. The 9V trains and older 12V trains are track type specific. 
    M1J0ESumoLegogmonkey76
  • daewoodaewoo TexasMember Posts: 326
    Avoid flexible track if you can.  It sucks.  If you need 1/4 length or 1/2 length straights, I've got some from 4DBrix and they work fine.
    M1J0E
  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,731
    SumoLego said:
    I wish they would re-release the #10027 Train Shed.  I strongly desire four more of them.
    Are you particular on the Dolley, chrome 1 x 1 x 2, doors, or baseplates?

    If not, I might have somethings for you..
    SumoLego
  • monkyby87monkyby87 Member Posts: 311
    daewoo said:
    Avoid flexible track if you can.  It sucks.  If you need 1/4 length or 1/2 length straights, I've got some from 4DBrix and they work fine.


    Flexible track works ok if you just use one or two pieces at a time, in between regular track.  Also, despite it being flexible, it works best in a straight formation.  I really only use it to bridge the gap between sections if I come up short.  I'm able to space things out with a flexible piece here or there to make it work.

    But yeah, avoid it if possible ;)

    SumoLego
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 11,949
    SprinkleOtter said:
    ...If not, I might have somethings for you...
    The actual shed.  I need somewhere to hide my extra engines!
  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,731
    SumoLego said:
    SprinkleOtter said:
    ...If not, I might have somethings for you...
    The actual shed.  I need somewhere to hide my extra engines!
    I'll PM you...
    SumoLego
  • KeilupKeilup Frisco, TXMember Posts: 142
    SumoLego said:
    I wish they would re-release the #10027 Train Shed.  I strongly desire four more of them.
    Four more?  I'd be happy with just one.  It's a great shed.  Always have my eyes peeled for a lucky crazy deal, but probably will never happen.  I'm just not paying going prices for that.
  • gmonkey76gmonkey76 ChicagoMember Posts: 1,443
    I'd be happy with an updated one. Never liked the back being open, or the gap under the bay doors. Just something more for me to change if I ever build my city.
    SumoLego
  • Wicksy80Wicksy80 Northern IrelandMember Posts: 548
    I bought a fire station on offer with a view to building my own shed with the sliding door. Don’t know if it’ll be wide enough though
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