G scale sets, Piko or Bachmann? Which is better?

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  • Member since
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G scale sets, Piko or Bachmann? Which is better?
Posted by SteamPowered3251 on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 10:10 AM

I am going to be making a garden railway, but I want to know the pros and cons about Bachmann sets and Piko sets.

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Posted by ttrigg on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 12:18 PM

Don't know if I can say which is best. I've been running Bachmann and LGB for nearly 25 years. Following manufactures reccomendations for routine maintenance has kept everything running fine. Pico; only 4 years experience but follow maintenance schedule keeps things running.

Some units within each brand have stronger pulling power than some of the same brand. Also within each brand some require larger curves, some can navigate smaller curves. 

I guess I'm pushing the Pros& Cons issue back to you. Compare your minimum curveature with with the ability of the equipment you are looking at to handle your curves. If you have 20ft curves you can run most everything. 6ft curves place severe limits on the size of your equipment.

Now if you had asked about 'Lite Brite" brand I would say take it out of the box, rip the trucks from under the cars and make trackside structures. If you can give some info on what you plan someone here could give better advice.

Tom Trigg

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Posted by SteamPowered3251 on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 12:26 PM

I wasn't asking about lgb and Bachman, I was asking about Piko and Bachmann 

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Posted by Greg Elmassian on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 11:29 PM

Tom mentioned LGB, Bachmann, and Piko...

Your question does not have enough information to give you a good answer...

Some locos by Bachmann are "better" than others.

You need to not only provide which locos you want to compare, but also what kind of curves, grades, etc. on your layout.

For example, if you had sharp curves, a short wheelbase Piko might be "better" than a Bachmann K27 or C19...

Or, if you wanted to haul longer trains, then that Bachmann might be better than Piko...


You need to define your environment and your definition of "better" in order to get any meaningful recommendations.

Some random pro's and con's

Piko quality is high, but may not have as rugged drivetrains as the larger Bachmanns..

Smaller bachmann locos lose the main drive gear all the time...


Pikos usually come with sound and a DCC decoder...

Bachmanns have a "standard" socket for a decoder...

Bachmann stuff is way more to scale, Piko is more toylike.. The K27 and C19 are excellent 1:20.3




Visit my site: - lots of tips on locos, rolling stock and more.

 Click here for Greg's web site


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Posted by ttrigg on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 3:11 PM


Just noticed something in his post. In the title line "G scale sets" and at the end of his statement "Bachmann sets and Piko sets". Could he be talking about starter sets? Since those sets normally include an 0-4-0 or two axle diesel yard goat with a pair of short cars, they do well on the smaller curves. Since they are of 'economy construction' they mostly tend to develop drive gear problems as well as electrical pick up issues. 

Tom Trigg

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  • From: YYC, CANADA
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Posted by rbrr on Thursday, March 29, 2018 10:59 PM

"...."G scale sets" and at the end of his statement "Bachmann sets and Piko sets". Could he be talking about starter sets?.."


Yep !  Read the post  Cool


Wish I could help but bought neither in "set" format, or enough quantity to input regards P' & C' .






"G-gauge may not Rule, But it GROWS on Ya !! " djc'99
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Posted by Postwar Paul on Monday, April 2, 2018 10:54 PM

Hello everyone !

My name is Paul, and I live over on the CTT forum, but I have been a G gauger since 1995. Just happened to look at the GR forum, and saw this thread.

I wanted to :

a. Introduce myself.

b. Offer some insights on equipment, especially pertaining to starting in the hobby.

In 1995, LGB made the smoothest running, most rugged, and reliable stuff. They were so far ahead of anyone else, in terms of quality. Many people kitbashed a great looking Bachmann 4-6-0 boiler onto a smooth running LGB mechanism.

But, if there was an award for most improved product line, I think it should go to Bachmann's big hauler 4-6-0. They have retooled the drive train on this engine so many times, and for a while it seemed to be yearly. The 10 th anniversary engines are great, smooth running, and reliable. And if I'm not mistaken, I believe the latest offerings have metal gears.

So, starting out in the hobby in 2018, I would highly recommend the Bachman 4-6-0 train sets as a great value, although I only see 2 sets offered on Bachmann's web site today. They were the standard starter set engine for Bachmann, and many of us cut our teeth on them.


I have no experience with Piko, and can not compare. They entered the market after I purchased most of my fleet. 


I have some pictures of my humble modeling skills at the end of the " Melbourne Tram" thread in the CTT forum, if you would like to check it out.



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Posted by Rex in Pinetop on Sunday, June 17, 2018 5:17 PM

I recently purchased a Piko 2-6-0 set with DCC and sound.  I had a great deal of difficulty converting it to battery power.  I finally gave up and purchased Phoenix sound to go with an Airwire decoder.  The only things I kept were the motor and the speaker.  If I ever purchase a Piko set again I'll get one without sound or DCC.


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Posted by vsmith on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 11:00 AM
The latest 2018 Bachmann offerings are without a doubt the best they've ever offered. The current 4-6-0 offer a version of the most recent drivetrain upgrades using metal gears and are one of the most durable engines out there now. LGB and Piko still use nylon gears but are still very good value. Piko engines are probably the weakest pullers of the three brands but not by much.

   Have fun with your trains

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  • From: Kokomo, Indiana
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Posted by emdmike on Sunday, June 24, 2018 8:47 AM

LGB set the bar very high from basicly day one.  The basic motor block from the Stainz European engine has been used by many for kit bashes.  Piko kind of stepped in during the down time after the collapse of the original LGB company and are a solid design for the most part.  Hartland is one that isnt mentioned as they have not done many starter sets, but thier drivetrain is also very robust and durable.  Its also made right here in Indiana where I live.  The newest runs of Bachmann's 10 wheeler are the best as others have mentioned, and you can buy complete power chassis in their parts store and swap them into older versions.  If you come accross one of the older sets that you like, run that drive till it craps out then get one of the chassis from the parts store and have an awsome running model.      

Silly NT's, I have Asperger's Syndrome

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