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O-Scale Accessories
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O Scale Accessories
O Gauge Christmas TrainsOn30 Christmas Trains

Written by Paul D. Race for and


Lionel(r) and other companies have been making "O-gauge" trains since the early 1900s. This means that the "aftermarket" for buildings, figures, and other accessories to go with these trains has been growing almost as long. Train-loving families have also learned that setting out those accessories is one of the most fun aspects of setting up a model railroad, display village, or train set. In fact, my kids always seemed to like setting out the accessories (and rearranging them for various effects) as much as they liked running the trains. These accessories certainly add to the "play value" for all ages.

Most of the accessories on this page were made by Bachmann (the same company that makes most of the On30 and Large Scale trains in the Big Christmas Train catalog.) Under the Plasticville(r) trade name, these products have been adding detail and charm to Lionel(r) and American Flyer(r) railroads since the 1950s. It is fun to be able to offer to you many of the same products I used on my S-scale (indoor) railroad in the 1960s. In fact, one of these products, the platform fence, is currently finding use on my outdoor railroad. If you've had sticker shock on some of the other pages, you should know that nothing on this page is over $30 and most products are under $20. If you have kids who are remotely interested in trains, these products will make setting up and operating the railroad more fun for them (not to mention adding nostalgia value for Grandpa).

I have also stuck mostly to products that will take up very little space on your railroad, but add a great deal of interest.

Painting and Weathering - Some of the structures shown on the photos below have been "weathered" a little to make them look slightly less plastic. I usually paint my structures before I put the kits together, so that's not an issue for me. But if you buy a "built-up" model or don't want to paint the structure, you can still achieve the "weathering" effect by watering down some black acrylic craft paint, putting it into an old Windex bottle and spraying it on the structures until they look a little grungy. Once the stain has worked its way into the cracks, you may want to wipe the stain off the smooth parts of the surface, so the details and woodgrain show up, let the whole thing dry thoroughly, then give it one more fine overall spray to make it look less plastic.

Painting and weathering is optional (unless you plan to use any of these products outdoors, then painting is mandatory). When you get these things out of the box, you may decide you like them just the way they are (most people do); I just wanted to give you an option. For more details about painting and weathering structures, please see the Painting Plastic Structures article in the Family Garden Trains site.

Update for 2010

"Built-Up" Versions of Plasticville Classics Prove Popular - When I first put this page together, I featured several Bachmann "Plasticville" kits, made from the same molds as the kits I put together for my childhood American Flyer railroad. By 2009, Bachmann had discontinued many of the kits and replaced them with "built-up" versions. And by the end of 2009, many of those structures had become hard to find, so this is a popular approach. For many folks, there's something to be said for spending a few dollars more to get "instant gratification." That said, most of the earlier Bachmann kits are still available from a number of suppliers, so I will continue to feature them here, alongside the "built-up" version when necessary. If you like painting things or want to do something unique with your model, it's a lot easier to start with a kit than a built-up version after all.

More Products Available - Trainz.com, whom we added as a supplier in 2009, carries a wide range of products. Unfortunately their inventory varies so much from week to week that whenever I build a "permanent" link to one product on their site, they sell out of that and the link goes bad. So we have a few links to individual products. But we have also added direct links to Trainz.com's Plasticville Building and "O Scale Structure" pages, so you can shop for hard-to-find products.

Click for free graphics and instructions to make vintage-style lithograph-inspired structures.In addition, if you're interested in a vintage tinplate (metal toy train) look, check out our Tribute to Tinplate™ articles on making your own, inexpensive, vintage-style structures and accessories. Each article includes free downloadable instructions and graphics based on 70-to-100-year-old lithography.

Note about Availability and Pricing: Although I try to keep an eye on things and to recommend products that are reasonably available, the model train market does fluctuate, and any product on this page may change price or become unavailable without prior notice. If you "click through" to see details on a product, and nothing happens at all, or Pick Your Team! Major League Baseball(R) Train you are routed to a supplier's home page, please let me know and I will remove the product from the online catalog until I can find a replacement or another supplier. For more detailed information about why products seem to come and go and why I have stopped listing prices for certain products, please see my article "About Pricing and Availability."

Note about Suppliers: While we try to help you get the products you want by recommending suppliers with a good record of customer service, all transactions between you and the supplier you chose to provide your trains or other purchases are governed by the published policies on the supplier's web site. So please print off any order confirmation screens and save copies of invoices, etc., so you can contact the appropriate supplier should any problems occur. (They almost never do, but you want to be on the safe side.)


Bachmann O Platform Fence with Gate - 45991Platform Fence - As odd as it may sound, a little bit of fencing can bring a sense of establishment and order to your communities and farms like nothing else. A fence can turn a meadow into a lawn, a wilderness into a pasture, or a vacant lot into a city park. This fence accessory is great with both indoor and out-of-door trains. Used with O-Scale or O-Gauge (indoor) trains, it is the right size to represent the fences that keep non-ticketed passengers from wandering into the wrong areas at large stations. Used with Large Scale trains, it is the right size to represent a picket fence. The posts are designed so that it is easy to create different configurations from the one shown (as long as you use all right angles). I have been using a stretch of this outside to fence a farm off from the right-of-way. I should paint it with a white primer to make it a little more UV-resistant, but I have had no trouble with it so far.

Please click on a "check stock" button for details and for information about availability and pricing.


Bachmann O Rustic Fence (12 pieces) - 45984

Rustic Fence - Out in the country, this fence may look more at home than the white pickets above. Again, the posts are made so you can configure this fence in many different shapes.

Please click on the "check stock" button for details and for information about availability and pricing.


Bachmann O Loading Platform and Crossing Shanty - 45977Freight Platform and Loading Shanty - If you don't have room for a big station, but you still want your train to have a reason to stop, consider having a freight delivery point. Like the other Plasticville structures on this page, these structures are molded in color so they don't technically need paint (or glue for that matter), although a splash of paint or stain would help them fit in better with collectible village structures.

For more details about painting and weathering structures, please see the Painting Plastic Structures article in the Family Garden Trains site.

Please click on the "check stock" button for details and for information about availability and pricing for the built-up version of this product.

Note: The prebuilt version sold out of many stores in late 2009, but should be available again eventually. If you don't want to wait, and you don't mind snapping stuff together yourself, check out the kit version below.

Please click on the "check stock" button for details and for information about availability and pricing for the kit version of this product.


Bachmann O Trestle Bridge "Through" Truss Bridge - Real world railroads only used "through" bridges when they had to leave room for boats, trucks, or other trains to pass underneath the right-of-way. The nice thing about these is you can put them almost anywhere on a model railroad or display village and they look great without taking up any room to speak of. And for some reason, watching the train go through something adds unique visual interest. (If you want to gouge out a channel or paint a river underneath the bridge, you can, of course.)

Please click a the "check stock" button for details and for information about availability and pricing.


Bachmann O Signal Bridge (Silver)Signal Bridge - In the "real world," signal bridges inform engineers if the next stretch of track is safe to travel. Chances are your indoor railroad or display village isn't running so many trains at once that this is a worry. Nevertheless this accessory takes up very little space and adds a lot of visual interest.

I put one of these together back in the 1960s to go with my American Flyer trains. It was a little too tall, so I left off the base pieces. That said, it's relatively easy to assemble, so if you want to paint it first, don't be nervous about ordering the kit version. On the other hand the "built-up" version does offer "instant" gratification. :-)

Click the "check stock" button to the right to see the "built-up" version of this structure.

Click a "check stock" button to the right to see
the kit version of this structure.


Bachmann O Windmill with Farm Machinery - 45603 Windmill with Farm Machinery - Again, this structure adds vertical interest while taking up almost no room whatsoever. I think the little guy on the tractor looks kind of funky, but some of the other toys, like the old pickup, are useful.

Please click on a "check stock" button
for details and for information
about availability and pricing.


Bachmann O Water Tower - 45978Water Tower - Few structures summon the age of the "iron horse" as much as the water tower, which will also add a vertical dimension to your railroad. This Bachmann model is molded in color and snaps together easily. That said, if you feel like painting it some other color, you certainly may.

Please click on the "check stock" button for details and for information about availability and pricing.


Bachmann O Union Station - 45976Union Station - A classic big-city station that will fit into a very small space if you need it to (simply by reusing the platform extensions somewhere else). One of these graced my American Flyer layout for many years when I was much younger, so having this structure on this page is probably as much about nostalgia as it is about usefulness. That said, this structure is attractive and inexpensive. If you plan to light it from the inside, you might consider getting the kit, spray-painting it inside and out first, to cut down on the "radioactive"-looking glow of the light coming through the walls. It also gets rid of the plastic "sheen." It's very simple to lay the white pieces out separately, spray them with 99-cent gray primer (or $3 flat white primer, which is harder to find), then with 99-cent flat white, let the whole thing dry an extra day, then snap or glue it together. (If you want to get really elaborate, hit the hit the green parts with a coat of $3 satin [not glossy] Hunter Green, then hit the gray parts with the gray primer and a bit of the "stain" I described above.) You'd be surprised how a little extra effort and a few worth of paint makes this building fit in with the most elaborate railroad or display village.

Click a "check stock" button at the right to see the "built-up" version of this product.

Click a "check stock" button at the right to see the kit version of this product.

For more details about painting and weathering structures, please see the Painting Plastic Structures article in the Family Garden Trains site.

Bachmann O Scale Coaling Tower


Bachmann O Scale Coaling Tower - This building is about 14" tall, big enough to "make a statement" on any O scale railroad - in fact Bachmann used to include the kit version with some of their Large Scale starter sets. That's how I know this model, and it's also why I recommend getting the "built-up" version unless you want to paint it yourself. - it's relatively tricky to assemble compared to other Plasticville structures.

Click the button to the right to see the "built-up" version of this model.

Click a "Check Stock" button to the right to see the kit version of this model.


Click to see Trainz.com's Plasticville PageTrainz.com's Plasticville Page

Trainz.com is a full-service dealer of O 27/O Gauge and O scale trains. For that reason, they A: understand O scale accessories of all kinds, and B: carry a very large selection.

If you like the price and look of the Plasticville products on this page, you'll find many more if you click on the picture to the right. I will warn you that a handfull of HO products were labeled Plasticville, so you'll need to read the product descriptions before you order, but you'll be pleased with the variety and cost of the products.


Click to see Trainz.com's O Scale Structure Kit PageTrainz.com's O Scale Structure Kit Page

If you want to see more building kits from Atlas and many other providers, click on the photo to the right. Some are inexpensive and easy to put together, and some are big, expensive, and complicated. But remember, Trainz.com combines shipping for multiple items, so if you put one item in your shopping cart, be sure to take a look around before you check out.
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