Jack Burns: After much internet searching, questioning those with experience and looking in to all the best possibilities for a newcomer to start out, I have come to the conclusion that AristoCraft has the best stainless track and economical rail equipment. Most companies have some good features but I find them not quite as good as AristoCraft overall. The fact that AristoCraft has, what appears to be very competitive prices, also influenced my choice. I will be starting out with a complete AristoCraft layout and equipment for my garden trains.
Mike Evans: It's hard to single out only one manufacturer for best products, price, etc. Certainly LGB maintains the lead in overall quality. But I own several Bachmann locomotives and am pleased with both their detail and low cost. For track and control components, AristoCraft can't be beat. Garden trains may soon rival HO for variety and the numerous small firms getting into the more specialized areas. There are also many links out there to a lot of information, particularly LSOL with their weekly informative articles.
John Pletcher: I have garden trains from Bachmann, USA Trains and AristoCraft. As of yet I have not had to call customer service for anything as all has worked beautifully. It is really nice to see a ever expanding product offerings with great detail. As far as picking a best manufacturer of the year, that is tough since each garden trains manufacturer is tops in their prospective product nitches. One thing for sure, with all the wonderful offerings, it will give the large-scale railroad community more ammunition to attract more people into the hobby.
Jon D. Miller: Since I model in narrow gauge, Bachmann gets my vote for the best garden trains. The attention to detail on their Spectrum line is without equal. Dollar for dollar when comparing detail and fidelity to a prototype then Bachmann is great value for out of pocket cost.