Kato is one of the most popular manufacturers of model trains in the world. Their products are known for their high quality, detail, and reliability. Kato trains are available in two main scales, including N and HO.

If you are new to model trains, Kato is a great brand to start with. Their trains are relatively easy to operate and maintain, and they offer a wide range of products to choose from.

Getting Started with Kato Model Trains

The first thing you need to do is decide what scale of model train you want. N scale is the smallest scale, and it is a good choice for beginners because it is relatively inexpensive and takes up less space. HO scale is a popular scale in Europe and the USA, and it offers a wide range of products and accessories. In the UK OO is most popular, which is a similar size but a little different - the track is compatible.

Once you have decided on a scale, you need to choose a starter set. Kato offers a variety of starter sets that include everything you need to get started, including a locomotive, freight cars or passenger cars, track, and a power supply. There is a range of Japanese, European, North American or British train options.

Once you have your starter set, you can start building your layout. Kato offers a variety of track and buildings that make it easy to create a realistic layout. You can also find a variety of accessories, such as vehicles and figures, to add to your layout. We recommend planning your layout with computer software such as SCARM.

Operating Kato Model Trains

Operating Kato model trains is relatively simple. Most of the North American Kato locomotives are available DCC equipped, which means that you can control them using a digital command control (DCC) system. DCC systems allow you to control multiple locomotives independently, and they also allow you to program sound and lighting effects.

If you do not have a DCC system, you can still operate Kato locomotives using a basic power supply such as the one supplied in the starter sets. However, you will not be able to control multiple locomotives independently, and you will not be able to program sound and lighting effects.

Maintaining Kato Model Trains

Kato model trains are relatively low maintenance. However, there are a few things you can do to keep them running smoothly.

  • Clean the track regularly using a track cleaning car or a track cleaning cloth.
  • Lightly Lubricate the wheels and gears of your locomotives and freight cars occasionally.
  • Check the coupler springs and tension regularly.
  • Store your trains in a cool, dry place.

Tips for Beginners

Here are a few tips for beginners to Kato model trains:

  • Start with a small layout. You can always expand your layout later.
  • Don't be afraid to experiment. There are no rules when it comes to model railroading.
  • Have fun! Model railroading is a great hobby for people of all ages.


Kato model trains are a great choice for beginners and experienced modelers alike. They offer a wide range of high-quality products at a variety of price points. If you are looking to get started in model railroading, Kato is a great brand to choose from.

Further questions? Feel free to ask us anything - we love Kato model railways!


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