Is Timbertown Railway the Most Popular GeoTrax Starter Set?
It’s probably impractical to take a poll of all GeoTrax owners to see what their favorite GeoTrax starter set is. But if we could, I think Timbertown Railway would rank in the top three or four.
Other starter sets that pop up quite often are the initial GeoTrax set called Tracktown Railway, the Grand Central Station set, and the GeoAir High Flyin’ Airport.
Personally, my favorite is this Timbertown Railway, primarily because of the style of the train engine. I like the older, stocky steam engine over the newer, sleek speed train.
What’s in Timbertown Railway and It’s Re-releases?
The first Timbertown (Fisher Price product ID P1370) was released in 2009 near the end of the GeoTrax run. It seems to have been available until 2013. If so, this means that you could still find it when the second release (R6358) appeared later in 2009.
As with many of Fisher Price’s re-releases, it looks like this one came about to appeal to those who thought the original was too costly. The second release did not include a remote controller or a cargo car. I assume that this made it cheaper to produce.
I don’t have specific information about what’s included in the third release (V7294) of Timbertown that came out in 2010 or 2011. All I know for certain is that it was based on one of the first two releases (likely the second) and added the expansion set Goldstein and Grant. (See below.)
The original Timbertown contains an old steam engine called Steamer with a permanently attached wood tender car. The engine and tender are a basic black color. Steamer has trim in red, blue, yellow, and white, if you count the smoke starting to billow out of the smokestack. The colors of the remote controller match those of Steamer. The tender shows a pile of wood and has stickers on the sides that display F.P.R.R. – presumably standing for Fisher Price Rail Road.
The caboose bringing up the rear is mostly red with an evergreen pictured on the side. You can put the logs cube in this car. All of this is a remind of the theme of this set – timber.
The engineer, whose name is Samuel, looks like a traditional train driver in blue, striped overalls and hat. He’s carrying an oil can used to keep Steamer in tip top shape. He wears thick gloves to protect himself while on the job.
The Buildings of Timbertown
There are just a couple of buildings (that is, structures) in the Timbertown Railway. One is a station; the other is a mountain and tunnel with a small shack and crane on top.
The station shows three buildings which appear to be constructed to resemble the three cars of Steamer’s train. The first is blue with a rounded roof like the curves of the engine. There are people in the upper window much like Samuel would be in the driver’s seat of Steamer.
The second building is yellow with a pointed roof reminiscent of the pile of lumber in the tender car. The sticker in the upper portion of the building shows an evergreen and the GeoTrax logo.
The last building is red, shows a caboose on its sticker, and has a stepped roof all of which obviously points to the caboose at the end of Steamer.
The other structure, the mountain is most interesting for its small, brown, blue, and orange crane on top and for its tunnel underneath. The crane only makes sense up there if you run your track over the top of the mountain, which is very possible with the pieces you are given.
The Tracks of Timbertown
Seven of the track pieces are specifically designed to get Steamer and Samuel up and over the mountain. There are two large ramps each with a large and a small trestle for support. These get you up one side and down the other. In between, there is a green piece of elevation track to connect them. It is from this track piece that you would access the crane. Samuel could even walk up a short flight of rock steps cut into the side of the mountain to get to the crane.
The tunnel is orientated at a right angle to the above setup so that you can run track through it at the same time that you use the upper part of the mountain. To complete the rest of your layout, you have 2 short tracks, 4 straight tracks, and 5 curved tracks – all of which are tan, elevation style with a gear-catcher running down their centers.
One more special track piece deserves mention. It is an orange piece with raise sides called an easy rail track. Young engineers can set their trains on this track piece without worrying about lining up the wheels properly on the track. The track itself completes the alignment. This track is designed to attach to the easy rail station mentioned earlier.
Goldstein and Grant Join the Party
Set V7294 is a release of Timbertown that adds Goldstein and Grant to the mix. The Goldstein engine and (perhaps General Ulysses S) Grant engineer were available as a separate expansion set. They are a rich-looking set in that almost everything about the train is either gold or silver. Somehow, this train runs on silver, because that’s what’s in its tender car!
Grant certainly resembles the Civil War general, especially because of this facial hair and hat. I doubt that the general ever had a uniform in gold and silver tones though.
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This Place Looks Like Grand Central Station
Have you ever heard anyone say something like, “This place looks like Grand Central Station!”? I remember that phrase from when I was young – too young to really understand what it means.
The real life Grand Central Station, or Grand Central Terminal, is located at 42nd Street and Park Avenue in New York City. It is currently (and probably always will be) the largest such structure in the world.
The chief similarity between the New York Grand Central Terminal and the GeoTrax Grand Central Station, other than the fact that both service commuters with trains, seems to be the large archways of which there are many in the real station.
The GeoTrax Grand Central Station set is one of the most popular of all GeoTrax sets. The original set has almost 3 dozen pieces, not counting the several that make up the Station proper. There are many ways to layout and play with the 14 pieces of track. You get 3 minifigs – one engineer and two passengers – in this set which always make for a more enjoyable experience.
Let’s take a look in detail at what you get in each of the Grand Central Station sets.
Grand Central Station Basic Is Nothing to Sneeze At
The first appearance of a Grand Central Station set (Fisher Price product ID L3133) happened in 2007. It seems that this was the featured set of that year. Many others were produced but none could compare in size and scope to this one.
The centerpiece of this set is, of course, Grand Central Station (or Terminal) itself. The building is made of eleven pieces. There are two towers – a cargo tower and an elevator tower. The elevator tower does move vertically emulating a real elevator. Adjacent to one of the towers is a deli-like store where passengers can (pretend to) buy food and drink. Other pieces of the building include the main concourse with an arching canopy overhead. Within the canopy is a sign showing the schedule of arrivals and departures of the trains. There is an escalator (which does not move) and a cargo ramp. Two supports help hold the building up, and two lamp posts (no real lights) keep the place illuminated. Since part of the track is built into the station itself and that area is raised, you have little choice with the placement of some of the track. A few pieces are designed to get your trains from ground level up onto the main concourse. The rest of the pieces, however, you can arrange in many ways. Unique to Grand Central Station sets are two purplish bumper tracks which you can use to terminate sections of track. I’m not sure why the designers decided to make them purple, but they used the same coloration on the guardrails in this set.
There are two platforms in this set. One is for passengers, and one is for cargo. The cargo platform features a small crane for moving cargo from the platform to a train car and vice versa. Speaking of trains and passengers, you get a train (and its two passenger cars) known as Aero and his engineer, a slick-looking dude, called Eric. Besides Eric, you can also play with two passengers who (I think) are called Yvonne and Jarod. Yvonne is a blonde dressed in pink with a blue purse slung over her shoulder. She is carrying a bouquet of yellow flowers in her right hand. Jarod is wearing what might pass for khakis and a blue shirt. He’s holding a cup of coffee (or perhaps espresso) in one hand and what may be a laptop in the other.
Grand Central Can Be More or Less
Later in 2007, both Kohl’s department stores and Toys R Us had exclusive versions of the Grand Central Station set.
The Kohl’s set (M2809) is called the Grand Central Station Mega Set. It appears that it includes everything described above in the basic set plus a few new items. The set called Ambulance with Stat and Stewart is included. (I’m not sure if this also includes the patient minifig.) Woohoo and Opie the Most Confused Team round out the components of this combination set. The Toys R Us version (M3235) consists of everything from the basic set plus a bonus. You get a neon yellow truck (or engine) and cargo car as well as a blue railroad crossing sign and a cargo cube.
The last Grand Central Station set (T4497), released in 2010 as another Toys R Us exclusive, was stripped of all the extras to include only the terminal itself. I would assume that this set originally cost less than those above. Maybe it was issued in response to consumers who wanted the train station but thought the others were too expensive.
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