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Christmas Train Sets

Updated on December 11, 2017

Christmas Tree Train Set

Christmas Tree Train Set
Christmas Tree Train Set

Christmas Trains are a Great Holiday Tradition

For many people, if you mention electric trains they immediately think of trains that run under Christmas trees. While some people prefer a specialized Christmas tree train set, there are really many types of Christmas train sets, in every scale: from Z scale Christmas trains to G scale Christmas trains, with lots of scales in between. However, for this Hub I'll focus on the most popular scales for Christmas train sets: G Scale and O scale.

LGB Christmas Train

LGB Christmas Train Set
LGB Christmas Train Set

G Scale Christmas Trains

Many people enjoy running the largest size electric trains commonly available: G scale Christmas Trains. Many G scale trains also have the advantage of being suitable for outdoor use (if in doubt, check with the manufacturer), and can also use snow plows to keep their track clean. The most popular manufacturers are: Aristo-Craft Trains, Bachmann Trains, LGB Trains and Lionel Trains.

Aristo-Craft Trains are made in the USA and have many Christmas themed cars and sets. Popular items include the Aristo-Craft Christmas Train Set. 

Bachmann Trains are made in the USA. Popular items include the Bachmann Northern Lights Christmas Train Set and the Bachmann Night Before Christmas Train Set. 

LGB Trains are made in Germany and also have many Christmas themed products. Popular items include the aptly named LGB Christmas Train Set and the LGB Christmas North Pole Train Set. 

Lionel Trains are made in America. There are a few different G-Scale Lionel Christmas train sets. Many run on batteries, which can be nice if you don't want an extra set of wires to deal with around the Christmas tree. One popular set is the Lionel G Gauge Holiday Special Train Set.

Lionel North Pole Central Train Set

Lionel North Pole Central Set
Lionel North Pole Central Set

O Scale Christmas Trains

Because many Americans tend to think of Lionel Christmas trains during the holiday season, O Scale trains are one of the most popular scales for Christmas trains. Lionel makes several different holiday train sets in O Scale:the Lionel Polar Express train set; the Lionel North Pole Central train set; the Lionel Disney Christmas train set; and the Lionel Christmas Trolley train set; among others.

O scale is a nice size because it easily fits under the tree without trimming off too many branches. O scale trains can also turn in a smaller circle than G scale trains, in case space is an issue. As an added benefit, Lionel O Scale Christmas Trains and Trolleys run on the same Lionel train track -- Lionel Fast Track or Fastrack -- that other Lionel layouts use, so you can use the same track for other great Lionel train sets. Lionel Christmas train sets can often also use the same power supply and controller that other Lionel trains use -- but if you are using an older train, you may want to check with your local hobby shop to be sure what power supply to use.

All Hubpages by this author and linked sites owned by the author generate income based on affiliate relationships with various parties, such as Amazon, Google, eBay and others.

Please Share Your Thoughts on Christmas Trains

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    • botipton profile image

      Bo Tipton 5 years ago from Cecilia, KY

      I still remember the train set I got in the 50's. My parents had set it up under the tree and when I got up in the morning it was going around the Christmas tree. Think you for reminding me of that special day. I had not thought about it in a long time.

    • funwithtrains profile image

      funwithtrains 6 years ago from USA

      Hi Jane, thanks for your comment! Yes, the old metal trains are really nice.



    • Jane Bovary profile image

      Jane Bovary 6 years ago from The Fatal Shore

      Now I know why you're called "funwithtrains"...:)

      There is something special about a train set and it's nice to see esomeone giving these old-fashioned toys a good rap. I particularly like the old metal ones...they feel lovely to handle.


    • onceuponatime66 profile image

      Jackie Paulson 7 years ago from USA IL

      Someday I want a Christmas tree and a train to go around and around, this is nice to see. I am not sure if it will be a "toy" like one or a real G scale yet.

    • profile image

      Christmas train sets 7 years ago

      Trains are not only great for running under the tree but also as gifts. That's how I got my first Lionels way back when. Although G scale looks cool I think I'll stick to O scale.

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      I love model train sets. But it seems like what my brother used to get when we were children (Lionel)is just so far superior to what I am seeing today. I want a great set - but I want the real thing. The last time I shopped in person for a set, the trains seemed so small.

      Perhaps it all just seemed so big back then because I was so tiny. Well, I'll keep up with you so when I finally do purchase a set I can refer to your hubs.

      Thank you!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 8 years ago from malang-indonesia

      great gift. I like Lionel North Pole Central Set. thanks for share.

    • funwithtrains profile image

      funwithtrains 9 years ago from USA

      Issues Veritas: Yes, seems lots of electric train manufacturers have had difficulty in the last few years. Still plenty of LGB left on eBay these days.

      LondonGirl: Thanks for your comment, glad to introduce the fun tradition of Christmas trains to you!

    • profile image

      issues veritas 9 years ago


      It is too bad that LGB went bankrupt.

      I extended my tracks for my LGB to make an elliptical layout around the Christmas Tree this year. I had to settle for non original LGB tracks.

      Good Luck this year with the LGB

    • LondonGirl profile image

      LondonGirl 9 years ago from London

      I've never come across train sets associated with Christmas before! Great hub, your enthusiasm really shines through.

    • funwithtrains profile image

      funwithtrains 9 years ago from USA

      Thanks for the comment, issues veritas! I set up a simple LGB christmas train this year, but hope to start getting into a more elaborate Christmas train layout next year.

    • profile image

      issues veritas 9 years ago


      I do a Christmas Village with a train set every year.

      It also gets bigger every year.

      Currently it is about 4 foot by 10 feet and there is very little room to expand.

      Great hub.

    • funwithtrains profile image

      funwithtrains 9 years ago from USA

      Thanks for your comment, marketingsmarter!

    • marketingsmarter profile image

      marketingsmarter 9 years ago

      Great info on the different scales of trains. I didn't realize there were so many. I always love the idea of Chistmas trains under the tree

    • funwithtrains profile image

      funwithtrains 9 years ago from USA

      Thanks mulberry1, glad to see you on HubPages!

    • mulberry1 profile image

      Christine Mulberry 9 years ago

      I love the accuracy of these sets, so much detail. Interesting hub.

    • funwithtrains profile image

      funwithtrains 9 years ago from USA

      Thanks compu-smart, glad you enjoyed it!

    • compu-smart profile image

      Compu-Smart 9 years ago from London UK

      You have bought back so many fun memories of when i used to enjoy train sets just as much as scalectrix!!


    • funwithtrains profile image

      funwithtrains 9 years ago from USA

      Thanks pjdscott! Yes, O is popular in the US -- though the most popular scales to model here are HO scale and N scale. I would guess the majority of people who are into O scale did start out with a Christmas gift train, most likely in the "toy train" category (i.e., not a detailed after a specific real-world prototype). Cheers!

    • pjdscott profile image

      pjdscott 9 years ago from Durham, UK

      What a lovely article...full of useful information and illustrations. Like many railfans, my enthusiasm was initially sparked by a Christmas train set, although I prefer to travel on the real thing as much as possible these days!

      I didn't realise that 'O' guage was popular in the US. Great stuff!