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Christmas Tree Train Set

Updated on May 19, 2013

Christmas Train Sets for Under the Tree

Nothing says "Traditional Christmas" quite like a train set under the Christmas tree. Trains sets at Christmas are as American as moms, baseball, apple pie, Nativity sets, and Norman Rockwell paintings. Toy trains make a great Christmas tradition and can also grow into a lifelong hobby. Not every train set makes a good Christmas tree set though, so keep reading and find out which ones do. I hope you enjoy...

Choosing the Right Train Set for Under Your Christmas Tree

If you're going to run a train under the Christmas Tree, you want a set that's large (easy to see) and sturdy (hard to break). This pretty much means an O or G Scale train set. Besides scale, the most important consideration is quality. When it comes to toy trains, nothing is more disappointing than a poor quality set that requires constant maintenance or just completely quits working. If you're lucky enough to live in a town with a good train store, it's also worth buying locally. The extra level of service you'll get more than makes up for the slightly higher price. If you must order online, check out the model railroad and toy train Internet forums to see which online retailers offer good customer service and which ones don't.

Lionel Polar Express - Great O Scale Train Set for Christmas...

Lionel Polar Express Christmas Train Set
Lionel Polar Express Christmas Train Set

The Lionel Polar Express train set is perfect for under your Christmas tree. The locomotive is made from die cast metal so it's a lot more durable than the plastic locomotives that come with lesser train sets. It also features a working headlight, puffing smoke, and an operating whistle. The passenger cars have interior lighting and silhouettes in the windows, and the Polar Express set also includes 4 figures - engineer, fireman, conductor, and passenger. The track makes a 40" x 60" oval (using O-36 curves). If you want to run a different size circle of track, this train can operate on any curve of at least O-27. This is a very high quality train set that would look great under you Christmas tree and would also be the perfect start to a toy train hobby.

Lionel Polar Express in O Scale - Order from Amazon and get Free Shipping...

Watching It Run - This train set is awesome!!!

The Polar Express is a great train set, but it's just a start. This video shows the train set and many of the accessories you can add to it.

Accessories for your Polar Express Train - Extra passenger cars, figures, maintenance kit...

Bachmann Durango and Silverton - G Gauge Train Set for Under the Christmas Tree...

The Bachmann Durango & Silverton Big Hauler train set is a great G Gauge train set for under your Christmas Tree. G gauge train are big, and the Durango & Silverton comes with track that makes a 4'3" x 5'4" oval (Product description on Amazon incorrectly states 4'3" x 8'2"). If you leave out the straight track you get a 4'3" circle around your tree. The locomotive has a plastic superstructure so it's not as durable as the Polar Express, but it's highly detailed and looks great. It has a smoke unit that works well, and a sound unit in the tender that makes a chuffing sound while the train is running. The paint scheme is based on the D&RGW's famous "Bumble Bee" C-16. Besides the locomotive, you get one freight car and a caboose - plenty for running around the tree. This is a good quality set that gets you into G Gauge at a really good price. I recommend this set over any of Lionel's g Gauge offerings.

What About American Flyer?

I wish I had a S Scale set to recommend...

If you're like me, you know that S Scale is the ideal scale and maybe you're wondering why I'm not recommending an S Scale train set for under the Christmas tree... Well, the sad fact is I couldn't find a decent S Scale train set. "American Flyer" (i.e. Lionel S gauge) only has a "Texas Special" set and some SD70ACe stuff, American Models seems to just be burning through existing inventory with no sign of new models on the horizon, and S Helper Service just got bought out by MTH Trains - let's hope they keep it going. But today, there is no stable source of S Scale trains that I can find - a situation I hope is only temporary.

Lionel Polar Express - The perfect train set for under your tree...


Please Sign my Guestbook - Do you run a train under your Christmas tree?

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