Christmas Train Sets for Under the Tree

Find the perfect Christmas train set to put under your tree this year.

One of the most popular toys and decorations during the holiday season is a Christmas train set under the tree. From toddler toys to extravagant décor models, Christmas trains set the tone for a cozy holiday appeal.

Many families pick out their favorite Christmas train set to put around their Christmas tree and we often see it in some in some of the most popular holiday movies. Trains have a way of conveying the travel many people used to do when returning home for the holidays.

Department stores that put out displays would often have an electronic train set added to the scene setting – even in the windows (and they still do to this day). Christmas trains are just part of our culture – a snippet from a simpler time that we relish.

We’re going to take a look at ten of the top Christmas train sets you can buy on the market today. As you’ll notice, some of them are made for little ones to get out and play with, allowing Santa to be the conductor. Theses trains are durable and fun.

Then you’ll find some Christmas trains that are top of the line in quality and design. While these are working trains, they’re typically more for décor and less for little hands to be playing with, but that’s up to you!

No. 1          Fisher Price Geotrax North Pole Express Christmas Train Set

This is one for the boys and girls in your house to play with. It’s perfect for the toddler through 7-year old stage.

The Fisher Price is a brand known for providing top quality toys, and this Christmas train set is no different.  Coming in again at #1 this year, this set still enjoys a nice rating from verified buyers. They commented about its durability, and lack of a tendency for the track to fall apart, which happens with so many other kids’ trains.

Some train sets make it hard for kids (especially toddlers) to get the train actually on the track itself. But not the Geotrax version. They developed an Easy Rail system that lets little hands quickly and easily put the train on the track.

And while some control panels are very confusing for kids to handle, the Geotrax model has a simple remote that lets kids steer the train forward or backward – all while playing nice holiday music!

Kids love to see the train go all around this track. It has curves and hills and mountains. They combined trains with a feature that many kids love – a crane! You can use it to pick up items and put them onto the train before going back to Santa’s Easy Rail North Pole Station.

The train set takes six AAA batteries. You put three of them in the remote and three inside the train set. You get the Easy Rail Station, holiday themed steam engine and Christmas caboose, and Elevation Mountain (which has a tunnel – a favorite feature among kids when it comes to trains).

Your child also gets a Santa figure they can pose, along with some elves. They can decorate the scene with the Christmas tree, North Pole sign and present. There is also a crossing gate. The crane (which works, by the way) can be used to pick up the block of wood that’s included with the 15-piece track set.   new-order-button-blue-small

No.2                       Lionel Polar Express Train Set – G-Gauge

If your family is a fan of the Tom Hanks 2004 hit Polar Express, then this is one of the Christmas train sets you need to have in your home. It’s a perfect “under the tree” train set, but could go anywhere you like.

Straight from the movie, this train set is very detailed and created to reflect a high level of authenticity. From the bell and whistle to the working headlights, the Lionel Polar Express G-Gauge steam locomotive is a hit with kids and grown ups alike.

This train set is heavy on detailed features. For example, the passenger cars have fixed knuckle couplers. It looks like a retro Berkshire steam locomotive. The passenger car is red and blue, and just like in the movie Polar Express, there’s a hobo that disappears on the observation car!

It’s a large train set, all battery operated. It comes with 6 C batteries already, and you can also get a 9.6V rechargeable battery for it if you want. The remote already has a couple of AA batteries, too.

You can make the train move forwards or backwards using the easy remote control. It’s easy for kids to play with and the track pieces (four are straight and twelve are curved) fit together easily and stay attached.

This is a simple oval shaped train track, 55×72 inches big, which is a classic and favorite among many train set enthusiasts. This set is billed as a four-year and up set. The set comes with the boy and conductor figures.

There are other elements you can buy separately for it, like the tunnel and diorama. You can easily assemble and store this train set, which is backed by a year warranty from the manufacturer.        new-order-button-blue-small

No.3       Thomas the Train: TrackMaster Thomas’ Christmas Delivery

Is there a Thomas the Train fan in your house? If so, this will be a must-have this holiday season! This Christmas train set is for ages 3 and up. It has over 11 feet of track, so it fits perfectly around the Christmas tree.

This is a very cool interactive train set – with lots of lights and sounds for a child to enjoy. The track has a very cozy feel to it – it’s snow covered! There are holiday lights and music, and the places Thomas visits are all decked out in holiday décor.

The Deluxe Holiday Trackmaster set is motorized and Thomas goes on a mission to collect toys for the children. He even passes by an ice rink where the children are skating around.

On the Island of Sodor, Thomas is the Christmas delivery train (he’s even wearing a Santa hat), so his goal is to collect the toys from the toy shop and make deliveries. As he passes the ice rink, the children start spinning on the pond. The lamp post also lights up.

When Thomas chugs along the track, the various stops all come alive. Pulling into the train station causes Sir Topham Hatt to come out dressed as Santa. It also causes the Christmas tree to light up and you hear Jingle Bells playing, too.

Thomas’ trip to the toy shop results in the toy store sign to light up and start spinning. Then he powers up to head throughout the Island making his deliveries. In addition to the train station, ice rink and toy shop, there’s also a school.

Thomas has a couple of cargo cars attached to him, along with a holiday-themed caboose and a cargo just for presents! The Christmas train set is 10x47x40 in measurements of height, width and length. Any child will be pleased to see this under the tree!

No. 4  Bachmann Trains Thomas Holiday Special Ready-to-Run HO Train Set

This Thomas the train Christmas set is perfect for kids who like fast train sets. The train has moving eyes for Thomas, just like in the TV show. There are three freight cars that are all decked out in a holiday theme.

The size of the track is ample, creating a 56×38 oval shape using three straight and twelve curved track pieces. It has a speed controller, but of course kids like to make it max out so that Thomas is flying fast around the track. The goal of Thomas with this track is to get the Sodor Christmas tree to its destination.

He has a festive Santa hat on his head, and he’s equipped with a snow plow, just in case the weather tries to hamper him. Aside from Thomas, the freight cars include an open wagon style, a coach and a tank car.  

No.5                             Lionel Little Lines Polar Express Train Set

The other Lionel Polar Express set we featured previously is a little more upscale. This one is built with kids in mind. It’s a total of 44 pieces, including the track with upper and lower elevation pieces, a suspension bridge, the main engine, coal cars, passenger cars, an observation car, a diorama, and some caribou to help set the scene.

Verified buyers loved that this set was affordable, but not cheaply made. They commented on the way the track is easily put together and then stays together, without breaking apart.

This Christmas train set is pretty detailed for a kids’ set. The suspension bridge, for example, has stone arches. There are classic train sounds to bring it to life, like a chugging noise and whistle. They can even push a button on the remote to hear the conductor shout, “All aboard! This is the Polar Express!”

You need to get six AAA batteries for the train and the remote control, which will help the little ones move the train forwards and backwards. It’s billed as being perfect for children ages 2 ½ and up.          

No.6                            Lionel A Christmas Story O-Gauge Train Set

If you took a poll of the favorite Christmas Movie of all time,  A Christmas Story might rank near or at the top. Lionel made a Christmas Story train set that is perfect for older kids and adults.

It’s a large set that includes the track, boxcar (with doors that really open), gondola with a box load, reefer car and a caboose that lights up! All of the cars are decorated with scenes and sayings from the movie, but there are train details like the headlight and puffing smoke using smoke fluid that comes with it to bring it to life.

The remote allows your conductor to navigate the train forwards and backwards, and turn on the steam whistle whenever they want to. The vintage-looking train set allows the user to speed the train up or slow it down.

Some people invest in extra track to lengthen or reshape their train track. The train is powered with a CW-80 transformer. There is a replacement tire in case you ever need it, too. The train length is about 58 inches and the layout is 40×60.     

No.7   Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer Christmas Town Express Train Set

Whenever you think of classic Christmas shows, Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman come to mind. This classic Christmas train set is perfect for kids and adults alike. It’s a typical North Pole train set, creating a circle shape in a four-foot diameter.

Many families like to put this Christmas Town Express model under the tree because it has a festive look to it. You’ll need six C batteries (which aren’t included with this set) to get it running.

Once it’s put together, your family will have fun playing with the locomotive, which sports doors that really open. It has a working headlight and it emits standard locomotive sounds.

In addition to the train track, you get a figurine of Santa himself, who acts as the conductor, and a Rudolph figure, too. Verified buyers say this set is perfect for toddlers and up!

No.8                            Holiday Santa Express Christmas Train Set

Holiday Santa Express Christmas Train SetThis Christmas train set is ideal for display under the tree!

The Home Accents Holiday 35-Piece Radio-Controlled North Pole Express Train Set includes a locomotive, coal tender, car with elves, caboose, box car, 7 road signs, 12 curved tracks, 10 straight tracks and a radio-controlled transmitter.

The train set plays festive Christmas carols and features an operational train headlight for a realistic touch.

This is a battery-operated train.    buy2

No.9                          Lionel Nutcracker Route Christmas Train Set

Lionel Nutcracker Route Christmas Train SetThis Christmas train set it great for the younger teen and adult generations. It has a general style steam locomotive engine and it has a realistic smokestack and snowplow to help the train beat wintry obstacles.

There is a baggage and passenger coach, complete with a roof in clerestory style so that it conveys a vintage appeal. You get the train pieces, plus a Nutcracker, reindeer, and a figure 8 track set with a CW-80 transformer to power it.

The train set comes to life with realistic train sounds like a whistle and bells. You can add on to this set and create a scenic route for the train to travel through, possibly adding to it each year as part of your holiday décor!       

No.10                              LEGO Make & Create Holiday Train

This 965-piece LEGO fan favorite had to be included in this list of top Christmas train sets. It was actually created as a meeting of the minds between LEGO designers and fans. The red, green and white LEGO Make and Create Holiday Train set is more than 45 inches long.

You get the festive themed locomotive, passenger car (which has a roof you can take off), and tender. After you put the set together, if you want to, you can make it work by adding a #10153 9V train motor and a #4548 9V speed regulator – both of which are sold separately.

Because this set has small pieces (some of which are magnets), it’s not suitable for tiny toddlers under three years old who might swallow some of the pieces. But they might enjoy seeing it all put together!

The set is all decked out in holiday décor, with Christmas lights, holly and more setting the scene. It comes with seven figures, including two engineers, a railroad worker and four passengers taking a special holiday trip!

Verified consumers love this set. First, the kids love putting it together. It takes about four hours for someone around ten years old. Then, they get to power it up and watch their masterpiece come alive.

Buyers loved the attention to detail in this set. There are gifts and Christmas trees to fill the train, for example. If you motorize the train set, then you’ll be happily surprised at how fast it can move for a LEGO set.

This is becoming increasingly rare to find. Many LEGO fanatics will want to collect the LEGO Christmas scenes that they can place around this train track to create a complete town holiday scene.    

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2 Responses to Christmas Train Sets for Under the Tree

  1. Harvey Henkelmann says:

    You forgot to include Lionel’s Polar Express set in O gauge (item #6-31960) which is a huge seller for Lionel, much more durable and versatile than the G gauge version.

  2. Pingback: Major League Baseball Little Lines Train Playset | Mel's Christmas Toy Store

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