Having a holiday train that goes around the Christmas tree is a wonderful tradition that delights both children and adults.
Everyone loves model trains, from kids who love playing with them to adults who collect them. And they add something special to your holiday décor.
There is a vast range of Christmas tree train sets with different styles, themes, and capabilities.
Some are designed as toys for children, while some are designed to fit into an existing model train setup and collection.
There is the perfect Christmas tree train set for every home and every style of holiday, and we've curated some of the best.
6 Best Holiday Train Sets Reviews
From legendary train company, Lionel, comes the Mickey Mouse Express, a wonderful Christmas and Disney-themed train set perfect for collectors or any holiday home. It's a battery-operated train with a remote control and Disney-specific sound effects.
The Lionel Disney Mickey Mouse Express comes with 24 curved and 8 straight track pieces, enough to make a 47.75 inch circle, a 53 x 53 inch rounded square, or a 73.2 x 50 inch oval.
It has a locomotive driven by Mickey, a present-filled tender with Donald Duck, a boxcar with opening doors, and a center cupola caboose.
The train has fixed-knuckle couplers, a working headlight, and highly detailed, sturdy construction. It requires six C batteries. The included remote is easy and intuitive to use, and drives the train forward and in reverse, sounds the whistle, rings the bell, and makes Disney announcements. It requires 3 AAA batteries.
The Lionel Disney Mickey Mouse Express is a complete, ready-to-play set suitable for ages 4 and up.
The Lego Winter Holiday Christmas train building set is compatible with all Lego Creator sets and provides a fun creative challenge as well as a wonderful holiday décor around the tree. This set is a whopping 734 pieces, ideal for kids over the age of 12 and adults to build scenes, toys, and characters.
The LEGO Creator Expert Winter Holiday Train comes with enough track to build a 27-inch circle, a detailed locomotive, a passenger car, a caboose, decorative lights and wreaths.
It also comes with 5 mini-figures with accessories: a locomotive driver, a ticket collector, a grandmother, a boy, and a girl. It comes with step-by-step instructions that make assembling the set easy.
Note that this set does not include a motor. To make the train operate, you need to purchase:
If you want a remote control, you also need to purchase:
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This gorgeous Polar Express train set is everything you want in a holiday train, including engine noises, smoke, articulated characters, and can even be controlled by an app on your phone for Bluetooth convenience and fun interactivity.
This beautiful train set is made of high-quality die-cast metal and is durable enough to enjoy year after year and be a part of your family's holiday traditions.
Lionel's The Polar Express Electric O Gauge Model Train Set has O-gauge tracks and FasTrack sections, so it's compatible with other train tracks and can operate on AC power without batteries, or with battery power.
It comes with enough track pieces to make a 40 x 60 inch oval, along with 2-8-4 locomotive and tender, two coach cars, and an observation car. It also comes with four articulate movie characters, as well as the AC power pack and remote control.
The locomotive has a die-cast metal body, with large pilot and headlight lens shield. The passenger car has interior lighting, and there is a decorated drumhead in the observation car, a rounded observation platform, and silhouettes in windows. The set includes movie sound clips, steam chuffing and engine noises, a whistle and a bell.
With the included remote control, you can control the train's direction, sounds, and volume. With the Bluetooth app, you can also control the sound pitch, momentum, and even smoke. It's easy to assemble and recommended for kids age 10 and up.
If you have young children, you may want a Christmas train set that is more friendly for small hands and playing during the holidays.
This Prextex Kids Christmas Train Around The Tree is fun to assemble and play with and plays popular Christmas songs along with train sound effects. It's sturdy, easy to assemble, easy to operate, and made for kids to enjoy at the holidays.
The Prextex Kids Christmas Train Around The Tree is easy to assemble for small hands, with track pieces that quickly snap together and a single button to turn it on.
The track makes a small circle with only the curved pieces, to fit around the base of a Christmas tree, or a larger oval when all the pieces are used. Some of the track pieces have small hills to add interest.
The train comes with three cars, as well as trees and small gifts to place on the train, for a 27 piece set. It plays Jingle Bells and We Wish You a Merry Christmas, along with a locomotive whistle and announcer sound effects. It's a sturdy set suitable for children as young as 3 years old. It requires 3 AAA batteries.
The Lionel North Pole Central Ready-to-Play train set is a classic piece of holiday nostalgia, that is easy to set up and easy to use. The traditional imagery of the Christmas train, with a working headlight and authentic train sounds, will appeal to kids and adults alike.
The Lionel North Pole Central Battery-powered Model Train comes with 24 track pieces, enough to make a 47.75 inch circle, or a 73.2 x 50 inch oval.
The train has a locomotive, tender, gondola with crate load, and a center-cupola caboose. The crate load is removable for play, and the locomotive has a working headlight. The train requires six C cell batteries.
The included remote requires three AAA batteries, and drives the train forward and revers, activates the whistle, makes announcements, and rings the bell. The Ready-to-Play series from Lionel has plastic cars and tracks that are easier to assemble, making this train set suitable for kids from the ages of 4 and up.
Hornby has been making model trains for over 100 years and is part of generations of Christmas traditions. This Santa Express Christmas train set will run on any HO track, so it's a great addition to the train set of a collector, or to begin a collection of your own.
The Hornby Santa's Express Christmas Toy Train Set includes enough track pieces to make a 77 x 92 cm oval, along with a detailed 0-4-0 steam locomotive, a wagon car full of presents, and a closed car for Santa's sleigh. It also comes with the adaptor to run the train on AC power, and a remote control. The control determines the speed and direction of the train.
Best Christmas Tree Train Sets: Our Top Choice
The best Christmas tree train set is the Lionel Polar Express Electric O Gauge Model Train set. The Polar Express is a holiday classic, and this set comes with the figurines, the train with lighted windows and headlights, and has everything you need in one box.
It's perfect for people who want a holiday train and won't use it the rest of the year, or for people who love model trains and want to expand their collection.
The Bluetooth app interactivity couldn't be easier to use, and has more features than the included remote control, without requiring any batteries.
The sounds, lights, and announcements are wonderful and festive, without repetitive noise and music that may get annoying over time. The fact that the train smokes is simply adorable and makes this set absolutely wonderful for your holiday home and traditions.
However, the Polar Express Electric O Gauge Model Train may not be the best choice for homes with very young children. It isn't designed for rough, toddler play, but they won't be able to resist it.
If you have young kids who need a Christmas tree train set that is more robust and kid-friendly, the Prextex Kids Christmas Train Around The Tree is a great choice.
It's sturdy, fun, and festive, without small parts and delicate features that may be damaged. The cute little train plays music and gives holiday greetings as it goes around the tree, so it's a charming holiday accessory that can stand up to kids, pets, and a little bit of Christmas tree mayhem.
Make a Christmas tree train set part of your annual holiday traditions, and enjoy the lights, sounds, and fun little sense of activity beneath the tree for years to come. It will become a treasured part of your family gatherings and entertain everyone for years to come.