Review – Hornby Santa’s Express

As a child one of the things I remember playing with was a train set.  It was one of those toys that I could enjoy with my siblings and my dad.  I remember visiting a model village which had a lovely big train set laid out on a large board with houses and a station all around it.  It obviously inspired my dad as he soon began trying to assemble a similar layout with our train sets.   So when I was asked if I would like to try Hornby’s Santa’s Express I jumped at the chance it was like awakening childhood memories for me.

My children have had wooden train sets but I hoped that they would be hooked on the Hornby trains just like I and my siblings were as children.  I also hoped it would add a little bit of Christmas magic to our Christmas tree too.    This is a whole new level of train set, mini replicas of real trains and something that can be so fascinating for young and old alike.  I’m really not sure who was more excited when the set arrived last week, the first thing I did was ring my dad to tell him about the Santa’s Express which made him laugh but he was also excited to hear how we got on with the set.

santa express boxUnfortunately we had to wait until yesterday to be able to get Santa’s Express out and set it up but that didn’t stop each of the children examining the box and it’s content in the mean time.  Then yesterday afternoon we finally had the chance to set it up and play!  

Santa’s Express makes an ideal starter set, it contains a nice sized track layout along with the Santa Express 0-4-0 Locomotive train along with an open wagon and Reindeer box van, perfect for getting used to driving a train without having too many carriages or wagons.  In the box you will get:

santa express contents

  • Santa’s Express 0-4-0 locomotive
  • 7 Plank Open Wagon (with lots of presents!)
  • Reindeer Box Van
  • 3rd Radius Starter Oval
  • Power Track and Track Straight
  • R8250 Train Controller
  • P9000 Transformer
  • Hornby MidiMat (1600 x 1180mm)

The set retails at £69.99 which is an excellent price for a Hornby Train Set.  As your confidence and love of train sets grows you can purchase additional track packs to expand your track layout.  The set is an 00 gauge and is compatible with other such sets. 

We decided to set the track up around our Christmas Tree to add to the Christmas magic.  Dad of 3 spent some time examining the track so he would know how to fit it correctly as he didn’t want to damage it. Then with the help of Trystan he lay the track out around the tree before fixing it together.   Then he placed the locomotive along with the Reindeer box and open wagon on the tracks.  Finally he connected the transformer and train controller and we were ready for the off!

Santa express set

 The children were all fascinated by the train and spent ages watching it go round and round the track.  Until Trystan felt brave enough to have a go controlling the train himself, this immediately led to Erin and Rowan also wanting a go, so we spent half an hour taking it in turns controlling the train.

playing santa expressI think it’s safe to say Santa’s Express has been a huge hit here with all of us.  It’s become quite addictive to sit and play with the set whenever we can.  We’ve also decided that it would be a shame to pack the Santa Express away after Christmas so we are going to ask my dad if he would like to add it to his train collection so that it can be enjoyed by the whole family throughout the year.   I for one can’t wait to see what it will look like once it is set up alongside all the other trains and I’m sure this is just the start of the enjoyment for us all. 

If you would like more information about the Santa’s Express set or other Hornby trains, pop over to

Disclaimer:  We were kindly sent the Santa’s Express for the purpose of this post however the content is 100% my own. 

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