Review: Hornby Santa’s Express Train Set (R1179)

Disclosure: This product was sent to us free of charge for the purpose of this review. However, as per my disclaimer, this review represents our honest opinion of the product.

Product: Product Name

Price: £69.99

Age Range: Not suitable for children under 36 months

Manufacturer’s Description: Inject a bit of Hornby magic into Christmas with the special Santa’s Express Train Set. The set includes everything you need to get started, including Santa’s festive train, an oval track, power transformer and mat. Whether this is your first train set, or you’re a seasoned modeller, Santa’s Express will delight young and old alike and is sure to become a festive favourite.

Rating: (5/5 stars)


Review: When we think of model trains, there is no doubt that the first brand that comes to mind is Hornby. They are famous for their detailed, high quality representations of the world’s most famous engines & carriages. This Santa’s Express train looks absolutely fantastic and is currently set up around our Christmas tree.

The train is really well packaged, tucked safely into the box in a shaped polystyrene block. The box includes the train, a controller, a short straight piece of track, and 8 curved pieces of track, as well as the short piece of track that connects up to the controller & power source. The track goes together to form an oval.

It also includes a TrakMat so you can see how to expand your Hornby track to include different tracks and features – you can do this relatively affordably by buying track expansion packs A, B, C, etc. The mat is quite large and takes up most of our living room rug and James can’t wait to get started expanding our new set!

Controller - Hornby Santa's Express

The controller allows you to control the train speed, and also lets you change the direction. You have to turn the dial right down to turn it off before being able to change the direction, something which the kids managed to master after a few days.

The train is made up of a “Santa’s Express” 0-4-0 locomotive, an open wagon marked “North Pole” filled with toys, and a “Reindeer in Transit” box van. It is wonderfully festive and looks really great circling around our tree, especially since the kids & I built a tunnel out of presents for it to travel through!

The track is really easy to put together and stays together well despite a few knocks. The train stays on the track well unless a small dog happens to be walking across it, which has happened a few times! It has a good variation of speed, and the sound of it going along is actually quite relaxing – since putting it together we have had it running most of the time we are home.

We give this fabulous* festive train set five stars. We absolutely love it!

*this is Georgie’s new favourite word, by the way.

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