Hornby Santa’s Express r1179 Review

Think model trains, and the first brand to spring to mind is Hornby. We were sent the Hornby Santa’s Express set to review, much to the delight of the children – and my husband!


The Hornby Santa’s Express is an ideal gift for any train fan, it is a wonderful railway set coming complete with a decorative mat to create a festive scene, but also has the ability to create the ultimate festive scene under your Christmas tree!

The Santa’s Express can become a central part of your Christmas decorations, as the track can be built around your Christmas tree. A train track built around your tree may seem novel to some, but is something we have experimented with before as my sons love trains so we couldn’t wait to try it out! The Hornby track was easy to build once we’d worked out how to put it together! The track is strong and once the tracks are clipped together, they stay in place even when they’re knocked by an excitable 4 year old!



The train is a little smaller than I expected, it’s made of plastic but is solid and is beautifully made with lots of detail on the carriages.  It is controlled by a handy, easy to use remote, it has variable speed and can go forwards and backwards. If you’re running it under a real tree, be aware that the train is very realistic – it doesn’t like pine needles on the line! So make sure you sweep the track clear prior to running the train!


As it is a proper model rail set, it is powered by electricity which is great as you don’t keep running out of batteries, but does mean that younger members of the family will need a little help to enjoy the set.

If you are wondering how enduring the Santa’s Express set will be, let me remind you that Hornby sell a variety of locomotives, so for year round fun with the set, the Santa locomotive could be replaced and the set would then be usable 365 days a year. Building up a collection of locomotives is half the fun of owning a model railway! The Santa’s Express provides a wonderful starting point to owning a model railway, it is the ideal gift to be built on, and makes a fabulous festive feature too.

Santa’s Express by Hornby RRP £69.99