Creating a Winter Wonderland/Christmas layout

Are you a beginner model railroader yourself or planning on helping someone start their model railroading hobby this Christmas? If so, creating or gifting products for a Christmas-inspired, Winter Wonderland style scene is a fantastic way to get started while also giving yourself a genuinely seasonal and on-theme layout.

Creating a Winter Wonderland/Christmas layout

Over the years, we’ve created blog posts with tips for creating a layout, which you can check out for more ideas on how to start a model railroad:

Those guides, and others here on the Model Train Stuff blog, showcase different ideas to inspire you.

This guide will look at some of the products you can buy that will help add authenticity to your layout and bring your Winter Wonderland scene to life.

1.     MTH RailKing O 30-11089 3-Piece Santa Figure Set

Santa on a snowboard – what’s not to love?!

This three-piece Santa Figure Set is a fun addition to any model railroad. If you’re building a larger scene and have young children in the house, you could even play a game of Where’s Santa?

You don’t have to worry if you’re a total beginner and haven’t created mountains for your scene yet; snowboarding Santa looks great wherever you put him! If you have buildings in your layout, the other two figures are designed to fit the chimneys on RailKing O-Gauge houses, although that might make them easy to find!

2.     Walthers SceneMaster HO 949-6031 Christmas Figures (6)

Part of the magic of Christmas is that we never get to see the real Santa walking down the street.

But with the magic of model railroading you can have the real Santa walking down the street in your Winter Wonderland layout!

This six-pack figure collection features three Santas, a sleigh, and two angel-esque figures that will look amazing in a snowy layout or as part of a nativity-inspired railroad scene.

3.     Lionel O 2129290 Christmas Water Tower

Water towers are a common sight in model railroads worldwide, and what better way to get your first one into your layout than by having a Christmas-themed one?

There are two reasons we love this.

First, look at it! It’s bright, bold, features a snowman, and carries a joyous festive message.

Second, as a beginner railroader, it’s always a good idea to have reference points on your layout for when you start making changes and updates. For example, when you have this Christmas water tower in your Winter Wonderland layout, it’s easy to see where your new water tower should go when you come to update your scene in the springtime.

Of course, as you gain the confidence to change your layout and design, that won’t matter, but it’s an ideal helping hand for new railroaders.

4.     Atlas HO 4002086 Christmas Flamingo with Santa Hat Lawn Ornaments (5)

Yes, these really are Christmas Flamingos wearing Santa hats. And don’t they look amazing?!

Our favorite thing about these is just how different they are. No one associates flamingos or the color pink with Christmas. There’s a quirkiness to these that means your winter layout will undoubtedly have something different from other model railroaders you know.

Another thing is that we think they’re fun enough while not being too obviously a Christmas product that they can find a place in your layout all year round. So while they’re designed as lawn ornaments and will undoubtedly look great in the gardens of properties in your Christmas village, they’ll also look fun as hillside sculptures. They could even end up standing in your ponds when you start to learn how to include realistic water in your layouts.

5.     Lionel O 2135140 North Pole Central Trolley

There’s no doubt that accessories can help bring your Winter Wonderland to life. Still, there’s something about having holiday-themed rolling stock on your track that will make it feel extra special.

This North Pole Central Trolley simply screams Christmas, from its festive color scheme to the snowflakes and candy canes on the side.

Its features include:

  • Bumper-controlled forward and reverse operation
  • Interior lighting
  • Operating LED headlights
  • Window silhouettes
  • Maintenance-free motor
  • Traction tire
  • Two adjustable trolley poles on roof

6.     Lionel O 1929130 Elf Tug of War, Christmas

The holiday season is all about having fun, and model railroad accessories don’t come much more fun than this Elf Tug of War.

This product is a fantastic addition to a fairground-inspired Winter Wonderland layout and will also look incredible if you’re creating the North Pole or Santa’s Grotto-style scene.

Whichever side wins, just make sure they don’t break the gifts that Santa will need to deliver!

7.     Walthers SceneMaster HO 949-6069 Holiday Shoppers Wearing Winter Clothes (6)

Shopping is a significant part of the holiday season. If you adapt your layout to the winter and holidays by adding ice and snow rather than revamping your entire design – or you don’t want your scene to be dominated by Christmas – these appropriately dressed holiday shoppers are an excellent alternative addition to your sidewalks.

Don’t forget to check out all our holiday-themed products

We have a comprehensive range of holiday-themed products to help you bring your Winter Wonderland layouts to life this year.

In addition to those highlighted above, check out our holiday-themed locomotives and carriages and our holiday-themed accessories ranges.

We want to see your Winter Wonderland!

Don’t keep your inspiring Winter Wonderland layouts to yourself!

Remember to tag us on Instagram and tell us which Model Train Stuff products you’ve featured in your layout. We love seeing your creations, especially when new model railroaders are getting started at this time of year.

Happy Holidays!