Thomas the Tank Engine is one of the most iconic children’s TV characters. Most of us are familiar with both Thomas the train himself and his friends. Whether as children, parents, or grandparents – maybe all three – we have probably spent time enjoying Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends’ adventures.
Unsurprisingly, Thomas and Friends is one of the most popular brands and themes in model railroading. At the same time, the HO scale is by far the world’s most popular model railroad scale, so it will come as no surprise that many Thomas the Train layouts are in HO scale.
For this guide, we’re going to assume you already have the foundations of an Isle of Sodor inspired layout in place. Maybe your kids recently got a Thomas & Friends HO train set for Christmas, and they’ve already fallen in love with model railroading.
Whatever your reason for looking to add to your Thomas the Tank Engine HO scale layout, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s look at the best products you can use to further bring your HO train layout to life.
1. Origin James
We were going to write, “we bet your kids didn’t know James the Red Engine was originally black.”
Confession time. Until this HO scale model train arrived in our shop, we didn’t either! Did you?
While we often associate black with moodiness, the only word to describe James’ livery here is majestic. As well as being a truly stylish HO scale model locomotive, James’ eyes move as he’s chugging around your model Isle of Sodor going about his jobs, something youngsters will love about this Thomas the train and Friends toy train.
2. Busy Bee James
Sticking with James for now, Busy Bee James’ black and yellow paint scheme also looks incredible if you’re looking for a model train with a little more color to brighten up your HO scale layout.
If you or your children are long-time fans of Thomas and Friends, you’re be all too familiar with the toy trains and the carriages and cars they usually pull.
One of the fantastic things about the range of Thomas & Friends products available is that you have so much scope for customizing your HO scale setup however you want.
If you haven’t added Gordon to your collection yet, there’s no reason why you can’t have his Express Brake Coach being pulled by Thomas, James, or anyone else. Just make sure Annie and Clarabel don’t feel left out of this Thomas and Friends train layout!
4. Sodor Scrap Wagon
The busy nature of the Isle of Sodor is legendary.
Far from exclusively getting passengers around the island, Thomas and his friends do all manner of jobs. In fact, some of the TV series’ most iconic episodes center around something going wrong with cargo spilling onto the tracks or not being delivered on time.
With the Sodor Scrap Wagon, you can create your own iconic model Thomas and Friends moment or mishap.
Check out the full Thomas & Friends HO range to choose your favorite working carriage, whether you want to transport raspberry syrup, coal, wood, post, or anything else around Sodor!
5. Deluxe Storage Shed
The Isle of Sodor is as famous for its landmarks as its hard-working locomotives.
If you’re turning your Thomas and Friends HO scale layout into something that genuinely replicates Sodor, ensuring you have the right Thomas the Train model scenery and train accessories is vital.
This deluxe storage shed will look perfect close to a train station or if you’re recreating Tidmouth Sheds in your Thomas and Friends model train layout. For added fun with young children, you could even go outside and find small stones or twigs to store in your HO scale shed to elevate your scenery!
If you have enough space that your Thomas the Tank Engine layout can be permanently out on display, there is nothing better than being able to put all your toy train engines “to bed” for the evening in their own model HO scale sheds.
If I were a locomotive, I could think of worse places to rest at the end of a long day carrying passengers or cargo around Sodor than this deluxe engine shed!
7. Look beyond Thomas themed stuff, too!
While Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends are the heart and soul of your HO scale layout, there is nothing to say your railroad theme must consist of 100% Thomas stuff.
You might be able to make your layout even better by adding your own accessories and scenery from our wider collection. Opting for non-Thomas themed train accessories is also great if you have more than one young railroader at home but only have space for one model train layout. You can have a layout part-Sodor inspired for the young Thomas and Friends fan in your life, and other model train accessories for someone older who maybe feels they’ve outgrown Thomas. You then have everything in place for when your younger one grows up and a model train layout that will allow you to indulge yourself if you’re a model train enthusiast, too!
Show us your layouts!
Whether your layout is 100% Thomas and Friends, a hybrid Thomas and non-Thomas the train HO scale layout, or even a traditional layout that your children use to run their favorite Thomas the Tank Engine trains on, we want to see them!
Remember to share pictures of your layouts and tag us on Instagram so we can see and applaud the fantastic layouts you’ve worked to build out.