How to Build Your Own Harry Potter Hogwarts Express

Harry Potter is one of the world’s most loved and recognizable franchises. Whether you loved the books as a child, discovered the books via the movies, or have only recently found your love for everything wizardry and witchcraft through your children, Harry Potter is everywhere.

Unsurprisingly, given the significance of the Hogwarts Express to the story, this extends to model railroading. But you don’t need to stop with just the train! Whether you want to recreate the grounds of Hogwarts itself or incorporate Hogsmeade scenery into your layout, there’s something for everyone at Model Train Stuff.

hogwarts express train for railroaders

Let’s explore how you can build your very own Harry Potter scene.

Get started with a train set

When starting your collection or embracing a new theme, a train set is always a safe place to start.

When it comes to buying your Harry Potter Hogwarts Express train set from Model Train Stuff, you have the choice of a Lionel O scale set or a Hornby HO scale set. Our HO scale Harry Potter train set has five star reviews including this one from Marshal M, “I really like this train set. It’s so quiet compared to my 50 year old running stock!”

While both sets come with at least one passenger coach and, in the case of the Lionel O scale set, other additional cars, you can also buy additional add-on coaches for either brand and scale.

How many students do you want to transport into the magical world of Hogwarts at the start of the academic year?

If you model in HO scale, you also have the option of choosing this Hornby Hogwarts Castle set. Or if you have the budget and are dedicating your whole layout to the Wizarding World, why not go for both?!

Creating your real-life Wizarding World

Now that your train is ready to run on your tracks, it’s time to bring your layout to life.

If you have the space, the first thing on your agenda ought to be this Platform 9-3/4 kit. What better way to create a Harry Potter inspired layout than by having a section of your scene dedicated to the “real world” and allowing your Hogwarts Express to travel through the British landscape before arriving at Hogsmeade station in your very own Wizarding World?

Speaking of Hogsmeade station, we have some exceptional accessories that will help you replicate the real thing in your layout.

First up, your Hogwarts Express needs somewhere to stop, which is where our Hogsmeade Station Platform Pack comes in. Ideally, you’ll buy two platform packs alongside the Hogsmeade Station Footbridge so your budding wizards can easily continue their journey to Hogwarts.

Now, if you have the space, budget, and sheer love for all things Harry Potter, you can continue and build out pretty much the whole of Hogsmeade station if you wish. Three of the products available here at Model Train Stuff – the Hogsmeade Station Booking Hall, General Office, and main Station Building – come with attached platform ramps that you can use alongside your platform packs to ensure there’s enough space for all your students to disembark from the Hogwarts Express safely.

Want to keep your students safe while waiting for the train back home at the end of the year?

We’re sure you’re a capable enough railroader to ensure your Hogwarts Express always runs on time. Still, you never know when your track might be undergoing some essential maintenance! Our Hogsmeade Station Waiting Room is a welcome addition to your layout in this respect.

Why not add the signal box for the complete collection?

Choosing your own additions

Your Harry Potter inspired model railroad scene doesn’t have to exclusively include products that come in a box with “Harry Potter” stamped on it. In fact, we’d encourage you to ensure it doesn’t!

After all, if you can’t get creative in a magical world of wizardry and witchcraft, when can you?!

Here are some of our top picks to make your scene even better.

Realistic Backgrounds Mountain and Lake Scene

One of the easiest ways to give a lift to any layout is with a background. After all, who wants the end of their train table to undermine the majesty of their layout?

As the Hogwarts Express is famous for traveling through the countryside, this Realistic Backgrounds Mountain and Lake Scene will prove an excellent compliment to whatever features you include in your foreground.

Seasonal trees

Do you want to build yourself a Harry Potter inspired layout but keep updating your scene for the seasons?

Our ranges of tree packs have you covered! Check them out:

Woodland Scenics Tunnel Portal

If you’re a more experienced model railroader, you might enjoy creating mountainous landscapes and choose to include a tunnel in your route from the “real world” to Hogsmeade. If you’re lucky enough, you might even have the space to make your mountain range or tunnel the dividing line between the two worlds.

To do this, you need this Woodland Scenics Tunnel Portal.

Woodland Scenics Static Grass

Looking to replicate the British countryside and the authentic Hogwarts Express journey to Hogsmeade?

This Woodland Scenics Static Grass is a great way to turn your layout into a swathe of greenery through which your track can wind its way to its magical destination.

Show us your set!

Ready to create your own Harry Potter inspired layout?

Be sure to take plenty of photos and tag us on Instagram so we can step into your magical world for ourselves.

Happy railroading!