Model Railroad Holiday Gift Guide

The holiday season is here and we’ve curated a list of our best products for gift giving (even if that gift is to yourself). Let’s take a look at the hottest products heading out of the station for the 2019 holiday season.

Polar Express Sets and Add-Ons

Polar Express

Holidays and The Polar Express.

Peanut butter and jelly. Batman and Robin. You know where we’re going with this, right? We don’t need to tell you how perfectly this combination works.

Whether you’re buying your first Polar Express set or have been adding to your Polar Express over the years, we have an amazing choice of products for you to choose from with some great discounts available.

For those that are new to The Polar Express in the context of model trains, the complete set is available in O Gauge and comes ready-to-run with a five-part train, 12 pieces of FasTrack, and four figures from the movie. Onboard Bluetooth control makes it even easier for you to set up and run the train anywhere in your home.

If you’re continuing to expand your Polar Express set, we additionally stock a range of cars to add to the train, as well as a selection of accessories including figurines, buildings, operating accessories, and more.

The Hogwarts Express

2019 marks a full 22 years since the release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the first book in the Harry Potter series, but the passage of time has proven no obstacle to the continued popularity of the franchise. The Hogwarts Express sets and add-ons remain among our best sellers during both the holidays. This year you can choose sets from Hornby and Lionel to build your own Hogwarts Express set. 

The Hornby model comes in HO scale and is brand new to ModelTrainStuff. In addition to the set itself, you can also add the iconic Platform 9 ¾ scene at Kings Cross Station to your set, allowing your wizards to set off on their adventure around your layout!  

Both Hogwarts products we offer from Lionel are in O scale. Our Hogwarts Express LionChief set offers Bluetooth control and 12 track pieces in addition to the train itself. The Lionel product offers an incredibly realistic experience, with synchronised chugging and smoke, making you feel like you’re watching one of the Harry Potter movies unfold in live action in your front room. If you are looking to add to an existing Hogwarts Express set, check out our Lionel O scale add-on coach.

Athearn Genesis HO Scale EMD GP9

In addition to traditional “children’s” train sets, we have a fantastic range of authentic locomotives and cars to either start or add to an existing collection or layout.

First up we have the new GP9 series from Athearn Genesis.

Introduced by Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) in 1954, the GP9 is available in HO scale and includes all of the finer details seen on examples used by Canadian National, Conrail, The Pennsylvania Railroad, Seaboard, Southern Pacific, and Union Pacific, including features specific to each railroad. All-new LED lighting features include directional headlights and mars lights (on select models), giving off a realistic warm-white glow for realistic low light operation.

This detailed locomotive is a fantastic addition to any enthusiast’s existing collection, and will look the part on any layout, whether you model the Eastern Seaboard, Great Plains, the Pacific Coast, or even a traditional winter scene.

Athearn Genesis HO EMD SDP45


Also new from Athearn Genesis is the latest release of SDP45 locomotives.

The SDP45s were built between 1967 and 1970 and ran with major railroads into the early 1990s. Although most of the SDP45’s were sold for scrap, funds are currently being raised to preserve one example as part of the Youngstown Steel Heritage Museum collection.

Built for use on both freight and commuter services, you now have the opportunity to use them for either duty on your layout, with this stunningly detailed model. Features include a detailed interior with control stand, air and MU hoses, fine scale handrails, and railroad-specific details differing between models.

Examples such as the Morrison Knudsen version are even patched for an “in service” feel, and if you want to add further detail such as rust and grime, these examples will provide the perfect base to start on.

Whatever your favored railroad, this is a stunning locomotive to add to your collection to head up both passenger and freight trains as they travel through your landscape.

ScaleTrains N GE DASH 9 Series


Brand new to our range this year is a large selection of modern N scale models from ScaleTrains.

While you can view the full range here, the latest and perhaps most highly anticipated release is the General Electric Dash 9.

  • Models available in the Rivet Counter range are incredibly detailed and continue to push the boundaries of N scale realism. 
  • Budget-friendly Operator versions of these models are also available. These are a great choice if you’re looking for a high quality product but don’t want to break the bank. If you’re introducing the model train hobby to a younger member of the family during the 2019 holidays, or prefer to add your own detail, these are a great choice.
  • Depending on your preferences, these trains are also available DCC Equipped or DCC Ready, with additional sound equipped versions available for all Rivet Counter examples.

Too Much Choice? Buy a Gift Certificate Instead!

If you’re shopping for a model train enthusiast and you’re not sure what the right gift would be, a ModelTrainStuff gift certificate is a great way to give a loved one the flexibility to choose their own product.

With gift certificates of $10, $25, $50, $100, and $200 available, there’s something for every budget, allowing your loved one to add exactly what they need to their model train collection.


Remember, you can check our FAQs or consult our knowledge base to answer any questions about technical details regarding our model trains, and can register and sign-in to submit a question or request that we haven’t already answered.

Have a wonderful holiday season!