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SSanta express- adding lights


4 posts


i sm planning getting my daughter the Santa Christmas express set this year.

weve had one of the cheap china ones round the tree in past years but even mounted on wood base it isn’t very good!

she does like the lights on it though, so my question is is the Hornby Santa loco able to be taken apart to add some leds ??

just worried with it being a cheap model it might be just glued together so hard to modify.

First of all, let me say that whatever Hornby produces, cheap or not...they're not the type of company to just glue something together. Hornby models are beautifully made and well put together.


You'll need to remove just one or two screws to remove the body and you can proceed to add your lights.

I've been in the hobby since 1999 and received my first Hornby train set when I was 3. Since then it's been one huge roller-coaster ride in this amazing hobby. I love to talk about trains all day long and I have a small but growing collection of Hornby, Dapol, ViTrains, Accurascale, Cavalex and Murphy Models products. As many of you'll know I also do a lot of 3D modelling and love to help and assist members and friends with all their 3D modelling and 3D printing needs. I also custom build Indian Railway models in N scale, HO scale and OO scale. It remains to be my most interesting aspect of the hobby. Many of you'll love to get in touch with me. If you're serious about getting in touch, please contact the admin for my contact details. Don't ask for contact details and then not get in touch.

Going Spare

129 posts

Welcome to the Forum.

The tank loco in this set has a body that simply clips to the chassis.  You will find two rear-facing clips coming up in to the cab and two outward-facing clips underneath the boiler.  Applying light inward pressure to the tops of these clips should allow the body to be lifted off.  There should be a leaflet in the set box illustrating this.



4 posts

Thanks for your help guys. 

Having looked at the basic sets again and am now wondering if the little Thomas set for similar money would be better as could leave that out all year round too !


168 posts

Thomas around the Xmas tree works too!  Add the Christmas wagon, or a 7 plank wagon with some Xmas trees in, and make a little Santa Hat for the chimney!  And like you say, you'll get more use out of it through the year.


1040 posts

How about ..... a little 'circle' of wood matching the radius of the curves being used - if still going around the tree, and drilling the wood at regular intervals - coinciding with gaps in the sleepers, to permit 'fairy light' bulbs to slot in from beneath without catching the loco and wagons?


Could be fun!!



I did something similar to what atom3624 is suggesting a couple of years ago. I made an oval of track on wood the size needed for our tree. I left a little bit extra on the outside of the track and bought some LED's on a wire with a 2xAA battery box attached from the pound shop and drilled holes around the track and pushed the LED lights through.

I then set about decorating the train with various pound shop Christmas accessories, magazine pictures and cardboard. For example, they had little Santa flashing light badges that I stuck to the sides of an engine with black tack. I cut pictures of a sleigh from a magazine and stuck it to cardboard and then stuck it to the sides of an open wagon which made it look like a sleigh and added a Santa which was a cake top decoration. I bought some old Hornby station platforms for a £1 each at a fair and had a little station at the front which I decorated. Etc. Etc. Ideas on doing this are limitless. This would be a fun thing to do with a small child and you can actually undo anything you've done and get your train set back - if you want to.

Be careful though you might get hooked and become a railway modeller!


4 posts

Thanks for all your suggestions so far.

Have decided to get the basic thomas set for ab out 60 pounds and add the christmas wagon when it comes out.

Might do the idea of lights on the base, last year I put the cheap toy train we had on a raised circle of wood to prevent it from getting knocked - you might just be able to see it at the bottom of my photo below, and was planning on making something similar for my new track, could maybe then add some of those rainbow colour changing leds to give a christmas look too !

The Doc

458 posts

What a lovely picture!  Our daughter had a Hornby Thomas at about the same age, and she loved it (him??).  We eventually got a 3' x 4'6" board and put down an oval of track + passing loop and sidings, but I think the best bit for her was building the papier mache tunnel.

The Doc


1040 posts

I was thinking that that photo's a Christmas card cover in itself!!


Only thing missing is Thomas and the wagons .... !!



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