The best train sets to buy in 2019 – Review.

What are the best train sets to buy in 2019? How do you start in the model railway hobby? Train sets are one option. Here I look at the best value sets available now.

The best starter train set

Where better to start than the traditional Hornby train set? The smart blue locomotive in this set emulates the traditional branch line trains of yesteryear. There is a also a blue four wheeled passenger coach. The midimat track mat shows the expansion potential. Additionally the layout will fit in a relatively small space, 1600 mm x 1180 mm.

Finally, two wagons and an oval of track are included. You also get a basic DC controller.


  • Low price, £50 approx.
  • Quick and easy setup
  • Compatible with all other Hornby models
  • The track mat shows the expansion potential.


  • The set is a bit light on track and rolling stock.However it is easy to expand

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The best train set for returning modellers. – The best train sets to buy in 2019

So you have some bits leftover from a previous layout and you want something with a little more potential. what set is best? Perhaps the most popular era to model is the 1960’s. This set features a BR class B17 “West Ham United” and two “blood and custard” coaches.

The locomotive is from the Railroad range. See this post on the Railroad Flying Scotsman. It is nicely detailed with a modern motor and good running characteristics.

Next, there is a track mat that shows the expansion potential of the set. Add a few points and another oval of track and you can run two trains. The standard controller and power clip make setting up a breeze. This set can be had for £150.

Hornby R1214 East Coast Express Train Set Electric, Green
Image, Hornby.

What is the best train set for small spaces?

You can get a comprehensive N gauge layout in a 2′ x 4′ space. There are some lovely N gauge train sets by Graham Farish. The North Eastern freight set is good value at £199. As a bonus you get a siding, not just an oval of track. The locomotive is a weathered B.R. class B1 in lined black. Included, are three oil tankers and a brake van. These are also weathered.

There is good potential for expansion here, the loco is DCC ready and very realistic. A DC controller is provided, so you are ready to go.


  • Finely detailed loco
  • Siding provided
  • DCC ready
  • Good value


  • Weathering is not to everyone’s taste
  • Can be fiddly for children
  • You need good eyesight for N gauge!

What is the best train set for young children?

Starting out need not be expensive. The Classic Train Set featured here is only £15. It is best for younger children.

KandyToys Retro Classic Large Toy Train Set With Train

The set has a wealth of features including working lights and sound. Additionally, there is an oval of track, a coach and it runs on batteries. A basic station building adds interest.

The locomotive is basic but robust. The on/off switch is conveniently located, with the batteries inside the loco. The motion is hardly accurate but will not break easily.

The tender is nicely detailed as is the coal load. The couplings are Strong and durable.

The coach is of a U.S prototype and does not have glazing. The painting is neatly done and there are no small parts that can break off.

The track is made of black plastic with strong connectors. You get a large oval, with two sets you would have more options and two coaches.

When the train is running the headlight flashes and there is sound.

Overall this is a great set for younger children.