|Written by Paul D. Race for and|
An Explosion of Halloween Fun - The "holiday decorating season" used to start with Thanksgiving. But more and more families are getting started even earlier with their "seasonal decorations," not with pilgrims, turkeys, and maize, but with elaborate Halloween decorations. Our "Halloween Trains" pages have received an explosion of interest. And many of our new readers have never owned a collectible village or electric train before, so we have put together this "primer" page targeted to beginning Halloween train and town hobbyists.
This page will answer a few basic questions, then list links where you can go for more information and project ideas.
How Big are Halloween Trains and Towns?
For detailed information on the scales of Halloween villages and trains, please see our article "Halloween Trains Sizes and Scales".
Where Do Halloween Towns Come From?
If you want to make your own Halloween-themed town, or are looking for ideas to "flesh out" the Halloween town you already have, check out the free, downloadable Spook Hill(tm) Halloween village building and accessory projects, some of which are shown a little further down the page.
On the other hand, if you're interested in shopping for Halloween-themed buildings, here are some major manufacturers whose products you will enjoy.
For more description of these vendors' offerings, please refer to our article Halloween Village Manufacturers.
Where Do Halloween Trains Come From?Halloween villages and trains are both fairly new, but you have some very good choices. Lionel makes some O gauge trains (the kind that run on 3-rail track) that are useful for Halloween villages.
Hawthorne Village (now owned by Bradford Exchange) occasionally issues Halloween trains that run on HO track.
Update for 2019 - Hawthorne Village hit some rocky times during and after the 2008 recession, and all the Halloween trains they used to sell were discontinued, replaced by trains from another supplier whose quality I wasn't quite as impressed with. They seem to be doing better now, and I will try to update the Halloween Train buyer's guide pages when I have a chance.
Lionel's Halloween trains come and go, but Amazon has a pretty good selection here.
New for 2019: Hogwarts Express Background and Modeling IdeasAfter finally purchasing a Lionel Hogwarts Express train (or two), and spending several days at the Wizarding World features of Universal Studios Orlando, Paul Race wrote up the history of the real-world trains that have been repurposed to serve Hogwarts students in the movies and theme parks. He also added descriptions of the models available and a project for repurposing toy castles to serve as backgrounds for his outdoor version of the Hogwarts express.
Halloween Train and Town ProjectsThe following articles from our collection apply specifically to Halloween (several others that apply to any holiday village or railroad are listed farther down the page).
The following Spook Hill™ projects are currently available. We already have three more projects on the drawing board for 2009, but if you get started early, you can have a nice Halloween community by this Halloween.
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