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This is a good set for a child to find out if they want to make a hobby of it, especially given the Potter theme. The engine and carriages are nicely detailed on the outside and real enthusiasts will easily improve on them by adding weathering effects. However, the carriages do feel a bit flimsy and lightweight, given the price but I think this is standard with these kinds of models.
The track layout, while a bit dull is again good for houses short on space and for establishing if this will be a longer-term interest. In my case, I think the recipient will be more engrossed in the set and scenery building over all but this is a very attractive model to put into any scene you build.
One proviso: as mentioned elsewhere - these starter kits come with the flimsiest of controllers which I'm sure won't stand the test of time. Allow for an additional purchase to get something better able to grow with your set.
Very very very poor ☹️☹️ product 2 days ongoing plus days to get this track and train to work transformer light and looks cheap switch on unit hopeless direction and especially off not highlighted ? is this transformer a switch operated or slide operation unit ? ps there is no mention in the instructions as for the so called track layout which to follow on the box well you may as well disregard and try and figure out the layout as best you can joining track is also a major issue the slightest movement of the track results in loss of power and performance and in my opinion you will need a perfect flat surface is a wooden level and flat surface to get any performance form this so called model train set ps Hornby can do better in my opinion avoid this product
Just opened this train set here in the USA ( ordered it in the UK) , I noticed that the power supply that came with the controller is 220V. It will help if this is mentioned for international (US) customers. If so ... one will need to buy a 120v power supply to run this train here.
The Hogwarts Locomotive with working Headlight looks superb as do the 2 Long Express Coaches. The Track is a 3rd Radius Oval, I haven't tried the points and siding Track yet due to space. The description of the product on Amazon says that it includes a Midi Trak Mat which it doesn't. On the actual box, it doesn't mention a Trak Mat, and it doesnt include one
Ordered this set as an addition for the little ones on our layout and was quite excited to get such an iconic set myself. The locomotive didn't run properly straight out of the box, running for 20cm or so before cutting out dead on a straight. Other locos were all running fine on the track. Sent straight back, don't have that kind of money for something causing issues straight out of the box.
The fact that this set was available from Amazon for £108, made it an absolute bargain. I fitted a Hornby decoder and it performs exceptionally well, being both smooth and quiet. An option to turn the light off would have been useful.