How to Power the LEGO Winter Holiday Train

By now,  you’ve seen the photos for the new LEGO Winter Holiday Train (10254) or even seen it in person at the store. The train is a bitty thing, compared to some of the other LEGO trains, but if you don’t have a train for your LEGO Winter Village setup, this is an awesome addition for you.


LEGO Winter Holiday Train

And let’s say you, purchased the train set, but you want to add some motion to your winter village setup. Don’t have the first clue on how to do that?

No worries! Below I listed all the additional sets you will need to get your LEGO Winter Holiday Train moving.


Sets needed to power the LEGO Winter Holiday Train

Just so you know, I do have affiliate links below and as always at no extra charge to you. Your use of them helps us maintain this site… and our clear addiction to LEGO. :D

You might be put off by the following list of items needed to power your LEGO Winter Holiday Train (10254), but don’t let it. While the process is a little difficult, it is well worth the extra $55 for some holiday magic!

Now, most LEGO stores *should* have these sets in stock. However, if your store doesn’t, or they are all sold out, you can find them online at LEGO Shop@Home. The links below will take you directly to the item:


LEGO Power Functions AAA Battery Box (88000)



LEGO® Power Functions Train Motor 88002


LEGO IR Receiver (8884) – $14.99

LEGO Power Functions IR Receiver (8884) on Shop@Home


LEGO Remote Control (8879) – $12.99

LEGO Power Functions IR Speed Remote Control (8879) on Shop@Home

Just a quick note regarding the remote control. If you already own this remote control, you probably do not need another one. The reason being there is a 4 position switch at the bottom of the remote. This switch allows the remote to control four different receivers.

For example, in our setup, our one remote controls our train and our ski lift. If we add the LEGO Winter Holiday Train, it will also control it, too.


And don’t forget the batteries!

Even after purchasing all of that, you will still need batteries. I’m not just talking about your casual user 4-pack you can pick up at any grocery store, either. You’re gonna need a humongous box of batteries. So I recommend you pick up a good rechargeable battery brand. We went through a box of regular batteries ourselves when we exhibited at Celebricktion last year. Over the course of the holidays… and depending on how excited you and your kids are about the train, you could easily do the same. Save the planet, use rechargeables!


Overview of how to connect the parts to power the LEGO Winter Holiday Train

Now you’re probably wondering how all of this works together. Fortunately for you, LEGO was kind enough to put the instructions on how to power the train in the back of the second instruction booklet.

Instructions for powering the LEGO Winter Holiday Train

There are more pages than the one you see above, but I thought I’d just give you a quick look at what you’ll be doing.

After you build your train, you will dismantle the back portion and the bottom of the train, so you can attach the LEGO Train Motor (88002) and hide the LEGO IR Receiver (8884). You will be running the cable that goes from the motor to the receiver through the floorboard of the train.

Then you will connect your receiver to the LEGO Power Functions AAA Battery (88000) box, which will sit in the charcoal wagon. This will give you easy access to the start and stop button on the battery box. It will also allow you to easily switch out batteries.

It’s going to look a little more scary than you anticipated in the instructions, but I promise you it will be a snap!


A note on tracks for the LEGO Winter Holiday Train


LEGO Winter Holiday Train 10254 - Closed Loop

Finally, as you can see, the LEGO Winter Holiday Train comes with enough curved track for you to make a closed loop around your Christmas tree. The problem comes when you need more track, because like it was for us, the area you may be working with requires a much longer track.

That’s where you now have two options for purchasing additional track:

LEGO Flexible and Straight Tracks (7499) – $19.99

LEGO City Flexible and Straight Tracks (7499) on Shop@Home

This is the currently available set for purchasing additional track. It comes with 8 straight track and 8 flexible track. While this is a decent set, the consensus is that it is not better than the set it replace below.


LEGO City Straight & Curved Rails (7896) on Amazon

LEGO City Straight & Curved Rails (7896)

The second one I’m showing you is the discontinued LEGO City Straight & Curved Rails (7896) set. The reason I am showing you this is because while the set has been discontinued, it is still the best track for what you need.

While the above LEGO Flexible and Straight Tracks (7499) set is the replacement for the LEGO City Straight & Curved Rails (7896) set, you won’t use the flexible track as much as you think. There are also plenty of complaints about the track in the comments section of the product page on the LEGO website, where others have described the flexible track as fickle, useless without a baseplate and unreliable. If you can find the Straight & Curved Rails on Amazon or a local store at a decent price, snag it! It’s worth it.

And that, my friends, is how you will power your LEGO Winter Holiday Train!

Have you purchased the LEGO Winter Holiday Train? Do you plan on picking up the power functions, too?



15 thoughts on “How to Power the LEGO Winter Holiday Train

  1. I got the train when it came out (I’m new to Lego trains and Lego winter village!), and I plan to power it. The question now is, get it now (with the other things in my wish list) to get extra points and a second Christmas bonus set for the bricklink store, or wait and get the power functions and more goodies next month to get the Christmas snow globe?

    1. Awesome! LEGO Winter and LEGO Trains are great themes to start collecting. It’s like the best of both worlds for me. :)

      What we do, when we are trying to make sure we have enough to get a freebie in the following month is make a list of what we need to buy to meet the purchase amount requirement. Once we do that, then we go ahead and buy all the other things we want during the double points months.

      This generally works well for us and is what we recommend to our friends who are trying to maximize their purchases.

  2. Hey guys, I just finished the build and I don’t like the way the power functions look as Lego designed them. I think I am going to add one brick height to the coal tender so I can cover the battery pack with loose “coal”. Also the sensor in the engine, the grey sides… wish it was green! Let me know if you run into anyone with a creative alternate build for the power functions.

    In addition if people have to buy power functions, remote, and track, they may be able to get a previously released train on sale for not much more. I pirated old battery box, sensor and remote and have lots of extra track but if someone were just getting into trains it’s an idea!

    1. That’s an excellent suggestion, Heather. Even with the instructional video and building diagrams, I wasn’t completely sold on how they made the build power function ready.

      I saw in the group you created an icebox car (that was you, right?) Are you experiencing any slowdown issues with the motor and the addition of the new car?

      1. Sorry about the late reply, I didn’t receive a notification that you replied. No, we are not having any problems with the addition of the new car. We don’t typically run at full possible speed and the train naturally slows in curvy parts of the run but that is the same for all our trains (we only have battery power, no 9V). I feel like the ice car satisfied me that there are not wires everywhere even though I don’t have the brick to completely build in the style of the train. If I remember this weekend, I will post a photo to the group of the whole village. :-)

  3. Hi! 1st time builder. Built through train and added power functions as per instructions. The green light on battery pack is on, but train isn’t moving or making a any kind of sound (to let me know something is happening). What am I doing wrong? I toggle the little orange switch on the battery box, but that doesn’t appear to do anything. Thanks in advance for any help.

    1. Hi Tracy,

      Congrats on your first build!

      Aside from asking you to make sure all your connections are well seated, it’s hard to troubleshoot a power build without being able to see it, but let’s start with this:

      This is a video of someone building the train. If you skip forward to 4:58, you can see the steps they take to add the power functions to their train. Would you mind reviewing that and what you have done to make sure everything is connected appropriately?

      The only other thing I can think of is something they don’t show, the actual remote controller:

      You need the remote control in order to control the IR receiver. This is how you tell the train to move forward or backwards and control the speed of movement.

      Let me know if either one of these things helped you out. If not, we can take it from there.

  4. My holiday train with power was working fine. Replaced the batteries as needed. It recently stopped working. If I hold the train in my hand and turn it on the wheels move. When it is on the track, the train moves about 1/2 inch, then stopped rolling. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Dona,

      Since the wheels move fine when it is upside down, what immediately comes to mind is that you should check to make sure that all wheels of the train are sitting on the track correctly. I usually see that happen with our trains when we don’t seat them on the track completely.

      If that isn’t the issue, I would give LEGO Customer Support a call. There may be something wrong with one of your power functions and they would be able to sort that out for you: 1-800-835-4386.

      1. This solution worked for me when I had the same problem as Dona. Thanks for responding, Mrs Family Brick! It only took us until March to finish our train!

        1. Awesome! And completely understand delays in building. I have a set I’ve been working on piecing together for over 2 years. /sigh

  5. Hello!

    First time questioner here!

    We are building the train and we can make it go, but it falls off the track and seems to go very fast! Is there a way to slow it down or help it not topple over after three rotations?

    Also, I can’t seem to get the remote to work. I have them on the same number setting but is there something I need to do to get them to communicate?


    1. Hi Danielle!


      So, bummer to hear about your train woes. The remote is actually the key to helping your train stay on track. You want to make sure that the piece in the train (the IR Receiver) connected to the power box and the remote are on the same RC channel so they communicate with each other. Once the train starts responding to the remote, you can then slow it down using the remote. This will help the train keep on track.

      If you still need help, let me know and I will send you some pictures via email of what to look for.

      This link on the LEGO Power Functions website might be helpful, too:

      Hope this helps!

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