Mark is an awkward, troubled boy who receives a train set for Christmas from his out-of-work father. He is the new kid at school who is ridiculed for his Midwestern tone and pants that are so short, the kids say he must be waiting for a flood. The only thing he knows for sure is that he hates everything about his life.
Then, one morning a few days before Christmas, he notices a rectangular shaped box under the Christmas tree. He starts to feel better knowing soon he will have something to help him escape reality.
Christmas morning finally arrives and Mark methodically puts together The Train Set piece by piece. He plays with his train set every available minute and it becomes his friend.
The Train Set is how an awkward, troubled boy and his father grow to understand each other. Mark realizes the greatest gift ever was the one he already had—the love from his father.