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Best Train Sets for Kids of 2022

Updated
Boost your child's imagination with one of these fun train sets.

Is it time to get your child their first train set or upgrade their existing track? A train set might be one of your longest-lasting toy purchases, so you should consider your options carefully.

We’ve studied and compared dozens of train set models to create this guide. We’ll discuss some factors you’ll need to consider when searching for the best train set for your kids, including room space, safety features, your child’s abilities, and more.

We’ll also share our favorite trains for every situation, based on criteria such as durability, affordability, extra features, ease of use, and child appeal. We’ll highlight the best features of each set so you can find the perfect fit for your kids. Our list will save you time and money and help you choose a set that lasts for years.

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the NameTrains (6 Letters) - Made in USA
Best for Basic Skills
Maple Landmark
  • Highly personalized
  • Safe, non-toxic paint
  • Sturdy maple hardwood
Product Image of the Thomas & Friends Super Station
Best Cartoon-Themed
Thomas & Friends Station
  • 111-piece set
  • Benefits fine motor skills
  • Manually powered
Product Image of the LEGO City Cargo Train 60052 Train Toy
Best for Lego Fanatics
Lego City Cargo
  • 7-speed infrared remote control
  • Full circular track
  • Includes 4 minifigures
Product Image of the Power Wheels Thomas and Friends Thomas vehicle with track, 6V battery-powered...
Best Rideable Train Set
Thomas & Friends Wheels
  • Up to 1 mph speed
  • Easy-to-assemble track
  • Push-button operation
Product Image of the Wooden Train Set Table for Kids, Deluxe Had Painted Wooden Set with Tracks,...
Best Multi-Purpose Set
Hey! Play! Set
  • Sturdy, durable poly construction
  • 75-piece set
  • No batteries needed
Product Image of the Hape Wooden Busy City Train Rail Set| 51 PCs Pretend Play Railway Set for Kids...
Best City Train Set
Hape Busy City
  • Non-toxic finishes
  • Will last for years
  • Realistic crane
Product Image of the KidKraft Wooden Rural Farm Train Set with 75 Pieces, Children's Toy Vehicle...
Best Farm-Inspired
KidKraft Farm
  • Brilliantly detailed
  • Sturdy construction
  • 75 colorful rural-themed pieces
Product Image of the BRIO My First Railway – 33727 Beginner Pack | Wooden Toy Train Set for Kids...
Best for Beginners
My First Railway
  • Frustration-free play
  • Simple guiding tracks
  • Tougher than tough
Product Image of the Electric Classical Train Set with Steam Locomotive Engine, Cargo Car and Long...
Best for Older Kids
Electric Classical Train
  • Battery-operated set
  • High-quality locomotive
  • 41 piece set
Product Image of the Bigjigs Rail, Fairy Town Train Set, Wooden Toys, Wooden Train Set, Gifts for 4...
Best Transportation-Inspired
Bigjigs Wooden Fairy Town
  • Compatible with other wooden tracks
  • Different shades of pink
  • Magnetic linking trains


The Best Train Sets for Kids of 2022

Here are our favorite train sets for kids.

1. Maple Landmark Name Train

Best Train Set for Basic Skills

Are you looking for a unique, personalized present? Combining learning and fun, this personalized “name train” might be a good option for kids 3 years and older.

Each colorful letter is coated with safe, non-toxic paint. They attach to each other with a simple magnet, easy for any child to assemble and disassemble on their own. This versatile train is made of sturdy hardwood and is compatible with other wooden train tracks.

Photo of the Maple Landmark Name Train

2. Thomas & Friends Super Station

Best Cartoon-Themed Train Set

Does the name Percy sound familiar? If it does, it might be because it’s one of your kid’s favorite animated friends. This train set can hold up to 100 engines, and given all the accessories, boredom shouldn’t be an issue.

Your child can configure this space-friendly train set in different layouts. It fits small playrooms and connects to other “Thomas & Friends” tracks. This is a gift made to impress.

Photo of the Thomas & Friends Super Station

3. Lego City Cargo Train Set

Best for Lego Fanatics

With its 888 pieces, this Lego train set takes modeling and construction to the next level. Because of its complexity and many small pieces, it’s most suitable for kids over 6 years old. Due to the number of pieces, you might need a special storage box for this one.

With so many features and accessories to play with — including a crane — your kid will have numerous opportunities for their imagination to run wild. The remote control will keep the locomotive rolling.

Photo of the Lego City Cargo Train Set

4. Power Wheels Thomas & Friends Track

Best Rideable Train Set

A train track is sensational for toddlers, but sitting on a battery-operated locomotive is even more exciting. Also, if Thomas & Friends happens to be your little one’s favorite cartoon, this is guaranteed to be a special set for them. This durable car-like locomotive is easy to operate and is accompanied by sounds and phrases.

This train is suitable for children ages 1 to 3. And if your child gets bored of going around in circles, the locomotive also functions off the track. Watch out!

Photo of the Power Wheels Thomas & Friends Track

5. Hey! Play! Wooden Train Set

Best Multi-Purpose Train Set

If you have limited space for a train track, this might be the solution you’re looking for. This train set comes with a table, keeping all the pieces in one area. And the multi-level tracks will hold your little one’s interest much longer than a basic one-level set.

The set includes plenty of accessories, including a bridge and tunnel. The bright colors will make it a point of interest in your child’s bedroom or playroom.

Because it’s made of 100% wood, it doesn’t require batteries. It will save you space and money.

Photo of the Hey! Play! Wooden Train Set

6. Hape Wooden Train Set

Best City Train Set

This complete city-themed railway set features a passenger train, a freight train, a station, automatic gates, and a bridge. This set teaches your kids what a city entails. Traffic lights and signs will make their stories more animated and creative.

The wooden train set is also compatible with other tracks. When your child grows, you won’t have any hassle adding on to it. This product is durable and child-safe, contains water-based paint, and has non-toxic finishes.

Photo of the Hape Wooden Train Set

7. KidKraft Farm Train Set

Best Farm-Inspired Train Set

This train set contains 75 wooden pieces inspired by rural living. It will take your kid on adventures through mountains and past lakes, passing farms, cows, horses, pigs, and more. The design is thoughtful, and the pieces are attractive.

Because these wooden tracks are compatible with other brands, you’ll be able to add different tracks to expand the set and keep your child interested.

Photo of the KidKraft Farm Train Set

8. My First Railway Train Set

Best Train Set for Beginner Enthusiasts

This high-quality wooden train set makes for the ideal starter kit for any child 18 months or older. Get your little one’s creativity flowing with different track layouts, ramps, and a colorful bridge.

This train set is easy to assemble and dismantle and compatible with other wooden train tracks for further development. Adventure awaits!

Photo of the My First Railway Train Set

9. Electric Classical Train Set

Best Electric Train Set for Older Kids

This item from Temi is the type of electric train set your child might keep around for a lifetime. It is listed as suitable for kids 3 years or older, but older kids will also enjoy this train set the most.

The high-quality locomotive contains detailed wagons with looped fast tracks. It’s great for tech-savvy kids who like construction and model railroading. The product meets safety standards and is made from eco-friendly materials.
Photo of the Electric Classical Train Set


10. Wooden Fairy Town Train Set

Best Transportation-Inspired Train Set

If your little girl doesn’t play with anything unless it’s pink, this fairy-themed train set might be a good match. Lighter, feminine colors make it stand out amongst the countless primary-colored train sets.

The 75-piece wooden train set includes a dainty train made to stroll through an enchanting little town. The set is composed of houses, fairies, and a helipad and is also compatible with other wooden tracks, so your child can spread the magic.

Photo of the Wooden Fairy Town Train Set

How to Choose a Train Set

Depending on your child’s age, there are some particular features to keep an eye on to appease them and also help them learn. Furthermore, as moms, we must always keep safety, space, and more in mind. Let’s look at what’s important:

Age-Appropriate Styles

  • Toddlers: Wooden trains are usually designed for toddlers. They’re heavier and more durable, so they can handle the skillful throws toddlers sometimes engage in (1). Some of the simplest train sets available are wooden. These are suitable for beginners.
  • Young children: Battery-operated train sets are usually suited for children who have outgrown the basic versions. These trains are typically made from plastic and are an affordable and safe transition between wooden and fancy electric train sets.
  • Older children to teens: Electric trains are great learning tools for older kids and a fun option for family bonding time. They will usually last for a lifetime if taken care of. The locomotives tend to be heavier and made out of metal, which could potentially injure younger children.

Themes

Most kids go through cycles with their interests in cartoons, colors, and more. Receiving a train set is already an exciting experience on its own. So, when I bought my little girl a pink and purple train track with fairies, the look on her face was priceless.

Cartoon-themed train sets — such as Thomas & Friends — are popular, as kids can create imaginative scripts and are familiar with the characters.

You’ll also find other thematic choices, such as construction work, travel-focused, farmland, and more.

You Know Your Child

Depending on your child’s interests, you may want to choose a train set according to what would spark their interest the most.

Floor Space

How much space do you have at home to set up the train set? Will you need to dismantle it after every use, or do you have a permanent spot available?

Some train sets can be set up vertically or horizontally, giving you the flexibility to match your available space. You can also purchase sets that are already attached to a train table, so you’d need to plan strategically.

Electronic trains are more challenging to assemble and put away. Creating a dedicated location is preferable.

Set-Up

Train sets can be as simple as circular tracks. For smaller kids, pushing their train around in a circle could be enough to hold their attention.

As kids grow older, they might want something a bit more challenging, with track switching, bridges, and levels. The older your child is, the better they will be at handling a more demanding setup.

Many tracks are also universal, meaning they’re compatible from one brand to another. As your kid matures, this will give you the flexibility to choose additional tracks and accessories among different brands.

Child’s Skills

When it comes to train sets, age might only be an indicator. Gifted kids may have fewer difficulties building things and concentrating on small constructions. And children who struggle with fine motor skills may find some sets more challenging than others. When purchasing a train set, it’s important that you consider your child’s maturity and potential.


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Headshot of Mary Sweeney, BSN, RN, CEN

Reviewed by

Mary Sweeney, BSN, RN, CEN

Mary Sweeney, BSN, RN, CEN is an oncology nurse navigator and freelance medical writer. Mary has 4 years of experience as an officer in the Navy Nurse Corps. including emergency/trauma, post-anesthesia, and deployment medicine.