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10 Best Train Sets for Kids of 2024

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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Product Comparison Table

Product Image of the Maple Landmark
Best for Basic Skills
Maple Landmark
  • Highly personalized
  • Safe, non-toxic paint
  • Sturdy maple hardwood
Product Image of the Thomas & Friends Station
Best Cartoon-Themed
Thomas & Friends Station
  • 111-piece set
  • Benefits fine motor skills
  • Manually powered
Product Image of the Lego City Cargo
Best for Lego Fanatics
Lego City Cargo
  • 7-speed infrared remote control
  • Full circular track
  • Includes 4 minifigures
Product Image of the Thomas & Friends Wheels
Best Rideable Train Set
Thomas & Friends Wheels
  • Up to 1 mph speed
  • Easy-to-assemble track
  • Push-button operation
Product Image of the Hey! Play! Set
Best Multi-Purpose Set
Hey! Play! Set
  • Sturdy, durable poly construction
  • 75-piece set
  • No batteries needed
Product Image of the Hape Busy City
Best City Train Set
Hape Busy City
  • Non-toxic finishes
  • Will last for years
  • Realistic crane
Product Image of the KidKraft Farm
Best Farm-Inspired
KidKraft Farm
  • Brilliantly detailed
  • Sturdy construction
  • 75 colorful rural-themed pieces
Product Image of the My First Railway
Best for Beginners
My First Railway
  • Frustration-free play
  • Simple guiding tracks
  • Tougher than tough
Product Image of the Electric Classical Train
Best for Older Kids
Electric Classical Train
  • Battery-operated set
  • High-quality locomotive
  • 41 piece set
Product Image of the Bigjigs Wooden Fairy Town
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 2024

Here are our favorite train sets for kids.

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.

User Experience

I've enjoyed watching my 3.5-year-old son, Jaxson, play with this adorable name train that we got him for Christmas. The strong magnets and well-made design ensure that it stays together during playtime, and the non-toxic paint adds a nice touch of color. This name train has quickly become a favorite in our household, and it's a perfect gift for any young train enthusiast.

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.

Personal Perspective

Definitely an impressive and versatile addition to our Thomas the Train collection, this track set has provided endless entertainment for my son since 2019. The height is perfect for preschoolers, and the design allows for countless setup possibilities, including Cranky the crane and Harold the airplane. I appreciate how all the track pieces are compatible with other sets and even come with special adapters for additional brands. My grandson can spend hours reconfiguring the track, using Cranky to lift cars, and creating imaginative stories with his favorite Thomas characters.

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.

Community Feedback

I'm a huge fan of LEGO, and this LEGO City Trains Cargo Train Set exceeded my expectations. The set, with over 800 pieces, provided hours of fun for my kids and me as we assembled the intricate trains and cargo terminal. The power functions were easy to set up, and the train can be controlled by an IR remote, adding to the excitement. My kids love loading and offloading cargo at the terminal using the gantry crane and exploring their creativity with the various train components.

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!

First-Hand Impression

I've had a great experience with this train, and it has quickly become a favorite toy for my young child. The footrest is a unique feature that makes it easy for kids to climb on and comfortably ride. This train's battery life is impressive, lasting for days after an initial 18-hour charge. It's also versatile, working well both on and off the tracks and can be used indoors or outdoors. The only downside is that the motor can be a bit loud, but it's tolerable and doesn't take away from the overall enjoyment of the toy.

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.

User Experience

My experience with this train table has been a mix of excitement and disappointment. The vibrant colors and perfect size brought joy to my child's face, but the quality of the materials left something to be desired. We had some missing pieces and minor damages, but we fixed it up and made it work. Just be cautious that your child may use this table as a playground, as mine did, leading to some broken parts that needed fixing.

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.

Personal Perspective

This train set has provided hours of entertainment and imaginative play for my 3.5-year-old. The elevated tracks securely snap into the support system, preventing them from getting knocked down during play. The trains glide smoothly on the tracks, and the crane's tip-and-push style operation is easy for my child to use. I appreciate the additional features like the traffic light that changes from red to green, and the passengers that can be placed in the train. However, there have been minor issues with the trains getting stuck in the tunnel and the tracks coming apart on the sides of the bridge, but these flaws haven't significantly impacted our enjoyment of the set.

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.

Community Feedback

I recently purchased this wooden train set for a young family member, and it has become a real hit. The set is visually appealing with colorful and cute designs, but I was disappointed to find that not all the pieces are made of wood, as some are plastic. The track joints are a bit loose, causing occasional derailments of battery-powered trains. On the other hand, assembly is pretty easy and the kids have spent hours building different tracks and playing with the train set. While the quality of this train set is not top-notch, it still provides a fun and engaging playtime experience for children. Just be aware that some parts may not be as durable as expected, so handle with care!

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!

First-Hand Impression

I've been using this Brio "My First Railway" set with my 18-month-old, and it has been a great introduction to wooden trains for them. The design is safe and durable with enclosed magnets, and the tracks fit together well. The set includes train cars, a colorful over/underpass, and ramp pieces for easy train access, which is perfect for little hands. My toddler especially enjoys the engine car with a spinning drum filled with beads.

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.

User Experience

I'm thrilled with the overall appearance and performance of this train set, but there are a few drawbacks. Though the track layout is a fun figure 8 configuration, I had issues leveling it on my tree and the train sometimes struggles to go "uphill." The train is also quite loud, but with some effort, I was able to cut the sound wire to make it more bearable. Despite these issues, the train set is engaging and enjoyable for both kids and adults alike.

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.

Personal Perspective

I'm impressed with the design and quality of this train set, which is perfect for young girls who love trains. The set comes with a generous amount of track and numerous accessories, making it a great value. However, I did experience an issue with one of the arches arriving broken, which was disappointing given the price I paid. The train itself tends to derail quite easily, which can be frustrating for both children and parents. Despite these drawbacks, my daughter still enjoys playing with the set and it has sparked her interest in trains.

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.


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.


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.


What is the Difference Between a Toy Train and a Model Train?

Toy trains are typically simpler and more durable, designed for play and handling by children. Model trains are more detailed and realistic, often part of a hobby for collecting and creating detailed layouts.

Model trains might be more fragile and are usually appreciated by older children and adults.

What Age Do Kids Like Train Sets?

Kids might start enjoying train sets as early as 2-3 years old, with interest peaking in the preschool years. However, interest in trains can start earlier or later depending on the individual child and their exposure to trains.

Are Train Sets Good for Toddlers?

Train sets can be excellent for toddlers, particularly those designed for their age group. Look for sturdy, easy-to-connect trains and tracks that foster creativity and imaginative play. Always check the recommended age range and safety features.

Why are Some Kids Obsessed With Trains?

Some kids might be obsessed with trains due to their predictable motion, interesting sounds, and the intricate details of train models and tracks. Trains often represent a system that children can understand and control, which is appealing as they learn about the world around them.

Why are Train Toys So Expensive?

Train toys can be expensive due to the detailed craftsmanship, materials used, and complexity of design, especially for model trains.

Brand reputation and licensing can also add to the cost. However, there are affordable options with simpler designs that are more suitable for younger children.

What is the Most Popular Toy Train?

One of the most popular toy trains is the Thomas & Friends series, known for its colorful characters and engaging stories. Other popular brands include Brio, Lionel, and Melissa & Doug, each known for their quality and child-friendly designs.

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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.