The 9 Best New Toy Trains for Kids

Thomas the Train Wooden Train Starter Set
Fisher Price / Amazon

The best toy train sets are not just for 2 year olds! While certainly many children begin to enjoy trains at the age of 2, both boys and girls love to play with these interconnecting train sets. Many train fans also carry their enjoyment into teen years and into adulthood, creating elaborate designs underneath their Christmas tree, too.

There are many different train sets and track systems available for kids, based upon their skills and interests. While wooden train sets may be the most popular,...MORE there are also interactive talking train sets and electrical train sets.

Many young children love vehicle play, but they also learn about trains from popular shows for toddlers and preschoolers, like Thomas and Friends, Chuggington and Dinosaur Train.

Many wooden train sets are universal.  This means, that no matter which brand is purchased, all of the tracks can be added together to create one big super track. For many families and children, train sets are definitely a long-term investment. Most train sets have additional accessories like buildings, or even different trains that can be purchased, for children to expand their collections.

  • 01 of 09

    For over 130 years, Brio, a Swedish toy company has been designing collectible and fun wooden toys. Brio trains are most often bought in a specialty toy store or online. They are more than wooden train sets. Using the same wooden track system, kids will love pushing wooden cars, construction vehicles, monorails, safari trains, tow trucks, and fire engines. Accessories can be added to the tracks, featuring horse farms, lighthouses, tunnels and bridges to use their imagination to create the...MORE ultimate village. Newer motorized trains can even be controlled on the wooden tracks with a wireless controller. 

  • 02 of 09

    Thomas the Tank Engine and his train friends have been captivating children in books since 1946 and on television since 1984. It is not hard to find a Thomas the Train fans. Many young children will have one train clutched in each hand, at all times. Start clipping the arts and crafts stores discount coupons, these train sets are not cheap. They are a great long-term investment that is easily loved by children in the same house before being passed on to another generation, donated to charity or s...MOREold used to new collectors.

  • 03 of 09

    Chuggington is a popular animated television show for kids on Disney Junior. Kids love watching lovable characters Wilson, Koko, and Brewster as "trainees" learning all the necessary skills it takes to be a full time employee of the rail yard. 

    Unlike traditional wooden train sets, the TOMY StackTrack Railways sets allow kids to design tracks that are as wide and as tall as they can imagine. This set includes motorized engines that can zoom around corners and climb steep terrain. Other...MORE accessory sets offer fun ways for the trains to interact during their play with features where trains can unload cargo, activate a crane, and zoom across a drawbridge.

  • 04 of 09

    The Chuggington Wooden Railway sets for toddlers are genius. They are different than any other train set for toddlers and include a 1-2-3 Track system. Many young kids get very frustrated when the tracks become easily unhinged. This is a 3 foot connected track that kids can play with immediately out of the box, without any assembling. Tracks twist, flip and rotate into place. This is the ideal first train set for toddlers and for those younger siblings who want to play with their older siblings...MORE tracks, but who become frustrated when they get dismantled.

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  • 05 of 09

    This French-made and inspired wooden train set from Janod isn't full of talking characters from television. Kids can play with 2 of their favorite themes - farms and trains. This is a great set for children just learning to talk as they "Moo, Neigh and Quack," transporting animals on the train all around the barnyard.

  • 06 of 09

    While wooden train sets are great for toddlers and preschoolers, the VTech Go Go Smart Wheels Train set tracks are best purchased for kids ages 1-3. These plastic tracks can be arranged in different layouts, but they include Smart Points. As the train cars maneuver over different places in the set, the toys flash lights, speak phrases or sing songs that are educationally relevant. Have lots of who visit your home or own your own  daycare? This train set is toy that is easy to clean from germs.

  • 07 of 09

    Looking for something more interactive than a wooden train set? There are motorized Thomas the Train track sets, too. Many of these sets engage children as they watch their favorite trains navigate steep drops and launch through stunts.  

  • 08 of 09

    Many families also consider buying wooden train tables. They come in a variety of finishes and sizes for the play room. Train tables get the toys up off the ground and allow many children to play in one area at the same time. Lots of train tables also arrive with bins and drawers for kids to store and organize their trains and extra tracks in. 

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  • 09 of 09

    Every year, the Lionel Polar Express Ready-To-Run train set makes the infinite loop under our Christmas tree. The plastic tracks are assembled by snapping them together. Then, using a battery-operated wireless remote, trains move forward and backward around the track. Popular themed Lionel train sets feature collectible favorites such as Harry Potter, The Major League Baseball Spring Training Trains, Thomas & Friends, Monopoly, Crayola, John Deere, and DC Comics.