10 Best Train Toys for Kids 2023

10 Best Train Toys for Kids 2023

Lots of kids love trains so much and sometimes to the point of obsession. It’s no secret that kids are fascinated by big engines and wheels, whether they’re a part of cars, trucks, and of course, the big bad trains. Children’s fascination with things that roll is important not only because they’re fun, but also because it improves their spatial reasoning. Locomotives are so universally appealing to younger kids that you shouldn’t fear you’re not getting something right if your child has never shown any interest in trains, and older kids who are train-obsessed will love them too.

How to Choose the Best Train Toys for Kids

Choosing the best train toys is as simple as looking for certain qualities in the product of your choice. As a rule of thumb, never rely solely on cosmetic appeal when shopping for any type of toy, including toy trains. As a guideline for making the right choice when shopping for train toys, check the following boxes.

Fun

The best toys can always excite and draw children to play. The primary use of toys is to encourage play, because play is very important for every child’s healthy and balanced development.  It doesn’t speak well of the toy if it regularly fails to impress or inspire activity.

The best toys have certain qualities that give them a long-lasting appeal for children even if the concept is rather simple. The Thomas & Friends Big Loader Motorized Toy Train Set and the rest of the toys in this list is guaranteed to inspire kids to get out of bed and leave the TV alone, always.

Ease of Use

However, this does not mean that a toy should be so simple that kids quickly get bored with it. Great toys can challenge kids to stretch their minds and bodies without frustrating them or eliminating the fun from the play.

The term “frustration-free” does not have to end with toy packaging. Like any other kind of toy, a good train set should not only come in frustration-free packaging that makes it easy for you to open and assemble the toy, but the toy itself should also be frustration-free for children to use.

Durability and Safety

Sturdy and durable toys are often made with high-quality materials that give the product a long-lasting quality. Reputable toymakers invest in premium materials for their products because they understand the way kids play and the importance of non-toxic and non-hazardous materials in playthings for children.

When shopping for toys, you might want to prioritize products that have passed Consumer Safety Standards such as the Temi Battery Operated Train Set, as such products are more than likely to have been made with excellent materials that promote their durability and sturdiness.

Versatility

Versatility is a quality you can depend on to help you spot the best toys. A train toy such as the LEGO DUPLO My First Number Train, for example, can introduce children to STEM and at the same time help them develop gross motor skills and still provide hours of entertainment.

Versatility can also mean scalable toys such as the BRIO 33719 Farm Railway Set, or multifunction toys such as the VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Train Station Playset, or toys that benefit kids in a variety of ways, turning with ease from one thing to another.

It’s good to be prepared, knowing what makes a toy deserving of your kid, before spending your hard-earned buck on that toy. The good news for you is that we have done most of the work, combing the market for the best toys with the best qualities, so all you have to do is browse the list below and make your pick of the best train toys.

Top 10 Best Train Toys for Kids 2023

1. LEGO DUPLO My First Number Train

LEGO DUPLO My First Number Train

For Ages 1.5-3
Why it made the list The chunky size of the DUPLO bricks makes them safe for small children and suitable for little hands.

The DUPLO is a trademarked product range of the globally beloved LEGO construction toy group. Although the DUPLO bricks come in child-friendly sizes, they are still compatible with traditional LEGO BRICKS. The word “DUPLO” literally means “double” from the Latin word “duplus,” all of which is an allusion to the double-sized DUPLO LEGO bricks.

This is a train toy that can be categorized as both a construction toy, a vehicle toy, and an educational toy. The large bricks are intuitive, allowing beginners to quickly get the hang of how it’s done, and two child DUPLO mini-figures and a cat figure come with the set to encourage children to engage in role-playing.

The LEGO DUPLO My First Number Train is a popular train set designed to introduce children to STEM subjects such as numbers and counting. While this is essentially an educational toy, the toy still offer kids the opportunity to build mental and motor skills as they build, take apart, and rebuild the LEGO DUPLO My First Number Train.

DUPLO bricks are traditionally double the size of LEGO bricks and this set is no exemption, the fact of which reduces the risk of choking hazards for children. The chunky size of the bricks also makes them suitable for little hands. The LEGO DUPLO My First Number Train is targeted at children 1.5 to 3-years-old, but kids a bit older should still have fun building and playing with it.

Every child deserves a LEGO experience and this train toy is an excellent choice to familiarize first-timers with construction and LEGO toys. Plus, this set is compatible with other LEGO sets despite the chunky sizes of the DUPLO bricks. In this way, kids can take advantage of the versatility of the toy by creating their own stories.

This DUPLO train set also features a restaurant setting that introduces children to dining etiquette and routines. The role-play includes taking pizza orders by phone and then make deliveries by bike. You can trust the LEGO brand to stay true to their name by making toys with the best materials that deliver sturdiness and non-toxicity.

This DUPLO number train kit includes a take apart locomotive and three wagons, bricks decorated with the numbers 0 through 9, as well as the human and cat mini-figures. The bricks are also decorated as tomatoes, cheese, ice cream, pepper grinder, money, and oven controls to further educate and entertain children.

2. BRIO Farm Railway Set

BRIO Farm Railway Set

For Ages 0-3
Why it made the list This toy is a train set that mimics locomotive transport around a farm setting in a manner that is as realistic as possible.

The BRIO 33719 Farm Railway Set is a train toy that inspires imagination and stimulates sensory perception in children. This set comes with the train, track, and a family of accessories that include a wooden cow figure.

BRIO is a Swedish manufacturer that introduced the world to its first wooden train set in the late 1950s. The company has since been making world-class educational and activity toys including the prized railway train sets made for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. This toy is fully interchangeable with all BRIO accessories, tracks, and trains.

The company goes the extra mile while testing their products for endurance and sturdiness, and that they source their wood from sustainably managed and traceable forests with no history of illegal logging.

The story of the BRIO Farm Railway Set involves a quiet horse and cattle farm setting. This is simply a story starter to encourage kids to engage their creativity and imagination while playing with this toy. The set includes a 20-piece detachable farm railway, a locomotive with cargo car, a farm tractor with trailer, a double-height barn with magnetic crane, track crossing, hay for the horse and cow, and fencing. The train travels a single loop past a field where it unloads bales of hay for the cow into the double-height barn.

Kids can use the magnetic crane to hoist the hay into the hayloft for storage as well as for transferring the hay into the farm tractor and wagon for transportation to the livestock. Kids can load the livestock inside the train car for transport to the barn using a fold-out ramp. This toy is a train set that mimics locomotive transport around a farm setting in a manner that is as realistic as possible.

All the equipment and accessories are well made, ensuring the entire activity goes smoothly. There’s even a “Cow Crossing” sign to perpetuate a real-world simulation as well as teach children about priorities. As the tractor and trailer return from the field hauling a large bale of hay, the trailer must wait at the level crossing while the train passes by. Safety first!

The train travels smoothly down the track with a child’s gentle push. With so many BRIO accessories such as bridges, tracks, trains, and more to extend and expand this set, the potential for creativity and learning is unlimited.

3. LEGO DUPLO Disney Pixar Toy Story Train

LEGO DUPLO Disney Pixar Toy Story Train

For Ages 2+
Why it made the list This is a story-based train set inspired by the Toy Story movie franchise.

This is another LEGO DUPLO train set on this list but with Pixar animation film themes. While the LEGO DUPLO My First Number Train has a focus on numbers and shape sorting, this model is designed for fans of Toy Story franchise. The kit includes Buzz and Woody Lightyear LEGO DUPLO figures, a train with opening roofs and a cactus, lasso, and toy dynamite.

The lasso and cactus are good for the protection of the bank vault from Dr. Pork Chop. In the Toy Story movies, Dr. Pork Chop, better known as Evil Dr. Pork Chop, is an outlaw who is the main antagonist in the Toy Story series. This train set depicts Dr. Pork Chop as the villain on a “Wanted” poster, so, as the story goes, kids have to ensure evil Pork Chop does not rob the train.

This set makes it fun and easy to impart the values of teamwork and communication to children. Kids will build confidence, motor skills, and develop healthy emotional balance as they play with this DUPLO kit by themselves or with friends and siblings. Even kids who have never seen the films or the cartoon figures will be drawn to this colorful and accessorized toy kit.

As is the hallmark of DUPLO bricks, this set is child-friendly; easy to build and dismantle.  The chunky bricks introduce kids to an early experience with engineering and building things in a way that is fun, collaborative, and inspiring. Kids will also develop problem-solving skills as they try to prevent the stash from being stolen. Role-playing such as this train set inspires is good for children’s mental and emotional development.

Unlike the BRIO 33719 Farm Railway Set which is made of part wood and plastic, the LEGO DUPLO Disney Pixar Toy Story Train is made entirely of durable, sturdy, and colorful plastic. This is not a motorized train set, so a gentle push by little hands will get the train rolling.

4. VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Train Station Playset

VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Train Station Playset

For Ages 1-5
Why it made the list There are 3 piano buttons on the train that teach colors as well as trigger foreign language responses.

This set comes with 15 feet of interchangeable train tracks, an electronic train station, a bridge for the train to pass under, a tunnel, and even interactive “SmartPoints” on certain locations of the rail track. These SmartPoints respond with fun phrases, music, and fun sounds when the train pass by them, which further educate and sparks imagination in children. Each SmartPoint vehicle responds differently to every SmartPoint location, which means you want to collect all 15 SmartPoint vehicles.

Kids will learn about letters, colors, time concepts, and foreign languages as they play with this toy. The set will welcome your child with a “Hello” in four languages including English and Spanish, as well as belt out sing-along songs as the train chugs along the track.

There are 3 piano buttons on the train that teach colors as well as trigger foreign language responses. The track can be customized in several layouts, allowing kids to explore their creative talents and build motor skills. The VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Train Station Playset is more than just a train toy chugging along a plastic track.

The track is easy to set up, and some of the pieces are like puzzles, which can help kids build spatial reasoning as they figure out how the puzzling pieces fit together. The entire set up features a handful of levers and cranks to keep the kid’s hands occupied in hands-on activities that help build their mental and motor skills. For example, kids have to turn a hand crank to make the train ride up the conveyor belt.

Only the train that comes with this set is battery-powered providing the SmartPoint technology and the colorful flashing lights features. Also, note that only the motorized freight trains can complete the looparound the track by themselves.

3 AAA batteries (included) are required for the set. Most of the pieces have rounded edges that won’t hurt children even when stepped on. Both the vehicles and the track are painted in bright child-friendly colors.

5. LEGO City Trains Cargo Train

LEGO City Trains Cargo Train

For Ages 1.5+
Why it made the list This set features Bluetooth technology that allows kids to control the motorized train via a handheld.

The LEGO City Trains Cargo Train is yet another well-accessorized toy train set in this list, including a handful of stickers and six mini-figures all arrayed in an assortment of official uniforms.

What you have here is a well-varied LEGO train set that comes with one thousand two hundred and twenty-six parts, forty-three spares, and forty part categories with a total of four hundred and twelve unique parts/color combinations; all in twenty-seven colors. These include a railroad crossing, buffer stop, a forklift, 2 small shipping containers, a flat car, pallet of money, gold bullion, a security van, a rolling stock, crane with extended crane boom, and the locomotive. This is a LEGO set, which means it involves plenty of hands-on building, a process that is very rewarding for children of all ages.

This is an immersive and extremely detailed LEGO set designed to help kids build mental agility, focus, concentration, spatial reasoning, problem-solving skills, and motor skills.

One of the main highlights of the LEGO City Trains Cargo Train is its Bluetooth connectivity feature, which allows kids to control the motorized train via a mobile device and the remote controller that comes with the set. That’s right, this LEGO cargo train set is motorized as well as “smart” featuring a “Powered Up” technology linking the train’s motor, the battery box, and the controller. The controller offers up to 10-speed options for the train and the battery lasts really long- up to 2 hours of a continuous ride.

6. Play22 Wooden Train Set

Play22 Wooden Train Set

For Ages 3+
Why it made the list This Play 22 train set is compatible with many other wooden train toy brands.

The Play22 Wooden Train Set is a beautiful STEM educational toy that also helps kids develop color recognition and motor skills. The train cars do not feature an ultra-realistic illustration to rival other models such as the Temi Battery Operated Train Set, but its simple representation leaves much of the imagery to the child’s imaginations.

Kids have the option to make 1 large train “powered” by 3 engines, or they can make 3 separate trains for as many different play scenarios as they can imagine. This wooden train set stands out by its compatibility with nearly all if not all the major wooden toy train brands, including BRIO train sets such as the BRIO Farm Railway Set, Thomas Wooden Railway, Chuggington, Thomas & Friends Big Loader Motorized Toy Train Set, and others.

Made with high-quality non-toxic, lead-free wood and BPA-free plastic wheels that have met the required ASTM F963 safety standards, the set comes in a simple but innovative design that is perfectly gender-neutral. The kit includes a passenger car, cargo truck, tanker trunk, engines, hopper car, coaches, convertible coach-hopper car, tender, magnetic cargo load, tanker car, magnetic tanker load, and cabooses.

Kids will experience fun and learning as they connect the various parts to form a train they can push along the track or floor. The strength of the magnets is impressive, unlike similar products where the magnets easily wear or fall off.

The train wheels are strong, and the paint on the wooden cars does not chip. This train toy will make a great gift for children that love trains and animals due to the eye-catching detailing on the train cars that are bound to stimulate sensory perception.

These wooden train cars are not only safe but also sturdy and durable with enough pieces- all of them built suitable for little hands- for toddlers and kids to play together. The set also comes with a little wooden box where kids can carefully stack or line up the train cars for storage or display.

7. Thomas & Friends Thomas Train

Thomas & Friends Thomas Train

For Ages 1-3
Why it made the list The wheels of this train are wide and solid, making them great on the track as well as on the floor.

Unlike every other train on this list, the Thomas & Friends Thomas Train from the Fisher-Price Power Wheels brand is a ride-on model that kids can enjoy indoors and outdoors. The vehicle rides wonderfully on any hard surface such as the backyard, hardwood floor, carpets, or patio.

The size and features of this ride-on train are specifically meant for toddlers between one to three-years-old. In addition to being a fun ride-on toy, the yellow whistle responds with age-appropriate phrases and fun sounds to further educate and entertain children.

The train comes with a dedicated track, although the wheels are right at home off-track as well. This train toy features push-button operation that is entirely child-friendly to use: kids only have to push the button to make the train go and stop.

The steering bars are just the right size to provide a comfortable grip. With a top speed of 1 mph on the track and 2 mph off-track, coupled with the easily accessible and comfortable footrest, parents can rest assured of the child’s safety while riding this train.

The dedicated track comes in handy for little kids who are first-timers to ride-on toys. The track ensures the Thomas train delivers a safe stable ride as it ferries the kid round and round the track at a safe speed. Just take the train off the track when the child is ready to make a go at the living room floor. The tires are wide and solid making them great on the track as well as on the floor.

The life-size track is distinct from the designs of other train toy tracks we’ve seen. The train weighs over forty pounds and the track is 18 feet long, making it as impressive as it is fun.

Fisher-Price recommends charging the battery for 18 hours the first time you bring the vehicle home, so if you’re giving this set as a present you may want to charge it first to avoid an impatient kid.

8. Temi Battery Operated Train Set

Temi Battery Operated Train Set

For Ages 3+
Why it made the list The curved and straight rail track pieces can be customized in several shapes and layouts according to the child’s imaginations.

If you know or you have a child who is fascinated by steam engines or you just want to familiarize kids with what rail travel looked and felt like before the advent of modern trains, then the Temi Battery Operated Train Set is an excellent toy to do that.

This Temi model may be the most accessorized and most realistic train toy set that isn’t a proper train model around. Unlike the manually operated BRIO 33719 Farm Railway Set that comes with a detachable wooden track, this Temi train set comes with a realistic railway (rail track or railroad if you may) that can also be fastened together as well as detachable.

The railroad runs through bridges and past 17th-century European architectures, self-standing cardboard figures of 17th-century gentlemen and ladies, trees, signposts, and the woods, all of which are designed to perpetuate the vibe of the olden days of the steam engine. Along with a steam locomotive, the train has connectible passenger and coal carriages.

This set is as realistic as toy modeling goes, complete with smoke, lights, and train sound effects. The Temi Battery Operated Train Set comes with a 10-piece detachable railroad (8 pieces curved track and 4 pieces straight track) that fills the room with its large size.

The curved and straight rail track pieces can be customized in several shapes and layouts according to the child’s imaginations. Everything you need to set up and get the train running in full capacity comes in the box, including an empty water bottle to power the “steam”.

The manufacturer recommends this set for users up to 21-years-old, making this a toy that can last a long time. This is an impressive toy that can be a low-cost alternative for train model collectors. The “smog” that comes out of the locomotive is visible enough to mimic the smoke that comes from coal-powered trains but poses no sort of danger for children. This train is built with eco-friendly materials that passed CPSIA and ASTM testing.

Just add drops of water into the container behind the train’s chimney to generate the “smoke”, put on the conductor’s hat, and blow the whistle to get the journey started. The Temi Battery Operated Train Set runs on 4 AA batteries, which are not included, so you have to buy high-quality AA batteries separately.

9. Orbrium Deluxe Wooden Train Set

Orbrium Deluxe Wooden Train Set

For Ages 3+
Why it made the list This wooden train set is made with premium high-quality and durable materials you can see and feel.

The Orbrium 52 Pcs Deluxe Wooden Train is a wooden train toy with the train crossing guard rails and wheels made with plastic. Although Orbruim has a similar model with more accessories that cost a bit more, this 52-piece train set has enough pieces to keep kids occupied in imaginative play for longer periods.

When assembled in the same layout as the one in the picture on the box, the track measures just under 3 feet long, comprising an 8″ bridge and railroad crossing made up of 23 tracks, 4 trains/cars, 1 railroad crossing, 1 train station, 1 bridge, 7 building pieces, 8 trees, and 7 figurines/road signs. Even with this many pieces in the box, the track set up still features a simple design although kids certainly have the option to customize the track layouts in several style variations.

Kids will enjoy spending hours running the train through the stretch of wooden track; under bridges, past the train station where they pick up passengers, pass through a tunnel, and finally arrive at the village destination. The tunnel pass can also be flipped over and used as a storage box. While the storage box is also made of wood, it does not have a lid and also does not feel as premium as the rest of the wood used in building this Orbrium train set.

The wooden human mini-figures, are too chunky to pose a choking hazard for little children, but their large size also makes them a bit incongruous among the landscape of trees and architecture. The tracks are double-sided, allowing them to be flipped over and made to go in both directions allowing for more track customization options.

The Orbrium 52 Pcs Deluxe Wooden Train is made with premium high-quality materials you can see and feel, particularly the durable solid wood. The dense wood construction largely contributes to the stability of the train on the tracks regardless of the slim wheels. This is a train toy set that should last a long time, passed down the family from generation to generation.

Another highlight of the Orbrium 52 Pcs Deluxe Wooden Train set is its compatibility with other leading brands of wooden train sets including the BRIO 33719 Farm Railway Set and other sets in the BRIO railway family, Chuggington, Thomas & Friends Big Loader Motorized Toy Train Set and other sets in the Thomas Wooden train set system, and more.

Even so, the versatile quality of this set is a bit limited by the difficulty to run the apparently too-tall train cars under the bridge if you customize the track to go that way. However, we consider this a minor flaw considering the many other customization options available to children and the comparatively low price of this set.

10. Thomas & Friends Big Loader Motorized Toy Train Set

Thomas & Friends Big Loader Motorized Toy Train Set

For Ages 3+
Why it made the list The motor “magically” switches between the three trains to complete the tasks of loading and unloading balls of coal.

Thomas & Friends is a popular British animated television series beloved by children around the world. The series follows the exploits of anthropomorphized locomotives on the fictional island of Sodor.

Now adopted into many forms of educational and entertaining engagement for children, this Thomas & Friends Big Loader Motorized Toy Train Set continues with the decades-long tradition of sparking imagination and creativity in children. Kids will be immersed in the empathizing and collaborative task of assisting Thomas and his friends to ferry cargo by rail throughout the Island of Sodor.

The journey will take kids through multiple loading stations around the more than 8 feet of track, potentially keeping children occupied for hours in this mentally stimulating fun activity.

This set comes with an automated motorized locomotive that “magically” transfers between the three anthropomorphized trains; Thomas, Percy, and Terence. The motor switches between the three humanized trains to complete the tasks of loading and unloading balls of coal. Kids will learn collaboration and teamwork as they watch Percy deliver cargo to Terrence who then transfers the coal to Thomas who in turn transfers the coal into the major loader.

This system, if properly set up, should continue until the friends run out of steam. Kid’s don’t do anything beyond setting it in motion. This collaborative operation is fun and educational for kids to watch, but the Thomas & Friends Big Loader Motorized Toy Train Set offers a more hands-off than a hands-on learning experience.

If you are more interested in a more hands-on train set, then you should look at other models on this list such as the 60198 LEGO City Trains Cargo Train. But if you prefer a train set your kids can set up and then concentrate on watching and figuring out how the engineering magic happens, this Thomas & Friends Big Loader Motorized Toy Train Set is your best bet. Top of FormBottom of Form

The motorized train runs on 1 AA battery that isn’t included with the set so you have to buy a high-quality AA battery separately. Assembling the set is easy, although you will need a screwdriver on hand.

While you can’t add more tracks to extend the track of this set because the track is designed specifically for the Big Loader model, the vehicles are perfectly compatible with other train brands such as the Play22 Wooden Train Set.

All Aboard!

Science has shown that children’s fascination with vehicles, including trains, is physiological. One study says this admiration of things that move is based on children’s excitement about motion and speed. This is a good thing if you ask us, because interest in speed and motion is good in all sorts of ways for a child’s current development and future pursuits.

Let’s put it this way: a child with a need for speed and interest in motion is certainly going somewhere, and we are so proud to help. Even if the love of trains is an obsession for your child, the hobby can bring comfort and give them a sense of control in their ever-changing world.

Whether your child prefers a train toy they can sit on such as the Thomas & Friends Thomas Train (Ride-on with track), or models they can push around such as the LEGO DUPLO Disney Pixar Toy Story Train, or motorized models they can just sit back and watch such as the Thomas & Friends Big Loader Motorized Toy Train Set, there’s something here for every child.