Electric Train Sets For Toddlers – Review

Why it’s important to buy train sets for toddlers?

I spent about 2 days searching the web for the best electric train sets for Toddlers/Kids. There is a very good reason why these train sets have been a staple in the toy boxes of children around the world for generations. They are fascinating to play with, inspire imaginative games and tend to keep young minds occupied for years before they get bored and move onto toys designed for older kids. Check out my selection to find the perfect toy/gift for your youngster.

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What is important when selecting train set?

I checked 3 aspects:

Quality Test

I took a detailed look at all of the electrical train and their respective build quality. I also checked to see if the paint is highly detailed or smudged or if the manufacturer used stickers instead of paint. Another thing that I checked is to see if the electrical train, locomotives, and wheels were made out of plastic or metal. Metal components will handle wear and tear better and last longer.

Remote Control

All of the trains have a power source that plugs into the terminal section of the track and a control with a dial so you can adjust the speed, but the dial is connected to the track by wires. Some Train sets can provide a remote control, so you can control the speed of the train, along with the headlight, whistling and locomotive smoking features, all from a remote control. Most of the train sets require 3 AAA batteries to operate the remote control.

Additional Accessories

I know from my personal experience that when I’m looking for to buy a train set I’m looking for a model train set that comes with many accessories so I can create an entire landscape or city around the train set. Some of the Model train sets, come with additional figures, telephone poles, signs and a signal bridge that let you or your child create the world around the train set more real and more fun. While these figurines or additional model pieces don’t affect your train’s performance in any way, they definitely add fun and flair to your model-building experience.

importent

Before we continue it’s important to know that. Rail transport modeling uses a variety of scales (ratio between the real world and the model) to ensure scale models look correct when placed next to each other. Model railway scales are standardized worldwide by many organizations and hobbyist groups. Some of the scales are recognized globally, while others are less widespread and, in many cases, virtually unknown outside their circle of origin. Scales may be expressed as a numeric ratio (e.g. 1/87 or 1:87) or as a letter defined in rail transport modeling standards (e.g.HO, OO, N, O, G, TT and Z.) The majority of commercial model railway equipment manufacturers base their offerings on NEM or NMRA standards in most popular scales.

For quick understanding watch the video:

Combining this 3 aspects I found 3 electrical train sets that Meet those aspects:

Lionel Pennsylvania FlyerLionel

Price: $184.79

Recommended Ages: 5years and up

Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon

Customer Rating on Amazon: 4.0 out of 5.0

My Personal Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0

Product Overview

This model train set not only looks great, but it should last you and your family a long time because of its outstanding build quality. Lionel is one of the longest-standing model train companies around. This electric train set has solid build quality and craftsmanship. Unlike other model trains that look or feel like they won’t be able to stand the test of time, The Lionel Pennsylvania Flyer LionChief locomotive is sturdy enough to withstand the wear and tear of years to come. This model train is a wonderful balance of premier craftsmanship and impressive features, earning it to be my favorite.

Easy-to-use power and control system

  • Basic wall-pack power supply
  • Terminal track section with a jack for connecting the wall pack
  • Kid-friendly hand-held remote

Run more than one locomotive on the same track!

  • Distinct frequencies available for different LionChief locomotives allow for multiple remote engines to run at the same time
  • LionChief locomotives can also run on any track powered by a conventional transformer at a constant 18 volts
  • LionChief locomotives can operate at the same time as any Legacy or TMCC-controlled engine on the same 18 volt-powered layout and track

Easy-to-setup

  • Train set, track, and wall-pack power supply included
  • Ready-to-run out of the box!

Locomotive Features:

  • Electric locomotive controlled by remote
  • Operating headlight
  • Puffing smoke
  • On/off switches for smoke and sound
  • RailSounds RC sound system with steam chuffing and background sounds, whistle, bell, and user-activated announcements
  • Operating couplers
  • Maintenance-free motor

Remote Features:

  • Forward and reverse speed control knob
  • Three buttons for whistle sound, bell, and special freight crew announcements
  • Requires three AAA alkaline batteries (not included)

Accessories:

This Lionel steam set does not come with many accessories, like signs and signal bridges, as some other train sets provide. Along with the track and train set, the only included accessories are a remote control and a roadbed to ensure that your track stays flat on the ground.

Support & Replacement Partssupport

Lionel makes some of the best model train sets available and backs them up with reliable customer service. Lionel was quick to answer any questions you have over the phone. The company also provides instruction manuals, support via email, and Replacement Parts. The Lionel LionChief line of model train sets is backed by a one-year warranty.

Summary

Lionel know their job, they build quality train models and the detail on the train are impressive. This train looks and sound exactly like a real train, and also build from the best materials that will last for a long time. This is my first choice and a great option for toddler/pre-schollers/Kids and old train enthusiasts like myself.

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VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Train Station PlaysetVTech 80-146700

Price: $49.99

Recommended Ages: 1-5 years

Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon

Customer Rating on Amazon: 4.4 out of 5.0

My Personal Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0

Product Overview

This model train set not only looks great and colorful, but it Enhances your child’s creativity. VTech is known for their outstanding build quality that will last for many years to come. This train playset combines learning and pretends play so it’s fun for the all family. The greatest thing that this train set provide is the music and sound effects what make it more fun for little babies and very educational for them because they mimic the sound of the train. Before you purchase this train you need to consider the size of it, the measures of this train are: 5.9″ x 23″ x 16″ and it includes 32 interchangeable track pieces for 15 feet of play.

Product Features

  •  Smokestack motor button
  • Off/Volume control switch
  • Automatic shut-off after approximately 30 seconds without input
  • Color buttons to learn colors and hear phrases in English, German, Spanish and French with fun sounds

Remote Features

  • No remote option

Accessories:

This train has the best accessories for a train, Signs, bridge, smart wheels and more. You can order two of this train set and connect them as one train set.

Support & Replacement Parts

Vtech have a great customer service, they have consumer services department in the U.S. and in Canada. The respond time was very quick,  and they are also sending replacement parts.

Summary

Through pretend play, the Go! Go! Smart Wheels Train Station Playset by VTech will turn your child into a little conductor. The motorized train on this train set choo-choos its way along the tracks and plays imaginative phrases, music or phrases at each of this toy train set’s ten SmartPoint locations. Learn time concepts, colors and phrases in English and foreign languages at the electronic train station, or use the hand-crank to drive the train up the hill and watch it chug down the spiral ramp. The motorized SmartPoint Train engages your child with 3 sing-along songs and teaches the letter “T”. The learning doesn’t stop there. This toy train set’s 32 interchangeable track pieces reconfigure for multiple configurations and 15 feet of play! They also connect to other Go! Go! Smart Wheels playsets (sold separately) to encourage your child’s creativity. Because of this, This train set is my favorite.

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Polar Express TrainLionel Trains Polar Express Train Set

Price: $247.49

Recommended Ages: 8-15 years

Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon

Customer Rating on Amazon: 3.9 out of 5.0

My Personal Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0

Product Overview

Easy-to-use power and control system

  • Basic wall-pack power supply
  • Terminal track section with a jack for connecting the wall pack
  • Kid-friendly hand-held remote

Run more than one locomotive on the same track!

  • Distinct frequencies available for different LionChief locomotives allow for multiple remote engines to run at the same time
  • LionChief locomotives can also run on any track powered by a conventional transformer at a constant 18 volts
  • LionChief locomotives can operate at the same time as any Legacy or TMCC-controlled engine on the same 18 volt-powered layout and track

Easy-to-setup

  • Train set, track, and wall-pack power supply included
  • Ready-to-run out of the box!

Locomotive Features:

  • Electric locomotive controlled by remote
  • Movie sound clip
  • On/Off switches for smoke and sound
  • RailSounds RC sound system with steam chuffing and engine background sounds, whistle, bell, and user-activated announcements.
  • Operating headlight
  • Puffing smoke unit
  • Operating coupler on rear of tender
  • Powerful maintenance-free motor
  • Two traction tires
  • Die-cast metal locomotive body
  • Large pilot and headlight lens shield

Passenger Car Features:

  • Interior lighting
  • Decorated drumhead on observation car
  • Rounded observation platform
  • Silhouettes in window

Remote Features

  • Forward and reverse speed control knob
  • Three buttons activate whistle sound, bell sound, and official announcements from the movie
  • Requires three AAA alkaline batteries (not included)

Accessories:

Again, as the same as Lionel Pennsylvania Flyer This Lionel steam set does not come with many accessories, like signs and signal bridges, as VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels provides. Along with the track and train set, the only included accessories are a remote control and a decorative bell.

Support & Replacement Parts

Lionel makes some of the best model train sets available and backs them up with reliable customer service. Lionel was quick to answer any questions you have over the phone. The company also provides instruction manuals, support via email, and Replacement Parts. The Lionel LionChief line of model train sets is backed by a one-year warranty.

Summary

Lionel know their job, they build quality train models and the detail on the train are impressive. This train looks and sounds exactly like a real train,  it fitted with the new LionChief Remote Control system by Lionel, engineer’s young and old have complete control over their Polar Express trains by an easy-to-use remote. You’ll feel a difference in the smooth operation of the Berkshire locomotive, and hear more realism in the locomotive sounds. It also builds from the best materials that will last for a long time. This is my third choice and a great option for older kids.

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20 comments

  • Sarah

    Hi there!

    As someone who grew up without a train set of my own, I totally can relate to kids wanting one! To this day I still haven’t been able to get a train set, but reading this article made me start thinking how cool it could be to have a really nice big one! Forget the kids, I’ll buy that baby for myself, haha!

  • Davby

    Reading this post has definitely brought back a lot of childhood memories. I used to love having train sets when I was a kid, and I reckon I’ll be one of those who’ll end up building a massive model railroad when I retire, lol.
    Thanks for researching the best electric trains, there’s a lot of useful information here. I think I’ll keep the Polar Express Train in mind when Christmas comes along!

  • It is really amazing post it make me think about my childhood I just to play with them a long long time ago and this is so complete full of information post and really teach me a lot and wonder if I have to buy one for my kids thanks for the info

  • Summerly

    Neat post! I don’t remember if I had a train set when I was young…I remember having a race car track, but it’s not the same 🙂 I would have loved a train set. I like the fact that you can run more than one locomotive on the same track on some of these products. That sounds really neat! I love little models and creating the look…like adding mini people and cars and trees, stuff like that. Doing that and adding a train, things would look so neat!

  • I always wanted a train set this is a great review.

  • This is great, I never had a train when I was a child but my kids love it.
    Thank you for sharing the information.

  • Hi Efi
    you have a great website you have got a great deal of information about train set it is really good to know i have enjoyed your articles very much and my husband likes them very much also he did have a train set as a youngster but i know he would like to have for his grandchildren to enjoy thank you so much.

  • The V-Tech train set looks great for little hands. My son was always fascinated with trains and we still have two Christmas trains that we set up specifically for Christmas. If this had been available when he was small, I am sure we would have purchased it. Again, great information on your website and the perfect shopping site for parents and grandparents!

  • This is a great article. I truly think that trains for kids can be an opportunity missed. They offer so much in the way of learning; from from the fine motor skills of connecting the rails and thinking in a wider perspective that allows more complex thinking and configurations to learning about cause and effect, especially failure and how to pick up the pieces and get back on the track.

    One of my fondest memories is the train track that went around the bottom of out Christmas tree for so many years..That lead to helping my father create a “Z” gauge layout when I was a young teen, of which we had many hours and weeks of quality time together.

    Train tracks aren’t just for kids and the more time you spend with them the more memories you make with your children.

  • Marlaine

    There’s something very universally awesome about a good train-set… it appeals to kids but also to adults like me. We have one at our library set up and it’s by far the most popular toy for the kids who visit. Unfortunately it doesn’t look as cool as the 3 you reviewed as it’s not electric! 🙁
    Personally, the Vtech one looks “the best” for me… but probably because my 2 kids are 3 and 1.5 – not ready yet for remotes. I might go for that one… Christmas is coming!! 🙂 Great reviews, great post!

  • Fairweather Green

    Great article, I always wondered what it was with kids and trains? My little one loves them.

    We started off with the plastic and wooden types for him and have just move up to an electric train set from Hornby.

    Does the Polar Express train advertised here run on a Hornby track?

  • Wow. I didn’t know that buying train set is such a serious business! Your post is very detailed and informative. Next time if I chance upon a train set, I’ll try to remember the pointers you gave.

    Cheers!

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