Buying the Best Wooden Train Sets

05/11/2019

For most people their first experience of model railway is the children’s wooden train set. We often have fond childhood memories and they are a great way to introduce the younger generation to the hobby in a safe and fun way.
The biggest brand in of wooden train sets is Brio. Having started in 1884 as a family run business, they are now the largest producer of wooden train sets in the world, known for their bright colours and inter-connectable high quality modular sets. Brio makes the best wooden train sets for toddlers.
Here we are going to look at the bestselling Brio sets and choose the top 5.


The Top 5

Top Pick

 

BRIO My First Railway Beginner Pack Train Set

2nd Choice

BRIO World - Deluxe World Playset

 

3rd Choice

BRIO World - Farm Railway Set

 

4th Choice

Brio World Cargo Railway Deluxe Set

 

5th Choice

BRIO Classic Railway - Figure 8 Set

 

BRIO My First Railway Beginner Pack Train Set

This is Brio’s starter set aimed at very young children, from 18 months upwards. It is made from high quality FSC-certified wood. Unusually for Brio it features some plastic components such as the bridge and track ends and the train carriage is a rotating rattle rather than a realistic passenger carriage.
It is reasonably priced a fully modular with all other Brio sets so you can build on this with more advanced sets as your children get older.
Features
•    Includes curved wooden track, ascending wooden track, colourful bridge, engine and magnetic wagon with a lively sound
•    Includes 1x Train, 1x Rattle Carriage, 11x Pieces of Track, 4x Ramps, 1x Tunnel
•    Fully compatible with all other Brio train sets, tracks and trains

Pros
•    This train set is perfect for toddlers. It is designed for ages 18 months and up. The set helps develop hand-eye coordination and stimulates the imagination.
•    By itself takes up very little space and the colourful plastic components help keep young children’s attention. 
•    The train track can be laid out in several different combinations. 
•    It is very easy to connect and assemble, even for small children.
•    Affordable price, yet very well made from high strength wood.
•    The Wooden train tracks are compatible with other brio wooden tracks.
Cons
•    The locomotive is the least realistic of the range so older children may require another trains from the range.

Conclusion
Part of Brio’s starter range this is a great choice for a first set. With bright colours, a high quality construction and an affordable price this set will last many years. You can see it in action in the video below.

 

 

 

BRIO World - Deluxe World Playset

If you are looking to quickly grow your wooden train layout then you can’t go wrong with one of Brio’s Deluxe Railway Sets. This set comes with three large buildings, a house, farm and harbour building as well as a boat, two trains and passengers as well as a large amount of track.
Features
•    The train set includes 121 Pieces in their own storage box.
•    Manufactured to brio's high standards from FSC certified wood
•    Fully compatible with all other Brio train sets, tracks and trains
Pros
•    Quickly expand your existing collection or jump start a new one
•    The train track can be laid out in several different combinations. 
•    It is very easy to connect and assemble, even for small children.
•    Affordable price, yet very well made from high strength wood.
•    The Wooden train tracks are compatible with other brio wooden tracks.
•    Detailed and well made figures
Cons
•    Some initial assembly of the buildings may require adult assistance

Conclusion
The reason we gave this our second place is the shear amount you get for your money. This set is enough to fill most of the smaller play tables, and provides lots of variety to get the imagination running. As always you get the Brio build quality so the track will be fine for generations to come.
You can see it in action below

 

 

BRIO World - Farm Railway Set

This farm themed wooden train set is a great way to add some theming to a starter set, or as a stand-alone small circuit. With lots of farm based scenery as well as livestock, a tractor and a hay barn this set is lots of fun.
Features
• The train set includes 20 Pieces 
• A magnetic crane on the barn leading to the second story hayloft
• Manufactured to brio's high standards from FSC certified wood
• Fully compatible with all other Brio train sets, tracks and trains
Pros
• Nice variety of pieces helps diversify your collection
• The train track can be laid out in several different combinations. 
• It is very easy to connect and assemble, even for small children.
• Affordable price, yet very well made from high strength wood.
• The Wooden train tracks are compatible with other Brio wooden tracks.
• Detailed and well made figures
Cons
• Only comes with 8 pieces of track

Conclusion

A nice small set which adds some character to existing collections or as a small stand-alone set for occasional use. The tractor and farm scenery really helps those who don’t like trains to join in the game. You can see it in action here.

 

 

Brio World Cargo Railway Deluxe Set

The Brio Cargo Deluxe is the first set on our list to come with battery powered trains. This 54 piece set has everything you need to fill a table, with loadable cargo, a raised bridge and cargo crane. This would be a great starter set for the construction enthusiast who is ready to start a step on from the My First Railway Beginner Pack.
Features
• The train set includes 54 Pieces in their own storage box.
• Working Magnetic crane
• Battery powered freight train with working headlight
• Manufactured to brio's high standards from FSC certified wood
• Fully compatible with all other Brio train sets, tracks and trains
Pros
• Battery powered train adds an extra level of excitement for children
• Comes with a storage box to help keep it tidy when not in use.
• Affordable price, yet very well made from high strength wood.
• The Wooden train tracks are compatible with other brio wooden tracks.
• Detailed and well made figures
• Can be put together in many different configurations.
Cons
• Battery is not included

Conclusion

A great starter set, especially for someone who also enjoys large construction vehicles. All of the scenery has moving parts to help load the truck and train so children can carry cargo around the track without having to pick it up and load it themselves. In all a great set to get the imaginative juices flowing. You can see it in action below.

 

 

BRIO Classic Railway - Figure 8 Set

This classic figure 8 train set is based on one of Brio’s earliest classic designs. A good starter set for small children, its locomotive is somewhere between the Beginner Pack and the rest of the range, being aimed at children 24 months and older rather than the 18 months of the beginner set or the 3 years of the core range. A classic figure at track made from 14 pieces of track plus extras for a total of 22 pieces.
Features
•    22 piece set featuring rare X shaped crossover bridge, all made from FSC certified wood.
•    Set includes, an engine with two wagons, small train station and trees.
•    Fully compatible with all other Brio train sets, tracks and trains
Pros
•    Good for children transitioning to the larger sets.
•    By itself takes up very little space and the colourful plastic components help keep young children’s attention. 
•    The train track can be laid out in several different combinations. 
•    It is very easy to connect and assemble, even for small children.
•    Affordable price, yet very well made from high strength wood.
•    The Wooden train tracks are compatible with other brio wooden tracks.
Cons
•    Maybe a bit simple for older children.
Conclusion
This is a great set for children around two years old, as it introduces the standard trains and has full magnetic coupling, however would probably need to be expanded to keep older children entertained for a long period. A great choice if you are looking to buy several of the smaller themed sets. You can see it in action here

 

 

Honourable Mentions

BRIO World Railway Track Expansion Pack

The best investment you can make to expand your Brio wooden train set is to purchase one of the extra track boxes. Coming in three varieties called Beginner, Intermediate and Expert they are the most cost effective way to grow your layout.

The Expert set contains 50 pieces of track

  • 8x Short Curved Track
  • 8x Long Curved Tracks
  • 4x Long Straight Tracks
  • 4x Medium Straight Tracks
  • 4x Short Straight Tracks
  • 8x Straight Mini Tracks
  • 2x Curved Switches
  • 2x Puffer Stop
  • 2x Ramp
  • 4x Bridge Pillars
  • 4x Ramp Tracks.

The Intermediate set contains 16 pieces of track

  • 4x Long Straight Tracks 
  • 2x Medium Straight Tracks 
  • 2x Short Straight Tracks 
  • 2x Mini Straight Tracks
  • 2x Curved Tracks
  • 2x Short Curved Tracks
  • 2x Switching Tracks

The Beginner set contains 11 pieces of track

  • 2x Long Straights
  • 4x Curves
  • 1x 3/4 Length Straight
  • 1x 1/2 Length Straight
  • 3x 1/4 Length Straights

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Multi-Activity Play Table

Buy it Now

Not a Brio product but this train table is almost exactly the same size as the Brio one, however it is not only cheaper but also has a storage draw. With its smooth top and storage it is designed to allow for use with board games or as a craft table when not holding the train set.

 

 

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