Today’s train sets feature innovative, educational, highly creative and uber-realistic designs that are sure to impress both children and parents alike.
Whether you’re new to the world of toy train sets, or a longtime enthusiast, our guide to the best toy train sets is sure to inspire your next holiday gift idea.
Toy train table sets are appropriate for toddlers, older children, and even teenagers.
We’ve included our top picks from numerous categories to bring you the most highly rated:
- Toddler train table sets
- Model train table setsAutomated table train
- Automated table train sets
- LEGO and LEGO DUPLO train sets for children and toddlers
- Lionel table train sets featuring realistic design and Disney Animation
Read on to discover our picks for the best toy train table sets.
Recommended Read: Best STEM Toys for Kids
Tiny Conductors Wooden Train Set
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This wooden train set by [amazon link=”B07DSL3T96″ title=”Tiny Conductors”] is a top rated, durable option for parents who prefer to go with a classic wooden set over plastic.
The Tiny Conductors set offers an abundance of pieces, easily outperforming similar competitors in its price range. The set features easy enhancement with an optional expansion set for maximum fun.
The Tiny Conductors set has been extensively tested to ensure compatibility with all other major train sets brands. And we love the Tiny Conductors set for its durability and versatile expansion. It also comes packaged in a handy, reusable storage box to organize all pieces when not in use efficiently.
The Tiny Conductors set is the only train set on the market that can create two figure-eight tracks at the same time, a feature that ranks it among the top-rated train sets in all categories.
The set includes simplified, color-coded instructions to help younger children create fourteen possible track layouts. This set is preferred for both individual and group play, making it a versatile favorite among kids and parents alike.
Brio My First Railway Set
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This wooden starter train set from [amazon link=”B00RMLUWGW” title=”Brio”] is a favorite among parents for children as young as eighteen months old.
The My First Railway wooden train set features brightly colored accessories to stimulate young children and help develop essential motor skills, including hand-eye coordination. The set is compatible with all other Brio train sets, a leader in the toy train set industry for their innovative designs.
My First Railway set is easy to assemble, perfectly suited to both younger children as well as children over age five. Although My First Railway is a beginner set, it’s easily expandable with other Brio products and features durable, solid wood construction.
My First Railway set is safe for children as young as eighteen months old, and all Brio products undergo rigorous safety testing.
VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Train Station Playset
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Another excellent set for younger children and one of our top picks for toddlers, the [amazon link=”B00DKCI1P6″ title=”VTech”] Go! Go! Smart Wheels set features a bright, stimulating design that includes thirty-two interchangeable pieces.
The Go! Go! Smart Wheels set is an interactive, multi-purpose educational tool. Like all VTech products, the Smart Wheels train set packs in an impressive amount of learning, creativity, and skill-building. The set includes a train station, bridge and tunnel, and conveyor belt that easily accommodate its snap-on trains and cable cars.
Intended for children ages one to five, the Smart Wheels set features ten “SmartPoint” locations that activate a number of different interactive features including phrases, rhymes, counting, and help teach young children the alphabet.
While the Smart Wheels set is equipped with SmartPoint locations and a load of electronic features to stimulate children’s play experience, its visually appealing and bright design is also age-appropriate for younger children and aids in the development of motor and sensory skills.
We recommend the VTech Go! Go! SmartWheels set for parents in search of an interactive, learning-based train set that is expandable with other VTech products.
LEGO City Cargo Train Set
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The [amazon link=”B00J4S6UYO” title=”LEGO”] City Cargo train set is ideal for older children ages six to twelve, and our top pick for the best building and construction toy train table set on the market.
The set includes pieces to build a LEGO cargo train, trucks, loading accessories, and a crane and hook to load and unload cargo. Six LEGO figurines are also included, equipped with hardhat and construction gear. The set is motorized and Bluetooth enabled, and includes an infrared remote control for a fully interactive play experience.
We recommend the LEGO City Cargo train set to future engineers, kids who love building, and all LEGO fanatics ages six to twelve.
Lionel Pennsylvania Flyer Set
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The Lionel Pennsylvania Flyer LionChief [amazon link=”B01N1A3JS4″ title=”train set”] is another motorized, fully automated set that is ideal for older children, collectors, and hobbyists. Like many motorized train sets in its price range, the Pennsylvania Flyer is Bluetooth enabled and includes several features not found on other models.
The set features smoke, audio, and a headlamp for the most realistic experience possible. The Pennsylvania Flyer’s synchronous moving parts, liquid smokestack, and authentic appearance make a lasting impression on children and adults alike.
Where speed is concerned, the Pennsylvania Flyer features remote enabled, responsive speed control that outpaces other motorized sets on the market.
We love the Pennsylvania Flyer for its performance and durability–an advantage often overlooked with motorized sets that experience malfunction and wear far more frequently. We recommend the Pennsylvania Flyer for kids, hobbyists, and collectors.
Related Read: Best Board Games for Kids
Lionel Polar Express Set
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Lionel makes a second appearance on our list with the [amazon link=”B01C35QC4W” title=”Polar Express”] set, another motorized feature-packed train set that’s a holiday favorite among parents and kids.
Like the Pennsylvania Flyer, Lionel’s Polar Express features an authentic appearance and fast speed that make for a realistic experience both parents and kids will enjoy.
Based on the award-winning film, the Polar Express set features audio straight from the movie, including conductor’s commands voiced by actor Tom Hanks. The set also features the same durable construction as the Pennsylvania Flyer for which Lionel is known.
We recommend the Lionel Polar Express as the ideal holiday gift for young train enthusiasts, hobbyists, and collectors alike.
Melissa & Doug Wooden Railway Set
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The Melissa & Doug [amazon link=”B07QXM2V9Y” title=”Railway set”] is our top pick for a budget-friendly, wooden train set for kids ages three and up.
We love the Melissa & Doug Railway for its large size and durable, quality construction. It’s also compatible with other major train set brands, allowing for easy expansion and maximum fun. Kids will appreciate the set’s bright, stimulating colors and numerous accessories.
Along with its innovative design, the set’s bright colors are designed to simulate growing toddlers’ sensory, motor, and communication skills.
We recommend the Melissa & Doug Railway set to parents in search of an affordable, high-performance alternative to expensive competitors.
LEGO DUPLO My First Train Set
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[amazon link=”B00C9X592K” title=”LEGO”] makes a second appearance on our list with a top-rated option for younger children and toddlers.
My First Train Set is appropriate for children as young as one-year-old and features large pieces, bright colors, and simplified assembly suitable for infants and toddlers. The set includes a total of fifty-two pieces and is expandable with other LEGO DUPLO train sets. Young toddlers will appreciate the set’s realistic sound effects and stimulating design.
My First Train Set includes a steam train, passenger wagon, ticket office, fueling station, along with two miniature figurines (driver and passenger). My First Train set is fully automated, a unique feature compared with many hands-on alternatives for toddlers that is sure to delight youngsters. The set also features durable, sturdy plastic construction that easily withstands rough play from younger children.
We recommend LEGO DUPLO My First Train Set to parents in search of a fully automated set suitable for children as young as one-year-old.
KidKraft Ride Around Train Set and Table
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The [amazon link=”B0019NJCQA” title=”KidKraft”] Ride Around Train Set makes it onto our list as the only option that includes its very own table, a convenience that busy parents will appreciate. The table is also designed to contain the train set with a one-inch protective barrier, ensuring pieces and accessories remain safely in place.
Along with the set’s included table, the KidKraft Ride Around comes with three storage boxes expertly crafted to sort the train and its accessories, a bonus for clean-up time that will encourage your young train enthusiast to care for their new railway properly.
We love the KidKraft Railway set for its sturdy design and fast assembly, typically put together out of the box in under ten minutes.
Lionel Mickey Mouse Ready to Play Set
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[amazon link=”B01C35QI5A” title=”Lionel”] makes our list once again with another fun, festive option that’s ideal for the holiday season with the Mickey Mouse Ready to Play train set.
In comparison to the Pennsylvania Flyer and Polar Express, the Mickey Mouse set performs at a slightly slower pace, but this slower pace may be preferable for younger children.
The set features a wireless remote control that is moderately responsive to the touch, slowing down or ramping up speed with the turn of a dial. Kids will appreciate the set’s audio commands and authentic Disney animation.
We recommend the Lionel Mickey Mouse Ready to Play Set as an ideal holiday gift for children ages three and up, collectors, and hobbyists.
Bigjigs Fairy Town Train Set
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Wrapping up our list is a sure favorite for the pink-loving young train enthusiast: Bigjig’s Fairy Town [amazon link=”B00829W6XU” title=”Train Set”]. This eye-catching, beautifully crafted wooden train set is a welcome change to dull and drab competitors.
The Fairy Town Train Set includes seventy-five pieces and is expandable with other wooden train sets. Young train enthusiasts and fans of the color pink will appreciate the set’s pastel trees, helipad, and fairies. The Fairy Town Train Set is intended for children ages five to eight.
We recommend the set for the pink-loving young train enthusiast and fairy princess lover in your life.
How We Chose Our Ratings
Accuracy is important to us; that’s why we strive to bring you our selection of top-rated products through a rigorous research process.
Products featured on our Best Of guides are sourced by dedicated consumer experts, put to the test next to similar competitors, and consistently rank among the highest performers in their respective categories.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Right Toy Train Set for Children of All Ages
Now that we’ve shared our picks for the best toy train table sets let’s discuss the criteria that went into our selection process to provide you with a stress-free buyer’s guide.
Toy train sets aren’t just for kids, but it’s important to make sure that the product you decide on is appropriate for your intended age demographic.
Toy train sets for toddlers should always include large, nonhazardous pieces that meet government and industry safety guidelines.
The toy train sets for toddlers featured on our list meet industry safety regulations and are not harmful or toxic.
Skip flimsy designs in favor of sturdy, high-quality train sets that withstand wear from rough play.
Not only is durable construction essential to the life of a train set, but it’s also an important safety consideration, especially around younger children and toddlers.
Interactive and Feature Packed
To maximize both fun and your child’s learning experience, opt for sets like VTech’s Go! Go! Smart Wheels set that feature innovative technology and promote the development of language, motor, and sensory skills.
Bright Colors and Animation
Children of all ages appreciate bright, stimulating color themes and designs.
Not only are brightly colored toy trains attractive, but they also promote the development of imaginative play in younger children and toddlers.
Older children and teenagers will appreciate train sets with authentic animation like Lionel’s Mickey Mouse and Polar Express, along with realistic appearance and automation.