Every year thousands of children expect to get an electric train for themselves. As a sensible parent, you need to be sure about its safety and security before you provide them. Electric train sets are one of the most suitable options for kids nowadays.
Electric train sets are exciting and real fun to have. Getting the best electric train set can bring real happiness and smile in your children’s face. A child can learn counting, problem-solving, and enhance their creativity through a train set.
If you look for an electric train set for your kids for the first time or want to replace the existing one- no matter, pick the perfect electric train this time.
There have a few brands available in the market. In terms of durability and features, not all are the same. Price varies significantly one to another. Creating some long-lasting memories with your child can be facilitated with a long-lasting electric train set.
I have already researched and collected some real-life using experiences before selecting the top electric train set to facilitate your search.
So let’s dive in!
What to Consider for In the Best Electric Train Set?
Watching your kids playing with an electric train set may look fun. But choosing the right train isn’t easy as you need to focus on multiple factors. These factors ensure the train you buy is suitable for the user and will last for a long time.
Let’s take a detailed look at the factors.
The most important aspect is the user when it comes to buying a model electric train. These trains come in different names, shapes, and sizes. You should determine the choice of the user before buying a train.
And sometimes, you can make the user choose a certain model to teach him/her about the history.
This is important because train sets come in different configurations. If you don’t have much space indoors, you should opt for a train set that has a small track. Included accessories and scenarios should also match the space you have.
If you plan to set the track outdoor, then you can choose bigger models that have a lot of accessories and elements to make a large scenario. Also, keep the regular playing space of your kid in mind before taking the final decision.
3. Size and Scale
Whenever you want to buy a model train set, everything goes down to the size of the set. As you might already know, different scales are there to measure the size of the trains. If you have a small kid, it might be suitable to buy an N scale train set.
But if your kid is a bit grown up, you might look for the O or G scale train sets that are highly realistic. Overall, HO scale trains are the most common of all types because of their combination of both compactness and precision.
You will most commonly see rounded or oval tracks with electric train sets. These tracks come in different gauges. So, you should choose the most convenient gauge for the user. Try to select a gauge that works with different scale models.
Train tracks come in two types. Check what you need.
These tracks are considered to have maximum compatibility. With these tracks, you can extend the layout as much as you want. So, making new layouts will be a lot easier with conventional tracks. As these tracks need to be organized by experienced modelers, they might not be suitable for your kids. So, let’s see what the next type looks like.
In these tracks, you will find the rails and ties attached to a base. The whole thing looks real and is easy to set up, even for beginner modelers. But the problem with these tracks is they aren’t universally compatible.
Different brands manufacture their own roadbed tracks, so they will only fit the trains from their own brands. As the rails are placed a bit higher in this style, the train will have a better locking mechanism when running. It ensures a safer operation.
5. Wheels and Couplers
Though these small things may not look worth considering, they might cause the biggest trouble during operation. This is why you need to choose these parts carefully. Now, they come in two materials.
Wheels and couplers made of plastic are cheaper and less durable than metal ones. Often, the plastic couplers and wheels don’t look so realistic. If you are buying a train set for small kids, they might be satisfied with the plastic parts. But larger kids won’t find these much interesting.
This is the most popular material for wheels and couplers. And there are different couplers for model trains. You can choose from fixed and operating couplers. Fixed-coupler trains can’t be customized with different locomotives or cars. So, you should select operating couplers that form more realistic trains.
Another big benefit of metal wheels and couplers is the clean operation. Metal wheels won’t degrade so fast as plastic wheels. So, the toys will be more durable. Sometimes, you have the option to replace the plastic parts on a train set with metal ones.
6. Power and DCC Supply
When it comes to starter train sets, they often come with battery packs to power the train itself. But if you want to take things further, you need to get a train set with a transformer. Such a transformer plugs into the wall outlet and provides enough power for the train and accessories.
Putting the train on forward or reverse is easy, but controlling the speed isn’t as easy as it sounds. If you want full control over the locomotives, you might need a digital command control or DCC. It will allow you to precisely control every aspect of the model train set. In this case, you need to set up a perfect wiring layout to control everything.
7. Battery-powered vs. Electric
This is a common confusion among the buyers. But the solution to this confusion is simple. If your kids are younger and just want to snap together, then battery-powered is suitable. You know, electric toys are always serious. You don’t know what’s going to happen if your children are not aware of the proper usage of it.
At the same, time electric train sets are more powerful and enriched with more features. If you are still confused about it, think about your kids; if they are capable of handling an electric toy, buy them one.
The operation of a model train set depends mostly on the type of user. If you buy the train for a beginner, it should be sturdy enough to withstand the abuse that small kids throw at the toys.
But if an experienced user operates the train set, it can have more details and precision work to make the whole thing look more natural. Before setting up the layout or running the train on the track, you need to ensure everything is in place.
This is another important part that you cannot overlook. As you are dealing with your children, designs and colors will be crucial. While you are trying to amaze them with an electric train, there is no reason not to have a colorful and sophisticatedly designed one.
This is always a matter of fact. There are some brands in the toy industry which can satisfy your need sincerely. I have reviewed only those items which came from reputed brands and manufacturers.
What happens when you buy a branded product? They literally take all the responsibilities regarding your product.
Now, locomotives or cars aren’t the only thing in the set you will buy. There will be other accessories such as signal lights, trees, humans, and many more, depending on your budget and the brand you choose.
If it is for a small kid, you might want to buy different models from the history with matching accessories. Using these, you can teach a bit about the past. This might help them better understand how things have been changed when they grow up.
And the accessories should complement the layout you want to build. When everything is in place, the layout will look more realistic. If the modeler is a bit experienced, such a layout will be a lot more interesting.
Our Top 7 Best Electric Train Sets Review
01. Bachmann Trains – Rail Chief Ready to Run
Bachmann is one of the leading toy-making companies for the last few decades. They started their business back in 1833. They became popular because of their exclusive designs and safety kits.
This Bachmann Train is undoubtedly an excellent choice for beginners. If you are set to buy the first train set for your children, consider this one strongly.
Diesel locomotive engine
This electric train set comes with a diesel locomotive engine with an operating headlight. It also includes steel reefer, Off-Set Cupola Caboose, Gondola, and Quad Hopper. Besides these, Bachmann Rail Chief takes street signs, railroad signs, telephone pole, and miniature figures in.
The interesting part about the headlight is that its brightness solely depends on your train’s speed. The faster the speed, the brighter the light.
All the five popular scales
Bachmann train exclusively offers all the five popular scales; N, HO, On30, O, and Large Scale. If you seek a train set that would be secure and safe for your 4/5 years kid, you can consider this.
Assembling and maintaining this train set is so easy. A four or five-years old kid can easily handle and take care of it.
Designed with 12 pieces
This plastic made train set is designed with 12 pieces of 30° 18″ radius EZ-Track (curved track), along with two 9″ straight pieces. The speed of this train is moderate, not too fast or slow.
Many of you ask a pretty interesting question, “Well, does it make any train sound?” – haha, it doesn’t have any whistles or siren. But don’t get disappointed; you will have a different type of sound that brings the real taste of a train.
Controller works accordingly
On top of that, it comes with a controller. This is nothing fancy, but it works accordingly. Its transformer allows you to control the speed and train’s direction. You can control it toward forward and backward. This is interesting!
- Great design
- Easy assembling and maintenance
- E-Z Track assembly is seamless
- Lights without sounds
- Analog locomotive and is not DCC-equipped
- Great design.
- Easy assembling and maintenance.
- E-Z Track assembly is seamless.
- The train set is very nicely detailed.
- Lights without sounds.
- Analog locomotive and is not DCC-equipped.
- The engine is plenty powerful and can push a dozen of cars.
- Minor quality issues.
02. Battery Operated Electric Classic Model Train
When it comes to power and durability, this classic electric train is no longer in competition with others. This is the most suitable option if you look for durability and rough use.
This train set is made under the intense supervision of Altasonix experts. One of the unique features of this classic model train is it is designed with 4 model horses and 3 car engines.
Design and durable
The horses alongside the train cars increase train’s beauty and lucrativeness. A number of kids in the United States use this locomotive train due to its classic design and durable nature.
This train set is exceptionally easy to assemble. Place the bright colored engine first and then other train cars gradually.
The sound and lights it comes with make it more exciting and entertaining. It only requires 2AA batteries.
How to teach your kids history?
The bonus point of getting this train set is you can use it to teach your kids history. Let me explain how. Once upon a time, there was no internet, no TV or smartphones but trains. People used to travel all around the world by trains and ships. The whole industrial word was dependent on it.
Thus, you can explain to your children how the time has been changed.
Lastly, I recommend this product because of the manufacturer’s sincerity and top-notch service. If you face any issue regarding the product itself, they will come across as soon as possible to fix the problem.
So overall, in this budget, this is an excellent pick for sure.
- A real taste of classic train
- Exciting sound and lighting
- Affordable price
- Durable and strong
- Easy to assemble
- A real taste of classic train.
- Exciting sound and lighting.
- Affordable price.
- Durable and strong.
- Easy to assemble.
- It can be used as a teaching guide due to its setup.
- Battery use durability is uncertain.
3. Bachmann Trains – Santa Fe Flyer Ready To Run Electric Train Set – HO Scale
Bachmann Trains lived up to its expectation for the electric train sets. This is a complete ready to run freight train set.
Since Bachmann arrived in 1833, they are renowned for their innovative design and high-quality accessories. Currently, they are the largest ready to run electric train set provider in the world.
EMD Diesel locomotive power
That’s because a mighty EMD Diesel locomotive powers the train, it runs with some authority. It also includes an open quad hopper, offset cupola caboose, gondola, etc.
If you prefer comparatively quiet toys for your home, this would be more suitable than any other train sets on the market. Most of the time, you will hear wheels running over the track.
The sound is not steady
The train itself has no sound, but kids playing with make some noise. Moreover, the sound is not steady; it’s barely audible.
Another exciting feature it includes is you can add tracks to make it larger. The popular HO Scale track sets are flexible, and you can customize them as you like. You can buy tracks in bulk, depending on how large you want.
Widely used additional track
The Bachmann E-Z track is a widely used additional track that avails switching the tracks and crossings available. If you love to have fast-moving train cars, Bachmann Trains are one of the best options in the market.
They run fast enough to jump the track. The interesting part is if you would like to run an older model Tyco train on this HO Scale track, you can.
One question people often ask,
“does this train go in reverse?” – YES! You will get a controller switch. Just stop the forward motion and flip it to backward motion. To resume the forward motion, reverse the switch and take off to forward motion again.
Finally, anything electrical could be dangerous too. So, be careful about your kids. We recommend not to use it before 3.
- Mighty EMD Diesel locomotive
- Run faster than others
- Can go in reverse
- Allows additional tracks
- Comparatively quiet and durable
- Mighty EMD Diesel locomotive.
- Run faster than others.
- It can go in reverse.
- It allows for additional tracks.
- Comparatively quiet and durable.
- It isn’t easy to place the cars properly on the track.
- Couplers that hold the cars together are not very good.
04. DeXop Wooden Electric Train Set
Want to impress your little kid with an electric train set?
Well, then I got to find you a train that helps you make your kid excited and impressed. This wooden electric train set from kiddery toys brings 100% non-toxic and safe materials for kids.
Parents who are conscious enough about their children’s health and safety may consider this one strongly. Premium quality wood with non-toxic paint makes it widely acceptable and reliable to parents.
What happens when you look for a toy with durability and aesthetic design?
This is a rare combination. Well, this wooden train set comes with gorgeous color and design along with high-quality equipment.
In this modern era, everyone wants to grow up his/her child creative and productive. Without creativity and devising power, it gets tough to survive. This electrical train set will help your children to grow up with creativity and resolving power.
A full flavor of the railway train
Besides three cars, it provides a full flavor of the railway train. It includes buildings, cars, signs, and more. It has multiple layouts with intense colors.
This train set is more likely a ‘learn with fun’ set. You can teach your children about buildings, signs, colors, figurines, cars, and many other things with a simple train set. To grow them with a growth mindset, you can allow them to play interactive games with their little ones.
No extra battery is required
No extra battery is required for this wooden electric train set. When you purchase one, be sure it’s ‘wooden electric.’ It moves on by its own operated AA battery. You will get a switch on top, which controls to go forward, stop, or reverse.
And, most interestingly, this train set is compatible with other brands. You are even allowed to use the electric Thomas train set on this too.
- Premium quality wood and intense color
- Non-toxic and 100% safe material
- Stimulates creativity
- Original gift idea
- Multiple different layouts
- A full flavor of railway train
- Premium quality wood and intense color.
- Non-toxic and 100% safe material.
- It stimulates creativity.
- Multiple different layouts.
- It’s a full flavor of a railway train experience.
- It got strong magnets to hold the other piece.
- Wheels aren’t durable as expected.
05. Lionel Santa Fe Super Chief Electric O Gauge Model Train Set
If you want your kids to grow up with a competitive mindset, this train set can help you out. It is high time you should get this train set for your kids to improve their mental growth.
This train set provides a Santa Fe Super locomotive engine with two coach cars. It also includes an observation car. You can control this electric locomotive by LionChief or Bluetooth LionChief app.
An amazing train set
The interesting part about this amazing train set is you can have control over almost everything. From sound to the directional headlight, you can use them according to your wish.
In case of strength and durability, it is something out of your imagination. It includes two powerful maintenance-free motors along with operating couplers. There is no flexibility issue in this super chief electric train.
A lot of features
A lot of fascinating features this train set carries. The user-activated announcements and Flexible diaphragms between cars will definitely catch your eyes.
When I first see this train set, one thing in my mind came first, “is this a toy or something in real?” It may sound insane, but this train set is something more than this.
Don’t buy just a random toy
This electric train will definitely give you something exceptional to experience. You won’t buy just a random toy, but something way more than this.
If you would like to have more cars with this Santa Fe FT diesel locomotive, you can simply add extra passenger cars or others. This electric locomotive can easily pull extra multiple add-ons.
Does this train smoke?
One question I often get from all around the world, “does this train smoke?” – No. It doesn’t smoke but it has its own fan-driven smoke units.
This set comes with an aesthetic design and intense color combination. The shells or bodies are made of plastics where the engine’s inside part is made of metals. This is simply superb in design and durability.
A complete set
Overall, this is a complete set. Nothing is being missed. If you are on a budget, no need to look for other train sets; go and get this awesome set.
- It has expansion packs and crossings
- Great Lionel fast track
- Inside the engine, it is fully metal. Outside is made of plastic
- Lucrative design and durable
- Doesn’t come with smoke
- user-activated announcements and Flexible diaphragms
- It has expansion packs and crossings.
- Great Lionel fast track.
- Inside the engine, it is fully metal. The outside is made of plastic.
- Lucrative design and durable.
- It is user-activated announcements and flexible diaphragms.
- Choking hazard due to small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
06. Bachmann Trains – Pacific Flyer Ready To Run Electric Train Set – HO Scale
In our list of top electrical train sets, this pacific flyer comes at no 6. This fantastic train set comes with a steam locomotive along with an operating headlight. It also includes 2 rolling stock freight cars and a generic caboose.
A great option for someone under 8 years
If you want to buy a train set for someone under 8 years, this could be a great option. Though the manufacturers say 14+ age recommendation, but it is safe for kids under 8.
The reason behind this is its structure and easy maintenance process. An 8-year kid will be sufficient to play with the toy and to maintain it.
The point of safety and quality
Bachmann is always strict at the point of safety and quality. As this set is called “ready to run” – there is almost everything done to run it. If you want to add more tracks, I suggest getting the Bachmann E-Z Track Expander Set. This is easy to assemble and matches properly to the layout.
At this price, without any doubt, this is an unbelievable starter package. This is one of the best electric train set on the market right now. This train set will definitely amaze your children.
The core value it offers is its lucrative design and HO track on the market. It keeps cars on the track very smoothly.
In this train set, you can additionally add a smoke unit if you want. Therefore there is no smoke unit by default.
Crucial thing to mention
One more crucial thing to mention before you make the final buying decision- place the cars well on its track; otherwise, they can be derailed. People who have experienced derailment, they made mistakes to align the wheels right on track.
So be very careful about it before you run the train at the optimum speed.
- Ready to run set
- Attractive design
- Available at an affordable price
- It is durable and safe
- Easy maintaining
- Ready to run set.
- Attractive design.
- The engine is small and can handle 1 or 2 more cars before it slows.
- Available at an affordable price.
- Easy to assemble the track.
- It is durable and safe.
- Easy maintaining.
- The locomotive has a very weak motor.
07. Lionel Pennsylvania Flyer Electric O Gauge Model Train Set
If your little kid is dreaming about an electrical train set in this summer, Lionel Pennsylvania Train set is a great option to bring some magic in his/her life.
This kit comes with three dome tank cars, a caboose, a FastTrack terminal section, and an advanced Bluetooth remote control locomotive system.
Control the kit remotely
If you want to control the kit remotely, you can. It has Bluetooth lionChief app. Making this experience more realistic it includes the RC sound system with steam chuffing and background sounds. Besides those features, you will get a user-activated whistle, bells, and announcements.
Moreover, if you would like to have puffing smoke, you can easily add chuffing sounds in synch with puffing smoke.
Offers many features
It offers operating couplers, metal handrails, and eye-catching ladders on tank cars among the rolling stock features. By its LionChief remote control system, you will be able to control forward and reverse speed knob.
There are three extra buttons for whistle sound, bell, and special announcements that require special AAA alkaline batteries. To control it over Bluetooth, you need to download its mobile control app.
Makes a chugging sound
The engine makes a chugging sound while running. It mostly depends on the speed. It is exciting and pleasing to hear for both adults and kids. If you don’t want any sound, just switch off the whole sound system from the engine.
Additionally, this train set is designed with quality plastic and stainless steel. The wheels and axles are made of steels, and the outer side is made of plastics.
The combination of plastic and steel gives it an aesthetic dimension, no doubt.
Why doesn’t my smoke work?
A common question that users ask “why doesn’t my smoke work?” – It can happen for two reasons; airlock or run out of smoke fluid. Add smoke fluid; then, the smoke should be starting operation when the locomotive starts.
Or carefully blow down the chimney and clear if anything blocks the smoke. If you want to add extra tracks, go for Lionel track sets. They suit best with this train set.
- It comes with exciting remote control and liquid smoke
- It makes lovely smoke rings
- Extra tracks can be added
- Recommended age 10+
- It is made of plastics and steels
- It comes with exciting remote control and liquid smoke.
- You can easily add chuffing sounds in synch with puffing smoke.
- It makes lovely smoke rings.
- It does not seem easier to derail.
- Extra tracks can be added.
- Complains about misleading advertisement.
FAQs Regarding Electric Train Sets
If you still have questions about electric train sets, check the following answers to learn something new.
Question: What are model trains?
Answer: model trains are simply the smaller version of the real trains. Most of the model trains are designed by following the same pattern of a real train. A lot of people are buying this type of model train to teach their children how the real train works and how it feels.
Question: What about the size?
Answer: it depends on the distance of two outer rails of the track. Here is a brief idea of O scale tracks:
- Z scale = 6.5mm track gauge (width)
- S scale = ⅞” track gauge
- HO scale = 16.5mm track gauge
- scale = 1 ¼” track gauge
- G scale = 1 ¾” track gauge
- N scale = 9.0mm track gauge
Question: How are train sets powered?
Battery packs or transformers power model train sets. Battery packs are suitable for smaller trains that don’t have many accessories. But you need to choose a transformer with DCC to power up a larger train set with various components.
Question: How do you wire an electric train set?
A good wiring layout is crucial to running your electric train set. You need to keep track of positive and negative wires to prevent any mishaps in the future. If you add busses throughout the layout, it will give the layout and cleaner look. And the operation will also be easier, should there be a problem in the future.
Question: What voltage does an electric train set use?
Depending on the scale and gauge of the model electric train you buy, it will require somewhere between 10V to 20V. Smaller models like the N scale will require about 10V, whereas the bigger models will need more to run at maximum speed. But when stationary, all trains will draw no voltage at all.
There are not many gift options that you can consider for your children or others. Electric train sets are undoubtedly great options for any kid who loves to play with toys.
I have tried to bring the ins and outs of every electric train set. To pick the best electric train sets for your children, please go through the electric train set reviews carefully. Good luck.