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Wooden Trains

Brio Wooden Trains

We have both Brio and Thomas train pieces and I prefer the Brio. Although the Thomas track does make a nice clicking sound as you move the train, the quality is inferior to Brio, in my opinion. Our Thomas bridge falls apart continually.

The most economical way to purchase Brio is to either buy a large set to start, or to purchase multiple sets. The add-on packs are enormously expensive. It is cheaper to buy a second figure 8 set than to purchase additional track pieces.

At least two Figure 8 track sets are necessary to really take advantage of this toy. With two sets you can build a variety of interesting layouts. Most of the accessories are expensive and unnecessary, with a few exceptions; additional switch tracks are essential, especially for connecting loose track ends back in to the main line. It is also helpful to have a few male-to-male and female-to-female track connectors. Although they are expensive I would (and did) spring for an engine roundhouse, a turn-about, a couple of tunnels, and a nice long bridge.

Essential Trains Sets and Accessories

BRIO Mountain Adventure Figure 8 Set
by Brio
Manufacturer's age: 3 years and up

Buy at least one of these, two if your wooden train enthusiast wants to build larger layouts. This set is the most affordable approach to collecting pieces to make a variety of layouts.

With two sets, you'll have two Y-connectors, two elevated track sections with short tunnels, and two entry/exit ramps. The Y-connectors make it possible to design some fairly complex configurations.

Editorial Review from Amazon.com

Many BRIO universes begin with this basic set. When assembled, the figure-eight track measures about 39 by 18 inches. The set includes a train with a wagon and a removable magnetic load, a posable uniformed engineer, and two trees. One section of track is elevated, and there's a Y-section as well, to connect this setup to other BRIO track sets. In all, there are 24 well-made, durable pieces. -- Richard Farr

BRIO Mini Straight Track
by Brio
Manufacturer's age: 3 years and up

These little track pieces don't look like much, but you won't have to design many layouts before you discover how essential they are.

We've often covered the entire living room in track, only to discover that we can't connect the last two sections because they both have connectors, or they both have slots. This track set comes with a male/male connector and a female/female connector, so that problem is easily solved.

The other two track pieces are short male/female connector pieces which are extremely useful when a track loop won't quite close and there isn't enough room to add a full-length piece of track. (This happens more than you might think.)

The Mini Straight Track pieces aren't quite as exciting as a tunnel or a bridge, but they're going to be extremely useful.

BRIO Curved Crossing
by Brio
Manufacturer's age: 3 years and up

If you're ready to move on to really complex layouts, or if you enjoy watching a battery-powered engine make the rounds, curved crossing pieces are the next accessory to add to your wooden train set.

These pieces allow you to layout figure-8 shapes in which the train can turn in either direction and loop back on itself.

They're also great for laying out side loops, to the roundhouse, for instance.

From the Manufacturer

The ideal track piece to make figure 8 layouts and for use with battery engines! Allows a battery engine to make the right turn. Includes 2 crossings.

BRIO Mechanical Turntable
by Brio
Manufacturer's age: 3 years and up

This is a great piece to pop into the middle of a layout with many loops and crossovers. It's especially fun with a battery-powered engine as you can choose where to send the train by quickly rotating the turntable (only works with short trains).

Editorial Review from Amazon.com

Does the array of accessories and attachments for the BRIO Wooden Railway have your head spinning round and round? Well, we've got just the thing to let your hands keep up with your head: the railroad track Turntable from the Swedish toymaker. With the tweak of a knob, little hands can rotate the circular section of trademark grooved track to redirect BRIO vehicles to any of the six rail lines connecting to the Turntable using additional wooden track. For anyone whose BRIO Railway layout is starting to expand octopus-style, this wood and plastic component will help them join most of the arms very neatly. -- Tony Mason

Magnetic Farm Tunnel
by Brio
Manufacturer's age: 3 years and up

I'm not sure what makes tunnels so fascinationg to children, but they love having them as part of the train set. Perhaps it's the peek-a-boo disappearing act the train does.

From the Manufacturer

This delightful little tunnel has farm animals which poke their heads out as the train passes through.

A sturdy farmhouse tunnel with moving animal heads! When the train passes through the tunnel, the magnetically operated farm animal heads bob in and out of the windows! A great way to expand existing railway sets.

Grand Roundhouse
by Brio
Manufacturer's age: 3 years and up

This is the most expensive accessory Brio makes for the train set, but it will be the most beloved piece.

There are doors on both sides of the roundhouse, so it is very easy to fit the trains, Happy Meal toys, small cars, bits of clay, rolled socks, and half of a peanut butter sandwich inside.

Children love boxes with doors; a box to hold trains is even better.

From the Manufacturer

Deluxe engine shed with sliding rear doors and front stall doors. Room for up to 5 trains or 10 vehicles. Includes 5 way switch.


Related Resources

Off-site links to related topics.

BRIO
The official BRIO website.

Toys
My suggestions for toys every home should have.

K'Nex
K'Nex are a plastic construction toy somewhat similar to Tinker Toys.

Playmobil
Dolls, furniture and accessories.

Pop-Up Tents and Toys
Self-pitching tents.

Legos, Duplos and Mega Bloks
The classic contruction toy -- interlocking plastic bricks.


The Childís Toys and the Old Manís Reasons Are the Fruits of the Two seasons. - William Blake




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