Best LEGO train set

Hobby & Collectibles

Train sets helped Danish company LEGO become an international success in the 1960s thanks to battery-powered trains that included light-up track signals and track pivoting mechanisms.

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Which LEGO train set is best?

Train sets are one of the all-time greatest toys. They’re endlessly fascinating and teach the builder the value of good engineering. It’s no surprise that LEGO designs some of the coolest train sets around. From vintage trains to builds from your favorite movies and TV shows, LEGO has it all. Whether you’re a parent looking to teach your toddler basic building skills or a hobbyist hoping to snag the latest collector train, LEGO has a wide variety of train sets for all people.

The best LEGO train set is the Harry Potter Hogwarts Express. This imaginative set is the only way to reach Platform 9 ¾ with LEGO versions of Ron Weasley, Hermoine Granger and Harry Potter himself.    

What to know before you buy a LEGO train set

Difficulty

The difficulty of LEGO train sets depends on a few different factors. The first one is the number of pieces that are required to assemble the set fully. For example, children’s sets designed for educational learning typically contain less than a hundred pieces. Collectors edition sets and large-scale train sets can contain over 1,000 pieces. There can be added difficulty if the train is mechanical as well. LEGO specifically designs trains for certain age groups, so it’s easy to decipher which ones are more difficult than others. 

Educational

Most educational train sets are generally for toddlers. These sets use educational mechanics to teach children how to build. They can include numbers, shapes and basic building blocks. LEGO sometimes uses animals to draw children’s attention by building the animals, connecting them and pulling the train. There are also numbers-based LEGO train sets that introduce kids to basic counting skills. 

LEGO app

LEGO has numerous apps, two of which can be very useful when building and playing with their train sets. The LEGO DUPLO Train connected app lets you operate your children’s DUPLO trains from your phone. Similarly, the DUPLO World app features games and learning experiences based on the animals and characters in the LEGO world.

What to look for in a quality LEGO train set

Motorized

While most LEGO train sets are immobile because they’re specially designed for toddlers or displayed as collector’s items. However, there are high-quality LEGO train sets that are fully motorized. The best example is the LEGO City Passenger Train which comes with over 600 pieces and is operational through batteries. There are also track accessories you can purchase separately that allow you to expand your city. 

Accessories 

Accessories are part of the appeal of LEGOs in general. These tiny pieces are added to your train set to boost the excitement and realism of your toys. The Harry Potter train set includes tiny wands the characters hold and a small dog and briefcase. The City Passenger Train set comes with food for your passengers like croissants and hot dogs. Nearly every set features crewmembers or characters that add to the fun of creating an imaginary world around your train.

Compatibility 

Many LEGO train sets are compatible with other LEGOS. DUPLO sets are for toddlers, but most of their pieces (aside from the base plates) can be mixed and matched with other LEGO sets. This gives you many options for expanding your train sets and building a larger world around them. 

How much you can expect to spend on LEGO train set

LEGO train sets can cost $24-$150.

LEGO train set FAQ

What do you do if you lose the LEGO train set assembly instructions?

A. Fear not. If you lose your assembly instructions, LEGO has a convenient app you can download called the LEGO Building Instructions app. You’ll be able to search for your train set and find a digital version of the assembly instructions. 

Are tracks included in the LEGO train set?

A. Some LEGO train sets like the City Passenger Train include a series of tracks that make a full circle. Other sets are for display-only, meaning they may only have one small section of track on which the train can rest.

What’s the best LEGO train set to buy?

Top LEGO train set

LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Express

LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Express

What you need to know: LEGO has taken the most famous train in cinema history and made an imaginative train set for both children and collectors alike. 

What you’ll love: This set comes with LEGO characters from the movie, including Harry Potter and the Dementor. There are removable side panels, a railway bridge and the famous Platform 9 ¾. 

What you should consider: With more than 800 pieces, this set may be time-consuming to assemble. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top LEGO train set for the money

LEGO DUPLO Mickey & Minnie Birthday Train

LEGO DUPLO Mickey & Minnie Birthday Train

What you need to know: This educational set from LEGO comes with two of the most iconic Disney characters and a train designed for learning. 

What you’ll love: Mickey & Minnie Mouse are celebrating their birthday with this unique train set which features a birthday cake, presents and numbered building blocks. It includes only 22 pieces, making it ideal for toddlers to assemble. 

What you should consider: This train set is not mechanical and won’t run on tracks. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

LEGO Crocodile Locomotive

LEGO Crocodile Locomotive

What you need to know: Nostalgic train builders will revel in this vintage train set featuring the legendary Swiss Krokodil locomotive from the early 1900s. 

What you’ll love: This is the most authentic LEGO train set available. It comes complete with movable side rails, two LEGO crewmembers, a removable top and poseable pantographs. 

What you should consider: This is a non-mechanical train set for display only. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Jordan Beliles writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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