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A little boy sitting on the floor playing with wooden trains.

Toy trains are a timeless childhood pastime. For generations, they’ve been bringing excitement to playtime. For some of us railfans, that passion never leaves. Whether you’re a parent looking to find railroad toys for your kids, or you’re a collector looking to expand your trove, discover some of the top model & toy trains below. 

Toy Trains For Kids

From as young as 2, it’s safe for children to start playing with wooden trains. By the following year, it’s safe to start introducing motorized trains into the mix. Explore some of the wooden and motorized train toys you can find in Strasburg’s train shop online or at the station!

Wooden Trains for Sale

These wooden toy trains are from Mattel’s Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway collection! Each is sold separately. Recommended for ages 2+.


Toby — $18.99 Rebecca — $26.99 Percy — $18.99
A close up of wooden toy train Toby next to its packaging. A close up of wooden toy train Rebecca next to its packaging. A close up of wooden toy train Percy next to its packaging.
Nia — $26.99 Kevin — $18.99 Kenji — $26.99
A close up of wooden toy train Nia, next to its packaging. A close up of wooden toy train Kevin next to its packaging. A close up of wooden toy train Kenji next to its packaging.
Henry —$26.99 Gordon — $26.99 Emily — $19.99
A close up of a wooden toy train Henry next to its packaging. A close up of wooden toy train Gordon next to its packaging. A close up of a wooden toy train Emily next to its packaging.

Diesel — $18.99

A close up of wooden toy train Diesel next to its packaging.

Motorized Toy Trains

Looking to take things to the next level? Try one of these motorized Thomas & Friends toy trains! Recommended for ages 3+.


Percy — $16.99 Kana — $16.99
Motorized toy train, Percy. Motorized toy train, Kana.
Talking Nia — $26.99 Thomas — $16.99
Talking toy train, Nia. Thomas the tank engine toy.

Model Trains For Collectors

If you’ve aged out of playing with toy trains but still have a passion for the hobby, model trains are the next best thing! Strasburg’s train shop has close to a dozen model train cars to choose from for beginners starting their collection or experienced collectors looking for historic local models.

O Gauge Trains

Strasburg’s train shop carries O Scale model trains, one of the oldest scales used by model train manufacturers. They are known for their 1:48 ratio, meaning each train is scaled down 48 times the size of the lifesize models, and they run on a track gauge of 1.25 inches. 

Check out models currently for sale:


Box Car Sugar Cane — $39.99 Ore Car CNW — $39.99 Tanker Deep Rock — $39.99
O gauge model train, Box Car Sugar Cane. Model train, Ore Car CNW. Model train, Tanker Deep Rock.
Tanker Monsanto — $39.99 Ore Car Burlington Northern — $39.99 Ore Car Dome Tank Car Waddell Oil — $39.99
Model train, Tanker Monsanto. Model train, Ore Car Burlington Northern. Model train, Ore Car Dome Tank Car Waddell Oil.
Ore Car Milwaukee — $39.99 Ore Car Bethlehem Steel — $39.99
Model train, Ore Car Milwaukee. Model train, Ore Car Bethlehem Steel.

Strasburg Rail Road Coach-Themed Trailer

Not a model train, but definitely worth the mention for collectors! This train set comes with a truck and 3 detachable Strasburg-themed trailers. 

The Road to Paradise Set — $45.99
Strasburg Rail Road model train set, The Road to Paradise.

Train Toys vs. Model Trains

Understanding the difference between toy & model trains is quite simple for train buffs. But for someone less familiar with the hobby, it might not be as clear. Let’s break it down. 

Probably the most obvious difference between the two is that toy trains are marketed for children, and model trains are for older youths and adults. And they are designed accordingly; trains for kids are built to withstand the roughness of playtime, unlike model trains, which are considerably more fragile. 

That leads to the second difference: model trains are actually scaled-down versions of real, life-sized locomotives! (Hence the reason they’re designed with such intricacy.) Train sets for kids, on the other hand, aren’t based on specific trains at all. They’re merely created to resemble any locomotive, real or not. 

When it comes to collections, it’s not uncommon to find stashes of both. Between the two, collecting model trains is a more recognized hobby, but some families tend to have personal toy train collections, too — even if they don’t refer to them as such.

Plenty of parents pass down the toys they played with as a child to their children. And then those children to their children. Wooden train sets are no exception.

4 Ways Train Toys Can Boost Child Development

Now that we’ve outlined what sets model trains and toy trains apart, let’s outline some of the reasons you should invest in toy trains for your kids! Aside from the simple fact that they’re entertaining, train toys have some of the best child development benefits. Here how:

1. Strengthens Fine Motor Skills

From connecting tracks and train cars to maneuvering them along the track, train sets for kids will help strengthen those small muscles in their hands and fingers. The more they play, the better their body awareness and hand-eye coordination will become. 

2. Develops Problem Solving

Right along with that, playing with toy trains can improve your child’s ability to problem solve. As they move the trains along the tracks or experiment with building new track configurations, they’re activating parts of their brain responsible for critical thinking. 

3. Encourages Imagination

Pretend play is another major milestone in child development. It pushes them to imagine the world in ways that are different from their reality, sparking creativity and fostering individuality. Railroad toys are the perfect escape for your young children to flex those creative muscles as they play. 

4. Improves Language & Communication

Chugga chugga, choo-choo, click-clack, toot — think of all the sounds kids can learn from playing with train toys! Plus, you can help build their vocabulary when you play with them by calling the train cars and railroad accessories by their proper names. 

Competence in these 4 developmental milestones helps build your kid’s self-esteem, which can set them up for greater confidence and success as they grow up.  

Tips For Starting A Model Train Collection

Starting your personal model train collection can seem like a beast. But with a little research and a lot of passion, you can start building your roster with confidence.  

The Train Collectors Association’s (TCA) best tip for starters is to decide your “niche.” Are you a railfan looking to curate your collection with models from train destinations you visit? Or are you more interested in historical accuracy and building track layouts from scratch? 

You might even decide you’re interested in recreating scenes from specific eras. Regardless, having an idea of what you’re most fascinated with ahead of time can help ensure you’re not wasting money on the wrong toy train accessories. 

The next order of business is to familiarize yourself with the technical side of the hobby: train track compatibility. Just like in real life, the train’s gauge needs to match the track’s size for the train to run. 

When you’re buying a new train, it’s essential you know the train’s gauge so you can ensure the tracks you own (or plan to buy) are the correct distance apart. You can find a chart of the most popular gauges and rail distances on the TCA’s website. 

From here, it’s probably a good idea to explore the train grading system. This is a set of criteria established by the TCA that outlines the condition of model trains to help buyers get a clear idea of their value. In other words, it helps provide transparency in the buying/selling process to make sure products are priced fairly.

The final step is to explore some existing model train layouts and track plans. Building track configurations from scratch is tricky. Pulling inspiration or even modeling your train layout after an existing plan can be a helpful start for beginners. As you spend more time building and experimenting, you can develop new track plans of your own!

Four children meet with a conductor outside the Strasburg Rail Road train car at East Strasburg Station.

Where To Buy Model & Toy Trains

There are thousands of train toys for sale online. With a quick Google search, you can find any kind of train set you could imagine. But, think about how much more the train toy will mean to you or your little ones if they can associate that model or toy train with an experience.

Strasburg Rail Road is all about experience. As the nation’s longest continuously running passenger railroad company, our heritage railway is dedicated to bringing our guests authentic train rides that celebrate the golden age of the steam locomotive. 

We host dozens of seasonal train rides for kids, families, and adults throughout the year. From our popular Day Out With Thomas event to lunch and special events on the dining car, there’s a little magic here for everyone to find. 

The best part? You can take the magic home with you. Make sure to visit our general and toy store before you leave to pick up a model or toy train to commemorate your visit. The store is open an hour before the day’s first train departure and closes 30 minutes after the final train arrives at the station.

If you can’t make it to the station in person, don’t stress! You can purchase your favorite toy trains or Strasburg Rail Road merchandise from our online store!

Bring your family to experience the magic of steam! Book tickets for your full-steam adventure today.