31 Best Lionel Electric Train Sets for 2019

If you’re struggling to find the best model trains by Lionel, you’ll want to check out our extensive review of the top Lionel Train set options that are currently available.

We’ve taken care of the hard part for you and researched what the best choices have to offer. All you need to do is have a quick read below to learn more.

If you’re struggling after looking through the many electric train sets options here, a buyers guide section is also available at the end that provides you with additional information to help you feel confident about making a final decision on your Lionel train purchase.

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Table of Contents

If you have a boy who loves trains he is sure to love one of the options below, however if you’re looking for a different you can check out our toddler ride on trains guide.

1Polar Express Ready to Play Train Set

Summary

The Polar Express Train set comes with a range of 8 straight and 24 curved track pieces which can be connected using the fixed knuckle couplers. People have an easy time assembling the track to let their kids start playing right away.

It features a remote control that has buttons which enable kids to control the train toy to move forwards and backwards. They also have a blast being able to make the train ring the bell and make announcements.

In addition to this, there are 3 train cars and headlights that work. These features makes the toy feel more realistic which encourages children to play with it more creatively.

Pros
  • Inspires creative play 
  • Easy to assemble 
  • Great remote control available    
Cons
  • No volume adjustment available     
What age is this recommended for?

4 – 15 years

What makes this stand out?

Kids have a blast using the remote to control the train toy and cause it to make announcements and ring the bell. It keeps children engaged for hours of creative play.

2The Polar Express LionChief 

Summary

This LionChief Polar Express Train Set comes with 8 curved and 3 straight tracks which are easy to assemble to have it up and running your kids to play without any delays. We also liked how there are 2 coach cars, an observation car, and 4 character toys.

These character toys are a lot of fun for kids to play with and implement into their imaginative play scenarios. Furthermore, there’s a remote that allows kids to control the toy and cause it to make sound effects.

We were impressed with how it can make sounds from the Polar Express movie that kids may recognize. These features are highly entertaining and keep kids entertained and able to play with creativity for hours.

Pros
  • Encourages creative play
  • Fun character figures included      
  • Great sound effects
Cons
  • Not as durable as some were expecting     
What age is this recommended for?

14 years and over

What makes this stand out?

The remote allows kids to control the train toy and have fun using the various sound effects. With the toy figures that are included, kids are able to play creatively for a while.

3North Pole Central Ready to Play Train Set

Summary

This set comes with a fantastic remote control that has been created with a holiday theme that kids have fun using to control the train toy. The buttons let kids control the toy to move backwards and forwards, while also being able to sound the whistle and make announcements.

These features make the toy more interactive for kids. Not to mention there are working headlights available which adds a great realistic feature to the set. As a result, kids are able to play with a lot of creativity.

There are 8 straight and 24 curved pieces available. These are pretty easy to put together to ensure that your child can start playing in no time.

Pros
  • Easy assembly 
  • Develops creative thinking 
  • Awesome control available    
Cons
  • Doesn’t work so well on carpets    
What age is this recommended for?

4 – 15 years

What makes this stand out?

The remote control and train have excellent holiday-themed designs that kids have been having a lot of fun with. They’re able to play with this set for hours on end and use their creative thinking skills.

4Lionel Santa Fe Super Chief Lion Chief Ready to Run 

Summary

Kids are provided with plenty of Lionel train parts to stay busy and play with this set for hours on end. It comes with a diesel locomotive, an observation car, and 2 coach cars. In addition to this, there’s one straight and 8 curved track pieces.

We liked how there’s a remote available which allows kids to control the train toy. Alternatively, they could use the app to control it too. They can make the train toy move forwards and backwards, as well as to make announcements.

We liked how the locomotive features a working headlight and has an on’off switch to activate smoke and sound. These are super exciting features that children have been having a blast with. The sound effects and smoke make the experience more realistic, which inspires them to be highly creative.

Pros
  • Encourages imaginative play 
  • Awesome sound & smoke effects 
  • Easy-to-use remote control    
Cons
  • Tracks can be tricky to assemble     
What age is this recommended for?

14 years and over

What makes this stand out?

This is a fun set that lets kids control the toy and play with a lot of imagination due to the sound and smoke effects, as well as the working headlight design.

5Hot Wheels Lion Chief Ready to Run 

Summary

This Hot Wheels Lionel Train Set comes with an auto loader, diesel locomotive, and 2 Hot Wheels toys. There are also 8 curved pieces which are easy to put together and allow kids to play in no time.

The locomotive is electric and can be controlled by using the remote that’s provided. Kids are able to move the toy backwards and forwards, while also controlling it to make announcements and activate the horn.

These features are a lot of fun for children to play with and ensure they’re able to use their creative thinking skills to be creative for hours on end. We also liked how there are die-cast metal materials to ensure that the set remains durable for years to come.

Pros
  • Inspires creativity 
  • Fun sound effects 
  • Durable materials    
Cons
  • People have been loving this set!     
What age is this recommended for?

14 years and over

What makes this stand out?

The durable materials and fun features allow kids to play with this set and use their imagination for a long time.

6Pennsylvania Flyer Ready to Play 

Summary

This Pennsylvania Flyer Train Set has been created with an incredibly realistic design which looks fantastic. It includes a locomotive that has 3 train cars and headlights that work.

We also liked how there’s a remote that lets kids control the train and active various sounds and announcements. These are fun features that encourage kids to use their imagination and play creatively for hours.

It features 8 straight and 24 curved track pieces which are easy to put together. As a result, your child is able to start playing without any delays.

Pros
  • Encourages creative play 
  • Easy to assemble 
  • Fun sound effects & working lights    
Cons
  • No volume control available     
What age is this recommended for?

4 – 15 years

What makes this stand out?

This is an awesome set that has some great light and sound effects that kids can control by using the remote. So, you can expect them to play creatively for hours with this one.

7Construction Railroad Lion Chief Ready to Run 

Summary

This set comes with a CRR depressed center flat car that has load, a diesel locomotve, CRR work caboose, and a CRR crane. Therefore, children are provided with different pieces to play creatively for hours.

We liked how kids can control the locomotive by using the remote that has been included. This allows them to control it to move backwards, forwards, and change speeds. In addition to this, there are buttons on the remote that activate sounds and announcements.

An on/off switch is also available to operate the sound effects. These features are exciting for kids to play with and ensure that they’re able to be super creative for hours on end.

Pros
  • Encourages imaginative play
  • Fun sound effects 
  • Easy-to-use remote     
Cons
  • No slow speed setting available     
What age is this recommended for?

14 years and over

What makes this stand out?

Kids have been having a blast using the remote to control the train toy and cause it to make sound effects. It’s a fun and interactive playing experience.

8End of The Line Express Lion Chief Ready to Run 

Summary

The End of the Line Express Train Set comes with a transport car, locomotive, caboose, tank car, as well as one straight ad 8 curved track pieces. Therefore, you can feel confident in knowing that your child has plenty to play with.

Parents have been liking how they’re able to easy assemble the track pieces to let their children play without and hassle. A remote is available which provides kids with control over the locomotive.

They can make it go backwards and forwards and use the buttons to active announcements and horns. These are highly interactive features that kids have been loving. It’s awesome for encouraging them to play with more creativity too.

Pros
  • Encourages creativity 
  • Easy assembly 
  • Plenty of parts for kids to play with    
Cons
  • Louder than some would prefer     
What age is this recommended for?

14 years and over

What makes this stand out?

We were impressed with how many parts are included as it allows kids to play with the set and be imaginative for hours on end.

9Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale Lion Chief Ready to Run 

Summary

This set features a coach car, locomotive, transport car, and a gondola that has barrels that can be removed. There’s also a remote included that lets kids control the locomotive to make it move backwards and forwards, as well as activate bells and announcements.

These features are a lot of fun for children to play with and be occupied for hours on end. It’s also excellent for stimulating their creative thinking skills. This is especially the case due to the realistic sound effects.

These include background noises and the sound of revving. We were also impressed with how the coach car has lighting on the inside as it makes it look more realistic.

Pros
  • Awesome sound effects 
  • Encourages creative thinking 
  • Great attention to detail    
Cons
  • Takes up a lot of space     
What age is this recommended for?

21 years

What makes this stand out?

We liked how much attention they’ve paid to making this set look and sound realistic. It makes the experience more exciting for kids which encourages them to be more creative.

10Thomas & Friends Ready to Play 

Summary

This set comes with 2 standard cars, a Thomas steam engine, as well as 8 straight and 24 curved track pieces. The track pieces are easy to assemble and ensure that your kids can start playing right away.

The main locomotive can make sound effects and comes with moving eyes, as well as 3 different faces that can be removed and put back on. This feature is a ton of fun for kids who are fans of Thomas the Train and it allows them to be super creative.

In addition to this, a remote is available which allows children to control the toy to move backwards, forwards, and active a range of sound effects. The remote is very easy for kids to get to grips with too.

Pros
  • Fun Thomas character design 
  • Inspires creativity 
  • Exciting sound effects    
Cons
  • Can be prone to derailing at times     
What age is this recommended for?

4 years and over

What makes this stand out?

The Thomas the Tank Engine design has moving eyes and interchangeable faces that make it a lot of fun for kids to play with. As a result, you can expect their creative thinking skills to improve.

11Mickey Mouse & Friends Express LionChief 

Summary

Kids are able to play with a steam locomotive, tank car, tender, and caboose. Therefore, they have plenty of parts to play with and be entertained for hours. There are also 8 curved and 1 straight track piece included.

There’s even a terminal section available. These pieces are easy to assemble to ensure that kids can start playing as soon as possible. A remote is available which allows kids to control the train toy and active announcements, bells, and horns.

These are interactive features that help kids to play with more imagination and keep themselves busy for a long time. We liked how the main locomotive has a working headlight as it can be a lot of fun to play with in a dark room.

Pros
  • Develops creative thinking 
  • Fun sound effects 
  • Working headlight available    
Cons
  • No low speed setting available     
What age is this recommended for?

14 years

What makes this stand out?

There are a lot of different parts for kids to implement into their pretend play scenarios to be super creative with.

12Mickey’s Holiday to Remember Disney Christmas 

Summary

The Mickey’s Holiday to Remember Disney Christmas Train Set is an excellent option if your kids are fans of the character. We liked how it comes with Mickey and Minnie toy figures as they encourage children to use their creative thinking skills while playing.

This set comes with a locomotive, boxcar, wood tender, and a gondola which provides kids with a lot to play with. As a result, you can expect them to have fun playing with this set for hours on end.

A remote is also included that allows kids to easily control the train to make it puff smoke and make sounds. These are interactive features that kids have been having an absolute blast with. The track pieces included are also easy to put together.

Pros
  • Fun Disney character design 
  • Inspires creative play 
  • Fun sound effects    
Cons
  • Makes more noise on the tracks than some were anticipating     
What age is this recommended for?

14-15 years

What makes this stand out?

The Mickey and Minnie design available with this set makes it even more exciting for kids to play with if they’re already fans of the characters. It helps them to come up with more creative ways to play!

13Mystery Machine FT Lion Chief Ready to Run 

Summary

This set comes with a Zombie chasing gondola, a diesel locomotive, caboose, and a range of track pieces. We liked how these track pieces are easy to assemble as it allows your kids to start playing without delays.

With a range of different pieces to play with, you can be sure that your child will be entertained with this set for hours on end. This is especially the case since they can use the remote to control the locomotive.

The control lets them active sound effects and blow smoke, which is super interactive and exciting for kids. As a result, their creative thinking processes are given a chance to develop well.

Pros
  • Exciting smoke & sound effects 
  • Encourages creative thinking 
  • Easy to assemble    
Cons
  • Some have issues connecting the app to the toy     
What age is this recommended for?

14 years and over

What makes this stand out?

Kids have been loving how they can use the remote to control the locomotive and cause it to make sound effects and blow smoke.

14Polar Express Remote Set 

Summary

This Lionel Polar Express Train Set features awesome sound effects and phrases from the movie that kids have been having a blast with. We also liked how the train toy has a working headlight as it can be exciting to play with in the dark.

Moreover, it can puff out smoke which is a super fun and realistic feature. The remote that’s included allows kids to have easy control over the toy to make it move backwards or forwards.

Furthermore, they’ve included 4 mini figures from the Polar Express movie. Kids have been having a ton of fun using these toys in their pretend play scenarios, which is great for their creative thinking skills.

Pros
  • Fun smoke & working headlight 
  • Mini figures included 
  • Easy-to-use remote    
Cons
  • Some experience issues with the sound quality     
What age is this recommended for?

8 – 15 years

What makes this stand out?

The phrases and mini figures from the movie enable kids to play with a ton of imagination for hours. With the smoke and working headlight, you can be sure that they won’t be bored of this one any time soon.

15John Deere Steam LionChief 

Summary

The Lionel John Deere Steam Train Set has been made using high-quality die cast materials which ensure that it remains durable for years to come. It includes a locomotive, gondola, a flatcar, tractors, and a caboose, as well as track pieces.

Parents have been glad to find that the track pieces are easy to assemble to ensure kids can start playing straight away. We liked how they’ve included an engineer and fireman toy figures.

Kids have a lot of fun implementing these toy characters into their pretend play scenarios. As a result, you can expect their creative thinking skills to improve greatly.

Pros
  • Fun toy figures included 
  • Easy to assemble 
  • Encourages imaginative play    
Cons
  • Volume is louder than some would prefer     
What age is this recommended for?

14 years and over

What makes this stand out?

Kids have a lot of fun playing with the train set and mini figures for hours. It’s an awesome way to encourage your children to play and think with more creativity.

16John Deere Ready to Play 

Summary

This John Deere set comes with a remote control that has a fantastically detailed design that kids have been loving. Kids are able to use this remote to control the train toy to move backwards and forwards, while also activating announcements and bell sounds.

The locomotive comes with 3 train cars and a working headlight. Kids have been loving this headlight feature as it allows them to play in a dark room and have a lot of fun. Moreover, it’s a realistic feature which inspires kids to play with more imagination.

There is a range of 8 straight and 24 curved track pieces. Parents have been liking how they’re able to have the set up and running in not time for kids to start playing without any delays.

Pros
  • Easy assembly 
  • Awesome attention to detail 
  • Inspires imaginative play    
Cons
  • Train doesn’t stay on the track as well as some were expecting     
What age is this recommended for?

4 years and over

What makes this stand out?

This is a great set that has some fantastic details that kids have been appreciating. They’re able to use the remote to control the train and active sound effects which inspire them to play more creatively.

17Harry Potter Hogwarts Express

Summary

The Lionel Harry Potter Hogwarts set comes with 2 passenger coaches, a locomotive, combination car, and a range of track pieces. Parents have been glad to find that the track pieces are easy to assemble.

A remote is available too which lets kids control the toy train. They can also activate announcements and various sound effects. In addition to this, they can make smoke come out of the toy.

These features are highly interactive and ensure that kids can have fun for hours. It’s also great for improving their creative thinking skills.

Pros
  • Develops creative thinking 
  • Fun smoke & sound effects 
  • Easy to assemble    
Cons
  • Some have issues with the headlight not working     
What age is this recommended for?

14 years and over

What makes this stand out?

The smoke and sound effects make this set super interactive for kids, which encourages them to play with a lot of creativity.

18Santa Fe Diesel Ready to Play 

Summary

This Lionel Santa Fe Train Set comes with a locomotive, observation passenger car, coach car, 8 straight and 24 curved track pieces. This allows kids to have plenty to play with and be engaged for hours.

The track pieces are easy to put together to ensure that kids can start playing straight away. A remote is also included that lets kids control the toy train and cause it to make realistic sound effects.

A working headlight is also available which can be a lot of fun to play with in the dark. The range of interactive features that are available helps kids to play with more imagination which is great.

Pros
  • Sound effects available 
  • Easy to assemble 
  • Inspires creativity    
Cons
  • Smaller than some were expecting     
What age is this recommended for?

4 years and over

What makes this stand out?

Kids have been having fun with this set by controlling the train toy with the remote and activating the exciting sound effects.

19Pennsylvania Flyer LionChief 0-8-0 Freight Set

Summary

This set comes with a locomotive, tender, boxcar, caboose, and 3 dome tank cars. There is also 1 straight and 8 curved track pieces which are simple to put together. Therefore, kids can begin playing without any delays.

There’s a switch available that kids can use to turn the smoke on and off. Moreover, there are some excellent sound effects available as well. These are realistic features that ensures kids can play for hours on end.

Due to these exciting features, children feel encouraged to play with more imagination, which is great for their creative thinking skills.

Pros
  • Develops creative thinking skills 
  • Easy to put together 
  • Fun smoke & sound effects    
Cons
  • Some find the Lionel engines make a noise when idle
What age is this recommended for?

14 years and over

What makes this stand out?

Kids have been having a blast being able to activate the sound effects and smoke. It’s a fun experience which inspires their creative thinking skills.

20Lionel Trains Coca-Cola Holiday 

Summary

The Coca-Cola Holiday G-Gauge Train Set comes with a tender, locomotive, boxcar, Cupola Caboose, and a headlight that works. This ensures that kids have plenty to play with and be entertained for hours.

Children have fun playing with the working headlight in the dark as it’s a lot of fun. Moreover, there are realistic train sound effects available that include bells and whistles. The doors on the boxcar can also be opened and closed.

These realistic features make the set more interactive for kids which inspires them to play with more creativity. Moreover, the remote that’s available lets them control the train toy backwards and forwards on the track.

Pros
  • Realistic sound effects & headlight 
  • Inspires imaginative play 
  • Easy-to-use remote    
Cons
  • Uses up a lot of batteries     
What age is this recommended for?

4 years and over

What makes this stand out?

The working headlight and realistic sound effects ensure that children are able to play with a lot of imagination. This is great for their creative thinking skills and ensures that they’re able to remain engaged for hours.

21Lionel Christmas Ready to Play Set

Summary

This Christmas Train Set comes with a boxcar, tender, and locomotive, as well as 8 straight and 24 curved track pieces. These pieces are simple to assemble so that kids can start playing as soon as possible.

A remote has also been included that lets children control the train toy to move backwards and forwards. There are also buttons available that let them activate bells and whistles that sound realistic.

In addition to this, there’s a working headlight which kids have been loving. With the range of realistic features that are available, children are able to use their imaginative thinking processes to play for hours on end.

Pros
  • Fun sounds effects & working headlight 
  • Encourages creative thinking 
  • Easy assembly    
Cons
  • Plastic pieces are flimsier than some were expecting     
What age is this recommended for?

4 years and over

What makes this stand out?

The range of sound effects and the working headlight make the toy highly interactive which encourages kids to play with the set in more creative ways.

22‘The Patriot’ LionChief U36B Diesel Freight

Summary

This Patriot Freight set comes with a locomotive, a boxcar, 2-bay hopper with a coal load, as well as a porthold caboose that has an illumination feature. There is also a range of track pieces that are easy to assemble.

With so many parts available, you can be sure that your child will be able to play with the set for hours on end. A remote is available which makes it easy for kids to control the train toy.

They can use the buttons to activate a range of realistic sound effects too. Furthermore, a working headlight has been fitted which adds to the realism to encourage children to play with more imagination.

Pros
  • Develops creative thinking 
  • Easy assembly 
  • Realistic sound effects & lights   
Cons
  • Not as durable as some were hoping     
What age is this recommended for?

14 years and over

What makes this stand out?

The realistic sound effects and working headlight make this set a lot of fun for kids to play with. It inspires them to use it to play in more imaginative ways too.

23Santa’s Helper Christmas Lionchief by Lionel

Summary

The Santa’s Helper Christmas Set comes with a remote that lets kids easily control the train toy. They can also use the control to make the toy make a range of sound effects that are realistic.

Not to mention, a puffing smoke feature is available which adds to the realistic effects and encourages them to use the set in more imaginative ways. We also like how they’ve included a fireman and engineer mini figures.

These are a lot of fun for kids to play with and ensure that they’re able to use their creative thinking skills to have a blast for hours.

Pros
  • Inspires creative thinking 
  • Realistic sound & smoke effects 
  • Easy-to-use remote    
Cons
  • Plastic cars aren’t as durable as some were hoping     
What age is this recommended for?

8 years and over

What makes this stand out?

The remote that’s included is easy for kids to use and activate the various sound and smoke effects. As a result, they’re able to play with a lot of imagination.

24Pet Shop Diesel LionChief Remote Set

Summary

This set comes with fixed couplers, a diesel switcher, gondola, boxcar, and a caboose. Kids can use the remote to control the toy and use the range of sound effects and announcements that are available.

We also liked how there’s a working headlight available as it can be a lot of fun to play with in the dark. Furthermore, they’ve included some animal figures which kids have been having a blast playing with.

The realistic features and mini figures encourage kids to use their imaginative side to play for hours on end and develop their creative thinking skills.

Pros
  • Develops creative thinking skills
  • Realistic sound & light effects
  • Animal mini figures included      
Cons
  • Some have problems using the sound switch     
What age is this recommended for?

8 years and over

What makes this stand out?

The animal figures, working headlight, and realistic sound effects make this set incredibly interactive for kids and inspires them to play with more imagination.

25Junction New York Central Pacemaker 

Summary

The Lionel Junction New York Central Pacemaker Train Set comes with a boxcar, diesel switcher, tank car, caboose, and a range of track pieces. These pieces are easy to assemble to ensure that kids can start playing right away.

With the range of toy parts available, children are able to be entertained with this set for hours on end. This is especially the case with the working headlight as kids have fun playing with it in the dark.

Furthermore, there’s a remote available that lets kids control the train toy and activate a range of announcements and sound effects. This makes it super interactive for kids and encourages them to think more creatively.

Pros
  • Encourages creative thinking 
  • Realistic features 
  • Easy assembly    
Cons
  • Smaller than some were hoping     
What age is this recommended for?

8 years and over

What makes this stand out?

The working headlight and sound effects that are available make this train set super interactive and exciting for kids to play with. As a result, their creative thinking processes are able to develop well.

26DC Comics Batman Phantom 

Summary

This DC Comics Lionel Batman Phantom Train Set has a fantastic carbon treatment which adds a unique design element that kids have been loving. It comes with a number of track pieces that are easy to assemble.

Children have also been liking how they can use the remote to control the toy on the tracks. There are buttons available that let them active a bell, horn, background sounds, and announcements.

In addition to this, there’s a working headlight available which kids love using to play in the dark. These are fun and realistic features that help kids to play with more creativity.

Pros
  • Unique carbon treatment design 
  • Realistic lights & sound effects 
  • Inspires imaginative thinking    
Cons
  • Plastic parts aren’t as durable as some were expecting     
What age is this recommended for?

14 – 15 years

What makes this stand out?

The is an excellent set for kids who are fans of Batman as they’re able to control it and play with a lot of imagination. With the carbon treatment, the design of this set is pretty unique too.

27BNSF RS-3 Scout Freight Set

Summary

This Lionel Freight Set comes with a boxcar, diesel freight, caboose, a terminal section, and a range of straight and curved track pieces. People have been liking how the track pieces are easy to assemble to ensure that kids can start playing right away

We liked how they’ve implemented a light inside the freight and used a working headlight on the front. These features make it feel more realistic for kids to play with. Furthermore, there are revving and background sounds available too.

These are effective at making the experience more interactive, as well as improving your child’s audible learning senses. You can be sure that your child will be able to play with this set creatively for a long time.

Pros
  • Improves audible learning skills
  • Inspires creative thinking 
  • Realistic light effects     
Cons
  • Some have issues connecting the app     
What age is this recommended for?

14 years and over

What makes this stand out?

The lighting and sound effects make this set highly interactive which means kids can play with it imaginatively for hours.

28Hogwarts LionChief 

Summary

The Lionel Set comes with a locomotive, combination car, and 2 passenger coaches. There is also a number of track pieces available that can be easily put together in no time.

A functioning headlight is available which is fun for kids to use when playing in the dark. Furthermore, there’s an interior light as well as sound and smoke effects available. These can be easily activated with an on/off switch.

This ensures that children have plenty of different parts and features to play with and be entertained for a while. Their ability to play with more imagination is also improved too.

Pros
  • Improves creative thinking 
  • Working headlight is fun to play with in the dark 
  • Realistic sound & light effects    
Cons
  • Train can derail at times     
What age is this recommended for?

14 – 15 years

What makes this stand out?

The working headlight, smoke, and sound effects all make this set super fun for children to play with and be engaged for hours while being imaginative.

29New Haven RS-3

Summary

The New Haven RS-3 comes with a diesel locomotive, boxcar, 2-bay hopper, porthole window caboose, and a number of curved and straight track pieces. These pieces are easy to put together to let kids play without too many delays.

A remote has been included which provides kids with control over the locomotive to move it backwards and forwards. The locomotive has a range of smoke and sound effects available which makes the set exciting.

Moreover, a working headlight has been included which allows children to play with the set in the dark and have fun. These interactive features make the set more exciting for kids which enhances their creative thinking skills.

Pros
  • Improves creative thinking 
  • Sound & smoke effects 
  • Easy-to-use remote    
Cons
  • Some people aren’t fans of the sound effects     
What age is this recommended for?

14 years and over

What makes this stand out?

Kids have been loving how they can use the remote to control this train toy and use the realistic smoke and sound effects to play with plenty of imagination.

30The Christmas Express Freight by Lionel

Summary

The Christmas Express Freight Train Set has a Bluetooth function built-in which lets you connect it to the LionChief app to control it via a compatible device. This feature allows kids to play with the set in different ways.

We liked how it comes with a range of background sounds, as well as whistles, bells, and announcements that children can activate. They are interactive features which keep kids engaged for hours.

In addition to this, there’s a functioning headlight, as well as a puffing smoke feature which kids have been loving. They’re able to be more creative with the set as a result.

Pros
  • Functioning headlight & puffing smoke available 
  • Bluetooth enabled 
  • Encourages imaginative play    
Cons
  • Louder than some would prefer     
What age is this recommended for?

14 years and over

What makes this stand out?

This set is Bluetooth enabled which lets kids easily control it via an app on their smartphones. The smoke, sound effects, and headlight help kids to play with a lot of imagination too.

31Mickey Mouse Disney Ready to Play 

Summary

The Mickey Mouse Disney Train Set comes with 3 train cars that have a fantastic Disney-themed design. We liked how there’s a Mickey design available on the main engine and it comes with a headlight that works.

A remote has been included which lets kids easily control the toy to move backwards and forwards. They can also use the buttons to activate various announcements, whistles, and bells.

These features, along with the Disney design, means that you can expect your children to play with a lot of imagination for endless hours. The track pieces that are included are also easy to put together.

Pros
  • Awesome Disney design 
  • Remote control available 
  • Fun sound effects    
Cons
  • Can be a little tricky to assemble     
What age is this recommended for?

4 – 15 years

What makes this stand out?

The fun sound effects that are available with this set and the Disney design allow kids to play with the set for hours with tons of creativity.

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Buyers Guide to The Best Lionel Electric Trains

Electric Train Sets

So, now that you have a better idea of what some of the best Lionel electric trains, you can start narrowing down your search to selecting the one that you think they would enjoy the most.

However, before you go ahead and make a final decision, there are some other factors that you’ll want to take into consideration. To gain more valuable information to make your buying process easier, take a look at this buyers guide section.

What are Gauge & Scale for Train Sets?

You will have seen the work “gauge” mentioned throughout this review and wondered what it meant. Well, it simply a word to describe the distance between the exterior of the track. Lionel has a range of different trains in their selection which include G-Gauge, Imagineering, O-Gauge, and S-Gauge.

Take a look below to become more familiar with these different types.

Imagineering

The Imagneering range is the best option for preschoolers and they’re a fantastic way to introduce kids to train sets early on. They aren’t powered by any batteries, which means that little kids can push and pull them to play.

This is excellent for your child’s motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Moreover, it encourages them to play with more imagination. These sets usually come with a complete track set up and some accessories.

Ready to Play

The Ready to Play sets are larger trains that are easy for adults and children to have fun with. The main trains are powered by batteries and are made out of durable plastic materials.

A remote is included with these sets that allow you to easily control the train toy to move backwards and forwards on the track. These are very convenient to set up and play with.

G Scale Trains & Gauges

Lionel have a great range of G Gauge sets which are train toys that are powered by batteries. They are around 1:24 scale and have tracks that are wider than O-Gauge options.

They put a lot of detail into these sets which provides them with a fantastic visual appeal. People have a lot of fun being able to control the locomotives by using the remote that’s provided to make the toy go backwards and forwards on the track – as well as activate a range of sound effects.

HO Scale Trains & Gauges

The Lionel HO Gauge sets include tracks that are 16.5 mm in size and come in scale of 1:87. These are among some of the most sought out train sets available as they’re compatible with all HO gauge tracks.

They feature realistic details as well as LED lights which make them very exciting to play with. Children have an easy time using them to play imaginatively for hours.

Lionel HO products work will all HO gauge systems. With a track gauge of 16.5 mm and a scale of 1:87, HO is the most common model train size today. The company has manufactured HO trains several times in its history.

S Scale Trains & Gauges

When it comes to the S Gauge trains, their S Scale sets are usually larger and come in a 1:64 scale. Therefore, this leaves more room for extra detailing which makes them look excellent.

The electronics on the inside of these train sets are highly technological and work effectively to allow kids and adults to have a blast with it.

O Scale Trains & Gauges

The O Gauge range is up their with the higher end sets that Lionel offer. These trains are larger in size with a scale of 1:48 which means that they can add more detail to make the set look more realistic.

This is an effective way to make the playing experience more realistic for kids to enhance their creative thinking processes.

Popular Lionel Train Set Themes

After reading through the reviews above, you will have noticed that there is a range of different themes available. If you were interested to learn a little more about these themes, have a quick read through the section below.

Polar Express

If your child has watched the Polar Express movie, they will have an absolute blast playing with a set that has the theme of the movie. It makes for an excellent Christmas train set that could be the perfect gift.

Harry Potter

Harry Potter is an incredibly popular book and movie franchise which kids adore. So, if you know that your child is a fan, buying them a Harry Potter train set could be an awesome present.

Pennsylvania Flyer

The Pennsylvania Flyer is a fantastic train set for beginners. Therefore, if your child has never played with these kinds of sets before, it would be a great option. It comes with a remote that’s super easy to use to allow kids to control the train and have fun.

Santa Fe

Lionel’s Santa Fe sets are among their ready to play sets which lets them start playing without any hassle. It’s another excellent option if you’re looking for something that’s for beginners.

The track pieces enable you to make an oval, rectangular, or circle shape, which kids have a lot of fun experimenting with.

Thomas & Friends

Thomas & Friends are particularly exciting sets for children who are fans of the character. The design of these train sets looks just like the real character, which enables kids to role play and be super creative.

Layout Sets

There are numerous train layouts available which are awesome for adding to your existing track. They include pieces that you can use to alter the shape of the current track you have, as well as how it functions.

For example, the Lionel FasTrack Figure is great for creating a figure of 8 layout which can easily be applied to a track that was previously a circle.

Accessories

There is a range of accessories Lionel offer that you may want to consider. They manufacture track pieces which you can purchase separately if you were interested in expanding your current track and even train parts if your train needs repairs.

In addition to this, you can find station pieces that you can place around the track. These add a fantastic design element to the set which can make it look awesome.

They even have FasTrack Crossings that flash. You can easily snap them into place to add a new element to your track and keep things exciting. The flashing feature and bells work just like a real-life crossing too.

Furthermore, if you were looking for something that your kids could play with to be more creative, they offer mini figure toys.

Lionel Train Tracks

As we mentioned above, there are track that you can purchase that come separately from the sets. These can be great if you want to find a way of expanding your current set without buying anymore train pieces that come in the sets.

Just below we’ve listed some great track options for you to take a look at.

Transformers

Lionel has transformers on offer which you can use to control the speed and power output of the train set. This can be achieved by using the transformer to alter the engineer handle.

Transformers that have a 0-18 volt output are best for the smaller and medium sized sets. However, you’ll need something more powerful for the larger sets.

Old Lionel Vintage Train Set Values

Since Lionel is a very well-known brand that sells high-quality train sets, you may be interested to discover that their vintage train sets are valued pretty highly. Depending on the specific one, these kinds of sets can go at auction for around $5,000.

These are collector items and the value which largely come down to the condition and year that it was made. There are prewar and postwar options available that can also have an effect on the price.

Final Thoughts on the Top Lionel Electric Train Sets

That wraps up our review on what the top toy trains that Lionel have to offer. Be sure to read through the main features, pros, cons, and what makes each one stand out to gain a good understanding of which one would be best for your child.

Moreover, if you weren’t feeling 100% confident on which one to choose, simply have a read through our buyers guide section to gain more information. Hopefully, everything you need to pick out the best set for your child can be found, right here!

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