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Wooden train tracks - where should i buy from?

(41 Posts)
ja9 Wed 04-Jul-07 20:06:08

I want to get ds a train set for his 3rd birhtday. Am aware that there is a standard wooden one that can be bought in supermarkets / ikea / elc. Also is there a better make called Brio? Thought that perhaps some of you would have already done a bit of research on this and be able to advise me of what to buy and where to avoid etc.

Many thanks..

KerryMum Wed 04-Jul-07 20:07:12

Thomas ones are really the best I've found. Brio next, store-bought ones last. We have all 3. Unfortunately Thomas ones are ££££

popsycal Wed 04-Jul-07 20:07:38

tesco one is just fine

meandmyflyingmachine Wed 04-Jul-07 20:08:23

Tesco here too.

fingerwoman Wed 04-Jul-07 20:09:17

I don't think there is much difference between the Brio and the supermarket stuff tbh.
But the Thomas stuff from ELC is very, very nice, though also v. expensive

teafortwoandtwofortea Wed 04-Jul-07 20:11:38

We've tried most. The thomas ones have track marks on them which make the not match with the rest of the stuff you can get.

Brio is made from beechwood which wears a bit better but not enough of a difference in my opinion for the money. All the other stuff is pine but IKEA tracks don't fit the other brands.

I've bought most of our stuff 2nd hand from ebay but a cheap site for new track is here http://www.jesters.com. The thomas wooden trains fit their track too and all there buildings/bridges etc as do the ELC 'wooden world' scenery pieces.

ja9 Wed 04-Jul-07 20:16:40

hadn't realised the ikea stuff is not compatible - thanks.

what's the best way to buy it? in a big starter pack ? what add ons would i need? do you buy engines seperately?

ja9 Wed 04-Jul-07 20:18:03

thanks for that link tftatft (!) have bookmarked it.

ChasingSquirrels Wed 04-Jul-07 20:24:46

Tesco is better than asda (with asda the pegs on ours tend to come out, but easily glued back in, the track itself is fine).
Tesco do a good range of accessories when you start adding to it.
The only difference with the Thomas stuff that I can see (to Brio) is the track lines on the pieces and the cross-hatching etched into the grooves - which makes v v little difference even to battery operated trains.
Ikea does fit the other makes, but often you have to jam it on and it is hard to take off - so I wouldn't recommend mixing them.

Personally I would get a basic supermarket or on offer set, and then add to it with pieces from tesco (they had a good lifting bridge, a under and over station etc) and elc.

And then if they get seriously into it (like ds did) get special pieces from e-bay.

We have brio, tesco, asda & thomas pieces - and I would NEVER by the brio or thomas ones at full price, to me there just isn't any real quality differential to justify it.

ChasingSquirrels Wed 04-Jul-07 20:26:43

x-posted.
we got a starter kit from asda for £10 - 110 pieces, some were wooden blocks but there was a fantastic amount there for £10 (it was 1/2 price in a sale) and included some small engines.
I would definatgly go for a starter kit, and if he is into Thomas maybe a Thomas engine aswell (cheapest new is about £8/9).

Nemo2007 Wed 04-Jul-07 20:30:36

We have tescos, although DS is currently toying with selling his collection in return for buying more playmobil. Tons of play value and he was bought a lot of thomas trains to go with it.

popsycal Wed 04-Jul-07 20:45:28

our ikea stuff fit the rest.....

ja9 Wed 04-Jul-07 20:48:04

thanks girls, this is so helpful.

anyone got the stuff from sainsburys? saw it on offer today (but can't remember the price - doh!)

flibbertyjibbet Wed 04-Jul-07 20:50:38

ooo I just got delivery today of a 100 piece wooden train set, brio compatible, with trains, trees, people, bridge, level crossing. £19.99 Buy it now price plus £10 postage, from ebay but a new item. Much cheaper than buying all the parts seperately Its fab we have been playing with it all afternoon. The elc and brio are more or less the same, and much more expensive. i was going to take a special trip to ikea till i saw this seller. he does smaller and larger sets too. It looks like pine and has the 'pegs' connectors but connects with the brio and chad valley railways. Have no idea how to put a link but the item number of an identical one is 160129623652. I ordered ours Tuesday and it arrived today!
And I managed to connect all the pieces in the fancy track shape shown on the box

ChasingSquirrels Wed 04-Jul-07 20:53:54

not got any sainsbury stuff (we don't live near one) but a friend had a couple of pieces, and they look much teh same as all the rest to me - if its a good price then go for it.

KerryMum Wed 04-Jul-07 20:56:14

If you're really going to go for it I highly recommend getting a train table. I got a fab one from Smyths (don't know if they have them in UK but do in N. Ireland) with 2 drawers underneath, huge amount of track, bridges, trains, etc. for 150 euro.

pollywollydoodle Wed 04-Jul-07 20:57:37

got ours from NCT sales...theres always loadsand it's really cheap

flibbertyjibbet Wed 04-Jul-07 21:00:12

Yes but aren't the NCT sales a bit of a stampede... I am far too timid and would end up with loads of old chewed rattles
Much easier to have it brought to my door by the postie, after all, its 6 months between NCT sales round here and I needed something to occupy them NOW!

ja9 Wed 04-Jul-07 21:02:14

kerrymum - had fil prepped to make a train table that i could slide under the sofa in the den so that ds didn't have to dismantle the track to put it away at the end of the day...

are you recommending them beacuse of the value of the complete package, or because of the storage, or for containing the set up track?

ja9 Wed 04-Jul-07 21:03:17

lol - i'm one of the co-ordinators for our nct sales. am always too busy on the day to go searching for myself!

ChasingSquirrels Wed 04-Jul-07 21:04:25

doesnt a table limit the track layouts (size) though? we have had tracks that go round the lounge, under the coffee table, out into the hall.......
half the fun is track design, rather than actually playing trains on it.

pollywollydoodle Wed 04-Jul-07 21:05:36

at our nct sale they let volunteers pick 3 items before it starts properly...

KerryMum Wed 04-Jul-07 21:05:54

ja9 - all of the above but mostly because I was sick to death of track EVERYWHERE. You can make as many track designs as you want on a table (as long as it fits on the table). Dss were forever tinkering with it.

MilaMae Thu 05-Jul-07 11:55:03

Buy cheap track but the Thomas trains-they love to act out the stories.

ChippyMinton Thu 05-Jul-07 12:01:24

DH made a table for ours for when the DC were tiny, as it's easier for them to push the trains along. It was abandoned in favour of the floor once they could build the track themselves.
Tesco track and accessories are lovely. Save your cash for the Thomas trains and a Harold helicopter to fly overhead.

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