Toy trains and model trains are two popular types of trains, but they have some major differences. We'll help you understand the key differences between them so you can be sure to shop for the best train for your needs!

Toy Train Sets

Toy train sets are made from cheaper materials and are meant for children to play with. For this reason, they are usually made of durable plastic and can be smaller trains with tracks or larger toy trains with buttons, lights, and sounds for your littlest ones!

Model Train Sets

Model trains are more realistic, detailed, and scaled replicas of real trains that are meant for adults to build and display or run, often with full and elaborate landscaped scenes including cities, towns, rivers, cars, people, and more! Model trains are a hugely popular collector hobby.

Train Size

One of the most obvious differences between toy trains and model trains is size. Traditional toy trains are much smaller than model trains, which can make them easier to store and transport.

Additionally, toy trains typically have fewer details than model trains. These toys can be fun and bright! They are less realistic but more durable since there aren't as many small parts that can break off.


Another significant difference between toy trains and model trains is cost. Toy trains are usually less expensive than model trains because they're made from cheaper materials and don't have as many features or details.

This makes them a good option if you're looking for a train set on a budget. However, keep in mind that you may need to replace toy train tracks and accessories more often since they're not as durable as their model train counterparts.


Another key difference between toy trains and model trains is assembly. Model trains usually require more assembly than toy trains since they have more parts and features. Model train sets are often purchased in affordable chunks! The set growing steadily over time.

This can be a benefit or a drawback depending on your preferences. If you enjoy working with your hands and putting things together, you may prefer the challenge of assembling a model train set. However, if you want something ready to go right out of the box, a toy train set may be a better option for you.

And many of today's toy train sets aren't just for kids! These ready-to-go versions make it possible for the casual enthusiast to enjoy them without a large space or financial commitment!

Heading To The Station!

Now that you know more about these two types of train sets, you can decide which one is right for you based on your needs and preferences.

Whether you choose a toy train or a model train, we're sure you'll enjoy spending time with your new train set!

To see our top pics for toy trains, read this article:

All Aboard: See 5 Perfect Toy Trains Gifts for Your Kids!
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Safe Travels!

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