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So You Want to Expand Your Toy Train Set…

That’s our toy train table above, set up in my daughter’s room. She loves it, and expanding it has been our go-to gift for her lately. Birthday, Christmas, learning to use the potty… all train-centric occasions. And if I’m being honest, I love rearranging the track almost as much as she and her little brother love playing with it.

Most of our engines and accessories are from Thomas the Tank Engine, but did you hear that the license for the entire line has been sold to Mattel? No word on what will change and what will stay the same, but in the meantime, here are the best options for extending your train table (whether officially Thomas branded or otherwise).


  • BigJigs Complete Wooden Train Set 1 of 18
    BigJigs Complete Wooden Train Set
    If you're starting from scratch, but you know you're going to want to go all out, this is a great set.
    Available Here for $150
  • Thomas and Friends Water Tower Figure 8 Set 2 of 18
    Thomas and Friends Water Tower Figure 8 Set
    That previous set is especially appealing when you realize that this little track is nearly half the price.
    Available Here for $60
  • Thomas and Friends Wooden Railway Figure 8 Expansion 3 of 18
    Thomas and Friends Wooden Railway Figure 8 Expansion
    Once you're ready to move on from the basic looped track or figure 8, you're going to need some more pieces and switcher tracks.
    Available Here for $28
  • Thomas and Friends Elevated Track Foundation 4 of 18
    Thomas and Friends Elevated Track Foundation
    These are the best risers out there. Wide, adaptable, and with a swivel base.
    Available Here for $16
  • BigJigs High Level Expansion Set 5 of 18
    BigJigs High Level Expansion Set
    I'd recommend getting a set of the previous risers for stability, then supplementing with a set of these more affordable ones.
    Available Here for $9
  • Suretrack Clips 6 of 18
    Suretrack Clips
    A must for elevated tracks. These things will save you and your kids so much frustration!
    Available Here for $11
  • BRIO Double Expansion Bridge 7 of 18
    BRIO Double Expansion Bridge
    You can line these up or arrange them side by side, and you can't beat that classic Golden Gate look.
    Available Here for $36
  • Thomas and Friends Tidmouth Sheds 8 of 18
    Thomas and Friends Tidmouth Sheds
    This thing is pricey, and I was hesitant to buy it. My daughter LOVES it though. She tells her trains goodnight in a Sir Topham Hat voice, and put them to bed behind each little door.
    Available Here for $56
  • Triple Engine Storage Shed 9 of 18
    Triple Engine Storage Shed
    If you can't fathom springing for Tidmouth Sheds, here's a grain train shed for a fraction of the price.
    Available Here for $22
  • Thomas and Friends Deluxe Railway Crossing 10 of 18
    Thomas and Friends Deluxe Railway Crossing
    The gates open and close, lights flash, and it makes noise. Your kids will love it.
    Available Here for $19
  • Thomas and Friends Toby’s Windmill 11 of 18
    Thomas and Friends Toby's Windmill
    Windmills figure heavily into the Thomas world, and this one doubles as a tunnel.
    Available Here for $30
  • Thomas and Friends Cranky the Crane 12 of 18
    Thomas and Friends Cranky the Crane
    Two cranks and a super strong magnet. This is the ones kids gravitate to at the toy store's train table.
    Available Here for $34
  • Wooden Bumper Tracks 13 of 18
    Wooden Bumper Tracks
    If you're weird like me, you don't like it when tracks just lead to nowhere. These bumpers are a cute solution to dead-ends.
    Available Here for $8
  • Adapter Tracks 14 of 18
    Adapter Tracks
    These double-ended pieces are always handy to have.
    Available Here for $8
  • 3.5 Inch Curved Wooden Train Tracks 15 of 18
    3.5 Inch Curved Wooden Train Tracks
    You're going to need these little curved pieces once you start getting into more complicated layouts, and these are way more affordable than the officially licensed ones.
    Available Here for $4
  • Over the River Drawbridge 16 of 18
    Over the River Drawbridge
    This train bridge from Melissa and Doug is great — and huge! It's a foot and a half long.
    Available Here for $22
  • Grey Stone Tunnel 17 of 18
    Grey Stone Tunnel
    I don't know why the Thomas tunnels are so expensive, but here's a great, reasonably priced option by BigJigs.
    Available Here for $12
  • Playmobil Lion Set 18 of 18
    Playmobil Lion Set
    Why is this in with a bunch of train set stuff? Because the trees look awesome on a train table. Plus, hey, why not bring some lions to the party?
    Available Here for $25

• Nicole Balch is the founder of Making it Lovely, a design blog about living a stylish life and transforming the so-so. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook, or catch up on all of her posts here on Babble.

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