Brio Wooden Train Set - The Best Accessories
Looking for some great accessories for a Brio Wooden Train Set?
Brio is the leader of wooden train sets, and it is easy to see why. This is a reputable company, producing high quality, long-lasting, classic children's toys for preschoolers. The Brio Train Set is one of their most popular products. If you have purchased one of the starter figure-of-eight sets, then perhaps you are looking to add to it - after all, a train set is a toy which has endless possibilities. You can add tunnels, bridges, stations, sheds, extra engines - the more accessories you add the more the child's play will be enchanced. Accessories for a train set can be collected over the years to increase play value, and because it is a timeless toy it can be passed down to younger siblings and even future generations.
This article details some of the best Brio train accessories - and as a parent of a preschool child with a wooden train set myself, I speak from my own experience. Brio train track and accessories are compatible with most other wooden train sets (check before buying).
Brio Collapsing Bridge
This is an extremely popular add-on for young children. The best toys have an element of interaction, as children love being in control of their games. This bridge has an easy to operate button on the side - push it and the bridge collapses, bringing down any trains that happen to be crossing. In my opinion, this bridge works best with battery trains, and if you have a few carriages in tow they can fall whilst the main engine trundles on. Definitely an accessory for creating epic adventures - we have this and my son loves it. No batteries are required.
Brio Battery Locomotives
The Red Mighty Locomotive was a Christmas present for my son. He really seems to adore it. It is not a really fast train, but then it is a steam locomotive and steam trains were never exactly fast. The Green Locomotive is an identical design.
Children love battery-powered trains - just watching them chug around the track is great fun and rather hypnotic. These locomotives can pull several trucks - however, they will not get up the hills if the load is too heavy. The train features the autostop and start function and can travel forwards or in reverse. One of its most endearing features is the realistic sounds it makes when it first sets off. Two headlights at the front of the train light up, as well as at the back when the train is in reverse. You can also use it in freewheel mode as well, although my son never does. This is a train that is very easy for a young child to turn on and off and operate independently. Three simple buttons on the top of the train control the different functions.
3 AAA batteries are required - it is advisable to purchase rechargeable batteries as the train drains the batteries very quickly (within a day if useage is very heavy).
Brio Record and Play Railway Station
This quaint station is a wonderful addition to any child's train set. Every train set needs a station and this award-winning product is easily one of the best. Children can record their own annoucements and play them back, increasing the play value of this toy immensely. It is easy to operate and has a ten second recording capacity, which is plenty of time for relaying important information. You can also turn the station lights on and off and set the clock to any time you choose.
Brio Autostop/Start Track
The Brio Autostop/Start Track works with all Brio battery-powered trains with the auto stop and start feature (such as the Mighty Red and Green Action Locomotives detailed earlier).
This product provides your child with another opportunity for interaction - perhaps the trains must stop at the station to pick up more passengers before chugging onwards. You flip the switch to 'stop' and the train will automatically halt when it arrives. Change the switch to 'on' and the train will continue on its way. This is a simple toy, yet sometimes simple really adds to a child's overall enjoyment.
Brio Adventure Tunnel
A train set is never complete without a tunnel, and the Brio Adventure Tunnel is the perfect candidate. This tunnel is great fun and loved by young children - it is magnetically activated when the train travels through, setting off one of four different sounds. You can hear men at work in the mines, an owl hooting, a train whistle and a chugging noise - each will last for ten seconds. These sounds really add to the appeal of the train set - they can also be activated by pressing the button on the top of the tunnel. I suppose the main point to note is that this tunnel is very loud! But if you can put up with it, then this item could well become one of the favorite focal points of your child's train set.
On the top of the tunnel is a little walkway, which provides an additional play platform for little Brio people, or any other small figures. This is a fantastic and exciting tunnel and an excellent purchase if you are looking to expand a wooden train set. (Please note that the tunnel may not be activated by trains produced by other manufacturers.) The Brio Adventure Tunnel requires 2 AA batteries (not included).
Brio Expansion Packs
An expansion pack might not look very exciting, but if you want to build more intricate, bigger tracks than you are going to need some of the more flexible pieces that are contained inside these sets. For example, you can find curves and straights of varying lengths, plus two-way track and crossroads. Wooden train track is a bit like Lego - the more different pieces you have, the more you can build. Definitely one of the most important basics.
Brio Mechanical Switches
Another small but significant part of any great train set. These mechanical two-way switches allow you to decide the direction your train takes when faced with a choice. A child will love the chance to control the train and decide its destiny - it is heading towards the station to pick up more passengers, or instead towards the Collapsing Bridge where action and disaster awaits? These switches are for use with any battery-powered train.
Brio Engine Sheds
All trains must go to sleep at the end of a hard days work, and for that you need an engine shed. You can purchase small sheds which accommodate two engines, or large ones which can take up to five trains. Children seem to love putting trains in and out of engine sheds - all complete train sets should have one.
Pictured right is the Brio Engine Shed with capacity for up to two trains. with included switch track. The Grand Roundhouse, below, can house up to five trains or ten vehicles - it is an engine shed on a luxurious scale. This shed has sliding rear doors for easy access, plus front stall doors - although expensive it is excellent quality and perfect for young train enthusiasts with lots of engines.