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Thomas train plastic & wooden track compatible?

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Showing 1-22 of 22 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 16, 2008 8:26:23 PM PST
I'm new to the whole world of Thomas train sets. I'd been looking for the wooden track sets, but have found a more affordable plastic set that might get us started without the major expense. Question: are the track and train pieces compatible with the wooden sets? Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2008 8:40:00 PM PST
Hi James,

No the plastic and wood tracks are not compatible. The plastic tracks work with the die-cast smaller Thomas trains and the wooden tracks work with the wooden trains. They are two different types of Thomas toys. There are some "off" brand wooden track sets that are compatible as expansion packs to your Thomas set.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2008 9:34:31 PM PST
Thanks for the quick response. I didn't figure I'd be lucky enough that the plastic and wooden sets would work together. Your advice is very helpful. Again, thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2008 8:28:31 AM PST
Kathy B. says:
We have the plastic tracks and die-cast metal trains, but we have also picked up a few of the wooden trains along the way and they "run" on the plastic tracks just fine. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2008 10:02:07 AM PST
SB says:
Look at Maxim wooden train sets instead. They are much cheaper and Maxim says they are compatible with both Brio and Thomas sets. So, you can buy Thomas items later on.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2008 8:21:11 PM PST
My entire house has been taken over by Thomas the Train. I always buy the Imaginarium brand. You can find it at Toys R Us. It has wooden track that is compatible with both the wooden trains and the battery operated trains. Craigs List is also a good place to look to get a good deal. Good Luck!!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2008 1:54:24 PM PST
Hi James,

Just a FYI, there are also different sizes of plastic tracks! Beware! We now have 4 different sizes in our house and now there's a new one he's asking for Christmas! I have found that all wood tracks seem to fit together-including the IKEA track. We have a little of everything due to gifts from different relatives but if I had to do it over I would only get wooden imaginarium track, thomas wood trains that fit on it and and then for plastic the Geotrax are great although not Thomas characters but there are people that can ride in the trains with remote controls and now airplanes. Good luck and buy early. This stuff sells out before Christmas, I've learned the hard way! Merry Merry Christmas!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2008 2:36:39 PM PST
angela says:
If you are trying to decide which way to go--go with the wooden track for sure. I bought my kids the Thomas "take along" trains and plastic track and while they do love the trains, the track is a differant story. It's hard to put together and doesn't stay together well at all. I am switching over to the wooden trains and track this Christmas. My parents have wood and my 19 month old can actually put it together. He loves it and doesn't get nearly as frustrated. My 4.5 year old has enjoyed the plastic track but has had his share of melt-downs when playing with it as well. You will find that the wood is well worth the investment. Your kids and even grand kids someday, will enjoy it for years to come.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2008 7:53:00 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 20, 2008 7:57:33 PM PST
Scarletglory says:
I agree...the wooden Thomas sets and tracks are an amazing investment. I should know I've "invested" over $2,000 in Thomas products over the past 7 years for three grandchildren. Tables (I agree the Imaginarium table is has a storage drawer); trains; tracks; tunnels; bridges; buildings; people...the options are endless. My grandsons recognize all of the characters and they create their own stories as they play using the personalities of the various trains as depicted in the books; TV and DVD's. Having lots of trains doesn't seem to be too many...they all get used. The characters in the Thomas collection are uniquely special. Using other compatible sets for track or accessories is fine...but they can't mimic the Thomas characters. The trains have been passed down from one child to another...they are years old and have been loved hard...but the 3rd grandchild loves Thomas just as much as my first grandchild for whom I began the collection in the first place. In this day of electronic toys that are preprogramed for play, it is a true delight to see the hours of imaginative creative manipulative fun that the kids have with Thomas and his friends. My youngest grandson (age 3) loves the plastic take-a-long sets as well. They are great for keeping him entertained while traveling or while we are waiting (a few tracks and a couple of trains is all he needs to keep him happy.) I would also encourage you to purchase a DVD or two. These bring the characters to life and the language acquisition is truly amazing. These stories don't talk down to children and we have seen an explosion in language skills as they are viewed time and again. Thomas was truly an investment...that has paid years of dividends. Let extended family members know you are trying to build a collection and ask them to add an engine or some track for Christmas. One cautionary note. The "train tables" have been an important part of the investment. Friends who kept their Thomas sets under a bed or on a shelf in a box that was put up and away...never used or enjoyed the trains to the same extent as those who had the trains readily available for play. My eldest 9 passed his Thomas set on when he was about 7...but he kept the table and still uses it in the corner of his room for every other kind of play activity you might imagine. Hope you get as much out of your investment as I have.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2008 7:53:04 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 20, 2008 7:53:37 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2008 5:15:35 PM PST
JBM says:
I have NOT had luck getting the IKEA tracks to fit with the Brio and Thomas tracks. But Brio and Thomas are perfectly compatible, and Brio is much, much cheaper.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2008 11:06:06 PM PST
Actually there are at least 3 different kinds of Thomas Train sets and none of them are compatible with each other. The Wooden sets, The plastic sets and then the smaller portable die cast sets. When I started getting these for my son there was pretty much just the wooden sets, now it seems though the plastic sets are becoming more common and easier to find. I say this because if you're just starting out you may want to begin with the slightly larger plastic sets.

If you already have the wooden sets there are several off brand sets and pieces that are 100% compatible with the actual Thomas sets and considerably cheaper in price. I got my son a very nice set that comes with a sturdy table and many many pieces and the Thomas pieces work perfectly with it. It's made by a company called "Imaginarium". The only down side to the table sets is you can't really add on to them. I got him this when he was 2, he's about 3 1/2 now and its still difficult to pull him away from the thing, he absolutely loves it. Its significantly cheaper, comes with more pieces, and its on the same level of good quality.

Posted on Mar 25, 2012 7:33:50 PM PDT
G. Daniel says:
My 2 year old has the Percy's at McColl's Farm set and other large plastic trains. None of these came with tracks. Are there plastic tracks designed for these larger toddler trains?

Posted on Mar 27, 2012 8:36:19 AM PDT
My 5 year old has the Trackmaster plastic Thomas tracks. He loves them, I did have to help assemble tracks in the very beginning(he was about 15 months) but he's been doing it himself since he was just over 2. We like the plastic tracks, the sets are great, some do require me to help put together(Zip, Zoom & Logging Adventure, it's 4' x 6' x 18" fully assembled with lots of twists and turns but an amazing set) but for the most part he can do it himself. He has some of the r/c trains and they go forward & backward with the remote so that's even better. We have probably close to 50' of train track at this point, lol.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 27, 2012 8:37:08 AM PDT
Trackmaster is the track that works with that set, there are some on here, otherwise they're carried at Wal-Mart & Target too.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2012 9:10:46 PM PDT
sassymorena says:
I asked an IKEA employee if they were compatible and she said no.the Thomas trains do not fit on their track.

Posted on Aug 1, 2012 4:37:55 PM PDT
We have lots of IKEA and some wooden Thomas. The tracks fit together pretty well, sometimes a little wiggling is required, no big deal. The Thomas engines are larger than the trains which come with the IKEA sets and will therefor not fit through the tunnel of the IKEA figure 8 set but the WHEELS are the same, they are absolutely compatible! We have a couple of the pricey Thomas things like the railroad crossing (which I highly reccomend) all connected with IKEA track. Works great!

Posted on Oct 7, 2012 7:55:06 PM PDT
Tania Ethier says:
Can my die cast metal trains run on the wooden tracks???
Has someone tried this?? Tnx

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2013 9:01:32 AM PST
J Shaw says:
The die cast metal trains do not run on the wooden Brio sets -- the trains are just a bit too small -- and it sounds like they have a similar problem with the Thomas brand wooden sets as well. I got a wooden Brio set for my son for his 2nd birthday, but he prefers his metal Thomas engines and the plastic tracks that go with them.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 29, 2013 1:07:05 PM PST
S. Gallacher says:
Snug Trac 40 countSnug Trac helps a lot keeping the wooden tracks together. No more gluing or nailing. My two young sons and I got tired of putting the track back together time and time again. Worked with brio, Thomas, Melisa and Doug, Maxim and a few more.

Posted on Nov 9, 2013 12:32:07 PM PST
Do the smaller metal trains (that talk--not run on batteries), fit on the wooden tracks?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 9, 2014 5:24:30 PM PDT
I have the Ikea tracks and the Wooden Railway and Trackmaster Thomas do fit on these just fine. The only thing is that they do not fit under the bridge or the through the tunnel of the Ikea brand. However, they go fine over the curved, straight, junctions and over the bridge ramps just find.
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Discussion in:  Toys forum
Participants:  19
Total posts:  22
Initial post:  Nov 16, 2008
Latest post:  Jul 9, 2014

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