10 Best Remote Control Train Reviews – Expert Picks 2020

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Are you looking for that special gift to keep the little ones entertained? Or, perhaps, to keep yourself busy during the free time?

Well, a remote control train set is always the right choice for everyone’s fun, be it children or adults.

During this article, we’ll review the most fun train sets available in the market. Our picks include many pieces for us to customize as we want, fun interactive features, and a proper controlling method through the remote.

Best Overall

Lionel The Polar Express Train Set

Lionel The Polar Express Train Set

Best Value

Liberty Imports Cartoon Remote Control Train

Liberty Imports Cartoon Remote Control Train

Honorable Mention

Velocity Toys Steam Train

Velocity Toys Steam Train

Let’s take a look at them!

10 Best Remote Control Train

These are our top ten picks currently available in the market.

1. Lionel The Polar Express Train Set

What better excuse to treat us with a wonderful remote control train than Christmas? The Lionel Polar Express is a fun acquisition that works either as decoration, or to spend hours of fun playing with it.

It is not like any other we’ve seen, and that’s noticeable from the moment you get it because of its large boxing.

The package includes 32 track pieces, increasing your possibilities. At first impression, it might not be the easiest to deal with, but you get the hang of it after spending some time figuring out the pieces.

Once you do, you’ll notice that it has two four wheels sets on each car. Before playtime, check if each end aligns well with the tracks. Otherwise, it could malfunction.

Another issue comes up when you turn the engine on before the remote, producing a frustrating sound as it scans searching for the remote.

The remote offers many options like moving forward, going in reverse, and blow the whistle, among others. Use three AAA batteries for the remote, and six C cell batteries for the train.


  • Perfect gift for Christmas
  • 32 pieces for more creativity
  • The remote control offers many options


  • The beeping sound produced when you turn the engine before the remote
  • It takes some time getting used to the tracks

2. Liberty Imports Cartoon Remote Control Train

One of the things we like the most about remote control train is that everyone gets to have fun with them; from children to adults. However, we might want to leave this next one to the kids only.

It is a beautiful kiddy train that has sleek wheels and bright color design to get the attention of the little ones.

This toddler train set offers the option to play entertaining melodies for the children while emitting LED lights. It works incredibly well to enhance their motor skills, improving their brain development process.

You can control all of these features by pushing the pieces of the train, which has a couple of buttons for the sounds and lights. To move the train forward and reverse, though, you’ll have to use the remote control instead.

The train includes a small driver figurine for the kids to put in the cabin, or remove it to play with it.  It is a 1.57-in toy, reducing possible risks that could come from smaller pieces.

It is a toy kid, which means it can get annoying sometimes, especially because there’s no way to control the sound volume. One method is to remove the driver figurine, but even then it is not enough.


  • Bright colors to keep the children’s attention
  • It includes melodies and sounds
  • Easy-to-use control remote with only two buttons
  • Non-toxic materials make it safe for everyone


  • There’s no proper way to control the sound volume

3. Velocity Toys Steam Train

Having a highly interactive train has many benefits for the children of the house, but it might get frustrating for the parents. Even then, we’re willing to sacrifice our comfort for our child’s fun, and this train is one of those toys that your kids wouldn’t leave alone.

This train features LED lights and melodies that the kids would love. All fun and games until you realize there’s no way to control the music it makes. It goes on, and on.

It is a spectacle that never ends, especially because of the other interactive features this train offers.

For instance, while using it, the train blows bubbles that don’t stop. In all fairness, the bubbles are tiny, and it doesn’t become a problem.

To make the bubbles work properly, you need to pour a little bit of the liquid to prevent leaks. Fortunately, the train includes everything you could need, instead of making you pay more to have it work.

We also liked its automatic system to continue working after crashing. Kids often love crashing and making a mess, but this train manages to change the direction even after it goes towards furniture or any other object in the house.


  • LED Lights and melodies play along when using it
  • Capable of changing direction when it bumps against walls or furniture
  • Capable of blowing bubbles
  • It includes the bubble liquid


  • Never-ending melodies

4. Lionel North Pole Central Remote Control Train Set 

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Our next pick is especially for those train enthusiasts that enjoy spending some quality time by themselves. It is a hobby that people often don’t understand, but we still enjoy it nonetheless.

This train set includes a variety of tracks to keep us busy for many hours: twenty-four curved pieces, with another eight straight tracks. It gives us plenty of options to let our creativity run free and have a ton of fun building our designs.

Naturally, it uses a remote control to operate it. It is easy to use, with a user-friendly design that doesn’t leave anything to speculation.

This control uses three AAA batteries, and you’ll be able to use it and move the train both forward and backward. Additionally, it allows you to activate its sounds, both the whistle and bell.

Interestingly enough, while the control features a music button, it doesn’t play any music at all. Instead, you get the conductor’s voice. That’s a shame because, being a Christmas-themed train, you’d expect it to add more to the atmosphere by playing some melodies.

Another thing to keep in mind is that this train set is not compatible with other pieces from the same manufacturer.


  • 32 track pieces allow us to create different layouts
  • Easy-to-use remote control with many options
  • Realistic train sounds
  • Christmas-themed train


  • Doesn’t include music
  • Not compatible with other track systems

5. Lionel Disney Mickey Mouse Express Train Set

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This remote control train set is one of the best-rated toys you could find. Many people use it as reference for either good or bad reviews, but we consider it offers high-quality features that make its downsides bearable.

What we liked the most about this train set is that it has an incredibly detailed design; from the wheels to the cars, and everything else, it feels very realistic.

It includes tree cars and the engine, which are easy to handle and install together. One recommendation while installing the tracks would be to do it on a flat surface, or it will derail inevitably.

The remote control features a speed dial which allows you to regulate its speed and directions. Additionally, like previous models from this manufacturer, the remote can play train noises and other sounds.

Even though the control remote works fine, delays take place sometimes. The train takes its time when you press the stop button to when it finally stops.

Lastly, although the Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck figurines are spot-on, their voices don’t match the originals. It’s not a big deal for the little ones since they may not even notice, but it still is something that gets our attention.


  • Mickey Mouse Christmas-themed train set
  • Highly detailed design
  • Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse figurines
  • Produces fun train noises


  • Works only over flat surfaces
  • Not the original character voices

6. LEGO Winter Holiday Train 10254 Set

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LEGO continues to offer fun and games for adults and children alike, and what better way to enjoy quality time than with an interactive remote control train set?

It includes the typical train pieces while adding five small figurines to customize your build. All of the decorative lights that come with this train set, and the bright Christmas color, make it a suitable and entertaining choice to giveaway during that special time of the year.

This train set is not motorized, but you can convert it into one by adding a Power Functions engine, which doesn’t come in the packaging.

However, one of the advantages of buying this set is its compatibility with every other LEGO construction set. It increases the possibilities of the things you can do with it.

This Winter Holiday train is capable of providing plenty of fun. Even then, it lacks some of the features that make other models from the brand more popular.

The one thing we thought could be better would be its design, although we can understand it is a LEGO creation that isn’t particularly known for high-quality details.


  • Perfect for the Christmas tree
  • Includes five mini figurines
  • Compatible with other LEGO sets


  • Not motorized

7. Lionel Pennsylvania Flyer Train Set 

Lionel 711808Lionel 711808Lionel 711808

Our next pick is not one of the typical train sets for kids. No. Instead, it is a gorgeous and high-detailed train that would be an incredible acquisition for any enthusiasts out there that enjoys this hobby.

It includes five cars, with a boxcar and the locomotive, which feature a working door and a working lamp, respectively. Because of that, this is one of the most realistic trains. Unlike others, this one can produce smoke rings along with the chuffing sounds.

To some people, it might not seem like a big deal, but how many train sets have you seen that can pull this trick off?

Other than that, it includes 12 tracks pieces. You can build them into huge ovals, reaching up to 60×40 inches. The large size doesn’t make it suitable for smaller spaces, and it’d be better for you to select a particular area of the house to install it.

Through the remote, you’d be able to operate the train and control the whistle and announcements. However, you can still set it on and off through the switch located at the engine.

The Bluetooth connection feature is an innovative idea that looks well on paper, but it takes plenty of time and patience to make it work.


  • Incredibly detailed train
  • Produces smoke and realistic train sounds
  • Includes on/off switch for sound and smoke at the engine
  • Travels at a fast speed
  • Large size


  • Getting the app to work is difficult
  • Expensive

8. Lionel John Deere Train Set

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Although people might dislike the green color of this train, we found it to be an alternative to the many Christmas-themed sets available in the market. It comes a time when you get over those designs and need to find something new.

That’s what this train set has to offer; an alternative for children and adults, too.

It is a highly detailed toy set that features functional headlights, and other three train cars for you to customize. In total, there are 32 track pieces for you to let your creativity run free.

Through the remote control, you can change directions, play the train sounds, and make announcements. Like most others, this remote control needs AAA batteries to run, with other six C cells required to make the train work.

It is a plastic set of toys that may not be the best one out there but still works as a beginner model to grab your children’s attention.

We knew what we were getting into while reviewing this toy, but we’d still have appreciated if the doors could open to load other toys. That’s something that makes the children so happy!


  • Green color designed makes it an interesting alternative
  • Highly intuitive remote control


  • Plastic pieces
  • Doesn’t open doors to load other items or toys

9. Lionel Thomas & Friends Train Set

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The beloved character that has given children around the world plenty of entertainment comes again to save the day. There’s something about this creature that keeps the children’s interest, regardless of being creepy. Let’s be honest here: it is.

Anyway, children love it, which is the only thing that matters. What do they get out of this train?

It is a remote control train set that features the beautiful Thomas face, and exclusive character sounds that you can control through the remote. Some of which are the bell, whistle and more.

Another thing you can move through the remote is the eyes. As if it weren’t creepy enough, am I right?

Either way, the remote control is pretty easy to figure out, even for kids. Use it to move both forward and reverse by pressing two buttons.

A problem we encountered while installing this train set is that you must put a lot of pressure to set the tracks in place, and it nos different when you want to uninstall it.

Also, Thomas is pretty loud! He’s lots of fun for a while. Then, he becomes annoying and quite frustrating.


  • Fun and interactive train set for the little ones
  • The remote control allows you to do almost everything
  • Interchangeable faces and gestures


  • Requires pressure to install/uninstall the tracks
  • You’ll be amazed by how loud, and annoying, this wonderful creature Thomas is

10. Playmobil 5258 City Action Freight Train 

 Playmobil 5258 Playmobil 5258 Playmobil 5258

Finally, we have another set of fun remote control train toys that will keep the little one of the house entertained.

It doesn’t take more than attaching the train car and cargo to start using it above the tracks through the remote control.

The remote control allows you to change the train’s speed, direction, and activate its special effects like the lights. More so, you can use the remote control to operate the sound and the noises of the train.

It includes three containers that you can customize and install as you wish, and two figurines, one of which you can put at the conductor’s seat or take it out.

The level of interaction is noticeable with the door at the cargo car, one of which you can fold down. It allows you to load or unload certain items to increase the game immersion.

It is one of those incredible train sets for kids to keep them busy for hours.

The only issue would be that, sometimes, it makes certain squeaky noises that could turn out to be annoying for everyone in the house. Nonetheless, it is not a common occurrence.


  • Multi-function remote control to activate the train’s special effects
  • It includes two figurines
  • You can put and remove the figurine from the conductor seat
  • A foldable door at the cargo car


  • Makes squeaky noises sometimes

What Makes The Right Remote Control Train?

Keep in mind the following information to buy the best train set for you or your children.

Perfect Size

Figuring out the right size of the train set is what will keep it from becoming an uncomfortable toy to have around the house. You can have a Christmas train around the tree, a child train that’s smaller, and the other one for adult hobbies, which tends to be the largest.

Intuitive Remote Control

To move forward, in reverse, activate lights and music are the main things that you should control with the remote. Other than that, it becomes unnecessary and too much.

Special Effects

Have you seen those train sets capable of producing visual and auditive spectacles? Don’t miss out on the opportunity to have a train with proper lights and music.

Easy to Install

Despite their high-quality, they’re still toys. Putting too much pressure over the tracks will end up breaking them, eventually. Make sure to buy tracks that snap easily.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Minimum Age to Use a Remote Control Train?

These set of toys are often available for children over 18 months. Keep in mind that they might include smaller pieces that could be dangerous for kids below that age.

How to Build a Remote Control Train?

The instructions to build the train set are pretty simple to follow. Most of them include 32 pieces, and the choice is yours to decide how to install them.

What Batteries do Train Sets Use?

In most cases, they use three AAA batteries. To get the best out of them, make sure to turn it off after use. If you don’t, the batteries drain out quickly.

Final Verdict

Any of the remote control trains included in the list above ensure plenty of hours of fun for everyone, regardless of the age. Whether you buy it for Christmas decoration, to surprise the kids or as a hobby for your free time, these toys never get old.

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