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Granddaughter is just two, but I'm ready to go hog wild with the trains for her. I have a very large Brio wooden train collection from when my sons were little, and will be getting that ready for her.

But, what's next .... and when? That Lionchief controller seems very simple. I see Lionel has Thomas the Tank Engine, etc.

Or, is there a product kinda between wooden trains and Lionchief?

Thanks. Kinda excited by this all.


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My grandson is three and is pretty quick with the Lionchief controller and he is getting the hang on the iPad app.   We are working on building the Lionel table layout that Ken put in his book.  I am separating the inner and outer loop for the time being because the switching is a bit of a challenge and we are running two trains, both Lionchief.  I was going to run one Lionchief and my old original post war train (which is conventional) but that's going to be for another few years.  He has totally passed on the wooden stuff, no sound and no motion.

i would say at ten years old the big guy has a better collection than me.legacy vision line engines.His younger brother runs the railroad.these youngsters are very adept at  using devices.they are my eyes.only problem is if running on the table a child may run engines too fast and off the table.the big guy won't let his brother touch his trains.he is super amazes me how careful,he is.he would have a heart attack if he saw how I ran my wabash cannonball set,when I was his age.

    At shows I run three loops on banquet tables the outer two are lionchief controlled from a KW set low enough not to fly off the curves(42s and 34s). I just leave the controllers laying on the tables. I also have little plastic step stools for the short ones. I just tell’em show mom or dad you know how to run the train. If they are old enough to stand on the stool they can figure out how to operate the controller.

Kids can run it well beginning at  2 1/2.  However they are usually more motivated by the wood trains they can push until 4-5, depending on the kid.  As stated above, one thing I would LOVE TO HAVE IN THE CAB3, is the ability to set MAX SPEED per engine.   My Granddaughter loves to crank it up to full throttle and run away giggling while daddy and grandpa run to catch the train.  She no longer can run it without sitting in our laps.

Her sister at 5 years old learned to run the train.    She went to her friends house where they had an electric train and was disappointed they couldn't make it smoke.   

My daughter is two and she can use the remote just fine. I got her the Lionel Frozen set for Christmas. She loves it…for a few minutes before she loses interest.

My four-year-old will stay interested in the trains for over an hour sometimes.  He prefers to just play with the rolling stock on the track most of the time. He will fill them with cars or legos or whatever and push them around by hand. He only wants me to run the trains maybe 1/3 of the time.

My grandson Lucas was 3-years-old when he first learned to use the remote. He's four now, and has all that stuff mastered. This past Christmas, when we had the Thomas Christmas Set running around the tree, he was teaching his brother, 2-year-old Grant, how to use the remote. Only problem we had the whole holiday season was that Thomas lost his chuff sound (perhaps a bit of a blessing), but that was because their daddy apparently messed something up after the boys had derailed the train while retrieving candy kisses from the hopper cars. No big deal because I think I have another new Thomas around here somewhere.

Hi Folks,

I started my boys off with a UP Flyer lionchief set when they were 3 and 1.5.  Was a bit much for the younger one but he got the hang of it pretty quickly.  Guys are 3 and 5 now and run with few problems now… need two independent loops or chaos happens quickly Like many have mentioned speed = fun so it requires intervention on the elevated sections above the concrete basement floor. They do love pushing the cars around the layout by hand (and still love the brio sets).

Amazing how quickly the kids pickup the running of the trains!


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