Wooden Train Table? Psh.

I’ve been posting pictures of our train track layouts for about a month now.  Really, I think that there’s a distinct possibility that this will become my new addiction instead of cloth diapers.  (My kids won’t be in diapers forever… and Norton is housebroken.)  One thing that keeps getting suggested is that we look into getting a wooden train table.

A Wooden Train Table Can Be Awesome

With a wooden train table, you get a finite space for your child’s wooden train set.  A typical wooden train table is somewhere around four feet by three feet.  (Each model is slightly different by an inch or two, but it’s a general size estimate.)  That’s twelve square feet of possibilities!  Not only that, but they provide a storage space to keep your (or your child’s) wooden train track collection organized.  For the non-creatively minded builder, you may also be able to find sample layouts to fit your table.  Since many also come with track, buildings, and bridges, they can be an excellent value.

A Wooden Train Table Can Be a Hinderance

With a wooden train table, you have a large item to contend with.  If you have a play room, it may not be an issue, but if your play room is actually your child’s bedroom?  That’s a whole lot of space taken up by one object.  In our house, we don’t have a play room.  Not only that, but my our train layouts are huge.  A wooden train table is too small for the layouts that Norton and I build.  We have two bridges designed for train track to go under them.  There’s the Thomas Water Tower Figure 8 set, and both of the expansions.  We have the Chuggington Clock Tower.  We have the Chuggington Wooden Railway Deluxe Double Decker Roundhouse… and I usually split it in two and have track to go over the roof.  I insist on having track paths come off of all five of the potential exits from the roundhouse elevator thing.  And our most recent addition is the Thomas Deluxe Over the Track Signal Station.

I like to use all of the elements.  It takes me hours to build and it takes a lot of space.  There’s no way that a wooden table can hold that many feet of track!  I’m sort of playing with the idea of doing my next build downstairs in my room since there’s a huge amount of open space.  That’ll give the me necessary square footage for a truly elaborate build.

Are you a train fanatic?  Do you use the wooden train table, or do you prefer more open space builds?

Wooden Train Table?  Psh. (Cloth Diaper Addicts)

There’s no way I could put this on a wooden train table. I could barely get it in frame for a picture.

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. I am definitely for the table! 🙂

  2. Anna at Mama Writes says:

    My daughter loves trains, so a train table would be a hit at my house!

  3. summerglow says:

    I had track set up on the coffee table and my son kept accidentally making it fall apart. I broke down and purchased a train table from Toys R Us that came with track and everything. No more screaming “FRACK! FRACK B’OKEN”. Definitely for the train table.

  4. Stephanie Lockwood says:

    We got a wooden train table for my son when he was 3. Now my daughter is three, and we still have it. It’s neat – and a great way, in theory, to contain pieces. However, they often preferred to build the train track on the ground… lol

  5. My husband made our train table because we were sick of tracks getting lost and we couldn’t be bothered to spend $100+ on a table.

  6. Jennifer says:

    Hmmm…My grandfather used to keep his trains set up on a wooden table, so I see the benefit of it, but for kids and an active household (where you need all the space you can get) I think it’s easier to do without one. Plus, kids would want it at their level. I don’t blame you for not liking the idea.

  7. Jenny Meer Hodges says:

    My son loves trains and has been building them since he was a wee one!! But that giant train you posted…no way would that fit on a train table!! My guy prefers to build on the ground, too!

  8. I am on the fence, while I would love to get them off the floor the reality is I have no where for a table…unless hubby made it short and it could roll under the bed! That is a thought!

  9. My FIL got my daughter a train table for Christmas (per my request), except he went for a cheap one and it was already broken by the time the box was open. Fail. It’s sort of his way though, to buy things as cheaply as possible without real regard of the quality. He could have spent the same amount of $ on a good one off craigslist (which I suggested) but he went his own way. Now it’s hidden in a corner of the house where my daughter can’t get to it. Sad.

    So that inspires me to keep an eye out for either a good train table or a used floor set on CL.

  10. AlannaB says:

    I love my boy’s train table simply because it keeps the floors clean and they can leave the tracks on the table for the next time they want to play with it. Also, we have high pile carpet throughout the house (except for the kitchen), so the tracks do stay connected.

    However, you are correct in that space is limited, either the room is too small or that it limits the size of the track system. I did look online for expansion packs and smaller curved pieces and intersections so I can use up as much of the table surface area as possible.

    Luckily, I bought mine for $50 in EUC, so it would have been pretty easy to resell if I hated it.

  11. EverythingMomandBaby says:

    My son loves trains and I always thought getting a wooden table would be a great thing to have.

  12. A train table could definitely hinder your creativity. Being confined to a limited space could limit the fun. I am so looking forward to when my daughter is old enough to play with train tracks. I used to love playing with my trains!

  13. I have a hard time knowing if we should get a table. 1. Our play room is our living room/tv room/already crowded with toys room. 2. We love going to the bookstore for the very reason to play with the trains. I wonder if the bookstore would lose its train-table-wonder if we had one at home?

    I honestly don’t know.

    However, loved this post 🙂 Food for thought definitely.

  14. Rachel N says:

    We bought a used train set and train table for our kids for their upcoming Christmas gift (early I know, I plan ahead). I wanted the table mainly for the storage and because it will live in our basement which is plush carpet so I don’t think the tracks will sit nicely on the carpet. Once my kids are a bit bigger I will let them bring all the tracks up to create huge set ups on the hard floor but right now their attention span isn’t long enough for that anyways.

  15. Meg Michelle Greenan Liani says:

    What an awesome track set-up!! 🙂 We have a train table in our living room, which is part of our open first floor with our dining room and kitchen. We basically use the train table as storage: tracks in the drawers and bins underneath with the trains and large pieces. We never create on the table itself…always on the living room floor…haha. Trains are enjoyed by all of us, regardless of age. 🙂

  16. DisneyWishesMom says:

    My kids love their Thomas The Train sets. I wish I had a table for them

  17. hannah bannister says:

    I can see how a table would be annoying; it would be so much easier to be able to pack it all away instead of cleaning it up and still having a table to deal with. I like how you have yours set up. I’m having a girl but I’m sure she’ll have a train set 🙂

  18. Judith Martinez says:

    Our neighbors gave us a train table and it is unusual. It is a hexagon or octagon (I can’t remember without looking at it) instead of rectangle and it is HUGE. We’re moving at the end of July and it isn’t going with us.

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