Best Lionel Remote Controlled Model Trains

Model trains are some of the most favorite toy trains among children and parents should be happy. They are educational toys that promote and enhance much needed lifelong skills such as logical reasoning, hand-eye coordination, and fine-motor skills.

They are also a great way for parents and grandparents to connect with the young ones as model trains are more likely to bring back good memories from your own childhood. But of course, like all parents, you’d like your children to have the best toys technology can offer. Our recommendations in this article are based on the best Lionel remote trains and are manufactured by a company that has been providing children fun educational toys for several generations.

Here are our top four picks!

First Choice    Lionel Polar Express Remote Train Set – O-Gauge $$$ 3.7/5  
Second Choice      Lionel Thomas And Friends Remote Train Set – O-Gauge $$ 3.2/5  
Third Choice     Lionel Polar Express Train Set – G-Gauge $$ 3.8/5  
Fourth Choice      Lionel Trains Frosty the Snowman LionChief Remote Set $$ 4/5  

Lionel is known for its sturdy constructions and their model trains are guaranteed to last for a long time. It is a highly recommend brand for both beginner train enthusiast and advanced hobbyists.

21 Best Lionel Remote Train

 

1. Lionel Polar Express Remote Train Set – O-Gauge

 

The Lionel Polar Express remote train set – O-Gauge is a train toy creation inspired from the movie The Polar Express. It features an operational headlight and puffs real smoke. It even produces sound from the original movie.

This train uses an advance remote control system to provide young and old train lovers great and reliable control over the train. You’ll see and feel the smoothness of how the train runs through the tracks with a real chugging, locomotive sound.

PROS

  • It has a hazard free, smoke puffing unit.
  • Can be bought with tracks or just the train unit.
  • It includes 4 character figures from the Polar Express train story.
  • Engineered with a great remote control system.
  • Electric powered train set.
  • Can be used right out of the box.
  • Train tracks of superb and stable construction.
  • All for a reasonable and affordable price.

CONS

  • It is an electric train that requires you to have all the train tracks connected before it can be operational.
  • The train light weakens over some time of playing.
  • The train’s engine is heavy and sturdy but other parts are made of non-durable plastic.

CONCLUSION

This is a top quality product from the long list of Lionel lines remote control train set. It is a preferable investment for your kids as well as adults who are about to start their remote train riding experience. For a reasonable price, it has more features to offer where you’d actually see your money’s worth.

2. Lionel Pennsylvania Flyer O-Gauge Remote Train Set

 

The Lionel Pennsylvania Flyer O-Gauge remote train set is considered to be the champion and king of train rails. It is a train with great power and runs incredibly smooth on the tracks. It has a low or none-at-all tendency to derail. The set includes a large oval track of about 40 inches by 50 inches. Each train car included in the set has remarkable details and prints. The colors used are also sharp. The aesthetics alone can make you say that it is a remote train of great quality.

PROS

  • It includes a train tender.
  • This is a 0-8-0 train locomotive.
  • Comes with a caboose and a train box-car.
  • Highly affordable for a train set with strong and sturdy construction.
  • Great aesthetics and sound system.
  • Can be purchased with extra train tracks.
  • Reliable train chief remote control system.

CONS

  • The smoke stack or the puffing smoke feature does not last long.
  • The train tracks offers a smooth ride but with a non-reliable durability.
  • Sound system feature loses its quality after a brief period of time.

CONCLUSION

This is a great starting toy train set for beginners who want to get on a great train experience. It can also be a great Lionel Christmas train set O-Gauge remote control toy present for your young relatives or friends over the holidays.

3. Lionel Pennsylvania Flyer Train Set – G-Gauge

 

As expected from Lionel, this is another great Lionel Pennsylvania Flyer remote control train set to be added to your collection. It is a highly detailed G-Gauge train set fully packed with authentic sounds, headlights, freight cars, stable train tracks, and a remote control feature. This is an affordable train set from Lionel, good for starters, trainiacs, collectors, and hobbyist. The design is user-friendly and the remote button markings can easily be maneuvered to move forward, backward or be put on halt.

PROS

  • Train design is of Berkshire style. Highly detailed. Great aesthetics.
  • High end features such as remote, real train sounds, bells, whistles and a working headlight.
  • User-friendly remote control system.
  • Includes different freight cars such as couplers, crates, gondola, etc.
  • Train tracks and remote control batteries are included.

CONS

  • This type of Lionel train is not manufactured in the U.S.
  • Small sized train and freight cars.
  • Other than the engine, all parts are made of plastic.
  • Has a tendency to get off track or derail

CONCLUSION

Having few disadvantages, this amazing Lionel Pennsylvania Flyer remote control train set still holds great ratings and remarks for countless satisfied customers. It is an affordable train set that is great to be added to your collection. The easiness of use, set-up, play, and control of the whole set is well worth its price.

 

4. Lionel Polar Express Ready to Play Train Set

 

This is another Lionel set inspired from the Polar Express train story. It features a magical Christmas train experience of this iconic express train. It is a complete set of train cars, engine, train tracks, remote control, headlights, sounds and more, and all that for a great, reasonable and affordable price. It is a best-seller train set on Amazon.com, having remarkably good ratings of 4 over 5. It’s an indication for a good low cost train set that meets most customer expectations.

PROS

  • It includes free train tracks with an oval dimensions of 50 inches by 73.2 inches.
  • Can be played with right out of the box. Easy to assemble/set-up and easy to use.
  • It has remote speed settings. The train can be controlled to move forward, backward or to a stop.
  • The train set features 3 freight cars, sounds, headlights and non-derailing train tracks.
  • Reliable train set functionality for a low and great price.

CONS

  • The remote control needs 3 pieces of triple-A batteries and you need to purchase them separately.
  • The train tracks are not that durable. They also don’t lay on the ground firmly.
  • Can derail out of its tracks.

CONCLUSION

The Lionel Polar Express Ready to Play Train Set is not on the list of expensive train sets but can closely compete with other more expensive sets when it comes to features and functionality. It can entertain you and your family as it runs smoothly across the oval shaped train track included in the set.

5. Lionel Trains Frosty the Snowman LionChief Remote Set

 

This is a Lionel remote control train set is the right train to rail around your living room during Christmas. The color combinations and the details are top quality. It is easy to assemble and connect with the remote control. It is one of the more expensive Lionel sets but the features, quality and durability are worth the price. The smoothness of the ride and the functionality of the train set are also of higher standards compared with their cheaper options.

PROS

  • It is a 0-8-0 locomotive inspired by Frosty the Snowman.
  • Includes a “hocus pocus” coal tender and a caboose.
  • Figures include 2 bay hoppers, cake shoppe reefer and a traffic cop.
  • It has a Lionchief engineered remote control feature.
  • O36 curved fast-tracks section.
  • Loud sound system that plays Frosty-themed music and puffs real smoke.

CONS

  • The sound quality is muffled and plays on a high tempo.
  • Flickering lighting.
  • Smoke puffed has an unpleasant smell.
  • Batteries are not included.

CONCLUSION

It is a must-have train sets for those who want to experience a fantastic and magical play-set with the Christmas theme song. This product is built with finesse and with great durability. It has some minor flaws in some aspects but most of which are insignificant. The product will provide you with a cheerful Christmas and on many other holidays to come.

6. Lionel Pennsylvania Flyer Ready to Play Train Set

 

The Lionel Pennsylvania Flyer remote control train set is a quality train set at a great price. As most train sets, this train only needs minimal assembly. It is easy to connect, assemble and play with. It can give your kids a great deal of excitement and a longer time of fun during play time, holidays or gatherings.

PROS

  • High details using dark and sharp colors.
  • It has a large oval train track with dimension of 50 inches by 72 inches.
  • Includes 32 pieces of durable train tracks & 24 pieces of curved tracks plus 8 straight tracks.
  • Great remote control system. Instantaneously goes forward and back as you press a button.
  • It also has sound features that make authentic train sounds.
  • Sound such as train whistles, bell-ring, and announcements are included in the remote control feature.
  • Easy to assemble. Ready to play right out of the box.

CONS

  • The train cars are sometimes hard to connect.
  • It is nice that it includes authentic train sounds but there are no switches or controls to turn the sounds off.
  • The sound feature has a fast tempo that might be irritating at times.

CONCLUSION

The price is reasonable for the quality and features of train set. Your kids can play with the train set as soon as they get it out of the box as it requires minimal effort in assembling. It has some minor flaws in terms of connectivity but this is not a huge impediment.

7. Lionel Thomas And Friends Remote Train Set – O-Gauge

 

This is a good Lionel Thomas and Friends remote train set on a O-Gauge track. It is inspired by Thomas the Tank Engine characters and includes the famous Thomas the Train coaches, Annie and Clarabel. It can be owned for a fair price, and is perfect for family, kids and train lovers who want to start their wonderful toy train experience. It requires only a quick set up but provides all the holidays entertainment and additional decorative accessories under your Christmas tree.

PROS

  • Electric Locomotive featuring Thomas the Train.
  • Includes forward and reverse movements on the remote control.
  • It comes with 3 fun removable faces with moving eyes of Thomas the Train.
  • Includes Annie and Clarabel figures.
  • Steam engine background sound.
  • Simple design but is built with great attention to detail.

CONS

  • The instruction manual does not have any visuals or detailed instructions for assembly.
  • Remote control is not that durable. It is most likely to be the first accessory of the set to get broken.
  • Engine is not that strong, the train moves slowly and it sometimes derails.

CONCLUSION

This is actually a large train set, perfect to provide great joy to the entire family or a group of your kid’s friends. Though it has a an average engine power and not that high of a speed, it is highly durable and will last long as you child’s favorite toy.

8. Lionel North Pole Central Ready to Play Train Set

 

This is the North Pole Central Train by Lionel. It has a nice color combination of red and green, the usual colors of for a Christmas or holiday train set. The details are exceptional. It has great ratings and positive reviews . It is very pleasing to watch while it travels down the tracks and can easily bring out the Christmas spirit inside the house.

PROS

  • Great remote control features that enable you to control the train’s movements.
  • Battery operated train set with 6 pieces of C cell batteries for greater power and longevity.
  • Holiday themed design that is highly detailed and with working headlight.
  • Includes 3 train cars.
  • Ready to use right out of the box with racks of 50 inches by 73.2 inches in dimension.

CONS

  • The train set might derail at times.
  • All parts are made of an average quality plastic.
  • Coupling requires you to remove the train cars off the tracks.

CONCLUSION

It is a product balances well the price and its features. This train set can boost the Christmas spirit as it runs on the tracks whistling and ringing its bells while simultaneously produces chugging train sounds.

 

9. Lionel Polar Express Train Set – G-Gauge

 

This is the G-gauge Lionel Polar Express remote train set. It is one of their affordable best-seller trains sets with thousands of good reviews and positive feedback from satisfied customers. Its design is intended for easy and convenient use. This is Berkshire-inspired locomotive that uses a retro style and was made with remarkable details. This set can enhance your holiday experience and expand the joy of a train adventure.

PROS

  • Includes a coal tender and a steam locomotive.
  • Train observation cars have opening doors.
  • Figures of a boy conductor and a “disappearing hobo”.
  • Train tracks compose of 4 straight tracks and 12 curved tracks.
  • Comes with a detail assembly manual which makes assembling effortless.
  • Average engine power. Uses 6 pieces of C batteries.
  • User-friendly remote controller.

CONS

  • Poor connectivity. Does not stay together too long.
  • Often derails during turns.
  • Train tracks are made of thin and, not at all durable, plastic.

CONCLUSION

The tracks may come to you a little bit short and small but you can choose to purchase Lionel remote control train extra tracks to extend the train routes. You can also use this train set with other trains as it is compatible with any Lionel train tracks. Overall, other than the tracks, the train set is reliable, strong and could last for long.

10. Lionel John Deere Ready to Play Train Set

 

This is a farming inspired train set from John Deree that will motivate your child to love both trains and nature. It teaches them how to transport tools and equipment that aid in the development of a farm. The train set is green (appropriate for a farm train!) with the label of John Deere written on all train cars in the set. The John Deere locomotive comes with a detailed and easy to use remote control for a great price.

PROS

  • It has ready to play, out of the box features. The tracks are 50 inches by 73.2 inches.
  • Very detailed remote for easy control.
  • It includes 3 train/freight cars and a working headlight.
  • Powered by 6 pieces of C-Cell batteries.
  • The remote control can go forward and reverse.
  • 32 pieces of train tracks are included. 8 straight and 24 curved tracks.
  • Produces authentic sounds: train bell, whistle and announcement.

CONS

  • Unlike the old model Lionel train, it has plastic tracks.
  • Batteries for both the remote and the train are not included.
  • Cannot survive a rough play style.

CONCLUSION

This Lionel remote control train set is more for display purposes than as play toy. It can give young children an enjoyable time by just watching the train’s movement but it won’t survive a child’s rough handling.

11. Lionel Mickey Mouse Disney Ready to Play Train Set

 

A Disney Lionel Train Set inspired by the children’s beloved Disney cartoon character, Mickey Mouse and friends. The train’s design is filled with fun pictures of Mickey and his friends having a wonderful Christmas time. This will bring out the spirit of Christmas in your family as the train circles around the Christmas tree while Disney announcements, whistles, bells, and train chugs are heard.

PROS

  • The train set comes with 3 detailed Disney character train cars.
  • Train sound feature Disney announcements.
  • Remote control is packed with functions
  • 32 pieces of train tracks in total. 24 curved and 8 straight tracks.
  • Working headlight that does not flicker.
  • Battery powered.
  • Oval train track with dimension of 50 inches by 73.2 inches.
  • An affordable and durable train set.

CONS

  • Batteries are not included both for the train and for the remote.
  • All parts are made of moderately thick plastic. No metallic parts at all except for the engine.
  • Remote control needs to be used in close vicinity of the train

CONCLUSION

This is a perfect gift or present for your young kids. It does not only have the Christmas spirit in it but also includes beloved Disney characters most kids love. A simple first look will totally attract your child’s attention. It is also a fun way to spend the holidays and bond with your kids: trying to connect and build the train set and watch it circle around the tracks. It may be made of plastic but it’s sure to give your family a great time.

12. Lionel Trains Frosty the Snowman G-Gauge Train Set

 

Another great, Frosty the Snowman themed train set from Lionel. It really brings out the winter features with its design and color. A great combination of blue and white resembles the frosty season of the North Pole. It includes 3 train cars with Frosty the Snowman decorations, a frosty coal tender and a frozen ice cream train car.

PROS

  • The remote control has visible buttons that enables the user to easily control the train forward or in reverse.
  • It makes whistle and bell sounds as well as Frosty train announcements.
  • The train set includes a cupola caboose, a frosty coal tender, and a box car.
  • It has a Frosty General design locomotive.
  • G-Gauge train tracks.
  • Durable, strong and made of sturdy materials.

CONS

  • Not all song are from the Frosty the Snowman theme.
  • Requires you to purchase batteries as they are not included in the set.
  • Does not connect very well with its train cars.

CONCLUSION

This is definitely a Christmas train as it does have an iconic Christmas design to it. Kids will totally love this train set and would only cost you an average amount of money considering that you’ll have this train set for years to come.

13. Lionel Junction Union Pacific Lion Chief Remote Train Set – O-Gauge

 

This is a Lionel Polar Express train set G-Gauge with remote control. It is generally more expensive compared to other Lionel train sets as it is more durable and sturdier. It makes for a great train for any  hobbyist, train enthusiast or collector.

PROS

  • Electronic Lionel train locomotive controlled by a remote.
  • Comes with a bright operating headlight.
  • Maintenance free, powerful train motor.
  • Uses a traction tire for stability. Does not derail.
  • Great design and color details.
  • Authentic, smooth, powerful and clear sounds.

CONS

  • Slightly expensive and does not include any batteries.
  • Design is not intended for very young children.

CONCLUSION

It is a train worthy to be collected by train hobbyist and enthusiast. It has high durability compared with other Lionel train sets. It also has aesthetics based on the outlook of an adult rather than that of a child. This train uses traction tires that make it a perfect fit on the tracks as well as making it more stable and thus minimizing the chances of derailing.

14. Lionel Junction Pennsylvania Diesel Train Set – O-Gauge

 

Considered to be a great toy train for you kid and a collector’s item, this O-Gauge train set has an average priced with reliable performance and durability. It is featured with a remote control and a sound system. It is great for train lovers of all levels, from a beginner up to a professional collector.

PROS

  • Gives you an option to purchase it with or without extra train tracks for a reasonable price.
  • The whole set includes a gondola, a box car, a caboose and a diesel switcher.
  • It uses FasTrack with dimensions of 40 inches by 40 inches.
  • The remote control enables you to control the train’s movement and its sounds.
  • Built with an operating headlight.

CONS

  • Poor train car connectivity.
  • All parts and accessories are made of plastic except for the engine.
  • Train’s power is not that strong.

CONCLUSION

This Lionel remote control train set is great for all ages. Kids and adults who love trains can enjoy this highly durable train set and expect it to last for a long period of time. It does not easily break, especially the engine. The downside would be the connectivity but the plastic construction is not at all that big of an issue.

15. Lionel Santa’s Helper Christmas Lionchief Set

 

Obvious as the image is, this is a train manufactured for the holiday in December. It is a train set that can either be a children’s holiday toy, a Christmas train collectible or an added decoration for your living room Christmas tree. It has a wonderful Christmas color combination of red, white and green.

PROS

  • Uses a LionChief RC/Remote Control.
  • Figures included a fireman and an engineer.
  • The sound produces steam chuffing, announcement, whistle and bell sounds.
  • Sound and movement are included in the remote feature.
  • Incudes a very detailed instruction manual that also discusses troubleshooting.

CONS

  • The clasps that hold each train cars cannot hold very well.
  • Train tracks are not a perfect fit.

CONCLUSION

This train set could work for you and your children for so many yearly holidays even thou it was intended for Christmas. The application of the design can set a good mood over different kinds of holidays. It is also durable enough to be working efficiently during all those holidays.

16. Lionel Thomas Christmas Freight Train Set – O-Gauge

 

A good quality train from Lionel Thomas the Train line of products. This is an O-Gauge train set with a Christmas theme. This is perfect as gift for your loved ones. Thomas the Train has never failed to give a smile on the face of countless children and this train set will continue to do so.

PROS

  • It has a removable Christmas hat feature.
  • An outstanding engine that can be controlled remotely.
  • FasTrack with an oval dimension of 40 inches by 40 inches.
  • Train sounds can also be controlled via remote.
  • Strong and sturdy train tracks for an undisturbed train ride.

CONS

CONCLUSION

Other than the train tracks and the quality of the sound, this product actually has only minor flaws which do not affect the entertainment that much. The train can go smoothly along the tracks as it is a perfect fit and does not cause the train to derail.

17. Lionel Silver Bells Train Set

 

This is the Lionel Silver Bells remote control train set which is one of Lionel’s more expensive train sets. The design and aesthetics are sharp, vibrant and elegant looking. It is actually a fast set that can be used right out of the box as it only requires minimal assembly effort. This is one of the high quality trains you can give your kids or you can add to your collection.

PROS

  • It is easy to assemble and connect and has a powerful and reliable power supply.
  • User or kid friendly, easy to maneuver with the remote control system.
  • Remote features a forward and reverse button with speed and sound control.
  • 2-4-2 locomotive train with tender, gondola, and silver bells.
  • It is an excellent train set that puffs smoke.

CONS

  • The smoke is not that visible. It’s too thin. It also does not create smoke all the time.
  • The sound features are not that great. It loses quality fast.

CONCLUSION

The Lionel Silver Bells Train Set can entertain people of all ages but the price can be a little bit expensive wherein you would not want it getting destroyed by young children’s rough play. It may however be one of the greatest trains you’ll ever collected as a train hobbyist or enthusiast.

18. Lionel Trains Dinosaur Diesel LionChief Remote Set

 

This train is a kid’s play set. The bright and vibrant colors are designed to attract young minds as they add more flavor and fun. It is also an affordable set so you wouldn’t worry too much about your children’s rough play. This Lionel remote control train set is made of durable plastic.

PROS

  • Has wonderful stock features with fixed couplers.
  • All parts are made of strong, durable plastic.
  • It has the all the features of a good train: speed, movement, and sound.
  • Includes 7 pieces of curved O36 tracks and 1 piece O36 track,
  • The set includes a diesel switcher, caboose, boxcar, and a gondola.

CONS

  • It has very short train tracks given that the set only includes 8 pieces.
  • This won’t last that long if your kids are not being careful with how they play as it is made of plastic and is lightweight.

CONCLUSION

This is a train set that Lionel intended for younger kids. It can give them the fun they need but would possibly need a replacement as they grow older. For its price, it is actually a great set that can greatly entertain your children over the holidays.

19. Lionel Junction Santa Fe Steam Train Set – O-Gauge

 

Trainiacs, hobbyist and collectors must grab hold of this amazing Santa Fe Steam Train Set from Lionel. It might lack the aesthetics that attract a child’s eye but it definitely catches the attention of adult train lovers. It showcases a classy, elegant looking train with high quality details. It also has an averaged price for a train set that is durable and is guaranteed to give you a good time.

PROS

  • Can be bought with extra tracks to lengthen the fun.
  • It is a 0-4-0 locomotive that includes a bobber caboose, gondola, steam switcher and boxcar.
  • FasTrack dimensions of 40 inches by 40 inches. 7 O36 curved tracks and one O36 straight track.
  • Puffs real smoke and makes different train sounds.
  • Child and user friendly remote control with sound features included.
  • Made of great and durable materials with a maintenance-free, powerful motor.

CONS

  • Smoke has a not-too-good smell.
  • Train tracks are short and small.
  • Will cost you extra for batteries that are not included in the set.

CONCLUSION

This train set can be a good play set for older kids but having in mind the design, style, aesthetics and the price, I believe it’s intended for an adult hobbyist or for collection.

20. Lionel Trains Pet Shop Diesel LionChief Remote Set

 

It is designed as a kid’s play-set train. More importantly, as you can see from the colors used and the design, it is an ideally train set for girls who love to play with trains. The combination of blue, purple and pink creates a girly impression. For an affordable price, your kids, regardless of their gender, can have a great time assembling and playing around with this train set.

PROS

  • Made of durable plastic and built with great engineering skills.
  • Comes with fixed couplers, diesel switcher, caboose, gondola, and a boxcar.
  • The LionChief remote control features includes 3 buttons for the horn, bell, and announcements.
  • Fully packed with animal figures and a working headlight.

CONS

  • Non-durable remote control with a small control range.
  • Might be attractive only to female train lovers.

CONCLUSION

Although it is possibly made for young girls who are fascinated by trains, it can also be a good train set for any child regardless of gender. It is a good and durable train set at a very affordable price. Adding to that, it comes with figures and remote control features.

21. Lionel Peanuts Halloween Train Set

 

The Lionel Peanuts Halloween remote train is not a typical train that targets the fun and joy of Christmas. It is a train set for the November holiday with a color combination of green, orange, black and blue, colors that are usually associated with Halloween. It is a fun train that can make for a perfect decoration at your Halloween party and can be a great train play-set for people of all ages.

PROS

  • Great power supply that gives the train movement boosts.
  • Includes a tank car, caboose, and a boxcar.
  • The train track layout dimensions are 40 inches by 50 inches.
  • Can be controlled remotely.
  • Features different Halloween sounds.
  • Durable, neat and fun looking design.

CONS

  • It is not an out-of-the-box train as it takes some time to set up.
  • Connectivity of train cars/freights is not that reliable.

CONCLUSION

This is a train you would probably want to have or to add to your collection as there are only a few Halloween themed train sets that Lionel has manufactured. It does not have remarkable detailed design but it is guaranteed to provide fun for so many November Holidays to come.

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