Ever since Florence was born I have been SO excited to introduce her to the wonder of train play. I don’t remember having a train set myself as a child, I think I had cars and vehicles but not necessarily an actual train set with track and such. However, a friend and her Thomas obsessed children showed me how wonderful playing with trains can be and just how many opportunities for learning and imaginative play it can bring and so it’s been at the top of my toy wish list for Florence. Our friends over at Hape have made my train play dreams come true just in time for Christmas and have sent us this Busy City Railway Play Set to test out and share our thoughts with you. I’ve not actually shown it to Florence just yet, as it, along with some other train bits, is one of her Christmas presents however I have had a go myself! Once the cat is out of the bag and she’s opened it on Christmas morning I’ll probably be back to share some different ways to play with train & track as well as any further thoughts we have on this little (it’s actually not that little) set.
The Hape Busy City Railway is comprised of over 40 pieces including wooden track, trains and carriages, a station, a bridge and a tunnel as well as people and signs. Included in the box is an instruction leaflet which shows just one of the ways you can set up the track and I’ve followed them to create the scene in the photos below. I think though, to start with we may opt for a more simple configuration when it comes to play and then move on to make more ambitious routes as Florence’s understanding and enjoyment builds.
There is a bright red passenger train which has a total of three carriages which connect via magnets. It seemlessy pushes around the track and fits perfectly through all of the elements, even serving the Busy City commuters from the station platform. The station is sturdy and detailed, complete with a ticket machine and timetable and even has little details like the yellow line on the platform.
Designed to demonstrate the idea that trains aren’t just for people, they are important as working vehicles too, there is a crane and freight train included with removeable and magnetic shipping containers that can be loaded onto the truck and driven away through the automatic gates at the level crossing.
Predominantly made from sustainable wood with only certain parts being plastic, the Busy City Rail Set is clearly built to last ready to be played with again and again. Full of colour and jam packed with realistic features the set offers so much potential for teaching little one’s not only about trains themselves but also colours, numbers and language through their play.
Being that I don’t drive yet, Florence is already fairly familiar with train travel and we often talk about the different parts of our journey and trains while out and about so I am excited to bring this real life experience into our play at home.
The Busy City Railway is marketed as suitable for three years and up with clear instructions not to leave little ones unsupervised when playing. I can imagine this is most likely due to the small parts included. You can buy it from Amazon for £64.54.
DISCLOSURE: We were sent a Busy City Railway play set for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.