CAT-train-toy-reviewDo your family travels involve trains? Ours do – although rarely actually riding on trains. Instead, we visit train yards to look at engines, spend a Day out with Thomas and even bring trains along with us for the kids to play with.

My kids recently discovered the CAT Iron Diesel Train, which comes with a with more than 7 feet of track to configure into an oval. The engine has a push-button stop-and-go feature, a flatbed car with a mini dump truck and wheel loader to play with on the train or separately, and a crane car with moving crane.CAT-train-for-toy-review

My three-year-old son had a blast stopping and starting the train engine; however, since he is a little younger than the suggested age for playing with the toy (5 years old), he had to be reminded to be gentle with it a couple of times.

My five-year-old daughter, on the other hand, played with gusto – and a more gentle hand. Both of them loved starting and stopping the engine and hooking and unhooking the cars to it, as well as adding loads to the container car (including, you guessed it, Thomas the Tank Engine pieces that would fit). Each of the pieces is made of durable iron or plastic and seems sturdy enough that it will last through many play sessions.

This train set would be great to take with us on our next family road trip, although we’ll probably need a few more accessories and feet of track to keep things interesting for both kids. All the pieces fit nicely back into the box and would be portable enough to stick in the car with the rest of our luggage.

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Disclosure: I was provided with a train set for review purposes; all opinions are mine and my children’s.

Teresa J. Shaw is editor of the Free in 50 States section and blogs about being a working mom at WorkingTravelingMom. Follow her on Twitter at @TeresaShaw.