Out of all the backyard activities that we can contrive to engage our kids, it would be the ultimate treat to gift your kids or your entire family a backyard train that you can ride.
A train ride is considered the most authentic and enjoyable way to enjoy a truly scenic kaleidoscope of natural terrain.
In your backyard, a train you can ride around the expanse of your property has got to be the zenith of fun. It is said that toys are marketed for children but are made for grown-ups.
If you have had the pleasure of observing your spouse or buddy play with or examine the toys that you bought for your kids you will find that this rings too true.
It is therefore no wonder that grown as we all are, we are unashamedly capable and willing to negotiate the fairly expensive tedium of constructing and installing a backyard train for us to ride right alongside our kids.
That said, a backyard train you can ride is sure to be the best pastime you can have in your home and a ride on one is sure to cut down your age by a decent half if not more.
Backyard Trains You Can Ride: 3 Common Types
- Miniature trains or mini trains
- Trackless trains
- Ride-on trains for toddlers
Miniature trains or Mini trains
These can also be called model trains and are miniaturized versions of the real train designed and manufactured to a smaller scale size that can be installed and used in the backyard, as entertainment during events such as birthday parties, as collectors’ items for train enthusiasts, as part of the fun rides at amusement parks, and as educational paraphernalia in history museums.
Miniature trains are built ‘true’ to the actual train in as many aspects as possible and while they are not replicas, they are marginally identical to actual train models.
This gives mini trains an authenticity you will not find in other train types even those big enough to ride.
Since they are modeled after the real thing they use actual tracks to move on and naturally occupy a significant amount of space so you should only install these in a yard that has a fairly large space.
For both adults and children, a miniature train is the most fun train to ride of the three kinds.
Popular miniature train providers include:
- Mini Ant Track Train
- Simulated Steam Trains
- Garden Track Train Rides
- A Railway for Joyce
Trackless trains are a friendlier option to have than miniature trains.
They do not need tracks constructed into the terrain of your yard since they ride on ordinary wheels.
The trackless train has a locomotive which is the head of the train and is the motorized compartment that runs the train.
The locomotive pulls the rest of the train or the coaches which are made like real coaches but with regular wheels. This gives trackless trains more versatility and they can be used in a relatively smaller backyard compared to the mini train.
The locomotive of a trackless train also runs very much like a car and not a train but they are still a lot of fun since they imitate the structure and movement of a train either way.
They are big enough to carry an adult or several adults and several kids which means you are free to share in the merriment along with your kids.
Ensure your ground is level to give the train better stability. Without the tracks that come with miniature trains, these trains are fairly unstable.
Unlike cars which are smaller and closer to the ground, trackless trains may be larger and higher off the ground destabilizing them.
They are best used on level ground with as minimal vegetation as possible or indoors where the ground is completely level. Trackless trains have the advantage of being free to roam since they are not confined to the tracks.
Popular trackless train brands include:
- Backyard Train Co. LLC
- Wattman World
- Dinis Carnival Rides
- Beston Amusement Equipment
Ride-on trains for toddlers
The main departure of these ride-on trains from the other two types above is that they are made specifically for kids and their compartments will not fit a grown-up so unfortunately you are out of luck! Sorry!
Unlike miniature trains, they are modeled for kids and do not follow any particular design blueprint used for actual trains.
They only imitate the basic feature of trains which is a convoy of attached carriages that are being pulled by a motorized or non-motorized locomotive.
Also unlike trackless trains, these have tracks constructed into the ground and wheels that are compatible with the tracks to facilitate the typical train mechanism of movement.
They are immense fun for your kids and can be accommodated in most suburban backyards.
There are very many providers of ride-on trains for toddlers but some of the best-known providers are:
- VTech Sit-to-Stand Train
- Kiddieland Minnie Ride-on Train
- Play n’ Sort Activity Train
- Peg Perego Santa Fe
- Rollplay Steam Train
- Power Wheels (Thomas and Friends)
Backyard trains are immense fun and they also allow children to develop, foster, and comprehend to a great degree the concepts of engineering, and mechanics particularly if they are interested in how the trains work and move along the tracks as well as how they pull loads and cargo that is rather heavy such as an adult.
Toys have indisputable input in the intellectual modeling of children and a train track could potentially unlock an eternal fascination with the mechanical and physical concepts of engineering that will have a lasting impact on your child.
Additionally, miniature trains are a historian’s dream. The invention of the train made a significant impact on the world’s history and to this day trains are still a significant factor in the way the world transports both people and goods and in turn this is a significant factor informing the economy of all countries.