If you’re a fan of wooden train sets, you may be wondering whether BigJigs and Brio sets are compatible with each other. While the answer is yes, there are some differences in materials and track connectors that you need to be aware of in order to make them work together seamlessly.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at these differences and provide tips and tricks for using BigJigs and Brio train sets together.
Tips and Tricks for Using Two Popular Train Sets Together
BigJigs and Brio train sets can be used together, but there are differences in materials and track connectors that need to be taken into account.
Adapters and adjustments can help make the connection between BigJigs and Brio tracks easier.
Starting with tracks of the same length can make it easier to connect them together.
Brand Background – Bigjigs
Bigjigs is a UK based company. They started making wooden train sets and train set storage about 15 years ago. They have a vast array of wooden trains, train tracks, train accessories & full train sets.
Bigjigs are known for their sustainable rubber wood train tracks. Bigjigs are based in Folkestone Kent and are run by the Ireland family. All of their trains are made in China.
Brand Background – Brio
Brio is probably the most famous wooden train company of all time. They are based in Malmo, Sweden and from what we understand, since 2004 all of their trains are made in China.
Are the train tracks compatible?
YES! We have yet to find a wooden train set which is not compatible. Most wooden trains & cars with the train wheels will fit all train sets. Curves are two sided, all tracks are very well sanded and connectors are the same.
Aside from the logos, these sets are practically identical and are compatible with each other. They are also both compatible with other wooden train sets like Thomas and Ikea, and you can clean all wooden train sets simply. We have found a few exceptions:
1. Ikea bridges tend to be smaller so not all trains will go under them.
2. We have found for some reason the Asda brand or at least the sets we tried are not compatible.
3. Some of the latest ikea tracks, with plastic connectors, can prove troublesome to fit.
All of the tracks we measured have the following dimensions:
Width – 41mm
Depth – 12mm
Groove width – 5mm
Groove depth – 3mm
Understanding the Materials Used in BigJigs and Brio Train Sets
Both BigJigs and Brio train sets are made primarily of wood, which gives them their classic look and feel. However, there are some differences in the materials used for the tracks themselves. While
BigJigs tracks are made entirely of wood, Brio tracks are made of a combination of wood and metal. This can affect how the tracks connect with each other.
Comparing the Track Connectors in BigJigs and Brio Sets
One of the key factors to consider when using BigJigs and Brio train sets together is the type of connectors used for the tracks. While both sets use similar types of connectors, there are some slight differences that can make it challenging to join them together seamlessly.
In general, BigJigs tracks feature plastic connectors that snap together, while Brio tracks use metal connectors that slide together. This means that when you try to connect a BigJigs track to a Brio track (or vice versa), the connectors may not match up perfectly, which can create gaps or uneven tracks.
Tips and Tricks for Using BigJigs and Brio Train Sets Together
Despite the differences in track connectors, it is still possible to use BigJigs and Brio train sets together with some planning and effort. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get started:
- Start with tracks of the same length: To make it easier to connect BigJigs and Brio tracks together, start with tracks that are the same length. This will help ensure that the connectors are aligned as closely as possible.
- Use adapters: There are adapters available that can help you connect BigJigs and Brio tracks together more easily. These adapters typically feature a plastic connector on one end (for BigJigs tracks) and a metal connector on the other end (for Brio tracks).
- Make adjustments as needed: Depending on the specific tracks and connectors you’re working with, you may need to make some adjustments to get them to fit together properly. This may involve sanding down parts of the connectors or adding small shims to fill in gaps.
Getting Creative: Mixing and Matching BigJigs and Brio Sets
Once you’ve mastered the basics of setting up a train track that includes both BigJigs and Brio sets, it’s time to get creative! One fun way to mix and match the two brands is to use BigJigs trains and Brio tracks (or vice versa). This can create a unique look and feel for your train set that combines the best of both worlds.
Another option is to combine different sets from each brand to create a larger and more complex train layout.
For example, you could use a BigJigs train station and a Brio bridge to create a more elaborate train station design. Additionally, you could consider incorporating other accessories such as trees, buildings, and roadways to create a more realistic and immersive train environment.
Sizing and Shape Differences in BigJigs and Brio Tracks
Another factor to consider when using BigJigs and Brio sets together is the size and shape of the tracks themselves. While both brands use similar track widths, there are some slight differences in the shape of the tracks that can make it challenging to connect them together.
For example, Brio tracks have a slightly narrower gauge than BigJigs tracks, which means that they may not fit together perfectly without some adjustments. Additionally, BigJigs tracks are typically slightly thicker than Brio tracks, which can create gaps between the tracks when they are connected.
To address these differences, it’s important to be patient and take the time to adjust the tracks as needed. Using adapters and making small adjustments to the connectors can help ensure that the tracks fit together as closely as possible.
Examples of BigJigs and Brio Train Sets That Work Well Together
If you’re looking for inspiration for how to mix and match BigJigs and Brio train sets, here are some examples of sets that work well together:
- BigJigs Heritage Collection City Train Set and Brio Classic Deluxe Set: These two sets feature similar styles and designs, which make it easy to combine the tracks and accessories for a larger and more complex train layout.
- Brio Safari Adventure Set and BigJigs Dinosaur Train Set: These two sets are great for young children who love animals and dinosaurs. By combining the tracks and accessories, you can create a fun and imaginative train environment that sparks their creativity.
- BigJigs Rail Fire and Rescue Train Set and Brio Rescue Firefighting Train: These two sets both feature fire and rescue themes, which make them a great choice for children who are interested in emergency services. By combining the tracks and accessories, you can create a dynamic and exciting train layout that inspires their imagination.
Bigjigs Trains vs Brio Trains
The quality of Bigjigs is as comparable as Brio, putting the two side by side we cannot distinguish between each set. Bigjigs appears to have a lot wider range of accessories and is much more competitively priced.
Most of the difference between bigjigs vs brio trains comes down to engines and rolling stock. Bigjigs focus more on a UK selection of trains such as the FLying Scotsman & the Mallard. These are part of the Heritage collection and are a nod to British train history.
Bigjigs trains also tend to be mainly wooden based, apart from the plastic wheels. Brio trains are more plastic, so if you want a true wooden train set, Bigjigs might be a better option.
For unusual track pieces and more fun, then bigjigs rail is perfect. When it comes to accessories, again Bigjigs have a much bigger selection and we love their latest dinosaur train range and farm train range.
Bigjis do really exciting bridges which can be added to any play set to make it more fun. The extra additions like steelworks, dino bridge, coal mine, construction crane etc make brilliant add on gifts for Birthday or Christmas, or even make a great wish list for grandparents to buy from.
When it comes to basic train tracks choose the cheapest set you can find and build it up with cheap tracks. As all tracks are compatible, this is a great way to bulk out your collection and build up a great train set. When it comes to rolling stock we prefer the wooden nature of Bigjigs.
Common Questions and Concerns When Using BigJigs and Brio Sets Together
If you’re new to using BigJigs and Brio sets together, you may have some questions or concerns about their compatibility. Here are some common questions and concerns and their answers:
Can I use BigJigs and Brio sets with electric train sets?
Yes, as long as the tracks are the same gauge and the connectors match up, you can use BigJigs and Brio sets with electric train sets.
Is it safe for young children to play with BigJigs and Brio sets?
Yes, wooden train sets like BigJigs and Brio are generally considered safe for young children to play with. However, make sure to supervise young children while they’re playing and make sure they don’t put small parts in their mouth.
Can I mix and match BigJigs and Brio sets with other brands of wooden train sets?
It depends. While some other brands may be compatible with BigJigs and Brio sets, others may not be. Make sure to do your research before trying to mix and match different brands of train tracks.