Fixing Thomas the Tank wooden train tracks (or Brio)

If you have young children like I do (4 kids, aged 5,4,3 and 1) you probably have some Thomas the Tank Engine wooden train tracks.  A few of these pieces have this plastic plug that is the “male” piece, which obviously joins with the female piece.  Try as you might, there is little that can be done if your bundle of joy pulls out the plug and loses it.  You have what I’d call a “neutered” piece.  It’s flat, but neither male nor female.  Unfortunately, some of the best pieces are usually the ones with this plastic plug male piece in them (hills, splitters, animated sections, etc).

Since this toy is not cheap (for what you get) and I supposedly can fix anything, I had to attempt to figure this out.  Searching the internet yielded no results but finally I found a random post on some forum that provided a solution (and the guy who posted it deserves all the credit!)

To help you out, you’ll want to get the right sized eye screws (pic is what I bought at Home Depot), also get the drywall #10 anchors.  You’ll end up cutting the anchors (about 1 or 2 ridges should protrude from the hole).  When you screw in the eye it doesn’t need to be dead center but try to get it somewhat straight.  Electrician’s pliers work very well but honestly any pair of pliers will do fine.

Now I have happy 3 and 5 year old boys.  Perhaps your 3 year old son isn’t obsessed with trains like mine, that’s fine, but if he is, I hope this helps.

What you’ll need
What it should look like
Final Product


14 thoughts on “Fixing Thomas the Tank wooden train tracks (or Brio)”

  1. That was awesome … thanks for posting this! I just used this to fix a bunch of tracks for my son, and he’s pretty happy! I posted the details on my own blog, with a link back to this post, but just wanted to leave a comment and let you know I appreciate your post!

  2. If the hole in the track is still there, you can cut a piece of wood dowel and glue it into the hole and glue a 10 mm natural finish wood bead to the other end of the dowel and it looks like the original. The bead needs to have a hole the size of the dowel, but you can sand it out if it is too small or add a strip of paper if too big.

  3. Thank you for this. We have a big wooden trunk full of our son’s Brio railway which young friends like to play with when they come. It has been so frustrating not to be able to use many of the track pieces. I am going out to buy the bits now. Thank you again.

  4. THANK you so much for the help! And to Linda who gave the dowel/bead tip. WOW two choices. I am no longer frustrated trying to find a connector/ plug piece. I so wonder why they don’t do the usual wood male end on the tunnel. Why, oh! why use the plastic piece that a dog or child can CHEW??

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