* Prices may differ from that shown
Some of the more complicated pieces of Brio track may come with a certain amount of trepidation as to whether they would work or not, but while I am somewhat critical of the tracks with buildings attached to them, I am praiseworthy of virtually all of the track pieces they produce, and this is no exception to that.
This criss cross track section is ideal for placing in the centre of a figure of eight loop, for example, or for using in this fashion and then letting your tracks go off in all manner of directions. It provides a width based crossing point in comparison to the straight piece which doesn't allow much give on the inside when constructing. This one is designed so that you can add a curved piece of track and it's seamless.
The intricacy of this piece makes it seem like one of the more complicated pieces of plain track that Brio do, and this is probably true. It allows multidirectional movements for your trains, for them to either continue round in a loop, or to cross over to join another loop. Whereas most track pieces have little or no deviation as long as you control them, there is a very slight element of shimmying when changing tracks here, but there is nothing really that could be avoided about this - it's a complex element to deal with and in order to provide constant track runs round the loops this would have been necessary.
Even with this and the number of different grooves, tight corners and intricate edges, this Brio piece is accurate and durable. There is no worry that your train will catch on an edge or come off if it's a powered train and you're operating it remotely or just letting it flow. The track design for Brio is always virtually flawless, and the track changing element of this one is the only tiny blemish.
Brio are the leaders in wooden railway sets, having been the first in 1958. They pride themselves on the quality of the beech used in constructing the wide range of products they have, as the wood is light and durable. It's treated very well, as you can batter and bruise their pieces and get them damp and not use them for ages, put them in different heat conditions, and they'll still be just as reliable and accurate.
They also allow for trhe educational aspect, and this is something that is often forgotten when purchasing for kids. Learning through play is a fundamental aspect of child development, and Brio's quality helps with spacial awareness, motor functions and gives the child confidence in knowing that the pieces will work together and provide seamless tracks. This more complicated piece will help them with their construction skills, and will force them to think a little more about where they want the track to go, needing slightly more mental application than some of the simpler pieces of track.
As with all Brio track pieces, you pay for what you get, and these are not cheap. You are unlikely to get much change from a tenner with this set, and this is the case with most track sets. You get two of these in a pack, and while this does seem costly, the cost is worth it so it is good value for money. Other tracks may perish or become damaged even if they do cost somewhat less, so this would always be my recommended option. Another recommended piece of Brio track.
BRIO - Curved Crossing Tracks : Produced from sustainable beechwood, curved crossing tracks enhance the play value of a BRIO wooden track system. Working equally well with push alongs and battery powered locomotives, these tracks help develop fine motor skills and enable trains to make right and left turns. (Age : 3 years plus)