Thrift Treasure:  Take the Train

Thrift Treasure: Take the Train

If I were to mention the US Playing Card Company or Bicycle (one of their divisions), you’d probably think of the standard deck of 52 cards. Maybe they’d have a fancy back or custom design, but would still have the typical four suits running from 2 through Ace. And while standard card issues are their bread-and-butter, they sometimes branch out into other games that use cards (of course), and today’s Thrift Treasure is one of those gems.

A Creative Toy Awards "Seal of Excellence" winner in 2007, Take the Train by Bicycle will have you running the tracks! -

Take the Train is a 2007 Creative Toy Awards “Seal of Excellence” award winner that uses a custom 52-card deck along with tokens to create a subway creation “simulation”. Your goal is to get rid off all cards in your hand before your opponents by helping to build subway lines, but only in a particular order.

A Creative Toy Awards "Seal of Excellence" winner in 2007, Take the Train by Bicycle will have you running the tracks! - SahmReviews.comThere are four sets of colored cards numbered 1 through 12 and a matching Station card for each line. In order to begin building a subway line, you must first start with a station and then build out in either direction in numerical order. Sixes on one end and sevens on the other start the line, followed by 5’s and 8’s, etc. You can play as many cards as you wish on one line’s direction as long as you have them all in order.

A Creative Toy Awards "Seal of Excellence" winner in 2007, Take the Train by Bicycle will have you running the tracks! - SahmReviews.comEach player also receives an equal number of fare tokens that they spend if they don’t have a card that plays on their turn. When someone plays their last card, each player pays one token for each card left in their hand to the conductor (bank) and two for each “special card”. This includes the “Free Ride” card which acts as a wild card and the “End of Line” card which stops line building in one direction, forcing you to add it to the other end of the line. There is also a “Transfer” card that allows you to start building a line of a new color without needing a station. Ideal when you have a super-low or high number that you don’t want to wait for the line to build to.

A Creative Toy Awards "Seal of Excellence" winner in 2007, Take the Train by Bicycle will have you running the tracks! - SahmReviews.comYou can choose to just play one round, or multiple rounds until one player reaches a pre-determined total. You can expect each round to last about 10 minutes and a game to 100 to take 30-45 minutes. Rated for ages 7+ and for 2-6 players, it could easily be enjoyed by children as young as 5 with the elimination of the Transfer card (which is the “Advanced Mode” according to the instructions).

A Creative Toy Awards "Seal of Excellence" winner in 2007, Take the Train by Bicycle will have you running the tracks! - SahmReviews.comRegularly available on Amazon for well under $10 shipped and perfectly-sized to fit in a Christmas stocking, Take the Train is a quick-to-learn card game that should appeal to any age.

And if you’re in the market for just a regular deck of playing cards, be sure to check out all the cool designs that Bicycle now has on their website or by following them on Facebook or Twitter. They even have super-large print versions for those of us whose eyes are not as sharp as they used to be!


About Scott

A former manufacturing executive, Scott now balances his family life with ownership and backend administration of websites such as, and a number of other online properties. He also is an occasional writer and full-time board game fanatic.

29 comments on «Thrift Treasure: Take the Train»

  1. I love card games. This looks like a lot of fun! I might have to check it out.

  2. I think I’d need to get a bigger table to play this game. It looks fun though. I love card games, they travel well. I think they make the best stocking stuffers!

  3. I hadn’t heard of this game. I like card games such as this because they are interactive, portable and usually lots of fun.

  4. This looks like a really fun game for a very affordable price. It’s perfect for family game night.

  5. This looks like a game that my two youngest would like to play. Great find!

  6. My child loves trains! I never heard of this game! Thanks for the info!

  7. eliz frank says:

    I the logic of the game, and the fact that you have to follow a strategy to help you take the train. The best part is its under $10 price and the quick game wrap up. Nice!

  8. That sounds like a fun game. We love playing games in our home, this looks like a family fun one too!

  9. susan says:

    That seems like a really cool game. I have never seen anything like this… You find such cool things at thrift stores!

  10. brett says:

    this kind of seems a bit like mille bornes. we used to play that for hours. i love games anyway, so i’d want to try this- you guys find such cool games!

  11. LauraOinAK says:

    Card games are a favorite for when we go traveling. This one might be a challenge, though, as it needs so much tabletop space.

  12. Caroline says:

    This looks like a really fun games, seams like you need a big table though!

  13. Amanda says:

    Looks like a fun game that the entire family could play. We play train dominoes and have run out of space before. I bet my kids would love it.

  14. Michele says:

    Actually this sounds like a game I would enjoy! So would most of my friends. Of course we would have to take to the floor for a large enough playing area.

  15. Carlee C says:

    You come across the neatest games for you and your family to play with. I need to explore my thrift store more often for items like this.

  16. Jenna Wood says:

    This reminds me a little of Mexican Train dominoes. I love all the colors and how convenient it is to store and play with the cards. I bet my niece would love this game!

  17. What a fun card game!! I love how creative these games are getting to be every. I think this would be a great gift for my nephews I am going to have to look for it!

  18. Maggie says:

    we love card games for family night! This looks like fun!

  19. Donna Ward says:

    What fun – and the photos are great – card games can go anywhere – we take them backpacking, and I have cards out for my guests – it’s almost addictive!

  20. What a great looking card game. Looks a lot more interesting than your standard 52 deck card pack.

  21. i love card games. this one looks fun. anything that is a continuation of the previous game works well for me. i love to go thrift store hunting, and we have over 100 stores in my little town. Some amazing finds. We have a discount book store that raises money for our local library and they often have board games and 1000 pc puzzles for a quarter. yes, a quarter. at that price, if a piece or two is missing, so be it. it was a quarter. and lots of good entertainment for hardly anything. 😉

    1. Scott says:

      I wish ours sold them for a quarter. $3.38 is the average price. And you’re right, for a quarter who cares if it’s missing pieces. Plus, I’ve seen some great craft ideas using puzzle pieces!

  22. Natalie says:

    We are such a fan of card games! Thanks for the suggestion.

  23. Looks like a fun game, educational too. I used to play card games a lot when I was younger, before kids. I should start playing card games with my oldest, she’s 7-years old.

  24. susan says:

    What a fun game! I am sure my daughter would love to play this, and I love that this is small and would be great for travel.

  25. That looks like a fun game. We like to take these kinds of games with us when we travel to play at night

  26. What an interesting game, I bet my kids would really get into it!

  27. Chrysa says:

    I love card games because they’re so portable. This looks like it would be really fun.

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