Wooden Railway is a wooden model railway system created by Learning Curve in 1992. They held the rights until 2011. TOMY owned the rights to Wooden Railway in 2012. Since 2013, the range has been produced by Fisher-Price. It is one of the longest-running Thomas merchandise lines.
Learning Curve originally created the Wooden Railway toys in 1992, however it is unknown if they were released that same year or in 1993. They introduced some new designs for the track surface of wooden toy railways, such as the "clickety-clack track" rails patented in 1995, and the newer tracks with a relief to supply better traction grip for battery powered engines, patented in 2002. They also introduced a road surface "track" on the flip-side of the railway tracks.
The original models were constructed mainly from painted wood with metal used in the coupling magnets and axles and plastic for the wheels and faces. These models were relatively simple, with simple wooden stubs for the funnel and dome, while details such as windows, whistles, and buffer beams were omitted.
In the late 1990s and early 2000's, the models were upgraded. The wooden funnel and smokebox were replaced with a separate plastic smokebox with a more realistic funnel. The tender engines received an additional upgrade of a moulded plastic coal pile.
These improved designs were manufactured until 2002, when they were replaced with a third generation of design, which included new and more detailed faces. Another update came in 2011 in the form of new faces to coincide with the recent CGI switchover.
In late 2011 TOMY bought Learning Curve and as such acquired the rights to the Wooden Railway line. They sold the products previously planned to be released by Learning Curve for early 2012. The products due to be released in late 2012 to coincide with the special Blue Mountain Mystery were cancelled because Learning Curve had only developed computer generated prototypes before they were acquired by TOMY. From 2013 onwards, the range is produced by Fisher-Price. Since 2013, all engines with multiple bogies had their chassis made of plastic to cut down production costs, and the edges of models became more curved to prevent edge-wear.