What is PLA-RAIL ? | Commentary by Japanese webmaster | Common in Japan #22

Quotation Sauce:Takaratomy webpage

Hello World !

This is SHINTA+, Japanese writer.


What is ‘PLA-Rail’ ??

I want to know it !

This page is
  • To introduce ‘PLA-Rail’ as product well known in Japan
  • To clear your question about it

I wrote this article to introduce ‘PLA-Rail’, as popular Japanese product and to clear your question about it.

I would like to explain about the topic with mainly two parts.

  • Introduction of ‘PLA-Rail’ in Japan
  • Deep Diving with Q & A style
    • History
    • Price
    • Line-up
    • Pla-Rail advance, etc

In first part, you can get basic information about ‘PLA-Rail’ in Japan.

And next, I would like to introduce more details, with style of answering questions. You can get information with cherry pick style, in stead of reading long article.

I hope you will have proper information about PLA-Rail in Japan, after reading this page.

What is ‘Pla-Rail’ ?

Quotation Sauce:Takaratomy webpage

‘Pla-Rail’ is popular toy in Japan, which is kind of model railroad.

‘Pla’ is coming from plastic, as the material of the products. Target age is from 3 years old to 15. Plastic model train run on plastic rails by dry battery.

Producer, Takara-Tomy has very large share in model railroad market for kids, with ‘Pla-Rail’ in Japan.

Introduction of PLA-Rail
  • Popular toy in Japan
  • Plastic model railroads target to 3-15 years old
  • Producer is Takara-Tomy
  • Train moving with dry battery on blue rails

Deep Diving into PLA-Rail in Japan

I would like to introduce more information about PLA-Rail in Japan, in this paragraph with Q & A style, so that you can access information easily.

Please kindly open items what you want to know.


I hope you can clear your question in this part.

PLA-Rail has history more than 50 years in Japan.

  • 1959 Prototype of Pla-Rail released
  • 1961 Dry battery powered products released
  • 1965 Renamed products as Planned-Rail’
  • 1987 Logo was changed to current style
  • 2009 50 years anniversary of Pla-Rail

In 1959, prototype of ‘Pla-Rail’, ‘Plastic rail train set’ was released.

In 1961, dry battery powered rail was released. In 1965, it renamed as ‘Pla-Rail’. In 1960’s, ‘Pla-Rail’ was getting popular, as it was reported by various media.

From the beginning, the spec of rail remain unchanged. ‘Pla-Rail’ was well designed from earliest stage.

Quotation Sauce:TakaraTomy webpage

Reference : TakaraTomy webpage

PLA-Rail is available in various places in Japan

  • Toy-stores
  • Electronics Retailers
  • Department Stores
  • PLA-Rail shop (Tokyo, Osaka only)

Author’s research in Yokohama city

Most of ‘Pla-Rail’ is model of real existing trains, such as Shinkansen, Limited trains, Local trains, whose design are based on actual trains of various rail operators in Japan.

Reality of the product is one of the reason why it’s supported by consumers.

Line-up of PLA-Rail

  • Shinkansen series
  • Limited Express, Local Train series
  • Locomotive Trains
  • Freight Trains
  • Character Trains

Reference : TakaraTomy webpage

There are many of PLA-Rail products, which are mainly categorized into 3 items, All-in package, Train, and Parts.

Here is an example of price for each products.

All-In Package


Shinkansen Set (3cars train, Loop Rails, Station, Tunnel)

Around JPY 4,400



Shinkansen Train (3cars)

Around JPY 2,800



Rail (4 rails)

Around JPY 380

Author’s research in Yokohama city

PLA-Rail Advance is the model railroad by TakaraTomy, with half size of PLA-Rail.

As the size is half, the cars of PLA-Rail Advance can run one side of the rail of PLA-Rail. So two trains of PLA-Rail Advance can run on one rail of PLA-Rail.

The sales of this product was started in 2011. Regret, however, production was already finished, with some reason, which is not released by manufacturer.

Quotation Sauce:Takaratomy webpage


That’s all today. How was the content today ?
I Hope this article help you to clear your question about PLA-RAIL in Japan.


I hope you have clear understanding of PLA-Rail !

Thank you for your reading !