I was initially a bit confused over the main difference between the 'Take and Play' and the 'Take Along' range as both use the same type of trains and track. But it seems that Take and Play is more portable in so far as it folds up easier and contains less parts, perhaps it will replace the Take Along range.
Anyway, this play set is a fun track - the magnetic items can be hoisted up and lowered using the little crank. The oval track isn't very big but it has a bridge to add some interest, but of course the set can be connected up to any other track in the Take Along/Take and Play range. Cranky is telescopic and simply pushes down into itself to allow the track to fold around it and form an easy to carry bundle. The Salty Engine included can be stored under the bridge and is held in place by the track when folded. This comes with a little cargo-boat too which is a nice addition and allows for even more imaginative play.
The oval track isn't made of individual pieces, it is one hinged piece - that makes this incredibly easy to set up and put away. This is perfect to grab and take out if you want to keep your little occupied for a while, you can be fairly certain that you won't lose essential bits!
In a nutshell: This is a small Thomas track but it still provides a fair amount of play value. A great toy to take out of the house when young ones may get a bit bored - and a great toy to use at home in conjunction with any other tracks they may have.