When the Dowerin to Merredin railway was planned in 1910, Trayning was selected as the site for a siding. Land was set aside for a townsite to be named Trayning Siding in 1910, but when it was surveyed and gazetted in 1912 it was named Trayning. The townsite is named after Trayning Well, the Aboriginal name of a nearby water source on an old road from Goomalling to the eastern goldfields. It was first recorded by a surveyor in 1892, and allegedly derives from the Aboriginal word During meaning "snake in the grass by the campfire".
The town is a tourist base for exploring local wildflowers, has a single-officer police station, a K-7 primary school with 50 students that was opened in 1912, a 25-metre swimming pool and two 18-hole golf courses. An attraction is the annual Trayning Tractor Pull.