For every bit of criticism I throw at this toy, I know there are about 20 really good things I can say about it.
The paint is spectacular. That's adulation #1. The colors are luminous; you can't help but feel very optimistic when you see the color that comes out with this set.
The details are well done such as the track. The pins on the track are painted and the paint on the track is extremely resilient. The track also uses copper fasteners (you can see them in the picture to the left). Kudos to MTH for paying attention to little details. The payoff is huge.
The sounds are are just right. I didn't use DCS to control them however long term I definintely will. The fidelity of the sounds is quite good and unlike many large standard gauge engines, the sound on this set is not booming or overwhelming. I especially like the "tinking" sound of change hitting the bottom of the fare collector. There are definitely no Metrocards on this express! I could definitely leave the sounds on all the time and not be bothered by them. The idle sounds are not too loud and not too explicit. They are general enough so that they can be listened to without getting repetitive.
The Monorail really does fly around this track. The one thing I really enjoyed about running this versus a traditional toy train was that the cars really can't come off the tracks. Regardless of how fast I ran it, I know it could never really get damaged or become a flying projectile.
I also have to say this - I did not use all of the track, hangers and bases MTH included. The entire setup makes a substantial sized oval. Much bigger than the room I was in. I felt this was wise and smart on MTH's part. One reason I was not terribly upset about not having a transformer or some kind of power pack with this set was because of the amount of track and related accesories i recieved with the set. I liked the fact that MTH left it up to me to for size and scope. I hope they continue to sell more track and accessories for this wondeful toy. It's an investment I know I'll be making. Some extra cars and maybe some new sets would be nice as well. I'd love to see this in a 1939 World's Fair livery.
There is one thing I'd also like to see from MTH. Occasionally the monorail would slip a little. MTH encourages doing a couple of things like charging the Protosound battery and oiling the train. I'm curious if MTH will come out with a Magnetraction like motor for this or something to give the power car a better grip on the track. Even a traction tire around the wheel would likely be a huge help. Not a big deal but if you have even the slightest grade, the wheel on the power car can slip. If there's any lubricant on that wheel or track at all, the slippage is even a little greater. Not a major issue, probably was very evident in the originals as well.
More on the way!