1) The "FasTrack" is nice for use on carpet because of the built in roadbed (good for going around a Christmas tree!). The downside is that these are not easy to snap together; the plastic clips are tight. Okay enough for adult hands, but takes some effort.
2) The sounds effects are really nice. The horn and bell are very authentic.
3) The smoke effect is not great. It works, but there's so little smoke that you're not likely to notice it.
4) The remote control is simple to use and makes driving the train a breeze for all ages.
5) The Bluetooth remote control via cellphone or tablet is a nice bonus because it offers additional controls, including fine tuning the sound effects volume and pitch and the ability to control multiple trains from one device.
6) The locomotive has plenty of power to pull several additional cars.
7) Lionel has a great assortment of cars to add to your train, including holiday themes, Disney, Budweiser, etc. Be careful about ordering the right size. There are multiple "O Gauge" styles, you'll want to order "Traditional O-Gauge" , NOT "O Gauge LionScale" nor "O Scale" cars.
The attached video demos the sound effects and includes a few add-ons (extra car, Christmas gift packages on board and a few extra track sections). Great train ... highly recommended and expected to be a long-term family tradition.