After you figure out this game is there anything more to it? Do opponents actions end up making much difference to your tactics?
Yes and yes. Being aware of the tickets and where the choke points are is important. Having to use a station can cost you the game. There's a lot of probing to find the routes of least competition, and racing to get the best routes first when you have to compete.
But if your idea of player interaction is the negotiation aspect of Settlers of Catan then you'll never be satisfied with Ticket to Ride which is more of a race game.