So, I recently bought TTR, and plan on getting 1910, and making a Simpsons/Springfield version. I tried it out the other day with my son, while my wife and daughter were grocery shopping.
I thought he'd like it a bit more, as its fast-paced and easy to learn. The variety of eight colors of cards frustrated him, however, with the somewhat random nature and difficulty in building sets. When I asked him if he wanted a second game, he declined (!) and asked if we could try Fjords (we did).
So, a couple of nights later, I played with my Brother-in-law and my neighbor (two guys my age). They have both played a number of games with me and are pretty good strategists and "numbers guys" despite my BiL not being a steady gamer. My neighbor is a Settlers NUT, and WoW devotee.
So, they did quite well, and had fun in the first session, which was pretty close, and succumbed to a second game. The second one led to a couple of blocking maneuvers and some "burning" of trains to empty the stockpile before others could finish their routes. Great stuff! The strategies began to abound...the first round also had seen numerous routes, while the second session yielded the barest drawing of new tickets.
Round three, a friend of my niece joined us, and learned the rules pretty quick (she's 15, I think) and she did well, despite hanging out with three old men and playing a train game! It had to be somewhat odd for her.
TtR is fun and easy to learn, and has depth, but can be played quite lightly by veteran gamers, who are encouraging others just to partake of games, on any level. I chose TtR over five other games because it was playable by only two players. I have two kids, and I'm trying to encourage my wife to try it out. I like the aspect of mild geography for the kids, and the light nature of some available variants. Severe gamers can play as hard and brutal as they want (when together) and still replay quite a bit.
So many people I've run into in the game store speak of TtR as their "spouse" game; that alone makes it a worthwhile addition to my collection, and its a nice design to boot. If I need a deeper "train fix" that lasts for two hours or more, I'll play Empire Builder or Rail Baron (although there are much more deep games available than those two as well).