I would suggest considering purchasing Fastrack (easier to use and less likely to cause hand injuries than Menard's track) and a LionChief loco to go along with the rolling stock. Purchased second hand would be most economical, but a deeply discounted starter set would also be good value. Yields basic command control features and sound for the least outlay. Also gets you a power supply and extra rolling stock. Would also check the rolling ability of the freight cars as occasional cars haven't always rolled smoothly. No question Menard's rolling stock is good value and appropriate for rougher handling than most other contemporary products.