Lego Trains

I love Lego blocks and my son is getting old enough for some more challenging sets. He really likes trains. I have seen on the Lego
site some info, but it lacks specifics. Can anyone answer the following?
1. Do all sets work together?
2. Any limit on track length?
3. Do all sets work with all other standard Lego blocks?
4. Can you make your own cars?
5. Could the trains (at some point) work with the Lego Mindstorm products?
6. Are Lego trains well made?
7. Anything else that should be known before diving in?
Thanks to any and all for the help.
Bruce
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Bruce wrote:

At the moment, yes. They are all 9V, 8 stud wide metal railed track. Lego are planning on a "toy"/cheaper version with battery operated trains and plastic rails but still compatible with the existing track/wagons.

Not really. The voltage will drop over long lengths but you can get extra connectors to supply power around a large layout.

Of course :)

Yep. Lego sell "train bases" which contain wheels, bogey plates, bases and buffers. You can also use parts from a set to build custom cars.

You can supply power to the trains via the RCX but you need to be careful about the current drawn. Ideally, you will need to get hold of an RCX with a power supply as well.

In my opinion, yes.

There are numerous Lego train clubs which hold shows around the US if you want to go and see a large layout in action.
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Dean Earley ( snipped-for-privacy@icode.co.uk)
i-Catcher Development Team
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dean...for re #5, rcx version 1.0 had dc jack on them but newer one removed this although I think someone said the traces were still on the pcb inside if you're or could find an electronic person :-)
bruce...what is this with a battery powered train?? ugh remind me why I lost interest in playmobil....hmmmmm..... is lego still going to release the track powered trains in parallel to the battery one or ? (I mean, how fast is the battery going to run down if you try run one engine with six heavy wagons at a rail show? heh)
oh yeah dean just one little hint on used trains just in case, there were two different track systems. the older one was like this:
http://www.stephanumlauf.de/lego/eisenbahn/7851.jpg and was used for dummy & 'battery boxcar' powered 4.5V trains. and you added what would look like a double third rail to run wall powered 12V trains like as seen here:
http://ryu-two.hp.infoseek.co.jp/ejltc01_03/ejltc_009b.JPG
just thought I would share that as a FYI. then again the info below is optional as I'm thinking you're only going to buy retail tracks which is 100% new style........ the old track don't match up with new tracks directly although you could try line up two straight tracks with each other and mind the bumps as the wagons crosses the different tracks. the old and new are generally the same gauge although the new tracks seem a little bit narrower than old one so don't be surprised if newer rail axles on old track has a bit of space for side-to-side rocking, the old switches would still work fine as long as they're not taken at high speed *grins*
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Thanks very much. I'm looking forward to Chritmas morning.
Bruce
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Thanks very much for the detailed reply. Sounds like we will have a fun Christmas morning... and week.
Thanks again,
Bruce
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I need some help with a new Lego Trains forum we've added to a multi scale model train site we visit. My son and I have been big fans of Lego Trains for many years. We've finally got our own forum now and would like to invite everyone who shares our hobby to participate in the fun. We're hoping we can get some of the guys involved in other scale trains to join us in our Lego addiction. Here's the link to the forum.
http://scalerailsonline.com/forum.asp?FORUM_IDD
Thanks, Jon.
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