Hi all... first off, this is a great forum, I've been reading all the past posts and have learned a lot. Here are a couple of questions I have: 1. I have a few locos that came from cheapo train sets over the years... one is 20 years old, and a few others are a little newer. Two of them are Tycos, and one is a TGV loco made in Hong Kong apparently. They questions are, were these made by any of the big companies that I've been reading about today? Is it worth taking the time to disassemble, clean, oil, reassemble, etc. to get them to work, or are they so cheap that I might as well throw them out and start fresh? 2. I just bought a Bachmann Spectrum Acela train set. Now from the reading I've done around here, it seems like Bachmann isn't well liked, but if people have anything good to say about Bachmann it's generally to praise the Acela. The set is much higher quality than the cheapo trains from question one. Anyway, the questions I have about it are: a. The box says that it is "DCC Ready." Does this mean that there is a decoder installed already, or just that it's really easy to install one? Does anyone know if there are decoders in the other cars as well for controlling lights? b. The loco has a working pantograph. My impression is that when running on DC, the caternary would become the live wire and the train would still be grounded through the rails. If this is the case, then is it not also possible to run pantograph operations that utilize DCC? c. The set comes with a Spectrum series power pack/transformer. This pack is potentiometer controlled. Is this at least a half decent power pack? For the time being, I just want to run the train in a circle until I can build a nice layout and buy a DCC setup. Should I invest in a better pack for just short term use? I'm sure I'll have lots more questions in the weeks and months to come... but for now, thanks in advance for the help.