Questions About Brio Toy

WoodenToyTrainFilter: What is the difference between all the different brands of wooden toy trains?

WoodenToyTrainFilter: What is the difference between all the different brands of wooden toy trains? Are some significantly higher quality than others? Today I bought a wooden toy train set at Ikea for my almost-3-year-old. I've been shopping wooden toy trains for a little while now but the Ikea set was kind of an impulse buy. It actually turned out be pretty nice and lots of fun. So what really is the difference between different wooden train brands? I know most of them are supposed to be "compatible", but are the expensive Brio and Thomas, etc. sets worth the big difference in price (character licensing aside - my kid isn't character-obsessed)? Do the tracks work better or are of better quality? Do the cheaper ones "derail" more easily or something like that? I found the wikipedia page to be a good reference but am interested in first hand experience from other parents, as my kid seems to be getting really into these.
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