It's a Train Game! Not only that its THE Train Game. If you have ever wanted to get into gaming this is a brilliant place to start.
It can be learned in less than 15 minutes and there are lots of learn to play videos around. There is very little reading beyond placenames so it isn't particularly language dependant (it will help to have someone with a knowledge of english to read the rules but there are translations online) and there are symbols as well as colour to help with any visual issues.
Players collect cards of various types of train cars they then use to claim railway routes in North America. The longer the routes, the more points they earn. Additional points come to those who fulfill Destination Tickets – goal cards that connect distant cities; and to the player who builds the longest continuous route.
Fun Fan Boy Fact: Alan Moon the designer has pretty much designed games around every form of transport imaginable - even dragons, in the award winning Elfenroads. He'd done trains already - in the critically acclaimed Union Pacific, which is all about shares in the various different railways. Sometimes simpler really is better, because Ticket to Ride has gone on to sell more than 8 million copies and won the Spiele des Jahres - the highest prize in the boardgaming world - in 2004.
You also might want to consider Ticket to Ride Europe, it's slightly more grown up re-implementation. But this is perfect for families and folks new to boardgaming