Christmas is coming early this year at Lionel. Production of new models, especially locomotives, often takes several years, so models are already well along in the planning stages before they are announced in the catalog. Usually, as you know, even after the announcement it can be a long time before the models actually make it to your dealers. Well, not this time!
We are very pleased to announce two new steam locomotives, both with LEGACY, and both available for purchase by the end of this year!
Shortly after the United States Railroad Administration took over operations of all U.S. railroads in December, 1917 it became readily apparent that the railroads’ logistical problems stemmed from more than just a lack of cooperation. The USRA set out to upgrade locomotives and equipment badly needed to take on the increased wartime traffic. To speed the process, the USRA settled on standardized designs based on proven locomotives. Twelve versions of steam locomotives were offered – from 0-6-0 to 2-8-8-2.
The 2-6-6-2 Mallet type was based on the Chesapeake and Ohio’s H2 and H4 locomotive. The compound articulated had been designed to replace Consolidations on a 2 to 1 ratio on the C&O’s many mountain branchlines. These tracks featured tight curves, steep grades and light rail.
The first order for the new USRA versions came from the Wheeling and Lake Erie. These were subsequently leased to the Nickel Plate. The C&O received an additional 20 units – for a total of 30 built under USRA control. C&O and others would continue to order more later. In all, some 30 railroads and logging companies eventually rostered 2-6-6-2s of some variety.
Lionel’s new model is based on those USRA prototypes. Decorated for the C&O (in USRA delivered and standard paint), the W&LE, NKP and N&W (who rostered similar locos after the war), the models feature appropriate smokebox details for each road. In addition, the models are LEGACY equipped with all of the amazing features you’ve come to expect including whistle steam. Of course you’ll also get directional lighting, firebox and ashpan glow, marker lights, a fan-driven smoke unit, operating tender coupler, LEGACY Railsounds and details too numerous to list here.
The die-cast locomotives will be able to pull impressive trains and the articulated giants are capable of navigating O-54 curves. MSRP: $1,299.99
- 6-11321 C&O
- 6-11322 NKP
- 6-11323 WLE
- 6-11329 C&O (USRA)
- 6-11339 N&W
Santa Fe 4-8-4
The 4-8-4 Northern was one of the most well proportioned steam locomotives ever built. And for overall good looks, it was hard to beat the Santa Fe’s 3751 class. Built in 1927 to 1929, these locomotives proved themselves more than capable of handling the Santa Fe’s crack passenger trains. They were so successful that 3 additional orders were later placed, bringing the Santa Fe’s stable of Northerns to 65 locomotives.
The first batch were coal-fired and delivered with 73″ drivers. Santa Fe rebuilt these beginning in 1938 as oil-burners with massive 80″ drivers. Subsequent orders followed that standard.
Although 9 Santa Fe Northerns survive today, the first one built is still the most famous. Since being returned to service in 1991, No. 3751 has toured thousands of miles in excursion service. Sister 3759 sits in static display in Kingman, AZ. Lionel is reissuing our fine models of these classic beauties, this time with LEGACY.
The updated Northerns will feature LEGACY command and Railsounds. You’ll also get directional lighting, firebox and ashpan glow, marker lights, a fan-driven smoke unit, operating tender coupler, and yes, whistle steam to go with that quillable whistle. In addition to the many detail parts applied to the model, you’ll get two additional smokestacks to swap out, recreating the many looks of Santa Fe steam.
Powerful and beautiful, these 4-8-4s will handle O-54 curves and retail for $1,299.99.
- 6-11332 No. 3751
- 6-11333 No. 3759
All of these wonderful models are on schedule for delivery in December, 2011! Don’t delay, see your Lionel dealers today.