The Union Pacific is a railroad with an incredibly rich heritage. Fortunately for all of us, the company has long embraced its historic stature. Over the past 30 years, the Union Pacific has grown to become America’s largest railroad through mergers with other lines – each with a rich history and tradition of its own. In 2007, Union Pacific honored those lines with six special new locomotives.
Fallen Flags honored include the Chicago Northwestern, Denver and Rio Grande Western, Missouri Kansas and Texas, Missouri Pacific, Southern Pacific and Western Pacific. The locomotives were new SD70ACEs from EMD. The Union Pacific has been a big fan of the SD70 model for more than a decade, and thousands of the locomotives in various configurations roam the system in several variations of the Union Pacific’s famous Armour Yellow paint. The heritage locomotives featured unique paint schemes which incorporated elements of the predecessors’ historic schemes and heralds with a modern flare.
The locomotives can be found roaming the entire Union Pacific network in regular service and are also commonly sent to special public events. The units have been so well received, they’ve even paved the way for similar programs on other railroads like Amtrak and now Norfolk Southern.
In 2012, Lionel is bringing the popular Heritage Fleet to another American classic – American Flyer. Four of the schemes will be offered in 2012: Chicago Northwestern, Missouri Pacific, Rio Grande and Southern Pacific.
American Flyer Models
The new models will feature the LEGACY command system. You can also run the locomotives using Lionel’s TMCC system, or conventional transformer controls. The models also have AF Speed Control to maintain a constant pace through curves and up hills. Two powerful motors, a metal frame and traction tires will provide ample pulling power. Each model is also available with either traditional Flyer-sized or scale wheels.
These all-new locomotives are packed with light, sound and smoke effects. LEGACY Railsounds provide the most realistic recordings available including dynamic engine sounds, bells and a horn you can “play” like the prototype. The model also features Crew Talk dialog. The volume of each sound can be controlled individually to your taste. Operating lights include headlights, class lights, numberboards and the cab interior. The fan-driven smoke units also prove that smoke isn’t just for steam engines anymore!
Like the prototypes, these models will be numbered for the year the heritage road became part of the Union Pacific system. Note that this is different than shown in the catalog, which used railroad founding date numbers as seen on a previous O Gauge run. Additional schemes, including UP’s American flag, will also be offered in 2012 and beyond,
Models will negotiate a 36 inch diameter curve and retail for $479.99. These are sure to be popular, so see your dealer to order yours today!