New Product Spotlight – The Polar Express® with LionChief Control

19 08 2013

Lionel’s Polar Express set has been the best-selling train in the company’s 113 year history. How could we make it any better? Add the new LionChief Remote control system!

These new sets are shipping to dealers soon so you’ll have them in plenty of time for the 2013 Christmas season. The Polar Express retains all of the quality and excitement of the original models and puts the power in your hands with walk-around radio control.

PE set

The new Polar Express has all the charm of our original set with improved sound and control.

Set up of the new set is now even easier than ever. Snap together the FasTrack, plug in the wall pack, put the train on the rails and you are ready to go! The hand-held controller is intuitive and easy enough for our youngest engineers. With its impressive range, you can have complete control of the train’s speed, direction and sounds from anywhere in the room. Speaking of sounds, our new Railsounds RC package includes sound clips from the 2004 movie release for that authentic “All aboard the Polar Express” experience.

Like our other LionChief Remote sets, the radio frequency for the Polar Express is unique to that set. So you can run other trains in the same room – even the same layout – without any interference. And the trains will run on your conventional, TMCC or LEGACY controlled layout too. It’s the perfect way to start, share or grow your collection and hobby.

The new set includes:

  • Berkshire 2-8-4 locomotive featuring
    • Die-cast metal body
    • Railsounds RC sounds including locomotive chuffing and background noises synchronized with train speed, bell, whistle, user-controlled announcements and official sound clips from the Polar Express movie
    • Working headlight


      The new LionChief Remote system features a simple plug-in power supply and hand-held control with all of the features at your fingertips.

    • Puffing Smoke
    • On/Off switches for smoke and sounds
    • Operating coupler on tender
    • Powerful maintenance-free motor
    • Traction Tires
    • Large pilot and headlight shield details to match the movie locomotive
  • Two passenger cars with interior lighting and silhouette figures in windows
  • Observation car with curved railing and drumhead plus interior lighting and window silhouettes.
  • FasTrack oval including eight curves, three straight and one straight / wall pack terminal section
  • Wall-pack power supply
  • Remote control (three AAA batteries required, not included)
  • Four Polar Express character figures
  • Polar Express decorative bell

Hear the quality of Railsounds RC!

The locomotive in this set has more than power to handle the many add-on cars and accessories now available in our ever-growing Polar Express roster. See our 2013 Christmas Catalog for more!

The LionChief Polar Express retails for $379.99. These new sets should be shipping soon and can be ordered through your local Lionel dealer or

THE POLAR EXPRESS and all related characters and elements are trademarks and copyright of Warner Brothers Entertainment.



11 responses

19 08 2013
Lawrence Blankenship

When you give us a new Product Release, you should give a short clip of it running or at least a sound clip.

19 08 2013
Lawrence Blankenship

Sorry, I guess I was to fast You did leave a clip of it running, my bad.

27 08 2013
Doug Dorner

I wish I could just purchase the upgraded remote and engine. I just purchased the Polar Express last year. 😦

27 08 2013
George A. Kirby

I have a Polar Express set. Is there anyway I can purchase this new remote control? My Grandkids would absolutely love it.

27 08 2013

Sorry Mr. Kirby, the LionChief engine and remote are sold only as part of the set. You might want to check out some of our other LionChief remote sets for the kids however. (We just received a sample of the Peanuts Halloween and Area 51 trains – wait till you hear the sounds in these!) We’ll have clips and updates on more sets here on the blog in a few weeks.

27 08 2013
Luther E. Franklin

Failure to offer an upgraded loco/tender/control separately to so many of us who already own the polar Express is, in a word, “Mean”!

28 08 2013

As a loyal Lionel customer since 1949, and an owner of the Polar Express from its first year, along with all the additions, I find the requirement that an entire new set be purchased to be an obvious money grab. This is “the best selling set” in corporate history, yet you expect us to goout and buy another instead of buying an upgrade!

29 08 2013

To all who have expressed concern about buying a new set vs. a conversion kit: the new LionChief system required many changes to the electrical “guts” of the Polar Express and other locomotives. It is not a conversion that could be retrofitted to existing models.

As to separate sale locomotives, in the past we have offered the Polar Express locomotive and tender with upgraded features for individual sale (whistle steam and RailSounds.) We have looked into a similar offering of LionChief locomotives individually.

29 08 2013

And what have you decided after “looking into” this possible alternative to entire sets?

1 01 2014

Would I be better off running the Polar express remote and a Thomas remote from the wall pack or from the cw 80 from my older set. If the cw 80 would be better – do I use the track connections or set the accessory power for 18 volts? Could I still use another cw 80 for accessories ( I have 2). Many thanks

2 01 2014

You can use either the CW-80 or the wall pack. The trains should perform equally well on both. The CW-80 will give you a little more amperage which can be helpful if you are running them together. Use the track terminals for the track and simply power it to full power. You will have enough power to spare for some accessories – use the accessory terminals for those.

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