We’ll wrap up our look at Lionel’s famous passenger trains with a true glamour girl, the Kansas City Southern’s Southern Belle.
The Southern Belle
The Southern Belle was the premier train of the Kansas City Southern between Kansas City, Missouri and New Orleans. Service began in 1940 with new cars from American Car and Foundry and some rebuilt heavyweight sleepers to match the new consist.
New cars were bought again for the train in 1948. The consist was never a lengthy one compared to some of the super-streamliners we’ve seen. A typical consist from the 1940s through the 1950s would have included about 9 cars. For most of its years a round-ended observation brought up the markers. One of these is preserved today in Houston.
For the trivia buffs out there, there was a “southern belle” to represent the train. Chosen from contestants in cities along the line in 1940, Margaret Landry Moore was the KCS’s “Miss Southern Belle” and featured in advertising. The story of the pageant and the train’s debut are well documented on the video seen below. It is clear that in 1940 the railroad was still an important part of small town America as crowds packed station platforms along the route.
Although the train discontinued service in 1969, a few years after the loss of mail contracts, the famous color scheme would come back again. In 1995 the KCS brought back the classic livery on its “new” executive passenger cars and F units. An adaptation of the locomotives’ paint scheme has been added to some of the roads modern freight diesels in recent years as well. The “Southern Belle” remains a classy train whether it is an E9 on a lightweight streamliner or ES44AC’s on an intermodal train.
Now you can bring this classy train to your rails. These new Lionel models are packed with the features you’ve come to expect and when decorated in this paint scheme are simply hard to beat.
The new E9s include one powered and one non-powered locomotive. Both engines feature:
- Fan-driven smoke unit with adjustable output
- Directional lighting including LED headlights
- Front ElectroCouplers
- Working front Marker Lights
- Illuminated number boards
- Lighted and detailed cab interior
- Die-cast metal trucks, fuel tank and pilots
- High level of separately applied details
- O-31 minimum curve
Powered locomotives also feature:
- LEGACY Control – also capable of running on TMCC or Conventional
- Odyssey II Speed Control
- LEGACY RailSounds including
- CrewTalk and TowerCom dialog
- 6 Railroad speeds
- 8 Diesel RPM levels
- LEGACY Quilling horn
- Single hit or continuous mechanical bell
- Sequence control provides sounds and dialog for an entire trip around your layout
- Current speed and fuel dialog and refueling sounds
- Dual motors with flywheels
- Refined Transformer Control with lower starting speeds
- Traction Tires
- Engineer and Fireman figures
Passenger cars feature:
- Die-cast sprung metal trucks with operating couplers featuring hidden uncoupling tabs
- Extruded aluminum bodies with flush-fitting windows
- Operating end vestibules with flexible diaphragms
- Separately applied metal roof vents and grab irons
- Interior lighting with on/off switch
- Detailed interiors with passenger and crew figures
- Operating marker and end lights on observation car
- Lighted drumhead on observation car
- Metal frame
- Metal underframe details
- O-54 minimum curve
The locomotives retail for $929.99 and the passenger car 4-packs for $639.99. The Southern Belle could add a little class to your layout. Whether you want a classic streamliner or a modern business fleet this train will be a hit.