New Product Spotlight – American Flyer Baldwin Switchers

4 08 2014

The popular American Flyer Baldwin Switcher is back in three new paint schemes for 2014. Simple, reliable power for any S Gauge railroad, these switchers capture a common prototype.

Prototype Background

6-42597

6-42597 Canadian Pacific

The American Flyer switcher most closely represents the Baldwin DS4-4-660. Built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works, the DS4-4-660 worked for railroads large and small and was also a popular choice for industrial railroads. Baldwin built 139 of the 660 horsepower locomotives between 1946 and 1949. Baldwin offered several other switcher models in similar carbodies which found work on other roads as well.

The Pennsylvania Railroad had the largest roster of these locomotives. Its 99 units represented over 70% of the total production. That roster is perhaps even more impressive when considering the next largest owners were the New Orleans Public Belt Ry. with a total of just six and the Erie with five. The rest of the production was spread over a variety of railroads and industrial lines one to three at a time. While these numbers apply to the DS4-4-660 specifically, the trends were similar for Baldwin’s other diesel switchers.

6-42598

6-42598 Union Pacific

Unfortunately for Baldwin, its diesels never produced sales like its steam locomotives. Its switchers were however their most successful designs and many outlived their original owners. Today the distinctive “burble” sound of a Baldwin diesel can still be heard on a few active on shortlines and preserved at museums.

American Flyer Models

These locomotives include the familiar and time-proven features and performance of traditional American Flyer models. Each is equipped with:

6-42599

6-42599 Youngstown Steel

  • Transformer-controlled forward / neutral / reverse operation
  • Powerful maintenance-free motor with flywheel
  • Directional lighting including headlight and back up light
  • Die-cast metal trucks
  • Metal frame
  • Operating couplers
  • Traction Tires
  • S-36 Minimum operating curve.

Three new paint schemes join the roster this year including Canadian Pacific (6-42597), Union Pacific (6-42598) and a colorful Youngstown Steel Bicentennial unit (6-42599). Also still available is the previously cataloged M&StL locomotive (6-48165). Each retails for $289.99. See your favorite American Flyer dealer to order yours today.





New Product Spotlight – Pennsylvania GLa Hoppers

28 07 2014

The Pennsylvania Railroad owned an impressive roster of more than 30,000 GLa class hoppers which served from the 1900s into the Penn Central years. As if the PRR’s own roster wasn’t impressive enough, the car was copied directly by several other companies and became the inspiration for several other popular hopper designs which blanketed the United States in the first half of the 20th Century. We’ll cover the interesting prototype history of these cars later this week and in subsequent Freight Car Friday posts. Today, let’s look at Lionel’s upcoming model of this car – one we think will be as popular as its prototype!

Capturing the Variety

GLa drawing

A 3-D drawing of the GLa version shows the many details these cars will feature.

These new hoppers will be the most detailed Lionel has ever produced. Starting with all new tooling, we’ve planned ahead so that we can not only capture the PRR’s GLa accurately, but also capture the key detail changes found in many of the cars which built off of this design.

Lionel’s design team worked from Pennsylvania Railroad drawings to create an accurate GLa. From the overall dimensions, to the distinctive boxy end sills, to proper 2D-F8 truck sideframes, this car will be PRR through and through.

1905 drawing

In 1905, builders began producing cars of similar design for other companies. Compare this plan with the GLa to see the detail differences. This view also shows how the cars will look if you install scale couplers.

When several car builders began building near-duplicates of the GLa in 1905, a car which has subsequently been dubbed the “1905 Common Design” by historians, the overall dimensions remained very close to the GLa, but there were several structural differences to be found – especially on the ends of the cars. By the time these designs had evolved into the USRA’s standard two-bay hopper in 1918, again dimensions were within a few inches of the GLa with more minor detail changes around the ends and hoppers.

Lionel is tooling these models so that the later car designs, using the GLa body, can have other details which more closely capture the look of the cars on these other roads. This will include the end sills, end posts, hand brake and grab iron arrangements and hopper door mechanisms.

Scale Improvements

couplers

The underframes have been designed for easy application of a standard scale coupler box.

In addition to the overall high level of detail on these cars, which will even include cross braces and rivet details on the interior of the car, Lionel is adding some new design features to these cars which will make them much friendlier to the 2-rail and 3-rail scale crowd.

Although the cars will come equipped with our standard operating couplers, mounting pads will be provided on the metal underframe of the car so that scale couplers can be easily added by the modeler if desired. No extensive body modification or even drilling new holes required!

We’ve also addressed another little detail that is sure to please many of the prototype-focused modelers; the “Built by Lionel” date stencil has been moved to the underside of the car. It’s still there for the collectors, but won’t detract from the rest of the graphics which have all been carefully researched from prototype photos.

We’re quite proud of these new cars, and think you’ll agree they are some of the finest scale models we’ve produced. Other features include:

sideframes

PRR and other GLa version cars will feature correct PRR 2D-F8 truck sideframes.

  • Die-cast metal sprung trucks and operating couplers with hidden uncoupling tabs. PRR GLa cars will have appropriate PRR truck sideframes.
  • Plastic carbody and die-cast metal underframe
  • High level of separately applied detail parts including many road-name specific variations
  • Opening hopper doors
  • Removable plastic coal load insert
  • Molded pads for easy conversion to scale couplers
  • Individual road numbers on each car in multi-car packs
  • O31 Minimum curve

The new GLa hoppers will be available as part of the Pennsy M1a Coal Hauler set (three PRR and one Berwind White Coal) as well as for separate sale in the following road names and quantities:

USRA

A third version of this car will be detailed to match USRA era details.

  • 6-81686 PRR (circle keystone scheme) 3-Pack GLa version
  • 6-81858 PRR (shadow keystone scheme) 3-Pack GLa version
  • 6-81793 Berwind White 3-Pack GLa version
  • 6-81687 Lehigh Valley 2-Pack USRA version
  • 6-81688 CB&Q 2-Pack USRA version
  • 6-81689 C&O 3-Pack USRA version
  • 6-81789 New Haven 2-Pack GLa version
  • 6-81824 P&WV 2-Pack 1905 Common Design version

Suggested retail price on the 2-Pack cars is $145.99. 3-Packs retail for $219.99. See your local Lionel dealer to place your order now, and look for some more background on these interesting cars starting this Friday on the blog!





New Product Spotlight – Boston & Maine Paul Revere GP9 Set

21 07 2014

One of six sets that will be available only through our Lionel dealers, the Boston & Maine Paul Revere GP9 set combines a rugged conventional locomotive and traditional line of cars with bold new graphics. Designed in partnership with Lou Caponi, the late President of the Lionel Collectors Club of America and friend to train collectors everywhere, these sets capture the spirit and excitement of the classic toy train set.

Lead by a GP9 in the bright McGinnis paint scheme with a matching caboose bringing up the markers, this freight train is ready to head down one of the B&M’s charming New England branch lines to provide personal service to the many small customers along the way. These locals were the critical first and last legs of the journey for rail shipments and the customers’ contact point with the railroad. Their colorful consists constantly changing as they meandered along from siding to siding – what could be a more perfect train for hours of fun on a toy train layout?

BM set

6-81021 Boston & Maine Paul Revere GP9 Set

The freight cars in this train include a B&M boxcar and 4-bay hopper. The hit of the consist has to be the State of Maine aquarium car decorated in the Bangor and Aroostook’s instantly recognizable red, white and blue and carrying a load of one of Maine’s tastiest exports! This latest twist on the classic aquarium car features Maine lobsters “swimming” around inside the illuminated interior.

The GP9 locomotive features:

  • Transformer-controlled forward-neutral-reverse operation
  • Railsounds RTR™ sound with diesel revving and user-active horn, bell and crew dialog
  • Battery backup for sounds
  • Powerful maintenance free motor
  • Operating headlights
  • Operating couplers
  • Metal frame and handrails
  • Die-cast metal trucks
  • Traction tires
  • Interior illumination

Freight car features include:

  • Die-cast metal sprung trucks on hopper and boxcar
  • Die-cast metal trucks on aquarium car and caboose
  • Operating couplers
  • Metal frame and opening doors on boxcar
  • Stamped metal ends on hopper
  • Removable molded coal load on hopper
  • Interior lighting in aquarium car and caboose
  • Motorized interior belt makes lobster decoration appear to swim inside aquarium car

The set will run on O-31 curves and retails for $499.99.  Your Lionel dealer is the only place you can pick up this and the five other dealer exclusive sets featured in the 2014 Signature Catalog. See yours to place your order today!





New Product Spotlight – Major League Baseball Boxcars

14 07 2014

Tomorrow the game’s best will battle it out in the annual MLB™ All-Star Game™. Lionel’s newest licensed Major League Baseball™ trains will be a home run on your layout too!

White Sox

6-81924 Chicago White Sox

New for 2014, Lionel is introducing boxcars decorated in official Club logos for every team in the American League and National League. Whether you collect the entire series or just your hometown heroes, these colorful cars are going to look great in any train or baseball collection. Best of all, as befits cars that salute our national pastime, each of these cars is printed and assembled here in the USA from domestic and imported parts.

Pirates

6-81919 Pittsburgh Pirates

The new cars feature:

  • Made in America from domestic and imported parts
  • Cast metal sprung trucks and operating couplers
  • Opening doors
  • Metal frame and brake wheel
  • Minimum Curve: O-27

For illustrations of every team’s car, see our 2014 Ready to Run catalog online or at your local Lionel dealer. These cars retail for $69.99 each.

American League Teams

  • 6-81912  New York Yankees™

    Rays

    6-81937 Tampa Bay Rays

  • 6-81914  Oakland Athletics™
  • 6-81916  Boston Red Sox™
  • 6-81920  Detroit Tigers™
  • 6-81922  Baltimore Orioles™
  • 6-81923  Minnesota Twins™
  • 6-81924  Chicago White Sox™
  • 6-81927  Cleveland Indians™
  • 6-81929  Toronto Blue Jays™
  • 6-81931  Angels™
  • 6-81933  Texas Rangers™
  • 6-81937  Tampa Bay Rays™
  • 6-81938  Seattle Mariners™
  • 6-81942  Kansas City Royals™

National League Teams

  • 6-81913  St. Louis Cardinals™
  • 6-81915 San Francisco Giants™
  • 6-81917 Los Angeles Dodgers™

    Mets

    6-81928 New York Mets

  • 6-81918  Cincinnati Reds™
  • 6-81919  Pittsburgh Pirates™
  • 6-81921  Atlanta Braves™
  • 6-81925  Chicago Cubs™
  • 6-81926  Philadelphia Phillies™
  • 6-81928  New York Mets™
  • 6-81930  Miami Marlins™
  • 6-81932  San Diego Padres™
  • 6-81934  Milwaukee Brewers™
  • 6-81935  Houston Astros™
  • 6-81936  Colorado Rockies™
  • 6-81939  Washington Nationals™
  • 6-81940  Arizona Diamondbacks™

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