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 – Early Berkshires

9 04 2012

As our recent “Motive Power Madness” popularity contest on Facebook proved, the Lima Berkshire is one amazing machine. Today, the Berk’s legacy is secured by the many examples of the later production locomotives that have been preserved from the C&O, Pere Marquette and of course the Nickel Plate Road. And the locomotive that introduced “Super Power” has also invited a new generation of rail fans through its role in The Polar Express.


Lima No. 1 set records and sold locomotives everywhere she went. The locomotive was sold to the Illinois Central after her tours.

The Lima Super Power concept was a proven mechanical success from the earliest tests of their new 2-8-4 locomotives in the Berkshire Mountains of New England on the New York Central, and Boston and Albany in 1924. By enlarging the firebox, hence the need for a four-wheel trailing truck, the locomotives could generate and maintain greater steam pressure. The 2-8-4 was designed as a replacement for the Mikado (2-8-2). In one test, the prototype locomotive was matched against a Mikado between Selkirk and North Adams. The Berk departed 45 minutes behind with a heavier train – and arrived 10 minutes ahead of its rival. Used in fast freight service, the locomotives were a natural on produce, livestock and mail trains. The extra power gave them what they needed to maintain a tight schedule even over rugged grades. But their design was also compact enough to make them perfect for the tighter clearances of the Northeast.


The first Berk's were more function than form. The Coffin feed water heater did little to improve upon the locomotive's looks.

Despite the famous looks of the later Berks built for the Van Swerigan roads, the first 2-8-4s were a bit less visually balanced. Perhaps the biggest visual change were the feed water heaters on the smokebox fronts. The Coffin feed water heater especially is, frankly, not designed for aesthetics. Still, even if the styling had room for improvement, their service record was impressive from the start.

Lionel’s LEGACY Models

Santa Fe

While we traditionally think of the Berkshire as an eastern locomotive, the largest fleet was owned by the Santa Fe (91 locomotives.)

Lionel’s 2012 release of the Berkshire captures the unique look of these earlier locomotives. In addition to the New England Roads, the early orders for the Illinois Central, and Santa Fe are also represented along with the demonstrator itself, so these locomotives will look right at home on railroads anywhere from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

Boston and Albany

No history of the Berkshire would be complete without the Boston and Albany.

The Berkshires are LEGACY equipped, with all of the control, bells and quillable whistles you’ve come to expect. Sounds also include crew dialog including speed and fuel announcements and sequence control to narrate an entire trip. Additionally, they feature both smoke and whistle steam effects, directional headlight and tender back-up light, firebox flicker, lighted number boards and cab interior. These Berks are packed with details including the correct Coffin or Elesco feed water heaters.

The 2-8-4 will negotiate an O-54 curve and retails for $1249.99. Available in the following road names:

Illinois Central

In addition to the original demonstrator, the Illinois Central purchased 50 Berkshires early.

  • 6-11386 Boston and Maine
  • 6-11387 Santa Fe
  • 6-11388 Southern Pacific
  • 6-11389 Boston and Albany
  • 6-11390 Lima Demonstrator
  • 6-11391 Illinois Central
  • 6-11392 Michigan Central

It’s no surprise that most railroads who saw the Berkshire in action quickly ordered some for themselves – we think you’ll want to do the same!