New Product Spotlight – LEGACY USRA Heavy Mikado

30 06 2014

When the United States Railroad Administration released their standard steam locomotive designs, many of the road engines came in both a “light” and “heavy” version to meet the demands of the different roads they would serve. The light Mikado is one of the best known and most-modeled of the USRA designs. Lionel is happy to finally bring its larger cousin to the O Gauge world.

Prototype Background

L&N

6-81182 Louisville and Nashville

By the time the USRA was formed, the Mikado had already emerged as the new common design for freight steam. Across the United States, railroads were buying and building 2-8-2s as they moved on from the Consolidations which had been the go-to freight engine for the previous two decades. Consequently, the 2-8-2s were among the first of the USRA’s standard designs to be completed and released.

The USRA offered two standard Mikados. The “light” version weighed in at 290,800 lbs. and produced 54,724 lbs. of tractive effort. The “heavy” locomotive was the same in most major dimensions except those of the boiler and firebox. It tipped the scales at 325,000 lbs. and produced 59,801 lbs. of tractive effort.

3D Mikado

This 3D printed boiler provides a first look at the new locomotive. The finished models will have a die-cast boiler.

With 233 built under USRA auspices, the Heavy Mikado was the third most popular of its designs behind the 0-6-0 and the Light Mikado. Thirty came from Baldwin, the rest from Alco with orders filled at both Brooks and Schenectady. The first arrived in 1918. Baldwin built a pair for Atlanta and West Point which were modern locomotives of USRA Heavy Mikado dimensions in 1944.

Original allocations are sketchy based on the refusal of locomotives by some roads, transfers, eventual copies and of course the clouds which come from the passage of time. For example, the Frisco’s locomotives were originally refused by the PRR, then the IHB and even the SLSF itself before they were finally accepted. Multiple sources confirm the USRA Heavy Mikado was originally delivered to these railroads:

  • CNJ

    6-81185 Central of New Jersey

    Central RR of New Jersey

  • Chicago Burlington and Quincy
  • Chicago Milwaukee, St Paul and Pacific
  • Chicago, St Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha
  • Erie
  • Fort Worth and Denver (CB&Q)
  • Great Northern
  • Louisville and Nashville
  • Pittsburgh and Lake Erie (NYC)
  • Frisco

    6-81186 Frisco

    Pittsburgh, McKeesport and Youghiogheny (NYC)

  • St Louis – San Francisco
  • Wheeling and Lake Erie

Additionally, following the end of the USRA, many railroads ordered copies of this design, or locomotives based largely around its dimensions. All together, nearly 1,000 locomotives were built to this design. The USRA Mikados and their kin are the closest thing the United States ever had to a nationwide “standard” freight steam locomotive.

Lionel’s Model

GN

6-81192 Great Northern

Like the prototype, our new Heavy Mikado shares many of the same components as our previous releases of the Light Mikado. The locomotive shares the same frame, wheels and running gear as well as the same tender. The boiler and all of its attached parts are completely new tooling however. The larger boiler made it even easier to include a feature that is a favorite of many – whistle steam!

The Lionel model will have all of these great features:

  • LEGACY Control System equipped – able to run in LEGACY Control mode, in TrainMaster Command Control mode, or in Conventional mode with a standard transformer
  • Odyssey II Speed Control with On/Off switch
  • LEGACYRailSounds system featuring:
    • CrewTalk dialog and TowerCom announcements, each with different scenarios depending on whether the locomotive is in motion or stopped
    • Six official railroad speeds with Crewtalk dialog
    • DynaChuff synchronized with 32 levels of intensity as the locomotive gains speed
    • LEGACY “Real-Time Quilling Whistle” control with instant response for realistic signature ‘quilling’ and correctly timed warning signals
    • Single hit or continuous mechanical bell sounds
    • Sequence Control plays the sound effects of an entire trip, including warning sounds and announcements, based on the movement and speed of the locomotive
    • Current speed and fuel dialog, refueling sound effects
  • NYC

    6-81188 New York Central

    Whistle Steam effect

  • Powerful maintenance-free motor with momentum flywheel
  • Wireless Tether connection between locomotive and tender
  • ElectroCoupler on rear of tender
  • Directional lighting including operating headlight and back-up light on rear of tender
  • Illuminated classification lights on the front of locomotive and tender
  • C&IM

    6-81187 Chicago and Illinois Midland

    Traction tires

  • Fan-driven smoke unit
  • Adjustable smoke output
  • Interior illumination in cab
  • Die-cast metal locomotive body, pilot, and frame
  • Die-cast metal tender body and trucks
  • High level of separately applied metal details
  • Separately applied builder’s plates
  • Authentically detailed cab interior
  • Glowing ashpan and firebox in cab
  • Cab glass windows
  • Engineer and fireman figures
  • O-54 Minimum curve
P&WV

6-81184 Pittsburgh and West Virginia

The USRA Heavy Mikados are being built to order. They were presented in C&IM, CNJ, Great Northern, L&N, NYC, P&WV, Frisco and as an undecorated Pilot model. Look to see them at your dealer later this year with a suggested retail of $1299.99.





New Product Spotlight – BNSF Heritage Units

17 09 2012

Norfolk Southern’s Heritage Unit have certainly captured the spotlight this year! And our forthcoming models are no exception. And all of this buzz has prompted many to ask, “Will CSX and BNSF follow?” Well we don’t know either, but we sure can dream. Now you can share that vision with our renditions of what a BNSF Heritage fleet might look like on the SD70ACe.

Burlington Northern

6-38741 Burlington Northern

The six locomotives pay fitting tribute to some of the most famous of BNSF’s predecessors. Of course you have the Burlington Northern and the Santa Fe. We’ve also included the classic fallen flags of the Burlington, Frisco, Great Northern and Northern Pacific. All of the locomotives feature colors and styling that captures the classic look of the original lines with a splash of modern style to fit the angles of the SD70ACe. These will look good alongside your other BNSF equipment, or pooled with the many other Heritage units we’ve produced.

EMD

6-38750 EMD Demonstrator

Looking for color without the heritage? We’ve also got the SD70ACe Demonstrator included in this run. The new locomotive was EMD’s ambassador and sales representative to railroads all across the continent, now you can bring it to yours. Note that we are only offering the one road number in a powered model for the demonstrator.

Santa Fe

6-38735 Santa Fe

Each of the schemes is presented in three road numbers – two LEGACY-equipped powered units and one non-powered. You can build your fantasy consist as large as you’d like to power any train – whether it’s crossing the Montana Rockies or the Arizona deserts. Each of the powered locomotives features:

  • LEGACY Control System – able to run on LEGACY, TMCC or Conventional control layouts
  • Odyssey II Speed Control with On / Off switch
  • Great Northern

    9-38744 Great Northern

    LEGACY RailSounds including

    • CrewTalk and TowerCom dialog
    • 6 Official railroad speeds
    • 8 Diesel RPM levels
    • Quilling Horn
    • Bell (single hit and continuous)
    • Sequence Control
    • Current speed and fuel dialog
    • Refueling sounds
  • Northern Pacifc

    6-38747 Northern Pacific

    Dual maintenance-free motors

  • Traction Control
  • Refined Conventional Control mode with lower starting speeds
  • Front and Rear ElectroCouplers
  • Fan-driven smoke with adjustable output
  • Directional lighting
  • Marker Lights
  • Illuminated Number Boards

    Frisco

    6-38738 Frisco

  • Oscillating Ditch Lights
  • Working Ground Lights
  • Lighted cab interior with crew
  • Metal frame, pilots, trucks and fuel tank
  • MSRP: $529.99

Non-powered models feature:

Burlington

6-38732 Burlington

  • Metal frame, trucks, pilot and couplers
  • Front and rear magnetic couplers
  • Select separately applied details
  • MSRP: $259.99

All of the locomotives will negotiate an O-31 curve and will be pulling into your dealers very soon. Who knows – maybe the prototype will follow suit soon too?





New Product Spotlight – SD40-2s

11 06 2012

Not only was EMD’s SD40-2 one of the best-selling diesel locomotives of all time, it virtually defined the face of railroading for nearly two decades – much as the “covered wagon” had done a generation before. Lionel is proud to bring back this landmark locomotive with LEGACY and non-powered versions to boost your roster.

Prototype Background

6-34788

6-34788 Chicago and Northwestern

The SD40-2 emerged almost as a step-down model from EMD’s brutish SD45 designed in 1965. The 3600 hp SD45’s were good pullers, but that 20-cylinder engine had a hungry appetite for fuel. Problems with crankshaft failures also haunted the giants. With fuel costs rising in the 1970s, the added fuel consumption combined with higher maintenance costs per unit caused a shift in railroad thinking and purchasing. Operational efficiency had to be redefined as more than just squeezing every bit of horsepower you could out of a single locomotive.

6-34779

6-34779 CSX

The 3000 hp SD40, also introduced in 1965, offered such a platform. Seeing the potential in this locomotive, orders began to rise towards 1970. When EMD introduced its new “-2” upgrade package in 1972 and added it to the SD40, they created the reliable, efficient and powerful locomotive the railroads demanded. And the railroads responded with more orders than EMD had ever seen.

6-34776

6-34776 N&W

Over the course of its production, the SD40-2 saw several design revisions and buyer options. From dynamic brakes to high short hoods, to varying sized fuel tanks, trucks, cabs, lights and smaller details, all 3,982 SD40-2s were far from identical. Perhaps the most common characteristic of nearly all the SD40-2s was the long “porches” on the ends of the units. The SD40-2 shared the same frame as the SD45-2, not the SD40, which created several feet of extra space beyond the hoods at each end. This was done to accommodate the new HT-C trucks, although some roads ordered SD40-2s with the older Flexicoil trucks anyway.

6-34791

6-34791 MKT

Despite the introduction of the SD50 in 1981, SD40-2 production remained strong for North American railroads into 1986 and orders for more distant countries lasting until 1989 – four years after production of the SD50 ended! The longevity of the SD40-2 went way beyond initial construction and continues today. Beginning in the late 1980s, many railroads began upgrading SD40s with -2 packages. Others began downsizing their SD45s to SD40-2s. Rebuild programs continue today, with some roads converting SD50s into what are essentially modern SD40-2s.

Now 40 years after production began, many SD40-2s are still going strong. While their numbers are certainly declining, the distinctive classic carbodies show no signs of disappearing any time soon. The final chapters are still being written on these locomotives.

Lionel’s LEGACY SD40-2

If your railroad interests cover any time after 1972, your layout just wouldn’t look right without at least one of these ubiquitous units! With the addition of our LEGACY systems, these locomotives should be just as popular on your line as the real ones were with most crews.

This latest release comes with LEGACY powered locomotives in two numbers for each roadname and an additional non-powered number to recreate those typical 3-unit SD40-2 lashups that exemplified railroading for a generation. LEGACY versions retail for $529.99 and non-powered $239.99. All will negotiate an O-31 curve.

Legacy Features:

      • LEGACY control – capable of running on TMCC and conventional as well

        6-34786

        6-34786 SLSF (Frisco)

      • Odyssey II Speed Control for 2 Maintenance free motors with momentum flywheels
      • LEGACY Railsounds including
        • Crewtalk and TowerCom communications
        • Six official railroad speeds
        • Eight diesel RPM levels
        • Quilling Horn along with appropriate warning sounds
        • Bell with single hit or continuous sounds
        • Sequence Control to narrate an entire trip
        • Fuel and speed announcements and refueling sounds
      • Fan-driven smoke unit with adjustable output
      • Lighting Effects including
        • Directional LED headlight and back-up light
        • Marker lights front and rear
        • Number boards
        • Cab interior
      • Traction tires
      • Die cast metal pilot, trucks and fuel tank
      • Detailed cab interior with window glass and engineer and fireman figures
      • Loads of separately applied details
      • ElectroCouplers on front and rear
      • MSRP: $529.99

Non-Powered Locomotives Feature

6-34782

6-34782 Burlington Northern

    • Die cast metal pilot, trucks and fuel tank
    • Detailed cab interior with window glass
    • Select separately applied details
    • Magnetic couplers on front and rear
    • MSRP: $239.99

These locomotives are on their way to dealers now, so don’t wait to catch your iconic piece of railroading! See more now on our Customer Service new product video.