New Product Spotlight – News From York

21 10 2013

This past week marked the 44th annual fall gathering for the TCA Eastern Division’s “York Meet.” Twice a year we and other manufacturers debut some of our new products at these events and this fall Lionel had several big announcements to make. So if you didn’t make it to York, or if you just didn’t get enough of the new stuff, here are our highlights:

Vision Big Boy

Big Boy

The VISION Big Boy will be packed with new features. Look for more details on this exciting piece in 2014.

For those who have been waiting and wondering if there would be any more ground-breaking Vision Line products, as you can see we’ve been working on something BIG! Our new Vision Line Big Boy will be featured in the 2014 Signature Catalog but you can get a sneak peek right now. Like other Vision Line engines, this model brings never-before-seen features to the market.

For the Big Boy this includes a special dual-smoke stack which will mimic the dual chuffs from the Big Boy’s paired driver sets. In addition to the twin smoke units for the stack, the Big Boy also features whistle steam and a blowdown effect. That’s four smoke units in one boiler!

Also new on the Big Boy, an amazing depleting coal load effect. As the engine runs, the coal load slowly drops into the center of the tender just like the prototype. Even better, this effect is controlled through the LEGACY system and the speed of the coal depletion is based on how hard the engine is working. It may take 15 minutes – it may take 45 – it all depends on how hard you run your engine. You can keep tabs on the coal and water with the new sensor tracks as well. When the coal gets low, simply refill it. You’ll hear the sound of coal dropping into the tender as the load slowly piles back up.

Speaking of sounds, the Big Boy will have three speakers; two in the tender and one in the boiler. This will provide the most realistic sound quality and placement possible on the locomotive.

There will be many more features on these engines of course. Look for more details in the 2014 Signature Catalog and future updates here on our blog!

LionChief Plus Locomotives

LCP Mikado

The new LionChief Plus locomotives will combine the best of our remote and conventional engines. This is a prototype for the semi-scale Mikado.

While we know you all love to see how we’ll push the envelope with our new VISION features, we also recognize that the cost of this technology is more than many can spend to enjoy this hobby. Our new LionChief Plus locomotives offer exciting new technology at a much lower price point.

As the name implies, these locomotives use the LionChief Remote control system you’ve seen on our new Ready-to-Run sets, but with additional features. Just like the remote sets, these locomotives can be operated using the included remote control on any layout, whether it is powered by a wall-pack, conventional transformer, TMCC or LEGACY. Now with the flip of a switch, you can control the engine with your conventional transformer like any other conventional engine as well.

RS-3

The LionChief Plus system will be available on 5 different types of locomotives in 20 total roadnames in 2014.

In addition to the conventional control option, these locomotives feature fan-driven smoke, amazing sound and a working electro-coupler! (The electro-coupler feature is only available when using the LionChief Remote control at this time.) We introduced five new models at York with prototypes on hand. These include the semi-scale Mikado, Hudson and Pacific and an RS-3 and GP-7. Each locomotive will be available in several roadnames and like the sets, each engine will have its own radio frequency so you can run multiple locomotives on the same track without interference.

Look for more information on this exciting new product as we get closer to release in 2014.

LCS Sensor Track and LCS Control System

sensor track

The new Sensor Track opens many doors and connects quickly to your layout and LEGACY system.

With our display layout now updated with the new sensor tracks and the new LCS control modules, we also demonstrated the exciting possibilities soon to be available with both of these new technologies.

The Sensor Track will work with your LEGACY locomotives to activate a wide variety of features on the engine or on the layout. You can use the sensor track to report back fuel levels on the locomotive, automatically blow the whistle or horn, stop the train and many many more functions. There are 8 pre-programmed actions and you can even create your own for a virtually unlimited variety.

LCS

LCS can put control of your entire layout at your fingertips – in your cab or other wireless devices.

The Sensor Track is just one part of the inclusive Layout Control System that you can use to put all of the features of the layout at your fingertips. LCS is completely customisable to your needs. There are modules to control switches, accessories and power blocks. These modules will allow you to control your entire layout from not only your LEGACY cab but also up to 15 wireless devices with the addition of the optional Wi-Fi module.

We know there is a lot to take in and think about with LCS, so we’ll present more detailed features on all of the components here on the blog in the near future. For more information right now, check out our lcs site.

More News!

There is always more good news from York than will fit in one post. In addition to all of these previews, we displayed many examples of other exciting products soon-to-ship or now shipping at York. We’ll post photos of those tomorrow here on the blog.





New Product Spotlight – City of Los Angeles

30 09 2013

Let’s head west this week with the City of Los Angeles as we take a closer look at our upcoming streamliners.

The City of Los Angeles
Most passenger trains were the pride of a railroad and closely associated with its image; the New York Central’s 20th Century, the Great Northern’s Empire Builder, the Santa Fe’s Chief. But there were also a select group of trains which were shared by several roads. In the eyes of the traveling public, it didn’t matter whose name was on the letterboards as long as the service inside the car was comfortable and friendly.

AD

The UP featured EMD E units in the advertising for it’s City trains, including the City of LA.

The City of Los Angeles began as a joint service between Chicago and Los Angeles via the Chicago and Northwestern and Union Pacific in 1936. At the time, only one train consist was available, making only 5 round trips per month. It became a daily train in 1947.

In 1955, operations east of Omaha shifted from the CNW to the Milwaukee Road. It was also in this year that a new train consist was added with dome cars, including a dome lounge observation. This lounge car was used for sleeping car passengers. There was an additional dome diner and lounge car for coach passengers. At this time there were also connecting cars from New York via the Pennsylvania and New York Central (operating on alternate days and using cars lettered for the owning railroad but painted in UP’s yellow color scheme for a matched consist in the west.) Connecting cars from Minneapolis and St. Paul also arrived in Chicago via the CNW.

The dome observations only lasted about a year. In 1956 the UP modified them and placed them mid-train behind the diner. That year also saw the seasonal combination of service with the Challenger between Omaha and Los Angeles. During peak season, the City was sleeper only, with the Challenger handling coach travelers.

E9

The Milwaukee’s E9s were also frequently seen on the City of Los Angeles, especially when second sections were run.

As service slowly declined through the 1960s, the train was combined with some of the UP’s other City streamliners. First with the City of San Francisco in 1960. At Ogden, the San Francisco section was pulled out and departed via the Southern Pacific. By 1969 it had become a “City of Everywhere” (never an official name) with multiple sections being combined. Between Cheyenne and Green River, WY. the train averaged 27 cars behind an impressive A-B-B-B-B-A consist of E9s!

The domes disappeared altogether in 1970 and the train would make its last run in 1971 with the arrival of Amtrak. Some cars from the 1955 consist have survived in private hands.

Lionel’s Models

Now you can recreate the glory years of this fine train on the Union Pacific and Milwaukee Road. The 18″ aluminum passenger cars will look great behind our new E9s, or a variety of other motive power.

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

    E9

    The E9 was a regular feature on the City of LA and other important trains.

  • 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

    COLA

    You could easily combine multiple sets of our City of Los Angeles cars to recreate the prototype’s often colossal consists.

  • 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 City of Los Angeles showed the cooperation railroads could bring when the public demanded the best in service. Don’t miss this opportunity to serve the fine folks of Plasticville, Lionelville or any of the towns on your layout.





New Product Spotlight – The Southern Belle

23 09 2013

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.

Southern Belle

In an era of silver-sided streamliners, the Southern Belle stood out.

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.

Lionel’s Models

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

    E9

    Kansas City Southern’s E9s maintained a classy charm and a paint scheme that looks good even on modern diesels.

  • 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

    passenger cars

    Whether you want to recreate the classic streamliner or a modern business train, these cars are sure to be the belle of your layout.

  • 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.





New Product Spotlight – Peanuts® Halloween Set with LionChief® Remote

16 09 2013

Treat yourself this Halloween with our new Peanuts® Halloween train set. This train combines all the family fun of a Peanuts Halloween with our extremely user-friendly LionChief Remote control system.

Peanuts set

The Peanuts Halloween set is fun for the whole family.

Thanks to this new control system, all of the power is in the palm of your hand. Control the speed, direction and sound effects from anywhere in the room.

Set up is easy and perfect for a seasonal train garden. Just snap together the track, plug in the power supply and you’re ready to roll. The Peanuts train can run on layouts with our conventional, TMCC and LEGACY control systems as well.

The set includes:

  • 6-18789 2-4-2 Locomotive and tender
  • 6-37080 Two-dome Tankcar
  • 6-39374 Boxcar
  • 6-25926 Caboose
  • Eight curved O-36 FasTrack sections, one 10″ straight FasTrack section, one FasTrack wall-pack terminal section
  • Wall-pack power supply
  • Remote for locomotive (requires three AAA batteries, not included)

The locomotive features:

aquarium car

Expand your train with additional cars like the Peanuts Halloween aquarium car (6-29329).

  • Chuffing sounds in sync with speed of locomotive
  • Clanging bell and whistle sounds
  • Special Halloween sounds
  • Steam background sounds
  • Operating headlight
  • Puffing smoke unit
  • Operating coupler on rear of tender
  • Maintenance-free motor
  • Traction tire
  • Die-cast metal locomotive body
pumpkin flatcar

Add some pumpkin fun with the add-on “Great Pumpkin Transport” flatcar available separately (6-37081)

Our 2-4-2 remote-controlled engines have a recommended ten car train limit. That gives you plenty of room to add some additional Peanuts Halloween cars (like the aquarium and pumpkin flatcars seen here), other spooky rollingstock or just some traditional freight.

The set retails for $299.99 and should begin shipping next month. See your Lionel dealer or order online through LionelStore.com.

*Peanuts and all related trademarks are copyright Peanuts Worldwide LLC.