New Product Spotlight – LEGACY RS-11s

28 05 2012

While EMD’s GP-7 and GP-9 may have dominated sales, ALCo’s RS-11 had a style and sound all its own – and twice the power to boot! Produced for railroads across North America, some of these “steel dragons” are still roaming today on shortlines.


6-34732 Lehigh Valley had one of the more colorful fleets of RS-11s.

ALCo introduced the RS-11 in February, 1956 as the next advance in their line from the RS-3. The RS-11 featured similar styling but with a full height hood to house its 12-cylinder 251B diesel engine. The locomotive produced 1800 horsepower – quite an advance for the time for a single-engine diesel-electric. It’s tractive effort was also greater than the GP-9. Like EMD’s GPs, a steam boiler for passenger service was an option on the RS-11.

NW RS-11

6-38539 Norfolk and Western had the largest roster of RS-11s.

While ALCo’s new model was stronger, more fuel-efficient and offered faster acceleration than its EMD counterpart, it arrived too late for many of the railroads who had already invested heavily in diesels to replace steam locomotives. Alco still found good customers in the railroads who had not yet completely dieselized. No surprise then that its biggest customer was Norfolk and Western who bought 99. (They later gained another 65 from the Nickel Plate.) The Pennsylvania and Northern Pacific were also big buyers. Many other roads sampled the locomotives, buying small orders to supplement their roster.

6-38468 Seaboard

6-38468 The Seaboard’s paint scheme is hard to beat.

Production continued for five years in the US, and another three in Canada. The locomotives developed a reputation for strength and reliability and helped secure future orders for ALCo, who would remain a thorn in the side of EMD for decades to come.

Lionel’s Latest RS-11s

Our 2012 release of RS-11s come with LEGACY and in three roadnumbers per roadname (two powered, one dummy.) Features include:

    • LEGACY control – capable of running on TMCC and conventional as well
    • Odyssey II Speed Control for 2 Maintenance free motors
    • LEGACY Railsounds including
      6-38454 PRR

      6-38454 Pennsy units include Trainphone antennae.

      • Crewtalk and TowerCom communications
      • Six official railroad speeds
      • Eight diesel RPM levels
      • Quilling Horn along with appropriate warning sounds
      • 6-38452

        6-38452 Or you can fast forward to the PC era if you prefer the “mating worms.”

        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

      6-38466 New Haven had a few RS-11s to contribute to the Penn Central fleet too.

      • Directional LED headlight and back-up light
      • Marker lights front and rear
      • Number boards
      • Cab interior
    • Traction tires

6-38460 Nickel Plate’s tiger stripes look good on everything from RS-11s to modern GEVO’s.

  • Die cast metal pilot, trucks and fuel tank
  • Detailed cab interior with window glass and engineer and fireman figures
  • Separately applied grills many more details
  • ElectroCouplers on front and rear
  • MSRP: $479.99

Non-Powered Locomotives Feature

  • 6-38464

    6-38464 Although the Alaska never owned any RS-11s, they would have been a nice complement to their roster of ex-Army ALCos.

    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

All locomotives will run on an O-31 curve. Listen for that familiar ALCo gurgle in your dealers soon, these are on their way. For a longer look and listen to these locomotives, check out our Customer Service product video.

New Product Announcement! LEGACY 2-6-6-2 and Santa Fe 4-8-4!

14 11 2011

Christmas is coming early this year at Lionel. Production of new models, especially locomotives, often takes several years, so models are already well along in the planning stages before they are announced in the catalog. Usually, as you know, even after the announcement it can be a long time before the models actually make it to your dealers. Well, not this time!

We are very pleased to announce two new steam locomotives, both with LEGACY, and both available for purchase by the end of this year!

USRA 2-6-6-2

USRA Mallet

6-11299 C&O - as delivered in USRA livery. This was standard during the war, with the railroad's name in smaller print on the tender coal bunker.

Shortly after the United States Railroad Administration took over operations of all U.S. railroads in December, 1917 it became readily apparent that the railroads’ logistical problems stemmed from more than just a lack of cooperation. The USRA set out to upgrade locomotives and equipment badly needed to take on the increased wartime traffic. To speed the process, the USRA settled on standardized designs based on proven locomotives. Twelve versions of steam locomotives were offered – from 0-6-0 to 2-8-8-2.


6-11321 The traditional C&O scheme

The 2-6-6-2 Mallet type was based on the Chesapeake and Ohio’s H2 and H4 locomotive. The compound articulated had been designed to replace Consolidations on a 2 to 1 ratio on the C&O’s many mountain branchlines. These tracks featured tight curves, steep grades and light rail.


6-11323 Wheeling and Lake Erie received the first 10 USRA Mallets.

The first order for the new USRA versions came from the Wheeling and Lake Erie. These were subsequently leased to the Nickel Plate. The C&O received an additional 20 units – for a total of 30 built under USRA control. C&O and others would continue to order more later. In all, some 30 railroads and logging companies eventually rostered 2-6-6-2s of some variety.

Nickel Plate

6-11322 WLE's Mallets later saw service on the Nickel Plate.

Lionel’s new model is based on those USRA prototypes. Decorated for the C&O (in USRA delivered and standard paint), the W&LE, NKP and N&W (who rostered similar locos after the war), the models feature appropriate smokebox details for each road. In addition, the models are LEGACY equipped with all of the amazing features you’ve come to expect including whistle steam. Of course you’ll also get directional lighting, firebox and ashpan glow, marker lights, a fan-driven smoke unit, operating tender coupler, LEGACY Railsounds and details too numerous to list here.

The die-cast locomotives will be able to pull impressive trains and the articulated giants are capable of navigating O-54 curves. MSRP: $1,299.99


6-11339 The N&W had similar 2-6-6-2s for its many mountain lines as well.

  • 6-11321 C&O
  • 6-11322 NKP
  • 6-11323 WLE
  • 6-11329 C&O (USRA)
  • 6-11339 N&W

Santa Fe 4-8-4

The 4-8-4 Northern was one of the most well proportioned steam locomotives ever built. And for overall good looks, it was hard to beat the Santa Fe’s 3751 class. Built in 1927 to 1929, these locomotives proved themselves more than capable of handling the Santa Fe’s crack passenger trains. They were so successful that 3 additional orders were later placed, bringing the Santa Fe’s stable of Northerns to 65 locomotives.


6-11332 The famous 3751

The first batch were coal-fired and delivered with 73″ drivers. Santa Fe rebuilt these beginning in 1938 as oil-burners with massive 80″ drivers. Subsequent orders followed that standard.


6-11333 There's nothing like a Santa Fe Northern, and with new LEGACY features there's never been a model of one like this before.

Although 9 Santa Fe Northerns survive today, the first one built is still the most famous. Since being returned to service in 1991, No. 3751 has toured thousands of miles in excursion service. Sister 3759 sits in static display in Kingman, AZ. Lionel is reissuing our fine models of these classic beauties, this time with LEGACY.


3 stack options allow you to model the locomotive with a standard, raised telescoping, or smoke bonnet stack.

The updated Northerns will feature LEGACY command and Railsounds.  You’ll also get directional lighting, firebox and ashpan glow, marker lights, a fan-driven smoke unit, operating tender coupler, and yes, whistle steam to go with that quillable whistle. In addition to the many detail parts applied to the model, you’ll get two additional smokestacks to swap out, recreating the many looks of Santa Fe steam.


Powerful and beautiful, these 4-8-4s will handle O-54 curves and retail for $1,299.99.

  • 6-11332 No. 3751
  • 6-11333 No. 3759


All of these wonderful models are on schedule for delivery in December, 2011! Don’t delay, see your Lionel dealers today.