New Product Spotlight – American Flyer Norfolk Southern Heritage ES44ACs

7 10 2013

We introduced our American Flyer replicas of Norfolk Southern’s now famous Heritage Series of locomotives in 2012. This year we are completing the run with the remainder of the twenty locomotive fleet including a new-to-S Gauge ES44AC!

Reading

6-42531 – Reading SD70ACE

Shortly after their introduction, these locomotives were turned loose on Norfolk Southern to perform daily chores just like the rest of the roster. They can show up almost anywhere at any time on any train. Several have even made it well off of Norfolk Southern’s rails, being seen as far away as Washington and California. Despite their “regular roles” the locomotives are still required to be washed monthly and crews will often take the extra time to make sure they are in the lead on a consist whenever possible.

CofG

6-42542 Central of Georgia ES44AC

Whether you are a fan of modern era railroading or just like seeing a favorite fallen flag back again, these locomotives have something for everybody. And our American Flyer models are designed to please as well.

Both the SD70ACE and ES44AC models have similar features. Powered and non-powered models of each scheme are available with unique numbers. Powered locomotives include:

NW

6-42552 Norfolk and Western ES44AC

  • LEGACY Control System – able to run on LEGACY, TMCC or Conventional power. The models are also DCC enabled.
  • AF Speed Control with on/off switch for maintaining an even speed through curves and grades
  • LEGACY RailSounds featuring
    • CrewTalk and TowerCom announcements with varying scenarios based on the train’s motion

      Interstate

      6-42546 Interstate ES44AC

    • Eight diesel RPM levels
    • LEGACY Quilling Horn
    • Single hit or continuous mechanical bell
    • Independent volume control
  • Two maintenance-free motors
  • Front and Rear ElectroCouplers
  • Mounting holes and support plate for scale couplers (sold separately)
  • Pivoting Pilot allows for operation on tight curves with better appearance
  • Operating headlight, ditch lights, illuminated number boards and detailed cab interior

    6-42544 Conrail ES44AC

    6-42544 Conrail ES44AC

  • Traction Tires
  • Metal Frame
  • Fan-driven smoke unit
  • Die-cast metal trucks, pilots and fuel tank
  • Separately applied metal details
  • Cab window glass
  • Engineer and conductor figures

Non powered locomotives feature:

LV

6-42548 Lehigh Valley ES44AC

  • Metal Frame
  • Die-cast metal trucks, pilots, fuel tank
  • Front and Rear operating couplers
  • Separately applied metal details
NKP

6-42550 Nickel Plate ES44AC

All locomotives will negotiate S-36 curves. All come with American Flyer wheels but can be switched to scale wheels which will be available separately through Lionel Customer Service. ES44AC locomotives retail for $529.99 (powered) and $269.99 (non-powered.) SD70ACEs retail for $479.99 and $239.99.

VGN

6-42535 Virginian SD70ACE

In addition to the locomotives, separate sale cylindrical covered hoppers are also available decorated in complementary schemes for each road name. Twenty of these would certainly create a colorful consist! Cars retail for $79.99 each.

NS

6-42558 Norfolk Southern ES44AC

If you are looking for colorful modern power for your American Flyer layout, it doesn’t get any better than this. Keep your eyes open for these Heritage Units coming to the rails and hobby shops near you!

SOU

6-42556 Southern ES44AC

Wabash

6-42537 Wabash SD70ACE

PRR

6-42554 Pennsylvania ES44AC

S&A

6-42533 Savannah & Atlanta SD70ACE

6-42560 Monongahela ES44AC

6-42560 Monongahela ES44AC





Freight Car Friday – Eastern Ohio Rails

16 08 2013

If you’re headed to our Customer Service Open House tomorrow in Canfield, Ohio you may want to save a little time for some real train watching as well. Northeastern Ohio is a still a busy railroad area with plenty of Class 1 railroads as well as several local shortlines providing lots of action and variety. Several promising train watching locations can be found within just a few minutes’ drive from our Ohio facility.

Norfolk Southern

roadrailer

A Norfolk Southern Roadrailer train heads east against a summer sunset in Columbiana – just south of our facility. With the long summer days, you can enjoy the open house and still get in plenty of train watching!

Today’s Norfolk Southern has several historic ties to the region. The closest rails to Canfield are both former Pennsylvania Railroad lines acquired through Conrail. Just a few miles south of town you can catch lots of mainline action on the former PRR mainline to Chicago and St. Louis. You’ll see freight cars of just about every type here. Intermodal trains are quite common, including double stacks and Roadrailers. You’ll also catch unit trains of coal, oil and ethanol, stone, autos and occasionally grain. There is frequent mixed freight action coming and going from Conway Yard, not far away across the Pennsylvania line. Amtrak’s Capitol Limited also uses the line but normally passes here in the dark.

hazelton

Traffic at Hazelton Yard in Youngstown still shows lots of cars serving steel industries.

Heading east towards Youngstown, you can also catch Norfolk Southern on the Pennsy’s former Youngstown Line. Traffic here is a little lighter but includes a few daily mixed freights, plenty of coal and ore trains along with empties, as well as local runs serving a variety of industries. Although the steel trade is not what it once was, steel products are still make up many of the loads. Gondola, coil cars and flatcars are most common.

For a completely different look, you can travel a few miles in the opposite direction to the large GM assembly plant in Lordstown. Although the plant is served by Norfolk Southern via a small branch line, most of the traffic is delivered to CSX’s nearby mainline. If you’re looking for big boxcars and autoracks, this is the place.

CSX

csx

One of the many auto trains on CSX heads races east ahead of threatening skies. The small town of Lowelville offers a pleasant place to catch all the action – along with the NS Youngstown Line.

CSX comes through the area on former B&O and P&LE tracks. Part of their mainline west from Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington D.C., you’ll see a great variety of traffic here too. In the Youngstown area, CSX and the NS Youngstown line are often close by. With the help of a scanner you can easily catch trains on both lines all day. The lines cross at Center Street in Youngstown and the junction is easily and safely viewed from a public overpass.

CSX traffic includes lots of coal, coke, auto and intermodal trains in addition to mixed freights and locals. Lines east of Pittsburgh have clearance restrictions which limit double stacks to pairs of the shorter international containers. Scenery on this line also varies from quaint small towns to wooded hills, to the urban backdrop of Youngstown to open farmland. If you want a different view, it can usually be had in just a few minutes’ drive.

Youngstown and Southeastern

Lionel boxcar

Here’s one you just can’t shoot anywhere else!

Looking for something completely different? The Youngstown and Southeastern offers a chance to watch some first-generation Geeps hauling large unit trash trains down a single-track branch line. The line was originally the Youngstown and Southern, eventually part of the P&LE and handed down through a long string of owners after 1991. Today the line’s primary function is to serve the Total Waste Logistics trash incinerator. Trash cars are interchanged with CSX and NS in Youngstown.

When not in use, the line’s locomotives can usually be found next to the old station in North Lima. While you’re there, make sure to see the Lionel Lines and LGB boxcars!

We hope you’ll all be able to make it to our 3rd annual open house. There are lots of other great train (and non-train) activities in the region too, so make a weekend of it!





New Product Spotlight – SD40-2 Diesels

1 07 2013

The best-selling locomotive of all time. Anyone who has spent any time beside the rails from the 1970s to today would have no trouble believing the SD40-2’s rightful claim to that title.

Chessie

6-38918 Chessie System

The SD40 was overshadowed in the trade press by the more powerful SD45 when EMD introduced the locomotives in 1965. But crankshaft problems and high fuel consumption in the midst of rapidly rising oil prices caused many railroads to quickly reconsider the priorities of horsepower over efficiency. Soon the “mid-size” SD40 was gaining ground and finding buyers all across North America.

When EMD introduced it’s upgraded “-2” electrical package in 1972, the SD40 became even more attractive. The 3,000 horsepower road engine was just the right size for nearly every task. Its efficient and reliable operation sealed the deal.

B&O

6-38924 B&O

In order to accommodate the new HT-C trucks without compromising the space for the fuel tank, EMD used a longer frame for the SD40-2. The result was a pair of very large “porches” that gave the SD40-2 a distinctive look. When EMD modified the radiator air intakes for the “Tunnel Motor” SD40T-2, most of the back porch was eliminated. We’ve included this variation on our Union Pacific model.

UP

6-38936 Union Pacific (SD40T-2)

In total, EMD sold 3,982 SD40-2s between 1972 and 1989. A testament to the locomotive’s reliability,  most are still in service today. Many railroads have rebuilt their SD40-2 fleets as opposed to selling or trading them. Most of those that have been sold have gone to leasing companies which loan the locomotives back to the railroads when traffic demands are high. Other locomotives like SD45s and SD50s have been rebuilt so that, at least internally, they are identical to the SD40-2.

Found on railroads coast-to-coast (and beyond), Lionel is proud to add five new roadnames to our growing family of SD40-2s. All of the models feature:

  • LEGACY Control – also capable of running on TMCC or Conventional

    Conrail

    6-38933 Conrail

  • 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
  • ElectroCouplers on front and rear
  • Dual motors with flywheels
  • Refined Transformer Control with lower starting speeds
  • Traction Tires
  • Fan-driven smoke unit with adjustable output
  • Directional lighting including LED headlights
  • Working Marker Lights
  • Illuminated number boards
  • Lighted and detailed cab interior with figures
  • Operating Ditch Lights
  • Metal frame
  • Die-cast metal trucks, fuel tank and pilots
  • O-31 minimum curve

Two LEGACY powered and one non-powered locomotive are available for each roadname allowing you to recreate a typical 3-unit consist. These locomotives also frequently wandered from one railroad to another, so mixing some of your favorites will look perfectly prototypical.

Non-Powered locomotives feature:

NS

6-38939 Norfolk Southern

  • Die-cast metal trucks, pilot and fuel tank
  • Select separately applied details
  • Magnetic couplers

In addition to the five new roadnames pictured here, the SD40-2s are also available decorated for the Norfolk and Western, Missouri Kansas and Texas, Burlington Northern, Frisco, Chicago and Northwestern and CSX. See our 2013 Catalog for more images.

From sea to shining sea, the SD40-2 is the perfect power for anybody who enjoys the trains of the 1970s to today. See your local dealer to add this best-seller to your roster.





Freight Car Friday – Everybody Makes Mistakes!

3 05 2013

Mistakes happen. We’ve certainly made a few errors on our models over our 100 year history – some of them are now highly collectible. Sometimes it’s nice to know you’re not alone.

ETTX 909823

Something’s not quite right…

You have to wonder how this car made it out of the paint shop… At some point, the Norfolk Southern autorack attached to ETTX 909823 went into the car shop for some repairs. The replacement panels show up clearly.

But take a closer look at that NS logo… or is it “SN?”

Put this one in the “a prototype for everything” category and give yourself a break the next time you wind up scratching your head at one of your own “oops” moments.

logo

Even the prototype has a bad moment now and then.

Of course by now some of you are probably already thinking of how you could model this car for yourselves. Aside from some differences in the rack itself, our new bi-level autoracks would be a great place to start.

Add a little weathering, some silver paint for the fresh panels, and a new Norfolk Southern decal (applied upside down like the prototype) and you’d have a very interesting conversation car on your layout. Imagine the look on your friends’ faces when you show them the prototype!