New Product Spotlight – Albert Hall Train Set

5 05 2014

Fans of our Hogwarts Express train have been asking us to deliver the locomotive in a more prototypical scheme. With the sleek lines and brilliant colors of this British steam locomotive, it’s no wonder.

Albert Hall

Bring the class and elegance of British rails home with the Albert Hall set.

The Great Western’s Hall Class enjoyed a long production and career. In total, 259 of the 4-6-0s were built between 1924 and 1943. Additional locomotives of a modified design to cope with diminished coal quality were built up until 1950. The Ten Wheelers found service in both passenger and freight assignments.

All but one of the locomotives (destroyed during World War II) passed from the Great Western to the unified British Railways in 1948. All were retired from active service by 1965. Eleven have been preserved, including No. 4983, the Albert Hall.  Well, at least partially!

combine

The chocolate and cream colors of the coaches are the perfect complement to the locomotive.

During major overhauls, it was not uncommon for parts from multiple locomotives to be combined to speed repairs and cut costs. Rebuilt in 1962, Albert Hall contained many parts, including the tender, from No. 4965 Rood Ashton Hall. In subsequent restorations, the switch was uncovered and the locomotive now carries the Rood Ashton Hall name and number (although one side has since been given the Albert Hall plate as well.) The locomotive is a regular on the Shakespeare Express between Stratford-upon-Avon and Birmingham.

This new Lionel set captures the grace of the original train and should bring a touch of class to any railroad. Controlled by the LionChief Remote, the new train is easy to control and comes with many great features:

  • Electric locomotive controlled by remote

    remote

    The LionChief Remote puts all of the controls in the palm of your hand.

  • Operating headlight
  • Puffing smoke with ON/OFF switch
  • RailSounds RC with steam chuffing and background sounds, whistle, bell and user-activated announcements
  • ON/OFF switch for steam chuff and background sounds (all other sounds are only activated by pressing the buttons)
  • Operating coupler on rear of tender
  • Maintenance-free motor
  • Cab window “glass”
  • Die-cast metal locomotive body and tender frame
  • Two traction tires
  • Separately applied details including buffers, coupler air lines, brake stands, marker lamps and valve gear

The user-friendly LionChief remote features a single forward/reverse/speed control knob and three separate buttons for the whistle, bell and announcements. The sounds for this set will have a distinctly British flair, from the shrill whistle to the crew dialog.  The remote requires three AAA batteries, not included.

coach

An additional 2-car set is available to extend your train.

Trailing behind the Albert Hall are three passenger cars in the sublime chocolate and cream livery of the Great Western. The combination and two coaches feature interior illumination, window silhouettes, die-cast metal trucks and operating couplers and soft diaphragms on the ends. An additional combination / coach 2-car add-on set is also available separately.

The set also includes a 40″ x 60″ oval of FasTrack and a wall-pack power supply – everything you need to get started. Retail for the set is $399.99. The add-on passenger cars are $129.99. See you local Lionel dealer to order one today!





New Product Spotlight – LEGACY E8 and E9

17 03 2014

We first introduced our E8 and E9 diesels here on the blog last year. Here’s an update on the project, along with photos of our production samples. These locomotives will be on your dealers’ shelves soon!

E8 noses

Lionel’s new E8 and E9 capture the look of one of the most famous faces of railroading.

One of the most famous passenger locomotives of all time, the E8 and E9 were the last in the long line of EMD’s E units. These locomotives were the face of passenger service on most of America’s railroads for nearly forty years. Towards the end, many found their way into freight service as well. For more history of the prototype locomotives and the trains they pulled, see our earlier blog.

The new E8s include one powered and one non-powered locomotive. Both engines feature:

E9 nose

The Union Pacific E9 features a single headlight above the nose door.

  • Fan-driven smoke unit with adjustable output
  • Directional lighting including LED headlights and Mars Lights where appropriate
  • 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 including the Pennsy’s Trainphone antennae
  • 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
    SP nose

    Like the prototype, the Southern Pacific locomotive includes a headlight on the nose door and a Mars light above.

      • 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
  • IR Transmitter
UP details

In addition to the Mars light, locomotives feature appropriate pilots, horns and other roof-top details appropriate to each prototype.

The A-A locomotive sets will be available in Baltimore and Ohio, Burlington, Florida East Coast, Kansas City Southern, Milwaukee Road, Pennsylvania, Southern Pacific and Union Pacific. Retail price is $929.99. Matching passenger car sets will also be available.SP e8





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.