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!


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.


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:


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


      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:


6-42548 Lehigh Valley ES44AC

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

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.


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.


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!


6-42556 Southern ES44AC


6-42537 Wabash SD70ACE


6-42554 Pennsylvania ES44AC


6-42533 Savannah & Atlanta SD70ACE

6-42560 Monongahela ES44AC

6-42560 Monongahela ES44AC

New Product Spotlight – American Flyer 2-8-8-2

5 03 2012

Let’s start the 2012 new products in a BIG way – with the N&W 2-8-8-2 Y-3 coming to American Flyer. The Y-3 brings size, power and variety to the American Flyer line.

Prototype History

6-48180 N&W

Norfolk and Western often set the standard for steam, and no N&W design was more copied than the 2-8-8-2.

The Norfolk and Western developed the 2-8-8-2 into a drag freight powerhouse with the Y-2 in 1918. When the USRA assumed control of railroad operations, they based their standard 2-8-8-2 design on the N&W’s locomotive. This became the N&W Y-3 class in 1919, and copies were delivered to the B&O, Clinchfield, and Virginian. After the war, additional locomotives were built for the N&W (class Y-3A and Y-3B), Clinchfield, Northern Pacific, Rio Grande and Virginian. Used N&W locomotives also found their way onto the Pennsylvania (6), Union Pacific (5) and Santa Fe (8). The Pennsy kept theirs mainly in the yards and never latched on to the articulated concept in a big way. Santa Fe used theirs as helpers on the famed western grades. The Virginian also received seven additional used units in 1948.

6-48182 Virginian

N&W's neighbor, Virginian owned 2-8-8-2s from both the USRA era and N&W hand-me-downs.

The big locomotives developed over 100,000 pounds of tractive effort on their 16 57 inch drivers and weighed in at 240 tons. Alco, Baldwin and the N&W all built various examples of the class. Major differences between subclasses of the Y-2 and Y-3 were cylinder size, boiler tubes and tenders. The locomotives enjoyed long careers on many lines, but none as long as the N&W. These earlier 2-8-8-2s were in service as late as 1959. The N&W was still building new 2-8-8-2’s, the ultra-modern Y-6b, in 1952.

The Model

6-48179 PRR

The Pennsylvania acquired six N&W Y-3's and experimented with them in the 1940s but never adopted articulated locomotives of its own on a grand scale.

The USRA and other railroads knew a winning design in the N&W’s 2-8-8-2 when they saw it, and so did Lionel. After releasing the popular locomotives in O, they were a natural addition to the expanding line of American Flyer scale models.

With metal frames, bodies and wheels, dual flywheel-equipped motors and traction tires, these models should have no trouble duplicating the mountain-climbing drag-freight performances of the prototype on your layout. You’ll be in complete control of that power with the LEGACY control system. Able to operate in LEGACY, TMCC or conventional models, the locomotives’ are also equipped with a speed control feature which automatically compensates for grades and curves.

6-48178 ATSF

Santa Fe jumped on N&W's surplus 2-8-8-2s and added 8 to its roster.

These models will sound as good as they look, with LEGACY Railsounds including synchronized chuffs, 6 pre-programmed speed levels, quillable whistle, continuous or single hit bell, crew and tower talk.  They’re loaded with lighting effects too – directional headlights including the back-up light on the tender, numberboards, marker lights, ashpan glow, cab interior light and flickering firebox lighting. And of course, there is synchronized smoke to go along with the sounds.

We’re offering the 2-8-8-2 in several of the most popular roadnames, with many road-specific details added including proper “doghouse” tenders on the N&W and PRR versions. These big locomotives scale out at 21.5″ in length, and will negotiate a 36″ diameter curve. MSRP is $999.99. The 2-8-8-2 comes decorated for the following roads:

6-48181 UP

Union Pacific never saw a big locomotive it didn't like and took five 2-8-8-2s when N&W put them up for sale.

  • 6-48180 Norfolk and Western
  • 6-48179 Pennsylvania
  • 6-48178 Santa Fe
  • 6-48181 Union Pacific
  • 6-48182 Virginian

See your dealer to order one today!