I was looking around and found a Lionel 6-28044 Hudson for sale. It didn't have much information listed and it isn't listed on the Lionel website, so I did a search and I've pieced the following info together, mainly from old auctions, so I'm not sure of the accuracy of the information.
It appears this is a semi-scale Hudson (also referred to as a "baby" Hudson - 21" long) with a can motor and signal sounds and command upgradeable. It looks like it was part of the 2000 6-21956 New York Central Freight set. Interestingly, Lionel had a similar set the same year with the only difference being conventional railsounds, with the set number being 6-21988 and the Hudson 6-28065.
Is anyone familiar with these Hudson locomotives or similar vintage as far as looks, operation, problems, etc.? Easy to upgrade? What would you think is a fair price? I operate traditional size trains, conventional and command control, so I am interested in a baby Hudson or a Hudson jr.rather than the large more scale Hudson models.
Lionel made a bunch of diecast Hudsons and Pacifics in various roadnames in the 1999-2000 timeframe. Some came with TMCC and RailSounds, and some were conventional but upgradable. Many of them were available in both versions. Lionel was making a big effort at this time to get TMCC and R/S out to buyers and develop acceptance and a market for it. It was similar to what Lionel did with the line of GP-9s they did just before, beginning in 1996-97 and continuing into the 2000s (a very successful program that "sold" the market on the advantages of TMCC), except now with steam engines. These steamers were good solid engines, as I recall. Here's an example, from the 2000 Vol. 2 catalog. The street prices were a good bit less than retail shown in the catalog, incidently.
New York Central 4-6-4 Hudson Steam Locomotive A workhorse of the New York Central Railroad with over 200 locomotives in service, the Hudson steam engine was worth its weight in gold. Now you can add this unique all-gray version to your yard. Perfectly sized for medium layouts, this locomotive is sure to be one of your favorites.
Features common for both Command and Traditional versions:
Die-cast boiler, tender body, locomotive frame, trucks, operating coupler (rear of tender) and pilot truck, Precision can motor with momentum flywheel, Puffing smoke unit, Operating headlight, Traction tire, Red firebox glow, Direction activated lighting on rear of tender
Minimum Radius: O-31
Length: 20 1/2”
Additional features included on Command versions:
Command controlled, RailSounds with CrewTalk and TowerCom, ElectroCoupler on rear of tender
Additional features included on Traditional versions:
Command and RailSounds upgradeable, SignalSounds with bell and whistle, Magnetic coupler on rear of tender
(6-28030) Command #5450 $499.95 (6-28031) Traditional #5451 $399.95
I'm wondering if some of the Hudson's in the 2000 catalog looked pretty similar on the outside but had different features (other than the more obvious TMCC/conventional and Railsounds/Signalsounds) on the inside?
The Hudson's mentioned by breezinup list precision can motor with momentum flywheel and the list price for the conventional one was $399.99. I couldn't find a parts breakdown on the Lionel web site.
The Hudson's I mentioned don't list anything about the motor. I did see a photo of the box end for the sister engine (6-28065) that lists "powerful DC can motor" and I found a parts breakdown for the 6-21988 set that shows the locomotive parts. It lists a dual shaft motor, but doesn't list a flywheel. The Hudson locomotive I am considering is part of a set with a few cars, track and transformer and it has a list price for the set of $399.99.
Either the sets were a really good deal compared to the individual sale locomotives, or the locomotives in the sets might not have been as full featured, such as having momentum flywheels.
I wonder if Lionel sold command upgradeable locomotives that had can motors without flywheels? I'm guessing the performance won't be as smooth if the motors don't have flywheels?
All the info I'm learning is helpful, but new information sometimes just brings up more questions.
These baby Hudsons first appeared in the 1999 Volume1 catalog along with the new
Baby Pacifics. Both command control and traditional versions were offered at
$499/$399 MSRP. A maintenance free can motor with momemtum flywheel is listed
as a common feature of both the traditional and command versions.
Lionel online parts does list a breakdown and diagram for engine 28007 NYC w/ command. Many years ago I upgraded the Dept 56 Hudson to TMCC and RS, I dont recall what exact style of motor it had. I'm thinking it had a flywheel. I'll look to see if it shows anything in the owners manual.
The grey NYC traditional Baby Hudson was never made, was made as command only.
These engines shouldn't be confused with the smaller Hudson Jrs that came out a little later. The Baby Hudsons are much larger and more detailed than the Hudson Jrs. Some of the Hudson Jrs had plastic tenders, where are the Baby Hudsons and Baby Pacific had diecaset tenders.
In the photo the engines on the top and bottom shelfs are Baby Hudsons, where as the
The Hudson from the set you mentioned (shown in the first picture below) is undoubtedly the larger, fully-featured Hudson, as it has, among other things, a diecast tender. It also came with top-line rolling stock, and the picture is that of the larger, more deluxe Hudson. The diecast tender is a sure giveaway in identifying it. The smaller, less-featured Hudson has a plastic tender (second picture shown below), and was much less expensive.
New York Central Freight Set RailSounds Version (4-6-4 Steam Loco #5412)
If you are looking for the ultimate in quality, durability and a great price for a ready-to-run train set, you need look no further than Lionel’s premium New York Central Freight Set. Leading the set is a new, highly detailed die-cast steam locomotive that is fully upgradeable to TrainMaster® Command Control. It is coupled with a durable die-cast tender, and boasts an impressive puffing smoke unit and red firebox glow. Three pieces of high quality Lionel rolling stock, all with die-cast trucks, are punctuated with a classic lighted bay window caboose. Running on standard O-31 track and powered by the all-new 80BW 80 watt transformer, this set has unparalleled power and is the ultimate way to begin years and years of railroad excitement.
Die-cast locomotive and tender
Single dome tank car
Flatcar with trailer
Bay window caboose
8 pieces of straight and 8 pieces of curved O-31 track
80BW 80 watt transformer/controller
Command upgradeable die-cast 4-6-4 locomotive and tender
Back-up light on tender
SignalSounds version upgradeable to full RailSounds
Command upgradeable die-cast 4-6-4 locomotive and tender, SignalSounds with bell and whistle or digital RailSounds with bell and whistle, synchronized chuffing, crew announcements, brake squeal and steam sounds, Puffing smoke unit, Die-cast trucks, Operating headlight, Back-up light on tender, Red firebox glow.
SignalSounds version upgradeable to full RailSounds.
Rolling stock features include: Die-cast trucks and operating couplers, Detailed molded bodies and frames, Interior illumination (caboose), Painted bodies.
New York Central 4-6-4 Steam LocomotiveThis all-new, highly detailed steam locomotive is sure to be an instant favorite. Made from completely new tooling, this locomotive has all of your favorite features: Real-life puffing smoke, SignalSounds with bell and whistle, operating headlight, separately applied handrail details on the boiler, real spoked wheels you can see through and die-cast trailing trucks. All this and a great price, too! It’s a great way to start your layout.
All-new die-cast steam locomotive, Precision can motor, Operating headlight, Puffing smoke unit, Separately applied metal handrails, Spoked metal drivers, Traction tire, Detailed molded tender with die-cast trucks and operating coupler, SignalSounds with bell and whistle
breezinup and ed h, thank you both for posting the Lionel web site info and your thoughts on the Hudson models. I was looking around the Lionel web site today for the various Hudson locomotives and looking through the engine manuals when Lionel had a link. Although the catalog/website info didn't always mention flywheels, most of the manuals did have the information and the motors had flywheels (even the cheaper Hudson posted by breezinup). The 6-21956 set (6-28044 locomotive) didn't have an engine manual link, but the sister engine in the 6-21988 set (6-28065 locomotive) did have an engine manual link. The manual was very close to what ed h posted. Since the sister engine has a motor with a flywheel, and the only difference in the engines is signalsounds in one tender versus conventional railsounds in the other, I'm sure the 6-28044 locomotive has the motor with flywheel.
I copy interesting topics from the forum and save them as word documents on my computer. I was just looking at the photo of the baby Hudson/Hudson jr. comparison yesterday (before you posted it today!). It was in a topic I had copied about Hudson jr. locomotives and I wanted to refresh my memory about the different traditional size Hudsons by Lionel. It's a good picture to see the size difference between the baby and jr. locomotives.
These are the 8000 Series Hudsons. These are great engines and similiar in size to the PW 2046/56. I have the NYC Grey, and the Southern and LL in Pacifics. Fantastic sounds. They do use the old style piston smoke unit. The NYC Hudson does a lot of pulling on my layout. G