A few years back Lionel had decided to redesign the trucks for freight and passenger cars. The new trucks were met with disdain as the trucks lost many features of the previous design. Gone were the swiveling coupler, actual working springs, hidden uncoupler tab, all metal design, smooth functioning coupler. The new design had a bolster made of plastic, the side frames were diecast but the springs were now decoration and no longer functioned. The coupler was fixed to the truck. The hidden tab to operate the coupler was replaced with the ugly thumb tack. The only good feature of the new trucks was the ability to completely disassemble the truck and remove the coupler if the user wanted to use kadee couplers. The previous (and most think superior) design required the user to cut the coupler off. This was a permanent modification. Us buyers responded to the new design with our wallets and refused to buy the new trucks. Lionel saw the buyers response and informed us that they would return to the hidden uncoupler tab as the thumb tack was the worst feature on a scale equipment.
Fast forward to today and Lionel is still using the new truck design, which is poor at best. What Lionel has done in response to our pleas is to retrofit their new truck design with a new coupler shank which has the hidden uncoupler tab. The current freight cars still have the plastic bolster, non functioning springs, and non swiveling coupler. The new hidden tab uncoupler shank is of of poor design to match these inferior trucks. It does not mate well with the existing trucks (of the superior design). The uncoupler tab is a sloppy mechanism. Its mounting causes it to droop and not properly align with other cars which have the previous style.
I had purchased from Lionel, these new trucks with hidden uncoupler tabs for my camera caboose which came with thumb tack couplers. I assumed it would be the previous design which was stamped metal, diecast sides, etc... What I saw matches, what buyers are now seeing on the new run of milk cars. These trucks are still the poor design we complained about the past few years.
I do not under stand why Lionel continues to push this new design which clearly does not work well.