Reply to "Lionel Wabash Bluebird 21" Passenger Set"

Rocky Mountaineer posted:
Jtrain posted:

I predict that we will see a lot of these cars on the secondary market in the near future, where they will sell for about $50/car (or less).  ...

Gotta agree with Rusty Traque on this one.  $40-$50/car is more typical of the 15" aluminum passenger cars with passenger silhouettes instead of detailed interiors.  It'll be quite some time before we see cars like the Lionel 21-inchers down that low from their current $110-$125 price-point.

Having had my Texas Special cars on display for more than a week now, I can make the following observation:  For what I was looking to accomplish, they are nice.  Very nice, in fact.  Enough so that I will be keeping mine, and I look forward to the arrival of the StationSounds diner -- hopefully in 3 or 4 months.

Now having said that, it's also quite obvious that the Lionel 21" ABS cars come up considerably short in detailed finishing touches as compared to Atlas-O and of course, Sunset/GGD.  The more you compare, the more your mind is drawn to that conclusion.  It's not so much a case that the Lionel cars are bad... rather it's more of the reality that the Atlas-O and GGD cars are that good.

As with all things in life, we have decisions to make... both in terms of how much detail we want in our model trains, and also how many $$$ we're willing to spend.  If money were no object, it's quite apparent that GGD delivers a superior product (in aluminum), followed by Atlas-O (in ABS plastic) in a close second-place, and lastly Lionel (also now in ABS plastic) in a more distant and solid third-place.  However, GGD is now pushing almost $300 per car -- and even more for their specialty cars.  So an 8-car set will put you back $2,400 not including motive power.  Atlas-O street prices tend to be around $140/car (give or take a few bucks), so their 12-car CZ train will run about $1,680 (again not including motive power).  And lastly, Lionel's typical 7-car passenger set utilizing their new 21" ABS cars runs about $860 including the rather expensive StationSounds diner. 

So there you have it.  Want ultimate accuracy with the finest detail levels?  Get ready to dig deep and pay the piper for that privilege.  If you don't need -- or want -- to have the absolute finest in O-Gauge passenger car products, Lionel has a darn good offering that doesn't necessarily break the bank.  The choice is yours.



You forgot the K-line 21" cars (if you can find them), which are aluminum, and quite a bit more accurate than the Lionel cars, at about the same price range.  They can still be found, if you look long enough.

 K-line made some of the road-specific details, not all, but some of them, including the primary distinctive ones, while keeping the price down.  Plus they are aluminum, a big plus.  Lionel seemed to want to make these cars as cheaply as possible, with virtually no effort to make them accurate, other than the length.  The Lionel cars are a distant fourth among the 21" cars, well behind GGD, Atlas, and K-line, in that order.

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