Product number inflation - Lionel's new 7-digit numbering system

There have been a lot of comments (both good and bad) about the products in Lionel's 2018 V2 catalog. But, has anyone noticed that for the first time in a very long time, the product numbering system has changed?

The first two digits are the year of introduction. So, when you see a lot of 19's, you can guess when you'll see these products.

The next two digits are the marketing category. For example, to name a few random ones: 25 is track, 26 is O scale rolling stock, 28 is O traditional rolling stock, 29 is operating accessories, 31 is scale steam locomotives, 35 is motorized units, 38 is US made, 42 is Lionscale, etc.

The last 3 numbers are basically sequential numbers which represent different unique road numbers/names.

Think about this product number inflation in terms of a mundane die cast bumper. In the 1940's it was a No. 26. In the 1950's it became a No. 260. By the 1970's, MPC made those same bumpers a No. 6-2283. Not to be outdone, LTI threw in another digit, and made the same product a No. 6-62283.  But six digits was apparently insufficient to describe the lowly No. 26 bumper, so now we have seven digits, should they ever choose to make them again.

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