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@DL&W Pete posted:

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Just some rolling stock and the same passenger cars

I was wondering if there'd be an ATSF fantasy scheme.   Technically, this isn't a bad base for ATSF modelers - pre-1947. I don't know what year 3415 was rebuilt but the class was pretty USRA-like until they were rebuilt.   Even had 40 coal burners in the early years - though my guess they were all Oil burners by 1940.

Class 3400 (Locobase 124)



This was the last class of Pacifics bought by the Santa Fe and like so much of the railroad's stud, came from Baldwin. Similar to the USRA's Heavy Pacific in its tube and flue counts but fitted with a grate close in size to the USRA's Light Pacific and delivered with drivers close in size to the latter, these engines clearly reflected a relatively conservative approach on the part of head of motive power John Purcell. Worley (p.252) commented "...they were, truth to tell, quite ordinary post World War I Pacifics, just as average as such a locomotive could become."

Forty were delivered as coal burners and were later converted to oil burning, while the last ten burned oil from the beginning.

During the first fifteen or so years of service, the class saw few changes. A couple of engines were retrofitted with thermic syphons, Elesco feed water heaters were installed in many engines, and some were fitted with cast steel cylinders, but the only class-wide difference over the years was the trailing of a tender that carried 20,000 US gallons (75,700 litres) of water. The oil burners' tenders had 7,000 gallons of fuel oil (26,495 litres).

Then all but six of the class were completely rebuilt beginning in 1936; see Locobase 15875.

Class 3400-rebuilt (Locobase 15875)

Locobase 124 shows the 3400 class as delivered. The entry notes that the Santa Fe changed little in these engines for almost 20 years after they entered service. But beginning in June 1936, the railroad essentially rebuilt almost the entire class. Although fewer and shorter small tubes fit in the new boiler, the flue count remained the same. The firebox, which now burned oil in all engines, added AA security circulators and a short combustion chamber. A Commonwealth cast-steel bed cast integrally with the cylinders supported higher axle loadings and taller Boxpok drivers turning in Timken roller bearings.

After their makeover, the last of which was completed in 1947, the class served the Kansas City-La Junta, Newton (Kan)-Galveston (Tex), and Newton-Clovis (NM) divisions until their retirements in the mid-1950s.

@Jacobpaul81 posted:

I was wondering if there'd be an ATSF fantasy scheme.   Technically, this isn't a bad base for ATSF modelers - pre-1947. I don't know what year 3415 was rebuilt but the class was pretty USRA-like until they were rebuilt.   Even had 40 coal burners in the early years - though my guess they were all Oil burners by 1940.

I don't have a problem with the fantasy schemes as presented.  Only 5 railroads had USRA Light Pacific's or "copies," those built after the USRA was dissolved.  ACL, B&O, L&N had originals, GTW and M&O (along with ACL and L&N) had copies.  The decorations are accurate enough for similar locomotives of the various railroads.

At least there's no "Black Bonnet" for the Santa Fe like on their O Scale 2-10-10-2...

I would be cautious about the Great Northern, however.  Lionel's last two O gauge locomotives had an almost electric avocado green on the boilers rather than a proper Glacier Green.

Rusty

Some plusses:

I imagine that most of the Pacifics will sell because they are Legacy steam, decent models, and will fit in with what folks are doing. The new Army rolling stock can be used with the US Pacific. Just the same, kinda pricey, and previous TMCC versions are available for sale out there for less $.

The Reading and Northern set is an interesting idea, but one would hope that they revisit the colors on the heavyweights and that the blue on the Pacific is done close to prototype. For this excursion train one requires more passenger cars and no baggage car. The pricing is wicked. Lionel is charging the customer another $700 MSRP for three heavyweights and a caboose!

However,

The commemorative American Flyer passenger train is expensive and (to these eyes) ghastly looking. A recreation of a classic Gilbert passenger set in an updated form and modern Legacy tech would have been a much better choice.

The rolling stock is more of the same. No new modern rolling stock to go with the modern SD70's and ES44's that are around in abundance.

Regrettably, another lost opportunity, IMHO.

Happy looking.

Bob

@Jacobpaul81 posted:

I hadn't seen that til you mentioned it.  Gross.  A good reminder that Lionel is just a toy company pretending to make models.

Lionel is a company with the goal of making profits while selling model train products.  If some of them have fantasy paint schemes, so be it.   Why the constant bitter attitude toward the sale of items which others may like, and you can just choose to ignore?   I guess you would have advised Joshua Cowan against releasing those "silly" Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck hand cars in the 1930's. 

@RadioRon posted:

I guess you would have advised Joshua Cowan against releasing those "silly" Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck hand cars in the 1930's. 

The world of model railroading was considerably different in the 1930's.

Fortunately, the Black Warbonnet abomination 2-10-10-2 is in the O Gauge lineup so we S folks don't have to worry about it.

Don't worry, our carping won't stop Lionel from doing what they do to turn a buck.  I'm surprised there isn't a "Girls Train" version of the 2-10-10-2.  Yet...

Rusty

Last edited by Rusty Traque

That's one reason Big L apparently will never understand the S gauge market. ACG set the standards high (for the times) in terms of scale when it came to engines and rolling stock. The operating accessories, not so much, although the sawmill and baggage smasher were more to scale--the other operating accessories were more left-overs from the O line, and were marketable to both AF and L and MarX owners. Where they missed out on the 75th, (IMHO) They could have done a redo of the 4014 with the challenger's trailing truck and tender, the two major "oopsies" of the original 4014 engines. A steamer with an oil fueled tender would have been a big "commemorative" piece--and the ATSF Pacific would have been a good choice for one (as would the 4014). Personally, I think a rework of the Northern with a daylight boiler & tender would have been a big hit. The other thing they missed on, AND they have the tooling for them--would have been some operating accessories; Sawmill, Oil Drum Loader. A Bell Danger signal would be a nice addition. A replica of the ACG demonstration radio broadcast Pullman car could have been done pretty much with just paint and lettering changes.

75th anniversary, SOO much could have been done with little tooling costs. . . . And it could have made money! At least we got some printed catalogs.

Frankly, the easy way out would have been with "Goldbonnet" PA's (there was a goldbonnet special event PA1 for a few weeks,) and replace the Santa Fe lettering with American Flyer on the nose and sides.  Have them pulling a five car streamlined passenger set with gold window bands and put the names of notable Gilbert employees on the car name boards.

But, that's just me...

Rusty

Every year and catalog is the same.  We all complain about what they didn't make that we wanted and hoped they would or what they are making is poorly done.  I think that is why they don't listen to us.

In the past when I interviewed the people at Lionel about Flyer for the S Gaugian I heard, "If you ask 20 Flyer guys what they wanted you get 20 different answers."  That was followed by, "We try to produce what we think will sell with the tooling costs we can afford."

They used to use a small secret committee of known Flyer people for suggestions.  I know of a couple of these people and they haven't really met for several years.  Well, there is always the next catalog.

Well, does this then confirm that all the discussions we have had in the past about the commitment from Lionel is actually true and that they are not listening to us at all.

It seems that they still have this perception that we are just like the three rail O gauge fraternity in that whatever they throw at us we will just lap it up and take whatever they think is the best thing.

It sounds like they need a new set of S gauge people to communicate with to get a grasp on which direction they should really be taking. This is for a combined Flyer people and the scale group as well so that both factions need to work together to get the best from Lionel.

I thought is was ask 20 Flyer guys and get 25 different answers...

Lionel folks actually attended the NASG convention in Oconomowoc WI back in 2003.  They were proudly (and rightly) showing off component test shots for the new Mikado.  They also asked serious questions and had a survey with what they could do for S Gaugers and Scalers.  There was talk of duplicating some of the Scale O products in S.  It looked like they really wanted to listen.

Of course, that was several management changes ago.

Rusty

I thought is was ask 20 Flyer guys and get 25 different answers...

Lionel folks actually attended the NASG convention in Oconomowoc WI back in 2003.  They were proudly (and rightly) showing off component test shots for the new Mikado.  They also asked serious questions and had a survey with what they could do for S Gaugers and Scalers.  There was talk of duplicating some of the Scale O products in S.  It looked like they really wanted to listen.

Of course, that was several management changes ago.

Rusty

So what went wrong?

I may be odd man out, but I am pleasantly surprised. I was not expecting a new Legacy offering. I will be ordering the NYC and perhaps the USRA. Yes, there are other locos I would have preferred, esp. a new scale wheeled option 6 axle diesel like the elusive SD40-2, but I had no expectation of them investing in new tooling for our small market. So thank you Lionel. I'll be delighted to add these to my layout, esp. having experienced the fantastic Legacy Berkshire which is now the best non-brass steamer that I own.

The world of model railroading was considerably different in the 1930's.

Fortunately, the Black Warbonnet abomination 2-10-10-2 is in the O Gauge lineup so we S folks don't have to worry about it.

Don't worry, our carping won't stop Lionel from doing what they do to turn a buck.  I'm surprised there isn't a "Girls Train" version of the 2-10-10-2.  Yet...

Rusty

They are working on obtaining the marketing rights to Powerpuff Girls.   

I for one am pleased to see the amount of new S gauge items in the catalog. Not all are of interest to me but I will buy two of the Legacy Pacifics, even though I already have some modified TMCC versions.

In some ways S gauge is easier for product planning than O gauge, everything is made to scale except some passenger cars that are 10' short. There is no semi scale, no scale and full scale like in O gauge. The only question is which control system and how much separately applied detail. Lionel even adapted the Legacy system for us so it will run with DCC. In the new catalog Lionel has a first for their S gauge line, engines that will not run on 20" radius track. If these sell well maybe it will open up opportunities for other new engines as well. Lionel also invested in a full line of close to scale FasTrack for S gauge operators.

I am sure Lionel knows what would sell in S based on what sells in O gauge. I am sure they know we want Legacy Hudsons, K5's, 0-8-0's and SD40-2's. All those engines would have a lot of upfront costs, might never happen.

When I go into my train room and boot up the layout I never focus on what is not there. I select engines and cars for operation right then. I have more Legacy and TMCC engines than I can run in a week. I am also thankful that Lionel is including the IR interface to the LCS  Sensor Track in all new Legacy engines. Looking at the Legacy system, the Layout Control System and the ZW-L transformers to power everything, there are a lot of Lionel products that are fully compatible with S gauge and add to the enjoyment and viability of S gauge.

@AmFlyer posted:

I am sure Lionel knows what would sell in S based on what sells in O gauge. I am sure they know we want Legacy Hudsons, K5's, 0-8-0's and SD40-2's. All those engines would have a lot of upfront costs, might never happen.

And this is the problem, they align what people want in the O gauge world and translate it to the S gauge world thinking this is what we want. How many people have said that this doesn’t work and they still don’t listen.

I can’t remember the number of years that so many people have said why don’t they produce the SD40. This just proves that they really are not listening.

Perhaps the truth is that they don’t wish to promote S because if it did become a growing sector then it will eat into the O market. At the end of the day they would be in a win win situation but perhaps they don’t see this as an advantage in sales.

@AmFlyer posted:


I am sure Lionel knows what would sell in S based on what sells in O gauge. I am sure they know we want Legacy Hudsons, K5's, 0-8-0's and SD40-2's. All those engines would have a lot of upfront costs, might never happen.

I assume by Hudson, you mean J-3.   I'd be a no on all 4.   And there lies the rub - we don't all want the same things - no matter what scale we are in. 

Chuck, if they will run on 20"R track, and their TMCC predecessors do, it is more than a typo because it appears in multiple places. It does not matter to me because I only have 30" and larger radius track. Perhaps somewhere in the product planning cycle the minimum radius changed and it was missed in the copy editing.

I was just running my TMCC NYC Light Mikado with a long string of freight cars behind it. Will be nice to have a Legacy Light Pacific version even though the NYC never had that engine.

There are very few Legacy and Vision line O gauge engines I would not buy. Maybe Lionel could start with the Legacy B6 Sb in S gauge, then the PRR 6-4-4-6 Torpedo and then a Reading T1. An H1 would also be nice.

What sells in O is not necessarily what sells in S. What sells to the Highrail folks is not necessarily what sells to the scale folks. HOWEVER, there is a lot of crossover in there that will sell.  If you look at the O crowd, and the number of manufacturers who made and sold out of SP Daylight Northerns, I think it is prudent to say that a Daylight Northern in S would sell very well IF it were close enough to scale to be easily modified to scale. It could even sell to "modern" folks as it is prototypically run on modern railroads!   Hmm, same thing could be said of the NW J engine, AND the UP 4014--and to an extent, the UP 844.

But, as I said, they missed the boat without doing some accessories, and I like Rusty's suggestion of the golden PAs and cars.   There's one very  popular accessory they still haven't done; the mail pickup car, which could easily be done with their streamline baggage car shell.

Now why the Pacific sets are listed for $1,400+ and the Polar Express sets are $400+ is beyond me; how do you justify the $1K price difference?  Perhaps they hope to amortize the entire tooling costs in one run. . . . .

Of course, we are talking about a diminishing marketplace too. . . .

@AmFlyer posted:

Chuck, if they will run on 20"R track, and their TMCC predecessors do, it is more than a typo because it appears in multiple places. It does not matter to me because I only have 30" and larger radius track. Perhaps somewhere in the product planning cycle the minimum radius changed.

It is odd, but I can't imagine that they would exclude so many customers who have traditional Flyer curve radii nor that they would change it that much from the TMCC version.

@Ukaflyer posted:

And this is the problem, they align what people want in the O gauge world and translate it to the S gauge world thinking this is what we want. How many people have said that this doesn’t work and they still don’t listen.

I can’t remember the number of years that so many people have said why don’t they produce the SD40. This just proves that they really are not listening.

Perhaps the truth is that they don’t wish to promote S because if it did become a growing sector then it will eat into the O market. At the end of the day they would be in a win win situation but perhaps they don’t see this as an advantage in sales.

100% Agree.  When I look at the NASG list of produced locomotives - it's basically a list of the roads and models I see mass produced in every scale  (Except the AM 2900 class Northern - that took some balls!).  The roads reflect that with most attention paid to SP, UP, NYC, and the PA.

The current approach is certainly based-in how it's always been done operations - where O and S were in competition.  Now that S is basically in the hands of Lionel, you'd think they'd want to control who goes where - selling S to a specific group and O to a specific group.   Otherwise, why even bother producing both?  They are "close enough" to one another - that producing everything in both can't be financially viable.

I could envision a targeted approach - producing western roads in S and eastern roads in O.  I mean, that's already the case - other than SP / UP - HO tends to be more popular for the West, O for the east.

Last edited by Jacobpaul81
@Ukaflyer posted:


I can’t remember the number of years that so many people have said why don’t they produce the SD40. This just proves that they really are not listening.



23 years!!!

AF SD40 Flyer Cover

Cancelled before the ink was dry on the brochure.  The image was a photoshopped Athearn HO model.

@AmFlyer posted:

Chuck, if they will run on 20"R track, and their TMCC predecessors do, it is more than a typo because it appears in multiple places.

Cut-'n-Paste-itis.  The simple fact is Lionel won't make any Flyer that won't run on R20.  How many times have the catalogs stated the non-existent "S36" curves?

Heck, even AM's HiRail Northern will do R20.  It doesn't look very happy about it, but it will do it.

@traindavid posted:

Now why the Pacific sets are listed for $1,400+ and the Polar Express sets are $400+ is beyond me; how do you justify the $1K price difference?  Perhaps they hope to amortize the entire tooling costs in one run. . . . .



I seriously wonder if they are actually cranking the S version out at the factory every year or if they're just upgrading the electronics in old stock.

Rusty

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  • AF SD40 Flyer Cover

This message board probably reflects only a small percentage of S gaugers. Of all the S gaugers I associate with, most are strictly Flyer guys, a few  dabble with Lionel S and NONE are familiar with this forum. The catalog will never satisfy everyone as everybody wants their favorite things to be produced no matter how obscure the item or roadname. I have my ideas what I'd like to see, some of which is mentioned here, but considering that they would require all new tooling and expense, so far NG. Eastern roadnames have always seemed to be the most popular. The B6b and 0-8-0 boilers are probably too small for the legacy package. I think I could be happy with one new Legacy offering per year.

@richabr posted:

This message board probably reflects only a small percentage of S gaugers. Of all the S gaugers I associate with, most are strictly Flyer guys, a few  dabble with Lionel S and NONE are familiar with this forum. The catalog will never satisfy everyone as everybody wants their favorite things to be produced no matter how obscure the item or roadname. I have my ideas what I'd like to see, some of which is mentioned here, but considering that they would require all new tooling and expense, so far NG. Eastern roadnames have always seemed to be the most popular. The B6b and 0-8-0 boilers are probably too small for the legacy package. I think I could be happy with one new Legacy offering per year.

Population = Sales.    No question.  The brass importers are mostly based in San Francisco - so Southern Pacific gets heavy treatment in all scales.  UP as well.  UP benefits from being the trans-con - but let's face it, UP's popularity is the Big Boy.  The Daylight helps SP's cause - as does it's presence in Houston, Dallas, and LA.  PA and NYC and to a lesser extent B&O and Nickle Plate are popular cause the heavily populated areas they crossed - running from large eastern coastal cities to St. Louis or Chicago.

From Scale to Scale - AT&SF is basically the Passenger warbonnet - and nothing else.

Other large roads, like the Rock Island, Frisco, MKT, Burlington, Great Northern, L&N, Southern, etc  are bascially grabbing at the scraps - the occasional USRA or similar model- what have you. 

But if you make the same stuff from scale to scale - eventually some scales will die.  And then others will die.  And eventually, the only people who are left are Flyer / O-27 operators and fans of the Penn, NYC, UP, and SP...

Oh wait, that's what's left... 

Well, there are lots of factors and changes at Lionel over the years, but if you think about it we are lucky that Lionel has stuck with Flyer.  They have made tons more product than Gilbert ever did and for over 40 years when Gilbert lasted for almost 20 years.

I remember when Lionel started with 3 freight cars and I couldn't wait to get them. Then there were the first sets and I ordered them from Charles Ro.  I still have the receipts.  At first I had to buy every new product they offered every year.  Finally I had to give up that practice as the number of products grew every year.

Sometimes we need to put things in perspective, we would be still running mostly old modified Gilbert had not Lionel brought back Flyer.  American Models and S Helper probably came into being because Lionel kept the market active and buying S.

Yep, there is always the next catalog and the products we hope they will make.

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