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Just stopped by my LHS and took a quick look, as I didn't have much time, at the new catalog. A new Legacy Pacific in 6 roadnames, heavyweight passenger hospital cars, some new tankcars W/O platforms, annual Christmas cars, one with music and reruns of the previous heavyweights and EP5's. Probably to get additional orders. A few anniversary offerings and some additional things that I didn't pay much attention to.

Last edited by richabr
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@richabr posted:

Just stopped by my LHS and took a quick look, as I didn't have much time, at the new catalog. A new Legacy Pacific in 6 roadnames, heavyweight passenger hospital cars, some new tankcars W/O platforms, annual Christmas cars, one with music and reruns of the previous heavyweights and EP5's. Probably to get additional orders. A few anniversary offerings and some additional things that I didn't pay much attention to.

New Haven EP5’s? Are they Legacy or traditional?

@Ukaflyer posted:

They were keeping it hidden all these years so that they could re-introduce it especially for the 75th anniversary and hope people didn’t know it existed.

Well, I have a Chicago and Alton set and a B&O USRA Pacific (assuming that is the loco we are talking about) like Rusty's. Being TMCC fitted with Seuthe smoke units, I am absolutely sure that my previously purchased ones are technically superseded by a new Legacy Pacific. But, owning two samples of the previous engine takes the shine off of the reissues for me. Maybe, one will be able to obtain parts for a partial upgrade of the older Pacific (and Mikado) steamers. I shall look at the new catalog with interest.

Bob

Last edited by Bob Bubeck

If I remember right the Flyer Legacy pacific MSRP was $599 although I may be "misremembering."

Didn't check if the EP5's were Legacy, I assumed they were Flyerchief as before.

As soon as I saw Pacific, my first thought was "I hope they changed out the sleuth unit." I'm not an expert on pacific variations but it sure looked like the TMCC version. B&O was one of the offerings.

Catalog had a lot of items, just nothing that rang my bell as I glanced at it.

@Bob Bubeck posted:

Well, I have a Chicago and Alton set and a B&O USRA Pacific (assuming that is the loco we are talking about) like Rusty's. Being TMCC fitted with Seuthe smoke units, I am absolutely sure that my previously purchased ones are technically superseded by a new Legacy Pacific. But, owning two samples of the previous engine takes the shine off of the reissues for me. Maybe, one will be able to obtain parts for a partial upgrade of the older Pacific (and Mikado) steamers. I shall look at the new catalog with interest.

Bob

I have a Mikado with a failed Seuthe smoke unit. Still a very nice engine and I can live without the smoke, it wasn’t that impressive when it did work. Not sure if the 50/60 Hz was a problem as the sound is all screwed up as well, known  problem at the time.

I have a Mikado with a failed Seuthe smoke unit. Still a very nice engine and I can live without the smoke, it wasn’t that impressive when it did work. Not sure if the 50/60 Hz was a problem as the sound is all screwed up as well, known  problem at the time

Hopefully they squeezed one of currently used units into the smaller shell.

It is this engine pictured below. It is a "light" Pacific #6-48061, from the Lionel 2008 Vol.2 catalog. Catalog price was $649.99. These are TMCC with Seuthe smoke units. Go to Carl Tuvesons web site, he has an off the shelf mod to retrofit an MTH fan driven smoke unit, 4 chuffs/revolution and cruise control. These are very nice engines, equal in detail to the Y-3. This and the Mikado were made from all new tooling. There has not been a Legacy pacific made to date.

@richabr posted:

I am still confused.  Is that photo from the new catalog or of an old engine?  Can anybody confirm it is the old tooling or did they make new

It's not really a photo, it's the type of images used in all the catalogs. Difficult to tell without an actual comparison of catalogs.

Lionel in the past used images of the O Gauge version with the third rail photoshopped out or Flyer track photoshopped in...

I can wait a week.  They're not going to be produced any faster because of a catalog leak.

Rusty

Last edited by Rusty Traque

These are nice engines, now I am excited to see the catalog.

Here are two pictures. One shows the engine pulling away from a station, fan driven smoke makes a major difference. The other one is the NYC (it is the Mikado version) sitting in front of a Santa Fe Y-3. The detailing is excellent on these engines from 15 years ago.267D1286-DFDE-4F97-AB10-86D673850A7667852168-1A2E-4B0F-87E7-D3053D8AA01D

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Yep, although it was the other way around as the Mikado came out first.

Rusty

The Berkshire/Pacific/most likely the Mikado down the road are some positives for S scale folks. I have doubts that Lionel will revive the old Flyer Hudson and K-5 which are NYC and PRR specific. The USRA steam engines can be painted for a large number of roads without having to go fantasy. With tooling so expensive my hunch is if Lionel produces more S gauge steam it will be scale sized capable of navigating Gilbert sized curves. A scale version of the USRA 0-6-0 or 0-8-0 (hello Nickel Plate Road!) are a couple more steam locomotives that a lot of railroads owned.

@MTN posted:

The USRA steam engines can be painted for a large number of roads without having to go fantasy.

Oddly enough, they are fantasy paint schemes.  (But at least they're not outrageously painted...) Only the Atlantic Coast Line, Baltimore & Ohio and Louisville & Nashville bought USRA Light Pacific's.  Only other roads that bought what are known as "copies," purchased after the USRA was dissolved, were the Grand Trunk Western and Mobile and Ohio (merged later into the GM&O.)

No other roads bought USRA Light Pacific's or copies.

Now, the USRA Light Mikado: That was a locomotive purchased by a pretty good number of railroads.

Rusty

@DL&W Pete posted:

16105556143336750219510484593765

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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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.

They're prices have gone up significantly over the last 2 years, but I think we all have to remember that without a big competitor like MTH, Lionel's prices will continue to escalate.  They have a total domination on the market now.  The shame of it is I always thought for the last ten years that Lionel's steamers have pulled away from MTH in that their sound quality was better and the whistle steam came equipped on almost all of their engines.  But, MTH's steamers from the last  year have caught up in a huge way with authentic sound and whistle steam coming standard.  Not only that, but MTH's engines are about 350-400 dollars less than Lionels at this point.  I was just telling my LHS today that if MTH was still in business today I truly believe Lionel would be in trouble.  

Not sure what catalog you're looking at, but the one I'm looking at says just the engine is $1499.99.  I have the Legacy K4 Pacific from the 2011 Catalog, it listed at $899.99.  The addition of BT isn't enough to make me want to pay close to double for a similar engine.

John,

I, too, am looking at the catalog listed above in this thread.   The price you see is for the set.....

pacific set

leg eng



Sorry they're kind of blurry.  Best I could grab from the video.

The locos by themselves are NOT $1500

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@A.J. posted:

They're prices have gone up significantly over the last 2 years, but I think we all have to remember that without a big competitor like MTH, Lionel's prices will continue to escalate.  They have a total domination on the market now.  The shame of it is I always thought for the last ten years that Lionel's steamers have pulled away from MTH in that their sound quality was better and the whistle steam came equipped on almost all of their engines.  But, MTH's steamers from the last  year have caught up in a huge way with authentic sound and whistle steam coming standard.  Not only that, but MTH's engines are about 350-400 dollars less than Lionels at this point.  I was just telling my LHS today that if MTH was still in business today I truly believe Lionel would be in trouble.  

Wrong forum.  MTH has not been much competition to Lionel American Flyer.  2 catalogues in 7 years and the products from the second catalogue are only just now being delivered. Also, there are no MTH steamers in S.

@Chuck K posted:

Wrong forum.  MTH has not been much competition to Lionel American Flyer.  2 catalogues in 7 years and the products from the second catalogue are only just now being delivered. Also, there are no MTH steamers in S.

It is the fault of the subject line that O Gauge comments show up here.

There is no indication that it is about S Scale/Gauge.  I tend to search out S related posts first and passed over this tread initially because of that.

"2021 Lionel Catalog Steam" can cover everything from HO to the el-cheapo G gauge sets in the 2021 catalog.

This part of the forum lies deep withing the realm of the O gauge community.  We must make the "S" distinction in the subject line if we don't want comments relating to O Gauge.  I mentioned earlier that the subject line be amended to add either "Flyer" or "S Gauge."  Obviously, that did not happen.

This is the responsibility of the OP of any S discussion to indicate somehow in the subject line, particularly with a generic topic like steam locomotives.

Back to our regularly scheduled discussion...

Rusty

Last edited by Rusty Traque
I find it interesting that any idea with new tooling is "too expensive." I can remember when ANY new large locomotive in S was considered "too expensive" and then there was the Big Boy done mostly with existing tooling as a "toe in the water" test--and it sold out! All of a sudden S was worth doing other large engines, some really nice ones too!! But now, once again, "too expensive." "Wouldn't sell." Its kind of a self induced conclusion that the scale is dying.
@traindavid posted:
I find it interesting that any idea with new tooling is "too expensive." I can remember when ANY new large locomotive in S was considered "too expensive" and then there was the Big Boy done mostly with existing tooling as a "toe in the water" test--and it sold out! All of a sudden S was worth doing other large engines, some really nice ones too!! But now, once again, "too expensive." "Wouldn't sell." Its kind of a self induced conclusion that the scale is dying.

The Big Boy has one thing going for it: Mystique.  It's a big honkin' engine that most everybody is in love with.  Had the K-Line tooling not be available, I doubt there would've been one.  I will still carp about it being oversized and mis-proportioned for S, but it did open the door for the Challenger.

However, for some reason it appears the Challenger didn't do so well because they were offered in five new roadnames (four of them fantasy) the following year.  I would hazard to guess they were available because orders for the first run didn't meet expectations. I don't think Lionel fired up the assembly line to make more for 2011.

The Y3 (arguably the best Flyer locomotive made post-Gilbert, IMHO) appears to have sold well.  Even some Scalers ponied up the extra 500 bucks to have them converted to scale.  Although had the conversions not been offered by a third party, those sales wouldn't have happened.

So, now we get a platoon of 6 separate sale Pacific's.  One prototype (B&O,) one quasi-prototype (USRA.  Should have the purchasing railroad on the sided of the coal bunker, but I won't really ding the lack of one.  An intrepid modeller could add that with decals.) and four tastefully done fantasy roads (AT&SF, D&RGW, GN and NYC.)

Then there's the two set locomotives: One fantasy (Anniversary) and one prototype (Reading & Northern.)

The Anniversary Pacific is in eye of the beholder territory.  The R&N will depend on color accuracy, but both may fall victim to the set prices.

So, what can we expect in the future?  Don't know.  But if Lionel still has the Mikado drive tooling, we may see those in the near future.

Rusty

So, what can we expect in the future?  Don't know.  But if Lionel still has the Mikado drive tooling, we may see those in the near future.

Rusty

The Mikado is a great engine, however I would balk at buying another ‘new’ one because of the unwanted electronics I am forced to buy.  I run DC and see no need for all the fancy stuff that has to be included just to get it to run on 10 different systems.  I believe I have one of the first Y-3s reprogramed to run on DC and I am very disappointed with its ‘work around’ performance.  You sort of never know what it’s going to do.  That is why with any Flyonel engine I have the first thing is to take the boards out.  So $700.00 for a $450.00 engine with the difference being unless electronics?   Easy – no thanks.

Tom Stoltz

in Maine

@Tom Stoltz posted:

The Mikado is a great engine, however I would balk at buying another ‘new’ one because of the unwanted electronics I am forced to buy.  I run DC and see no need for all the fancy stuff that has to be included just to get it to run on 10 different systems.  I believe I have one of the first Y-3s reprogramed to run on DC and I am very disappointed with its ‘work around’ performance.  You sort of never know what it’s going to do.  That is why with any Flyonel engine I have the first thing is to take the boards out.  So $700.00 for a $450.00 engine with the difference being unless electronics?   Easy – no thanks.

Tom Stoltz

in Maine

I remember that adventure. When I did testing I discovered that reliable DC operation on the Y3 depended solely on the power pack.

But I don't see anyone else with the potential to produce USRA Mikado's right now.  AM's having trouble bringing out the Vandebuilt tender Pacific and apparently has no interest in making a Mikado chassis to place under the Pacific's boiler (which would make a fairly nice, bare-bones USRA Heavy Mikado.)

Rusty

So, now we get a platoon of 6 separate sale Pacific's.  One prototype (B&O,) one quasi-prototype (USRA.  Should have the purchasing railroad on the sided of the coal bunker, but I won't really ding the lack of one.  An intrepid modeller could add that with decals.) and four tastefully done fantasy roads (AT&SF, D&RGW, GN and NYC.)

I did my research on prototypical light pacifics yesterday after seeing comments in this thread about the fantasy schemes in the catalogue.  I was delighted to find some great photos of several of L&N's. It looks like the catalogued 'USRA' version will be a great candidate for conversion to L&N or one of the very few other prototype roads like ACL or GTW with a little bit of paint work and some new decals. To my knowledge there has never been an RTR L&N steamer made in S (and believe me I scoured the NASG page looking when came into S), so I will get at least one and perhaps two of these USRA's and will soon have my first L&N steamer or two with just a wee bit of modification. I just wanted to point this out in case there are any L&N, ACL or GTW fans starving for an S scale steamer.

@Chuck K posted:

I did my research on prototypical light pacifics yesterday after seeing comments in this thread about the fantasy schemes in the catalogue.  I was delighted to find some great photos of several of L&N's. It looks like the catalogued 'USRA' version will be a great candidate for conversion to L&N or one of the very few other prototype roads like ACL or GTW with a little bit of paint work and some new decals. To my knowledge there has never been an RTR L&N steamer made in S (and believe me I scoured the NASG page looking when came into S), so I will get at least one and perhaps two of these USRA's and will soon have my first L&N steamer or two with just a wee bit of modification. I just wanted to point this out in case there are any L&N, ACL or GTW fans starving for an S scale steamer.

Lionel did make a Flyer ACL Pacific back in 2008.

Rusty

Rusty, what were the four fantasy schemes for American Flyer Challenger? On the NASG website I looked up the models offered by Lionel (Clinchfield, Denver and Rio Grande Western, Great Northern, Northern Pacific, Western Pacific, and Spokane/Portland & Seattle) and checked the history of the Challenger 4-6-6-4 class, and it appears that all of these railroads did own Challengers. Many did not like them and traded them off to other railroads as soon as they could, but they did run them. Or did Lionel take some liberties with the sizes of driving wheels and graphics from real life? I'm curious because I thought Lionel did a good job with these after recovering from the Big Boy.

Terry

@richabr posted:

Just stopped by my LHS and took a quick look, as I didn't have much time, at the new catalog.

A suggestion.  Rename the thread to say 2021 Lionel Catalog S-Scale Steam.

That will clearly identify which end of the catalog this thread pertains to and stop dummies like me from posting about the O-scale stuff.

As the thread starter, you can edit the Subject.

@TOKELLY posted:

Rusty, what were the four fantasy schemes for American Flyer Challenger? On the NASG website I looked up the models offered by Lionel (Clinchfield, Denver and Rio Grande Western, Great Northern, Northern Pacific, Western Pacific, and Spokane/Portland & Seattle) and checked the history of the Challenger 4-6-6-4 class, and it appears that all of these railroads did own Challengers. Many did not like them and traded them off to other railroads as soon as they could, but they did run them. Or did Lionel take some liberties with the sizes of driving wheels and graphics from real life? I'm curious because I thought Lionel did a good job with these after recovering from the Big Boy.

Terry

They did own Challengers, just not the same design as the UP and Rio Grande (which the D&RGW got by way of the War Production Board, then the Rio Grande later sold them to the Clinchfield.)

That classifies the other four as fantasy in my book.  Just like the Flyerchief Northern's in the 2020 V1 catalog.  Yes all 6 roads had 4-8-4's but they are fantasy paint jobs on a distinctively UP locomotive.

I'm not criticizing the Challengers, (or the Northern's) at least Lionel didn't give them screwy paint schemes...

BTW: GN bought their two 4-6-6-4's from the SP&S in 1946, then sold them back in 1950 and the SP&S scrapped them in 1960.  NP, and WP didn't sell their Challengers, they held on to them until they were retired and scrapped.  NP scrapped theirs between 1955 and 1959.  WP scrapped their 4-6-6-4's in 1952.

Rusty

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Thanks for those details, Rusty. I knew about the D&RGW, but I wasn't sure about the others. Lionel does take a lot of heat for failing to apply railroad-specific details to locomotives, and this is particularly difficult for steam locomotives that were typically "custom" jobs for each road. When Lionel does a surprisingly good job with road-specific (and probably expensive) modifications such as on the first issue of the U33Cs, those efforts go unnoticed. I hope their marketing group does not give up on S despite chronic the griping but, instead, continues to seek advice and recommendations. Maybe a small committee of "experts" from the NASG (National Association of S Gaugers) could take surveys, fight among themselves, and provide some information that Lionel could assess. My guess is that the excellence of the U33Cs, Y-3s, and improvements in the SD70ACes and ES44ACs was partly the result of "consultants" who are or were members of the NASG.

Terry

@TOKELLY posted:

My guess is that the excellence of the U33Cs, Y-3s, and improvements in the SD70ACes and ES44ACs was partly the result of "consultants" who are or were members of the NASG.

Terry

If they only they offered scale wheels for the latest batches of U33C's.  The wheels made available for the first run won't work because of a gearing change.

I have friends that refuse to buy the SD70's and ES44's because the headlight is not in the nose.  Only NS and some UP's had the headlights on the cab up by the numberboards.  My friends feel that for the price Lionel's asking for them, they could at least move the headlights where the bulk of railroads have them.  I disagree with them, but they won't change their minds.  I figure we were lucky to have what we have.  If Lionel didn't try to jump on the UP and NS "Heritage Bandwagon," we probably wouldn't have modern diesels at all.

Rusty

Lionel does do some odd things now and then, such as cylindrical hoppers with misaligned scale wheels complete with the large American Flyer couplers. The latest U33Cs and U36Cs should have scale wheels as an option, as you said. The Y-3s could run on DC, but they didn't seem to know it until that was pointed out to them (the backup light on the tender is on in forward and off in reverse, though.) At the end of 2014 about 6.4% of all ES44ACs had the headlight between the numberboards, and I agree that Norfolk Southern's "Heritage Bandwagon" was all that Lionel was looking at then. Although it bothered me, I figured I could fake it a bit by fitting a BTS headlight with MV lenses into the rectangular depression meant for a nose light on the ES44AC.  It's held on only by GOOP glue so as not to damage the paint if I were to remove it. It doesn't light, but that locomotive trails the BNSF SD70ACe with the numberboard headlight and, unfortunately, a number for an SD70ACe with the nose light.

If it weren't for the misplaced headlight, the ES44AC locomotives would rank along the Y-3 and the Berkshire as American Flyer locomotives where Lionel got almost everything right. Since the Mikado nearly 15 years ago, Lionel has provided some very nice locomotives for the S gauge high-railer. With just a little more effort they could appeal to those who use scale track to run diesel locomotives. BNSF dieselsBNSF SD70 high headlight

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Good morning,,

I am not an S scale person, as a matter of fact I run on original Gilbert track and rubber roadbed.

I am not looking for an argument with any of the others here on the forum, but just wondering. I have seen a number of S scale layouts illustrated and a few in person. I know a number of scalers do scratch building, something way beyond my capabilities, and looking at some of the photos of these layouts they are fantastic. My question is would it be possible for any of you who really want the locomotives with scale wheels to remachine the high rail wheelsets  from the big L to fit your desires? I realize these products are expensive as purchased now but, might this be a way to get more of what you want.

Just a thought from an American Flyer operator.

Ray

It is the time and cost of having to remove the wheels, machine them and refit them, especially for steam locomotives. Add this to the initial purchase cost and it is going to make it prohibitive to a lot of people. S Helper had the right idea on the diesels.

I suspect the art of the true scratch builders of years ago is not quite the same as today. People want to take something out of the box and expect it to meet all requirements and not do much to them. With high quality/detail comes a cost and somewhere has to be a compromise.

@Rayin"S" posted:
My question is would it be possible for any of you who really want the locomotives with scale wheels to remachine the high rail wheelsets  from the big L to fit your desires? I realize these products are expensive as purchased now but, might this be a way to get more of what you want.

Just a thought from an American Flyer operator.

Ray

@Ukaflyer posted:

It is the time and cost of having to remove the wheels, machine them and refit them, especially for steam locomotives. Add this to the initial purchase cost and it is going to make it prohibitive to a lot of people. S Helper had the right idea on the diesels.



Fred Rouse of the now pretty much defunct S Scale Locomotive and Supply offered a limited amount of scale conversions for the Y3.  Cost was $500.00 plus shipping.  An additional $75.00 got you the DCC code installed.

Rusty

@Rayin"S" posted:

My question is would it be possible for any of you who really want the locomotives with scale wheels to remachine the high rail wheelsets  from the big L to fit your desires?

Unfortunately the profile of a high rail wheel, esp. an AF one, is very different from one that meets the scale wheel std. So it is a matter of machining from scratch rather than modifying highrail wheels.  NWSL will make custom wheels, and they are currently making some to fit the U33c/36c based on the request of Rick Koch. I don't yet know what the cost will be.

@Chuck K posted:

Unfortunately the profile of a high rail wheel, esp. an AF one, is very different from one that meets the scale wheel std. So it is a matter of machining from scratch rather than modifying highrail wheels.  NWSL will make custom wheels, and they are currently making some to fit the U33c/36c based on the request of Rick Koch. I don't yet know what the cost will be.

However, when operating your trains, can you really see the difference between High-rail and scale wheelsets?  Or the difference in height of the rail?  The difference in height is about 1/32".

Tom Stoltz

in Maine

@Tom Stoltz posted:

However, when operating your trains, can you really see the difference between High-rail and scale wheelsets?  Or the difference in height of the rail?  The difference in height is about 1/32".

Tom Stoltz

in Maine

Well, yes, no and maybe.  While I posed a lot of my HiRail stuff on my former code 100 railroad, I certainly couldn't run them on it.

Y3 122212 04

Although I'll admit in operation on larger rail, it does get difficult to notice.

hw0106

When I ran a video taken at this train show in 2001 to a very detailed-oriented HO modeller, he didn't even notice the claw couplers until I pointed them out.   Even the AM's code 148 rail isn't that noticeable.

I am considering moving up to Fox Valley track whenever I get around to building a new layout.  It may be scale, it may be HiRail, it may be hybrid with the turnout mod.  Haven't decided.

Rusty

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Regarding the statement “Ask 20 S Gauge people what they want and you will get 25 different answers” I believe the problem is with Lionel.  It’s true you can’t please everybody but you can find out what a majority of people were willing to buy.  For 2 years I did surveys here and with some user groups to find out the top 5 items in multiple categories (Engines, Cars, Track & Accessories) people want Lionel to make.  They were ranked and Lionel saw them.  It would make more sense to pull from those lists then make engines, cars and sets that no one asked for.  Better to please 50% of the people then 0% of the people.  If they don’t like what their customers came up with then offer us a list of 5 choices and see what we would be willing to buy.

—Rocco—

Well, yes, no and maybe.  While I posed a lot of my HiRail stuff on my former code 100 railroad, I certainly couldn't run them on it.

Y3 122212 04

Although I'll admit in operation on larger rail, it does get difficult to notice.

Rusty

What is baffling with the Y3 is that the front and trailing wheels have the typical large flanges, while the driving wheels have a much lower profile. Why did they not make the front and trailing wheels to the same profile?

My Mikado has all its flanges with large flanges, so ther were consistent on this engine.

Results of the Lionel product survey from last Fall:

results



The biggest thing that sticks out to me is the low number of votes. That is the problem IMHO. If you want an importer to do road specific details on an engine for example they would need to have quantities in the thousands. Scale Trains in HO does engines in runs reaching over 10 thousand depending on model. If you follow any of Jason Shron's (Rapido) videos he goes into great detail about what it takes to build trains overseas. I had a post on the S scale FB group about the S scale passenger cars that Scott at 3rd Rail/Golden Gate Depot wants to make and got ripped to shreds mostly due to the $1800 per set cost. He isn't close to having enough orders to go forward. Not enough S people, and not enough people willing to spend the money that these low volume runs will require.

It's purely economics. I'm glad Lionel found the Pacific tooling and has been able to fit Legacy. I want to know if they will have a fan driven smoke unit synched to 4 chuffs per revolution and Kadee coupler option. For the price increase over the Berkshire I would hope so.

I have converted the original Pacific to DCC with a TCS WowSound decoder and I'm pretty pleased with it. Having a Legacy version with synched smoke unit would be even better as Legacy is just more fun and easier to use IMHO.

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I voted in that survey fully prepared to purchase products if made. I also put in a reservation for a set of the GGD passenger cars.

Something seems a little off to me. There are an adequate number of S scale operators willing to pay $2,900 for a RR engine with DCC, and $2,600 just DC to enable tooling and manufacture. People are also paying $350 for RR REA cars. Why would the same group of S scale operators object so strongly to $1,800 for a set of scale passenger cars? The target market is not the Gilbert/Lionel S operators since the planned GGD cars will not run on 20" R track.

My old TMCC Pacifics have 4 chuffs with synched fan driven smoke. They are nice running and great looking engines.

@Tom Stoltz posted:

Perhaps because they knew it wouldn't matter to Lionel?  I voted knowing I would not buy anything that has Legacy electronics in it.

Tom Stoltz

in Maine

Well Tom, the top 3 are all Legacy engines so I'd say you are in the minority. All I can say is that Lionel is the only company bringing out new S products. If people don't buy WHAT they make, the WAY they make it, then you might as well say goodbye to new S products. Doesn't matter what I want or what you want, it's what they think they can sell. As Rusty has pointed out they don't always have a great grasp on what to make and have had some bigtime flops lately, but I give them credit because they have gotten better over time and the Legacy Berkshires are fantastic.

As it has been said... Ask 20 S modelers and you'll get 21 different answers because the first one will have changed their mind by the time you're done.

@AmFlyer posted:

I voted in that survey fully prepared to purchase products if made. I also put in a reservation for a set of the GGD passenger cars.

Something seems a little off to me. There are an adequate number of S scale operators willing to pay $2,900 for a RR engine with DCC, and $2,600 just DC to enable tooling and manufacture. People are also paying $350 for RR REA cars. Why would the same group of S scale operators object so strongly to $1,800 for a set of scale passenger cars? The target market is not the Gilbert/Lionel S operators since the planned GGD cars will not run on 20" R track.

My old TMCC Pacifics have 4 chuffs with synched fan driven smoke. They are nice running and great looking engines.

Need to correct you on a couple things Tom.

-TMCC AF Pacifics came with a Seuthe smoke unit, Not a fan driven smoke unit synched to the sounds.

-They had 2 chuffs per revolution not 4. Karl Tuveson has info on his website how to make them 4 chuffs by installing a new cam.

-The GGD passenger cars are being offered in Scale and Hi-Rail with BOTH scale length and shortie (AF compatible) length options.

Scott needs to sell ~900 cars to break even. I would guess significantly more to make enough profit to warrant going forward with the project. He isn't even close to the break-even MOQ. The webpage has been viewed 4,385 times, but only ~50 sets (roughly 300 cars) had been ordered as of last month. That's why I say that there aren't enough people in S willing to spend the money... because they haven't. I realize it seems like a lot of money to many, but Scott doesn't set his costs... the factories do. If he can't get enough orders to break even then I think that just points to there not being enough people in S to "move the needle". In HO even a niche product can have thousands of orders just due to the massive numbers of people in the scale. S just doesn't have that luxury.

Last edited by jonnyspeed

Jonathan, I had the Seuthe units and the flywheels removed and cruise control, 4 chuffs and MTH fan driven smoke units installed in all my Mikado's and Pacifics shortly after purchase. They went from my least favorite to most favorite engines, topped only by the Y-3 when I purchased one.

I am aware of the choice of wheels, after some thought I actually ordered my set with high rail wheels. I missed that there was an option for short cars for 20"radius track, I guess since I wanted the full length cars. For the short cars the AM Budd cars at $329 retail for four would make the GGD at $329/car (or was it $350) seem unreasonably expensive.

How about a more specific survey that would have more guidance then just "Large articulated steam engine" or " medium sized steam engine?" Some ideas: SP Daylight Steam engine $500 range SP Daylight Steam engine $800 range N&W J Steam engine $500 range N&W J Steam engine $800 range SP Cab Forward Steam engine $800 range SP Cab Foward Steam engine $1,000 range Corrected UP Big Boy $800 range Corrected UP Big Boy $1,000 range UP Big boy with only corrected tender & trailing truck $800 range ACG 0-6-0 slope back tender steam engine $400 range ACG 0-8-0 NP switcher steam engine $400 range I will admit that I don't know modern Diesel engines, but similar questions. This would give them not only prototype results, but pricing too.

Part of the problem is everyone wants "their" favorite nowadays.  If it's not on the survey, fugettaboutit.

Do I have a favorite?  Sure... The Russian Decapod, particularly Frisco.  Do I expect one to be produced in S?  No.  Does it prevent me for participating in a survey?  No.

However, I have become reluctant to participate in surveys (I eventually did participate in this one) because nothing usually comes from it.

Right now we've got two so-called major players in the S "mass" market, for lack of a better term: American Models and Lionel.  One has less resources than the other.  Both insist on marching to their own drumbeat.  And who know when Ron B's going to retire...

MTH is done.  Even if someone buys the Showcase Line from MTH, expect at least a year before anything shows up and 4-5 more for anything truly new.

There's River Raisin and PBL for brass, but that's even a smaller piece of the pie.  Plus, PBL is almost exclusively narrow gauge.  For the average S person, RR & PBL are $$$$ and neither cater to the HiRail/Flyer crowd.

Can you believe that River Raisin couldn't get enough reservations for the N&W J?  A famous locomotive (even before the excursion era) that was supposed to be a slam-dunk.  Another company (G&W Models) also tried getting interest in the "J" back in the late 80's and failed.  Go figure...  I honestly don't think a Daylight GS4 would fare much better.

Rusty

Rusty, look at the price range that River Raisin is in--I would have bought their SP Mogul, but can't swing $3K for an engine to "play" with. If they had actually done SP 1727---hmmm. welllll, I might have! But it would have just become a shelf queen for me, so. . . . Yes, there is a market out there, but the price breaks are tough.
Rusty, look at the price range that River Raisin is in--I would have bought their SP Mogul, but can't swing $3K for an engine to "play" with. If they had actually done SP 1727---hmmm. welllll, I might have! But it would have just become a shelf queen for me, so. . . . Yes, there is a market out there, but the price breaks are tough.
@traindavid posted:
Rusty, look at the price range that River Raisin is in--I would have bought their SP Mogul, but can't swing $3K for an engine to "play" with. If they had actually done SP 1727---hmmm. welllll, I might have! But it would have just become a shelf queen for me, so. . . . Yes, there is a market out there, but the price breaks are tough.

That's the issue isn't it? If you want 1 SP Mogul then you could pay probably in excess of $10,000 to have one hand made by a craftsman. However, the more you make the less they cost due to economies of scale and production efficiencies. RR can do 100-200 or whatever Dan made at $3000. If you could sell 2000-5000 I bet that price would drop to about $1500 or less. If you could sell 10,000 I bet you could bring that model in under $1000.

I don't begrudge Dan or Scott for their prices. Both guys are honest and upstanding. They aren't getting rich on these projects. This is what it costs to bring these projects to market in such low volumes.  How long the market will bear the prices is the issue.

@traindavid posted:
Rusty, look at the price range that River Raisin is in--I would have bought their SP Mogul, but can't swing $3K for an engine to "play" with. If they had actually done SP 1727---hmmm. welllll, I might have! But it would have just become a shelf queen for me, so. . . . Yes, there is a market out there, but the price breaks are tough.

Part of it is River Raisin is the caviar, not the meatloaf.  RR's also paying a higher labor rate in Korea while making small runs.  The other part is the there's a sad reality that nowadays it costs almost as much to bring a small locomotive to market as it does a large one.

Rusty

@traindavid posted:
Rusty, look at the price range that River Raisin is in--I would have bought their SP Mogul, but can't swing $3K for an engine to "play" with. If they had actually done SP 1727---hmmm. welllll, I might have! But it would have just become a shelf queen for me, so. . . . Yes, there is a market out there, but the price breaks are tough.

$3,000?!?  Not quite.  They retailed for $1,499.

Rusty, that was my point, RR was the caviar, and the J market was the meatloaf gang!  Chuck, hmm, thought I remembered them being the higher price, oh well. . .

I have a Y3, and I think it's one of the best engines big L made in S, details and operates great through ACG trackwork. I consider it proof that they CAN do one right.

But, as long as they believe the production costs will exceed the sales, we will see nada.  I know many were shocked at the sales for the BB when it came out, and the results (short term) were the Challengers and the Y3s.  Anyone know if the sales were strong enough?  I have to assume the Polar Express sales were/are good, as they are still cataloged and at affordable prices.

Do I have a favorite?  Sure... The Russian Decapod, particularly Frisco.  Do I expect one to be produced in S?  No.  Does it prevent me for participating in a survey?  No.



Can you believe that River Raisin couldn't get enough reservations for the N&W J?  A famous locomotive (even before the excursion era) that was supposed to be a slam-dunk.  Another company (G&W Models) also tried getting interest in the "J" back in the late 80's and failed.  Go figure...  I honestly don't think a Daylight GS4 would fare much better.

Rusty

Road specificity is gonna be a killer for any models going forward.  Too small of a market. Locomotives like the Big Boy, Daylight, J3, etc - are popular models with collectors.   But they aren't exactly operator friendly choices.  Lionel not offering scale wheels will hurt the market. That's a bad choice on their part.

The 2-10-0 Russian suggestion is actually a very good choice.  Tons of roads had them - and the USRA based their version off the originals specs.  I'd buy one.  No question - if scale is an option.  Not only that, the motor block could be re-used for a generic 2-10-2 Santa Fe class.  Over 2200 of those were built and used across a ton of roads.   

@traindavid posted:

I have to assume the Polar Express sales were/are good, as they are still cataloged and at affordable prices.

Given how many Polar Express variants Lionel's selling in O Gauge, I actually find it hard to believe the Flyer version actually sells that well to keep it on the production schedule year after year after year.  It's not like Flyer is sold in all the places Lionel O is sold.  It would be interesting to know the numbers but I know Big L will never release them.

There's been no significant changes to the Flyer PE over the years.  Additions, yes.  Changes, no.  I can't help but wonder if there's just a stack of dust covered PE sets hiding in a corner of the building somewhere waiting to be bought.

Rusty

@Jacobpaul81 posted:

The 2-10-0 Russian suggestion is actually a very good choice.  Tons of roads had them - and the USRA based their version off the originals specs.  I'd buy one.  No question - if scale is an option.  Not only that, the motor block could be re-used for a generic 2-10-2 Santa Fe class.  Over 2200 of those were built and used across a ton of roads.   

Well, not really. The Russian decapod is not a large locomotive.  It looks big, mainly because it's narrow boiler is fairly high off the frame.

The Russian's driver diameter is 52".  Strasburg's ex-Great Western decapod's is 56".  A USRA 2-10-2 driver diameter is 63".   Depending on the Class, Santa Fe's 2-10-2's had either 57" drivers or 63" drivers.  The Pennsy's N1s and N2s 2-10-2'a had 62" and 63" drivers respectively.

Rusty

@Tom Stoltz posted:

However, when operating your trains, can you really see the difference between High-rail and scale wheelsets?

Yes, definitely.  The Flyonel flanges are huge even relative to hi-rail wheels from AM, SHS/MTH, SSA and Ace.  In fact the flanges are so big on the PA's and on the tenders, pilots and trailing  trucks of the Flyonel steamers that they bump against the molded rail spike heads of 27" radii FasTrack curves making a very loud and very bad rumbling as they pass through. All the other aforementioned brands of hi-rail wheels travel these curves with no problem.

@Chuck K posted:

In fact the flanges are so big on the PA's and on the tenders, pilots and trailing  trucks of the Flyonel steamers that they bump against the molded rail spike heads of 27" radii FasTrack curves making a very loud and very bad rumbling as they pass through. All the other aforementioned brands of hi-rail wheels travel these curves with no problem.

I seem to remember that the early years of Flyonel PA’s had a lower profile flange, more akin to the Gilbert PA’s of the mid 50’s. I believe Flyonel changed the PA flanges to the much larger style around the time of the NYC PA set.

So why did Lionel increase the flange height? I run a lot of my original Gilbert PA’s and GP7’s and don’t have any problems with them.

Well, not really. The Russian decapod is not a large locomotive.  It looks big, mainly because it's narrow boiler is fairly high off the frame.

The Russian's driver diameter is 52".  Strasburg's ex-Great Western decapod's is 56".  A USRA 2-10-2 driver diameter is 63".   Depending on the Class, Santa Fe's 2-10-2's had either 57" drivers or 63" drivers.  The Pennsy's N1s and N2s 2-10-2'a had 62" and 63" drivers respectively.

Rusty

I would take a pair of Legacy Erie 2-10-0 Russian Decapods. Really neat little engines that have never been done in S to my knowledge.

Credit: Monroe County Historical Org.

Last edited by jonnyspeed

I would think that any steamer considered would either have to have prototypically been used by a few roads, some close enough copies used by other roads or be a good candidate for "fantasy" schemes. The popular choices of the N&W J(shrouded, unshrouded on same road), SP GS(shrouded, unshrouded on same road, AFT), Big Boy (UP std, maybe greyhound fantasy same road) J3 Hudson (NYC Std W/ reg tender/centipede, Dryfuss, Century on same road, B&A "close").  All these popular choices had limited roadname exposure and limit the manufacturers offerings of reality before venturing into fantasy schemes. Correct me if I missed any actual uses of these realworld models. Even so I believe any of these have a better chance of sales than some of the more obscure real world steam variants. ****, I'm still hoping for a Legacy set of Baldwin Sharknoses!

@jonnyspeed posted:

Depends on how they flange/blind the drivers. The HO model that Bachmann makes requires 22" which is ~30" in S. Could be less if they blind more drivers.

The PFM HO model will go around 18" radius and all its drivers are flanged like the prototype.  The Bachmann models have the center driver blind.  It all depends on tolerance.

But a Russian Decapod in S is snowball in heck territory.  After two false starts in the past, I doubt we'll see one.  You won't see one from Lionel because they haven't done on in O.  MTH has the files, but who knows those will wind up.

Rusty

The Russian's driver diameter is 52".  Strasburg's ex-Great Western decapod's is 56".  A USRA 2-10-2 driver diameter is 63".   Depending on the Class, Santa Fe's 2-10-2's had either 57" drivers or 63" drivers.  The Pennsy's N1s and N2s 2-10-2'a had 62" and 63" drivers respectively.

Rusty

So make it with 60" and call it good.  Only a rivet counter would claim to notice, if they could tell.

Tom Stoltz

in Maine

@Chuck K posted:

Yes, definitely.  The Flyonel flanges are huge even relative to hi-rail wheels from AM, SHS/MTH, SSA and Ace.  In fact the flanges are so big on the PA's and on the tenders, pilots and trailing  trucks of the Flyonel steamers that they bump against the molded rail spike heads of 27" radii FasTrack curves making a very loud and very bad rumbling as they pass through. All the other aforementioned brands of hi-rail wheels travel these curves with no problem.

Maybe if you are up close and really looking, but if they are running...  I keep trying to load a video that has all 3 types of wheels in one train (going through a turnout) and the focus is on the wheels -- you can't tell.  Don't know if it will run for you but try the link:

http://www.tomsturnouts.com/video/VideoTTT.html

Tom Stoltz

in Maine

@Tom Stoltz posted:

So make it with 60" and call it good.  Only a rivet counter would claim to notice, if they could tell.

Tom Stoltz

in Maine

60"???  That's 8 prototype inches, almost a full 1/16" larger that would be on an S Russian. It's easy to get away with slightly undersized drivers, but harder to get away with oversized ones.

Stretched out over 5 driver pairs that's an extra 5/16" on an S scale model, not counting some additional spacing needed between drivers.  I'm not sure the selective expansion over the length wouldn't be noticeable.  Might as well just drop the trailing truck, add another driver to the Mikado's frame and plop the Pacific/Mikado boiler back on it, then call it done.

Maybe Lionel should have used two Mikado drives under the Y3...  After all, 63" drivers are close to 57" drivers...

Rusty

Last edited by Rusty Traque

60"???  That's 8 prototype inches, almost a full 1/16" larger that would be on an S Russian. It's easy to get away with slightly undersized drivers, but harder to get away with oversized ones.

Stretched out over 5 driver pairs that's an extra 5/16" on an S scale model, not counting some additional spacing needed between drivers.  I'm not sure the selective expansion over the length wouldn't be noticeable.  Might as well just drop the trailing truck, add another driver to the Mikado's frame and plop the Pacific/Mikado boiler back on it, then call it done.

Maybe Lionel should have used two Mikado drives under the Y3...  After all, 63" drivers are close to 57" drivers...

Rusty

Wouldn't 8 prototype inches = 1/8 inch in S scale.  I thought the scale worked out to be 3/16 inch equals 12 inches or one foot.  Or am I wrong?

Mike A.

Last edited by Mikeaa