My Conrail E-L patch arrived and is excellent.  I am glad Lionel is offering the Conrail patch jobs of the late 70's.  Maybe they will do the same for other roads and Amtrak (I see a BN in the new Catalog for O).  But the Conrail predecessors are some of the most noteworthy.  Did these always have plastic handrails?

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Michael...

TCA, LCCA, TTOS, NASG, MTHRRC, The Carolwood Society

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Roundhouse Bill posted:

Is there any difference between the new one and the U33 that you can see?

The Flyer U36C is just a rebranded Flyer U33C.

The early prototype U33C's had a taper on the overhang before the radiator.  The later U33C's did not.  The later U33C's were pretty much externally the same as the U36C.

Looks like the only difference on the model was blackening the grills:

AF U33C 031012 01

Rusty

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The very first American Flyer U33Cs offered for two years had faster gearing than the follow-up versions that operated at better, slower speeds. All were Legacy models that were restricted to conventional AC, TMCC, or Legacy control. The more recent U33Cs and the U36Cs are listed as being DCC capable. I suspect that this means that they, like the SD70ACes and ES44ACs, can run also on DC in addition to DCC and the aforementioned control systems. I don't know this for sure, but I suspect that this is an additional difference from the first two years of production and the following two years also. 

American Flyer got this extra compatibility before O gauge equipment did, and it should not be overlooked. The availability of scale wheels for diesels and some of the better detailed rolling stock is another indication that Lionel does listen.

TOKELLY posted:

The very first American Flyer U33Cs offered for two years had faster gearing than the follow-up versions that operated at better, slower speeds. All were Legacy models that were restricted to conventional AC, TMCC, or Legacy control. The more recent U33Cs and the U36Cs are listed as being DCC capable. I suspect that this means that they, like the SD70ACes and ES44ACs, can run also on DC in addition to DCC and the aforementioned control systems. I don't know this for sure, but I suspect that this is an additional difference from the first two years of production and the following two years also. 

American Flyer got this extra compatibility before O gauge equipment did, and it should not be overlooked. The availability of scale wheels for diesels and some of the better detailed rolling stock is another indication that Lionel does listen.

DCC (and DC) compatibility came in with the first run of SD70's.  A lot of work went in to get DCC operating before delivery as the first run of SD70's were also cataloged available with scale wheels factory installed.  No other locomotives since have been cataloged with scale wheels factory installed. 

(Ooops, Sorry.  My bad.  The 2012 U33C's also were cataloged with scale wheels...)

DCC compatibility has been part of the Flyer Legacy system since.

Unfortunately, the folks responsible for DCC compatibility are no longer (retired) with Lionel.  (A note about DC operation, it can be spotty with certain DC power packs.) 

As I recall, the gearing on the U33C was changed with the second run.

Rusty

Early run 33's and SD70's also had issues with sound cutting out over less than ideal track work.  Latter runs were better equipped with capacitance to overcome momentary interruptions.  I got my early 33's and 70 working much better with a workaround - swapped out one pullmor wheel set with a steel set.  Great connectivity with the rails  Worked great.  L eventually ran out of them.  

If no scale sets end up truly available, you might consider turning down some hi-rail wheels.  HO folks with code 100 wheel equipped engines, but code 83 or less rail, do that.  It sometimes involves a bit of art as well as science.  There's more to a flange than diameter - proper cross-sectional profile helps too.   

Dave

S happens

TCA, NASG, ACSG W&OD

x-Chief Wrench & Bottle-washer of Precision Flyer Repairs 

I actually have a first run SD70 and can confirm that as manufactured, the sound operation did have many drop-outs over almost ANY kind of track; you just had to run it and sooner or later the sounds dropped out until you  de-powered and then re-powered the loco.

The actual problem with the first run was found and solved by Carl Tuveson; it involves removing the center wheel sets from the trucks and drilling the truck block for tension springs to keep the center wheel set in contact with the railhead at all times. I did this to mine, and it is now the locomotive Lionel should have delivered in the first place.

 

Mike W. posted:

My Conrail E-L patch arrived and is excellent.  I am glad Lionel is offering the Conrail patch jobs of the late 70's.  But the Conrail predecessors are some of the most noteworthy.  Did these always have plastic handrails?

 

Very nice, Mike.    Thanks for shooting and sharing those photos.   Maybe some video of it running when you get a chance?   Enjoy!

D&H 65 posted:

I actually have a first run SD70 and can confirm that as manufactured, the sound operation did have many drop-outs over almost ANY kind of track; you just had to run it and sooner or later the sounds dropped out until you  de-powered and then re-powered the loco.


 

Oddly, the scale wheel units did not experience this problem (and my code 100 track is far from perfect.)

Rusty

Rusty: I think the reason the scale wheels didn't exhibit the issue is that they likely didn't have traction tires on them. The "Flyer" wheels had traction tires on the inner wheel sets and lifted the center wheel sets just enough in the right circumstance to lose touch with the railhead and thus the "ground" circuit......

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