Any Thoughts on the Warren G. Harding Funeral train?

So I am thinking about this train mainly for the unique set of Pullman cars with an early version of a PRR K4.

But the price seems steep for essentially reissued cars and locomotive along with the notion from the Notch 6 podcast that many people are clamoring MR. Kunkle and Lionel to make 21" Heavyweights.

What are your thoughts?

member:Golden Spike Club Charter Member

Original Post
Berkshire President posted:

My first thought was "Who the h*ll is going to buy this?"

Kudos for trying something different.  But I don't think there's a lot of long term appeal here.

Throw in the price and I can already see these on clearance.........

Been wrong before, though.

I thought the same thing.  Nice looking engine and all but not for me.  I'm sure it will look good on someone's layout.

Berkshire President posted:

My first thought was "Who the h*ll is going to buy this?"

Kudos for trying something different.  But I don't think there's a lot of long term appeal here.

Throw in the price and I can already see these on clearance.........

Been wrong before, though.

You seem to forget Built to Order,if they receive enough orders for it to continue into production the only extras will be what the dealers order. Like others have said not for me but others may like it.

Doug

The lamp is a different look to a popular engine, but unfortunately the theme vs the engine, lacks some sales luster in the present day imho. I'd like to think the engine alone stands a chance alone or at the head of a different train. Was the head lamp special? I like the early styling of it but hadn't seen one on something "modern” like a K4 before. We need earlier locos in general. This is one for custom cars if your heart is set on them... and two sets won't hurt you bad if they do make it eventually; eh?

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Adriatic posted:
The lamp is a different look to a popular engine, but unfortunately the theme vs the engine, lacks some sales luster in the present day imho. I'd like to think the engine alone stands a chance alone or at the head of a different train. Was the head lamp special?

Nope, it's the simply a type used in the pre-electric headlamp era:

4-6-2 PRR K2 86364-6-2 PRR K2 unk no.

Rusty

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For what it’s worth; the Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth, GA has in their collection the Pullman “Superb”; which transported Harding’s body back to Washington, DC thence to his hometown of Marion, OH for burial.  The car is reportedly haunted by Harding’s ghost.

Not sure if Lionel is planning to include a spirit in their model of the funeral train but; perhaps inclusion of a presidential ghost would warrant a premium set price.  🤔

Curt

gunrunnerjohn posted:

I see enough funerals, don't need a locomotive to remind me.

Your post reminds me of a time I was chatting with a senior neighbor of mine:

I asked him, "What have you been up to lately?"

He responded, "I've been pretty busy.  I've had 14 funerals this month." 

Shocked, I said, "Oh my goodness, I'm sorry for your loss.  It must be tough getting old and seeing your friends and family pass on like that...and so close together, what a shame.  How are you holding up?"

He laughed and said, "No! I started driving a hearse for the funeral home." 

I laughed it off with him, but was certainly embarrassed that I made that assumption. Haha!

***

FWIW, any excuse to make a Pennsy K4 is a good one.  RIP Harding.

Just for laughs, you should all look up the history of Harding - it's a scream. Among the highlights: world class philanderer, possibly poisoned by his wife (who later took up with the Doctor that treated Harding, and who later died similarly himself  ), along with the usual bribery and corruption scandals (also look up Secretary Fell). 

I imagine as the train went by, some were singing "I'll Be Glad When You're Gone, You Rascal You".

History is fun, I wonder why kids today think it's boring?

"You have to grow old. You don't have to grow up". Ray Bradbury

Here's a video of the funeral train riding through Chicago, IL on 8/6/23.

C&NW 4-6-2 1654 is the engine at the time of the video.

There's not much footage of the train itself but the video of the crowd gives you a taste  of what everyday life was like back then. Not too many dignitaries present in this film.

Mark

Rusty Traque posted:
Adriatic posted:
The lamp is a different look to a popular engine, but unfortunately the theme vs the engine, lacks some sales luster in the present day imho. I'd like to think the engine alone stands a chance alone or at the head of a different train. Was the head lamp special?

Nope, it's the simply a type used in the pre-electric headlamp era:

4-6-2 PRR K2 86364-6-2 PRR K2 unk no.

Rusty

Thanks thats what I had hoped, a generic feature means it isn't limited to leading a dirge. I just never put 2+2 together on the change in lamp housings in general; that's big info, lol.

That' top one is looking pretty slick imo.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





I haven't seen the train of discussion yet, but it's not like the first time they've done such a thing.

They did the Lincoln Funeral Train a while back to finish (?) off the "Heritage Series" line of small no-frills (in terms of electronics) engines with cars.  The engines and cars IIRC were primarily made from brass.  No electronic reverse, just switchable forward and reverse.  Also no smoke.  (Earlier entries were Best Friend of Charleston, John Bull, Dewitt Clinton, and Stourbridge Lion.)

That was a pretty small (though still pricey, considering no electronics) set though, Engine/Tender with one car, and then a 2 car add-on set.  IIRC, the pricing direct from Lionel was $800 for the engine and single car and then $600 for the 2 car add-on.

This new offering sounds like a much larger train set and financial outlay judging by the comments above.

-Dave

ogaugeguy posted:

As shown in the 1923 newsreel footage, the headlamp on Lionel's loco doesn't resemble the prototype in either design or location.

I think the train was pulled by several locos depending on where it was geographically at the time. The video shows the train in Chicago, IL. Harding died in San Francisco, CA on 8/2/23 so it's probable many locos hauled the train on it's way back home.

The Lionel Model is of the PRR loco Pennsylvania K4 #3750 I believe  is the engine that took the train into Washington DC.

Mark

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ogaugeguy posted:

As shown in the 1923 newsreel footage, the headlamp on Lionel's loco doesn't resemble the prototype in either design or location.

That's because it's a Chicago & North Western locomotive on that leg of the journey into Chicago.

The Pennsy locomotive would have been used eastbound out of Chicago.  See photo's at the top of this thread.

The Pennsy wouldn't dispatch a locomotive almost 3000 miles to San Francisco to pick up the train.

Rusty

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Thanks for posting the link to the video!  Some interesting things.

Can you imagine the RR letting the Great Unwashed crowd the tracks so closely today?  The people would be lucky to see the train because of the distance and the barriers.

Got to appreciate the Boy Scouts back when the organization took the name literally.

Note at about 1:30 or so the Civil War/Grand Army of the Republic vet. . . .

 

Frisco, MoPac, and T&P near Rolla, MO

Funeral Trains are historical, and as such I could see this maybe set up at President Harding's house as a tribute, or in the Smithsonian.

For the general public, model railroading is supposed to be for enjoyment. Commemorating sorrowful events doesn't seem to fall into that category.

I remember an earlier post on military mortuary trains. For myself, I could see running those for Memorial Day, because that's what it represents. But in the United States we don't have a day that honors fallen presidents, so I don't see a way I could justify having a funeral train on my layout.

Lehigh Valley Railroad posted:

I like the smaller / Atlantic style tender

I don't.

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

Trainman2 posted:

Funeral Trains are historical, and as such I could see this maybe set up at President Harding's house as a tribute, or in the Smithsonian.

For the general public, model railroading is supposed to be for enjoyment. Commemorating sorrowful events doesn't seem to fall into that category.

I remember an earlier post on military mortuary trains. For myself, I could see running those for Memorial Day, because that's what it represents. But in the United States we don't have a day that honors fallen presidents, so I don't see a way I could justify having a funeral train on my layout.

We DO have a day to honor past presidents.

  In 71 "Presidents Day" was officially recognized as a holiday in the USA. It sort of combined George Washigton's and Lincoln's birthdays, and was meant to give us another 3day holiday weekend.

   It happens about a month from now, third week of Feb if I'm not mistaken.... along with the "traditional" cut rate furniture ads and appliance sales .  

I remember we used to get a day off of school on each of those presidential birthdays... and it was reduced to one on a long weekend after that.   I'm not even sure it's a long weekend for the govt. anymore to be honest.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Adriatic posted:
Trainman2 posted:

Funeral Trains are historical, and as such I could see this maybe set up at President Harding's house as a tribute, or in the Smithsonian.

For the general public, model railroading is supposed to be for enjoyment. Commemorating sorrowful events doesn't seem to fall into that category.

I remember an earlier post on military mortuary trains. For myself, I could see running those for Memorial Day, because that's what it represents. But in the United States we don't have a day that honors fallen presidents, so I don't see a way I could justify having a funeral train on my layout.

We DO have a day to honor past presidents.

  In 71 "Presidents Day" was officially recognized as a holiday in the USA. It sort of combined George Washigton's and Lincoln's birthdays, and was meant to give us another 3day holiday weekend.

   It happens about a month from now, third week of Feb if I'm not mistaken.... along with the "traditional" cut rate furniture ads and appliance sales .  

I remember we used to get a day off of school on each of those presidential birthdays... and it was reduced to one on a long weekend after that.   I'm not even sure it's a long weekend for the govt. anymore to be honest.

Presidents day celebrates the men who have served as President, not their deaths. 

It's like Veterans Day honors all the men and women who served, while Memorial Day honors those who gave their lives in the process. That's why I could see running a Military mortuary train for Memorial Day.

I couldn't see running the mortuary train on Veterans Day, and the Presidential Funeral Trains are the same way.

Also, Lincoln was a far more significant President historically than Harding, so Lincoln's funeral train makes more sense. Now, next year is the 75th anniversary of FDR's passing, and he was also more historically significant. Will Lionel make his train next? It was pulled by Southern 1401.

That one, maybe......

Adriatic posted:
Trainman2 posted:

Funeral Trains are historical, and as such I could see this maybe set up at President Harding's house as a tribute, or in the Smithsonian.

For the general public, model railroading is supposed to be for enjoyment. Commemorating sorrowful events doesn't seem to fall into that category.

I remember an earlier post on military mortuary trains. For myself, I could see running those for Memorial Day, because that's what it represents. But in the United States we don't have a day that honors fallen presidents, so I don't see a way I could justify having a funeral train on my layout.

We DO have a day to honor past presidents.

  In 71 "Presidents Day" was officially recognized as a holiday in the USA. It sort of combined George Washigton's and Lincoln's birthdays, and was meant to give us another 3day holiday weekend.

   It happens about a month from now, third week of Feb if I'm not mistaken.... along with the "traditional" cut rate furniture ads and appliance sales .  

I remember we used to get a day off of school on each of those presidential birthdays... and it was reduced to one on a long weekend after that.   I'm not even sure it's a long weekend for the govt. anymore to be honest.

Very well said...in America it seems we are more interested in a 3 day holiday weekend then the reason for the holiday...

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON...W.S.CHURCHILL

 

Joe Krasko LCCA 17199

Don't get me started on how the nation has generally distorted and devalued Memorial Day!

There is a very specific reason it was held on May 30th, but such trivialities cannot be allowed to stand in the way of a good BBQ and furniture sale!

Frisco, MoPac, and T&P near Rolla, MO

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