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I’m sorting through my rolling stock for the coming club season, assuming there is one of course.

Broadly speaking, I have a set of Lionel 24xx coaches which look good with the traditional sized and some semi-scale steamers. I have four Lionel NYC Madisons, about 17” which look good with the Lionel and K Line semi-Scale and Williams Scale sized Hudsons.

I also have a collection of five extruded aluminium Lionel carriages, including a full length dome car and observation car at the rear. I couldn’t resist these, and the Scale Hudson makes an impressive consist, but can’t help feeling that they are really diesel-era type?

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I’m struggling with the same issue right now, but in N scale.

I just bought Bachmann’s new J3a Hudson, a diecast beauty. Unfortunately, unlike my O gauge stuff, I have no New York Central heavyweight passenger cars for it to haul.

I have easy access to Kato’s recent 20th Century Limited set, but the featured cars are modeled and painted for 1948 and later, by which time the NYC Hudsons prototypically would have been out of the picture for this particular train.

There is an old Rivarossi set I could buy, but I would have to convert the couplers and, frankly, ignore other shortcomings. Micro-Trains has made some very nice heavyweights, but because all of its releases are limited edition, collectible market stuff, hunting each car down would be time consuming and costly.

In N scale, adherence to prototypical standards is stronger than in O gauge. But I’m tempted nonetheless to settle for Kato’s smooth side passenger set.

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