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Is it me or is anyone else disappointed with the length and minimum curve radius of some of the matching passenger cars that come with some of the newer Legacy diesel engines in the past few catalogues ?

For instance, in the 2021 catalogue they show some great PA AA locomotives that will run down to O-36, which is great for hobbyists who want the details and features of a Legacy product and have smaller layouts with O-36 or O-48 curves, but then they  make matching 21" passenger cars that have an O-54 minimum curve which can't be used by the small layout runner with the same engine.

Same with the E8 Legacy diesels in the 2020 catalogue. I'd love to get the B&M engine with the matching passenger car set. The engine will easily negotiate my O-36 and O-48 curves but the passenger cars require O-54.

I have no problem with 21" passenger cars, but it makes no sense to me that Lionel would make an engine capable of running on smaller curves and then make matching passenger cars that will not.

C'mon Lionel - either design 21" passenger cars that will negotiate the same size curves as the engine that goes with them or make a separate 14"-16" set of passenger cars that will. 

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Hello Richie. I have 072 curves and find the 21” cars too big for them, let alone my smaller loops. I’ve paired my Legacy engines with 18” MTH passenger cars and really like them. Maybe that could be an option for you. Admittedly, colors could be an issue unless you go all silver.

As an aside, I think a Legacy E8 would be really big for 036 or 048 curves even if it actually navigates on them. Also, a 15” car might seem small and overly compressed behind either the Legacy PA or E8.  My $0.02 worth (and maybe not worth that).

@Richie C. posted:
Same with the E8 Legacy diesels in the 2020 catalogue. I'd love to get the B&M engine with the matching passenger car set. The engine will easily negotiate my O-36 and O-48 curves but the passenger cars require O-54.

Atlas O purchased the tooling for MTH Premier 18-inch 3-rail 70' Madison Heavyweight Passenger cars that run on O-42 curves.  A Boston & Maine passenger set can be pre-ordered from Atlas for delivery later in 2021. Buy the engine separately.

MELGAR

There is NO WAY a 21" passenger car will ever be able to go around anything less then an O-54 or even an O-48 minimum and look good. In reality the 21" cars start looking okay on O-72 curves. But they start looking better on O-80 and larger curves. 16" passenger cars do not look good with anything that is bigger then a scale F3 or F7. The big six axle passenger diesels, along with F3's and F7's all look good with 18" and 21" passenger cars.

Last edited by TRAINMANTIM
@TRAINMANTIM posted:

There is NO WAY a 21" passenger car will ever be able to go around anything less then an O-54 or even an O-48 minimum and look good. In reality the 21" cars start looking okay on O-72 curves. But they start looking better on O-80 and larger curves. 16" passenger cars do not look good with anything that is bigger then a scale F3 or F7. The big six axle passenger diesels, along with F3's and F7's all look good with 18" and 21" passenger cars.

With respect, that's your opinion.  There are many folks who don't care about the look around curves.  They just want matching passenger cars to match the engine.  When I'm visiting my friend with O54 curves it doesn't bother me a bit....but that's just me.  It's pretty obvious the OP doesn't care either.  To each their own.

-Greg

The E8"s are only 17" long and I'm not a stickler when it comes to how engines look when rounding a curve (I have plenty of smaller diesels and steam engines like 2-6-0's, but I also have an LC+ 2.0 Big Boy that has a significant overhang), especially because the layout is not very twisty and I have some long straights (up to 20') on which the engines look great.

My issue is that it makes no sense to me for Lionel to manufacture an engine that will negotiate O-36 curves for the benefit of smaller layout runners and then have a matching passenger car set to go with that exact same engine in which none of the passenger cars will negotiate the same curves as the engine. 

@BNSF-Matt posted:

Lionel 21" passenger cars will negotiate O48 curves, however that is about as tight as you can go. The kinematic couplers actually helps since they can stretch out a bit. I do prefer 18" cars, but made an exception for these since they don't make them in 18" and I don't want RK ones.

Below is a video of my BN E8's and 21" BN passenger cars on my O48 loop.

Matt, can you edit the video to a minute or so?  Not interested in a product review or the time to watch one.

1.  Look at the question the opposite way:  Should a manufacturer designate the minimum diameter for a diesel-electric based on the minimum diameter of the longest cars it would be expected to pull?  This would be a disservice to the customers who have shorter cars they want to pull with the PA or any other model locomotive that can negotiate O36 curves.  If the manufacturer accurately labels each piece of equipment, we as the customers should be able to figure out whether we can put them together or not.

2.  Sometimes what we want as customers runs smack up against the laws of physics.  Expecting Lionel or any other manufacturer to design an 85-foot passenger car to go around less than an O54 curve seems to be asking them to overcome the laws of physics.  As someone once said, you can't actually break the laws of physics - they won't break - you can only break yourself against them.  For comparison, consider that an 18" radius curve in HO is roughly equivalent to O65 in O scale.  O54 is roughly equivalent to a 15" radius in HO.  The recommended radius for 85-foot passenger cars in HO is usually 22" or greater: https://www.walthers.com/85-ac...sylvania-with-decals Note that in this example, even for 22" radius the manufacturer states: "Modeler-installed extended drawbars for 22" radius curves included."  And 22" radius curves in HO are close to O80 diameter in O.

Last edited by PGentieu
@PGentieu posted:

1.  Look at the question the opposite way:  Should a manufacturer designate the minimum diameter for a diesel-electric based on the minimum diameter of the longest cars it would be expected to pull?  This would be a disservice to the customers who have shorter cars they want to pull with the PA or any other model locomotive that can negotiate O36 curves.  If the manufacturer accurately labels each piece of equipment, we as the customers should be able to figure out whether we can put them together or not.

2.  Sometimes what we want as customers runs smack up against the laws of physics.  Expecting Lionel or any other manufacturer to design an 85-foot passenger car to go around less than an O54 curve seems to be asking them to overcome the laws of physics.  As someone once said, you can't actually break the laws of physics - they won't break - you can only break yourself against them.  For comparison, consider that an 18" radius curve in HO is roughly equivalent to O65 in O scale.  O54 is roughly equivalent to a 15" radius in HO.  The recommended radius for 85-foot passenger cars in HO is usually 22" or greater: https://www.walthers.com/85-ac...sylvania-with-decals Note that in this example, even for 22" radius the manufacturer states: "Modeler-installed extended drawbars for 22" radius curves included."  And 22" radius curves in HO are close to O80 diameter in O.

No - but these are not stand alone items. The engines and passenger cars I am referencing are manufactured, advertised and sold as matching sets but, in reality, they are not matching because the passenger cars will not run on the same O-36 curves as the engine was designed for.

Put it another way - does anyone manufacture a twin size bed with king size dressers and end-tables ?  Or, kid-size skis with adult-size poles ?

It just makes no sense to me to sell an O-36 locomotive and mate it as a set with matching passenger cars that won't also run on O-36 curves. Why would you make an engine that will run down to an O-36 curve, but matching passenger cars that won't ? Again, it's just disappointing that I can buy a high-end loco that will run on my layout, but not the matching passenger cars that go with it.

I didn't sleep at Holiday Inn Express last night, but I have a feeling that if Lionel can find a way to make a 30" LC+2 Big Boy run on O-31 curves, then they can design an 18"-21" passenger car to satisfy the scale end of the hobby, but still negotiate O-36 curves to go with the engine they were designed to match - (or at least make a secondary matching paint passenger car set in the 14"-16" range to run on O-36 curves with the very engine they were designed to match up with).     

Last edited by Richie C.
@Richie C. posted:

No - but these are not stand alone items. The engines and passenger cars I am referencing are manufactured, advertised and sold as matching sets but, in reality, they are not matching because the passenger cars will not run on the same O-36 curves as the engine was designed for.

Put it another way - does anyone manufacture a twin size bed with king size dressers and end-tables ?  Or, kid-size skis with adult-size poles ?

It just makes no sense to me to sell an O-36 locomotive and mate it as a set with matching passenger cars that won't also run on O-36 curves. Why would you make an engine that will run down to an O-36 curve, but matching passenger cars that won't ? Again, it's just disappointing that I can buy a high-end loco that will run on my layout, but not the matching passenger cars that go with it.

I didn't sleep at Holiday Inn Express last night, but I have a feeling that if Lionel can find a way to make a 30" LC+2 Big Boy run on O-31 curves, then they can design an 18"-21" passenger car to satisfy the scale end of the hobby, but still negotiate O-36 curves to go with the engine they were designed to match - (or at least make a secondary matching paint passenger car set in the 14"-16" range to run on O-36 curves with the very engine they were designed to match up with).     

I don't think that is a reasonable interpretation of "matching sets."  They are matching sets in decoration.  The specifications for the minimum diameter curves for the locomotives and the cars reflect their different lengths and construction.  You seem to want one of two things:

1.  Lionel to make cars in 14-16" length that will negotiate smaller curves.  Probably not commercially feasible.  So then do you think the alternative should be to not offer the sets at all since they are no longer "matching" by your definition? In other words, restrict the availability of product unless it meets every possible standard for "matching?" 

2.  Lionel to overcome the laws of physics.  As pointed out in my previous post in the comparison to HO, Lionel is already doing an amazing job of getting the diameter down as far as they have.  Do you have a solution?  Your comparison to a 30" Big Boy is not comparing apples to apples. A Big Boy is articulated and is drawbar-attached to its tender which is a different situation from a passenger car that has couplers at both ends and trucks that, while far apart, are also well inboard from the ends of the cars.  Both of these factors lead to wide swing on curves at the end of the cars that needs to be accommodated one way or another.  Laws of physics again.  Can you point to a single example of any manufacturer that has managed to make 85'-foot passenger cars in O scale that can negotiate  O36 curves? 

I have no intention on breaking the laws of physics as I am sure the fines would be quite hefty. I would just like to see Lionel pay more attention to smaller layouts. Maybe good quality passenger cars around 12 to 15 inches, probably in aluminum. Remember the post-war 2500 series. If Lionel could make modern equivalents of those with needle bearings and LEDs that would fill the niche. Maybe even sell them undecorated and sell an optional sticker sheet with road names.

Music, relationships, colors, flavors, curves, etc are all rather subjective.  With any of them, when you move close to the edge you discover why others have a different opinion.

My RR has curves from 031" to 0144",  My 21" passenger cars look better on 0144" minimum curves,  my 18" passenger cars look better on 0120" minimum curves.  Minimum passenger car curves are limited to 0120".

When I lived in a home with restrictive RR space I worked in HO.  I use the scale that best fits the space available

Simply a subjective opinion...TT

Last edited by Tom Tee

Would some of you prefer that Lionel re-engineer the 6 axle diesels to have a minimum curve of O-54 so that they match the passenger car minimum?
The reality seems to be that most of us that buy the scale size engines and cars want the scale length. K-line and Golden Gate Depot cultivated this market of 21” streamliners and Lionel has moved in as well. Scale 21” cars will never be able to navigate O-36 curves due to their length and location of where the trucks pivot. If you want to run scale size passenger trains, you need to have the space and correct track; its the price of admission.

I have no intention on breaking the laws of physics as I am sure the fines would be quite hefty. I would just like to see Lionel pay more attention to smaller layouts. Maybe good quality passenger cars around 12 to 15 inches, probably in aluminum. Remember the post-war 2500 series. If Lionel could make modern equivalents of those with needle bearings and LEDs that would fill the niche. Maybe even sell them undecorated and sell an optional sticker sheet with road names.

Hello Frank. The 15” passenger cars in Lionel’s RTR sets are very nice. Admittedly, they are not aluminum, but their detail is solid, especially for the price point. They are identical to the MTH Rail King cars, so you can build a real nice consist including full vista dome cars.

I personally prefer the smaller passenger cars. The biggest I have are 18" and even though they run well, they look a little too big even on my 072 curves.  I prefer the 15" cars that look good anywhere on my layout. The 21" inch cars need wide sweeping curves like 096 or better to look good.  

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Last edited by NYC Fan
@PRR Steam posted:

The B&M set you’re talking about will negotiate 0-48. Those are not 21” cars they’re the new 19” tooling. I have it and do have an 0-48 on my inner loop and have no issues. A lot of overhang but they work.

Are they 18” or 19”?  Page 62 says 18” and then page 66 lists the Reading ones as 18” at the top and 19” in the details.  

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