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I'm sure there are plenty of you are as excited as I am about Lionel's new Empire State Express J3A Hudsons that will be shipping this Christmas season. It is, for me, the engine I am most excited to see for the whole year in the hobby as a matter of fact, even with all the buzz now over the Volume 2 catalog merchandise.


Not long before I placed my order on said engine, I initially posted a topic awhile ago concerning curiosity of the new whistle Lionel will choose (still hoping for the 6-chime Vision Hudson style one), but another thought kind of crossed me...


Do you think it would've been a better idea for Lionel to offer the different tenders as separate sale items rather than just a different engine/tender combination itself? Kind of like how Lionel originally offered the Pere Marquette Berkshire in 2009.


Those who bought the set to get the much anticipated 21" cars might've also wanted a much heftier PT centipede tender or the Mercury unstreamlined J3A tender for variety.


To me, it makes a little more sense so you won't have to buy another whole locomotive just to get a different tender. That being said, I figure if I get a little bored with the streamlined tender, I could ask to trade with another for a PT version. Or maybe not, I don't know.


That's just my opinion. I won't grate Lionel really for this move. I really should be happy they went all out on this beautiful engine and all its variations in the first place, and I am. This was just something that kept coming back to me for awhile. What do you guys think?

Last edited by Mikado 4501
Original Post

Tender style really depends on what era you model. The original tender and engine with full streamlining only ran that way during the war years. When the PT tenders came along the streamlining started to come off. A few years later diesels took over so the less streamlined PT tender trains only existed for a few years right after the war.

Who knows, Lionel may elect to sell the PT tenders separately later as they did with the earlier release.



Last edited by Norton

Exactly my point Pete.


I for one like to model all stages from time to time, because I have a rather extensive roster of NYC equipment already, from the prime steamers to early diesels.


I did opt for the whole set to get the best deal in the long run, but I really fancied the PT version as a stand alone version since that version doesn't come up particularly often.

I model the Boston & Albany. I have a book with a pic showing this engine in 1946 at Framingham Mass. . The engine is still somewhat streamlined but has a standard Hudson tender with the matching streamlining removed. I believe the Lionel model has an emblem on the nose for the Mecury. Thought of buying it. I'd remove the emblem and heavilly weather the engine to make it look like the picture. Not sure I want to go to that expense just to model one day of history on the B&A. Not sure of the history of the picture. It doesn't mention the train it was pulling. I'm guessing it was pulled off the ESE and before it went on the Mercury it saw a few runs on the B&A and perhaps some other locals. I doubt it was just out of the shop and being broken in. It was in desperate need of a good wash.


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