How about a LC+ modern diesel with consisting and distributed power?: SD60M LC+ has arrived!

I would like to have a pair of modern diesels with LC+  technology.   I took a look at the Lionel Signature catalog from 2010 and found four candidates.   The tooling has been paid for, and same for the LC+ electronics development.   So these should be very possible for Lionel to offer at a reasonable price, packaged as a pair with one remote, and I would love it!

Why LC+?  I would like a pair with LC+ because of the easy of consisting:  one remote will operate both locos perfectly.   Lionel has the FT AB powered sets out (I have an ABA set in SantaFe).   So with LC+ modern locos, I can run two in the lead, or one on point and one as a pusher, or I could have a point and mid-train loco.   Would be a blast!!   With LC+ there is no consisting setup so this would be as easy to do as is possible.

Perhaps a simple DPDT switch could be added by Lionel to allow each loco to run either end as the "forward" end, so I could vary the direction to allow, for instance, back-to-back running in a consist, rather than all units always facing forward.

So here are the candidates from 2010 signature edition catalog:

SD60, operates on O-31

SD70ACE, operates on O-36

AC6000, operates on O-31   (my choice)

SD90MAC, operates on O-31

What do you think?   Anyone else want a pair of modern LC+ diesels?

O Gauge: the IMAX of Model Railroading, and a multi-sensory experience.

Original Post
Ken-Oscale posted:

 

SD60, operates on O-31

 

What do you think?   Anyone else want a pair of modern LC+ diesels?

Oh man an LC+ SD60 with Conrail livery? Shut up and take my money!!!

 

Conrail SD60

I'm a PA Conrail man, including before (PRR, PC, etc), and after (NS, CSX).

I like the idea of LC+ modern diesels, but with one caveat that invalidates my answer compared to your idea.

I only run traditional size equipment, so though the loco's you mention run on either 036 or 031, they would dwarf the rest of my equipment.

So, I'd like to see LC+ modern diesels in traditional size, possibly the Lionmaster treatment as far as scaling, but probably not quite as detailed as the Lionmaster with Legacy locomotives in order to keep the price down. These would need new tooling. I'd like to see a SD70ACe and an ES44AC.

While I love LionChief and especially LC+, I'm not a huge fan of diesels in general.  That said, I second the nomination for any Amtrack engine.  I'll also place a vote for the SD60, and as popular as this engine is, I expect we will see one sooner or later.  

JGL

$ This is John Galt speaking.  $

“I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.” 

 

 

The older Lionel SD60M's from the 90's had some of the best RailSounds horns I've ever heard. I would love for them to get the LC+ treatment, especially with sounds as good as the old did.

Thomas

Somerset County 4-H Trainmasters

TCA Member11-66911

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ERR Upgrades and Custom Artwork

Ken-Oscale posted:

Trestrainfan:   MTH and Williams both have/had modern locos in semi-scale.  I don't know that Lionel had comparable offerings.    I wonder why?

I'm not familiar with the MTH product line, but I do remember people posting on the forum about MTH having modern diesels.  I know Williams has the SD90 and the Dash 9.

Lionel has had the SD80 and the SD90 in the Lionmaster line. They are really nice.

I don't know why Lionel hasn't made any other modern diesels in traditional or Lionmaster. I guess they don't see a market in it.

I thought the above video was funny in the sense that it stopped just as the loco was beginning to make those 027 curves. Hmmm. That's a big loco to make 027 curves. Does it actually navigate those curves? And if it did, wow, there's some serious overhang on it.

Ken, I wouldn't be so sure those locos you listed from 2010 have already recovered their tooling costs, unless Lionel has actually said so. And Lionel is usually quiet on such things. It depends on how many runs of those locos were made and how many sold, without blowout pricing.  Jerry Calabrese once said a single run of 3,000 units for a scale model is an "exceptionally large production run." On the other hand for perspective, a run of 2,000 units is a limited run for a starter set.

All the train companies (even HO and N) have said it takes several sell out runs to recoup their investment costs on new tooling. In the case of Weaver, the owner said it took around 5 years, but Weaver's overall production was smaller (5,000-8,000 pieces yearly) so that would effect that.

Same thinking for the LC+ electronics development, though I'd guess that's more possible as the LC+ products have been thus far made from existing tooled locos. And of course, the pricing across the entire Lionel line (from many products from long existing tooling) continues to rise, which no doubt helps contribute to supporting overall investments in high end tooling.

Trestrainfan, MTH in the earlier Railking line had several modern locomotive types, selectively compressed for 027/0 traditional operation. Those items were moved to the Rugged Rails line have haven't been produced in several years now. Williams does have some modern loco types like the Dash 8, and while they are more traditional in the sense of features and detailing, they are still near full-scale proportion.

I'd guess Lionel hasn't done anything along the lines of the early MTH Railking Dash 8 because they don't have to. Historically, steam engine starter sets sell better than diesel ones (along with freight over passenger sets), which I think explains the Dockside and 0-8-0 starter steamers. And Lionel does have the U36B and GP38 in their traditional line. And while they are not up-to-date modern, are reasonably close enough.

I think in time, we will see more product types in the LC+ line. Lionel has said for years, they are closely monitoring production numbers and reducing SKU's. They also seem to have distinct separations between the high end Legacy platform (which is where most of the investment tooling dollars are going) and then everything else. 

Lionel has said the whole idea behind LC+ was to introduce more customers (a lot of convention operators STILL out there) to the excitement and features of a simplified command format without the added costs. I think a lot of the threads about making changes to the LC+ line are a result of the high cost of the Legacy products, at least for some.

I'd guess Lionel doesn't want to risk the furor over taking recently tooled Legacy products (expensive) and knock them down a notch to the LC+ platform. Which begs the question, just how much less could (and would) they actually sell them for?

 

brianel027

 

brianel027:   Actually, the locos suggested are, according to the catalog,  "Classic Line| Standard O scale", like the SD70 ACE.  By the way, the 2010 catalog copy for the SD70 ACE says "back by popular demand", so this model was obviously cataloged PRIOR to 2010 - 2009 or even before.   So Lionel has probably made its costs by now for this tooling, even by your argument.   But we cannot know either way.   An argument based on the premise that a company like Lionel has NOT made its costs back after six or more years of production on its common fare (as opposed to say low-volume Vision line stuff) seems weak.  Far more likely, is the opposite case: these models are feasible for lower-cost high-volume LC+ runs.

As far as the Legacy and Odyssey II electronics.   The idea is to replace both of those with the LC+ electronics, which have been offered for a number of years now, and the discussion on this forum is that the LC+ trains have been selling really well.   We do not know the facts on Lionel's production or costs either way.  

So I disagree with your arguments, I think it is quite feasible for Lionel to consider using the older modern-diesel tooling with the LC+ electronics to offer us a paired set.   I, for one, am going to continue to hope!

The FT AB sets are available at $499 MSRP, but discounted a good bit less.   A pair of SD70ACE for, say, $599 MSRP - would that entice Lionel to order a production run?   Who knows, but it seems reasonable (based on what we know and don't know), and I would be in!

O Gauge: the IMAX of Model Railroading, and a multi-sensory experience.

Ken-Oscale, 

I can't really disagree with much you've said there, but I would like to add some thoughts. The thing of it is, in regard to what Big L will or won't offer, I don't think there is any money in it for them to release legacy engines with LC+ electronics.  It would make a lot of lower budget folks very happy, but I think it would annoy many high dollar guys that paid those high dollars for legacy engines.  It is my opinion that Lionel sees it in their best interest not to make Lionchief in any way competitive with the higher end product.  No point in offering an engine that looks the same for less dollars when at the moment when even conventional runners are paying the top dollar for an engine with the details and such that they want.  

When it comes down to it, the electronics inside a Lionchief Plus engine cost just about the same as those in a Legacy engine, and if Lionel chose to take the muzzle off LC's electronics, it could do as much, or more than Legacy.  

I think most folks look at the electronics package, and judge it by what functions it is used for.  In truth the sort of tech used for Lionchief is far more advanced than that in legacy.  One could think of it like this:  Legacy is like running a top end computer program from 1995 on a computer built in 2005.  The system is more than enough to do everything for the program, but in the end, here in the year 2016, the program still does everything it is supposed to, but there are so many better programs for a modern computer that do the thing better and with more features.  

LionChief Plus, on the other hand, is something like going out and buying a brand new middle-to-high end computer, setting it up, then never using it to do anything but play solitaire.  The computer can do things so much better that that old one from 2005, but there is no way to show that by only using it to play solitaire.  

 

With the real life electronics packages, I would be very surprised if the component cost the electronics in legacy is anything over $25.  I expect the component cost for Lionchief is a bit less, in the $20 range, mostly due to a lower cost sound chip.  Given this, I can't see why lionel would sell an engine that costs about the same to make for $500 when they can sell it for $1200.  Now there are some added costs on a legacy engine, better speakers, better amp chip, and whatever special lights and smoke and such, but LED's are just pennies, and tiny blower motors and heating elements are maybe a couple of bucks.  

Point of all this?  I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for Big L to use Legacy tooling on Lionchief engines.  On the other hand, I see no reason for them not to produce every single old tooling TMCC and conventional engine style, and everything they have from K-Line.  

 

JGL

$ This is John Galt speaking.  $

“I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.” 

 

 

Perhaps you are right, JGL, that the recent example candidate locos that I listed could be a "bridge to far".    I looked first in the online Lionel catalogs which go back only go back to 2010.   

However, for an older loco, checking the archives, the SD-60 was cataloged in 2005 as a conventional engine with fan-driven smoke for $249.  It seems likely that the tooling must have been paid for for the SD-60.

Your K-Line suggestion is another great idea.   Perhaps the K-Line SD-75?   That would be awesome!!

So, the idea of a pair of LC+ modern locos with the existing LC+ consisting and distributed power capability already demonstrated with the FT release, which I have, may still be feasible with the SD60 or the SD75.   We have some interest in the posts so far.

K-line-SD75

 

 

 

 

 

O Gauge: the IMAX of Model Railroading, and a multi-sensory experience.

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Lets not forget about blutooth. They are putting it in all the lines now i belive. This way operators who want simpler controls can use the lc phone app or the lc universal remote. I belive the new legacy brass hybrid has this capability. So ken maybe you have part of your wish anyway. Not sure about consiting this way though.

Roger glasgo

Lionelzwl2012 posted:

Lets not forget about blutooth. They are putting it in all the lines now i belive. This way operators who want simpler controls can use the lc phone app or the lc universal remote. I belive the new legacy brass hybrid has this capability. So ken maybe you have part of your wish anyway. Not sure about consiting this way though.

I sure hope Bluetooth gets put into everything. That is what sells items. I have sold about 5 or 6 starter sets just because they were bluetooth. 

Lionelzwl2012 posted:

Lets not forget about blutooth. They are putting it in all the lines now i belive. This way operators who want simpler controls can use the lc phone app or the lc universal remote. I belive the new legacy brass hybrid has this capability. So ken maybe you have part of your wish anyway. Not sure about consiting this way though.

Right, the SD60M has bluetooth, which I confirmed works fine on my NS.   

So the consisting is with two of the same model and road, where one Lionchief channel can control both locomotives, and they run in lockstep. 

O Gauge: the IMAX of Model Railroading, and a multi-sensory experience.

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