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I posted some comments in a prior thread about the Lionel 6-18149 Veranda that is was originally going to use a stackable motor design. I finally got a chance to look through my stash of Lionel Catalogs from past years, and finally found the "Lionel Heritage 1998" catalog that contains the first appearance of the Veranda and that it was going to have the new design "Odyssey" DC brushless motor, and that the motors could be stacked for more power. I have scanned a few pages of this catalog. In the write up on pages 1 and 2 talks about the new motor and how proud Lionel was not to use some off-the-shelf DC can motor. Page 3 talks about the new "Odyssey" motor, and if you look at the rendering of the motor, you can see how the bottom of the Odyssey motor looks like it could nest into the top of another Odyssey motor. On the right hand side of Page 6, in the black border, it states the Veranda was to have the new Pullmor Odyssey Open Frame Brushless Motor with 4 Motors in two powerstacks.

1998 Cover

1998 Pg1

1998 Pg2

1998 Pg3

1998 Pg4

1998 Pg5

1998 Pg6

Attachments

Images (7)
  • 1998 Cover
  • 1998 Pg1
  • 1998 Pg2
  • 1998 Pg3
  • 1998 Pg4
  • 1998 Pg5
  • 1998 Pg6
Last edited by Rich Melvin
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MED,

Thanks for posting that.  I certainly remember those days when Lionel was advertising its new motor and the speed control that would come with it.  I also remember the uncertainty when it was apparent that the motor was not going to be made, and how would Lionel get speed control into its engines? Luckily it all worked out, although the Veranda was delayed for a couple of years as I recall.  Those were some exciting times at the York meet as well, as Lionel and MTH were competing and around that time Lionel announced that TMCC would be made available to other manufacturers. 

If you look at the picture of the Lionel group you'll see a much younger Bob Grubba who went on to Broadway Limited.  The gentleman kneeling with the longer red hair was named Rich (can't remember his last name), and he came to York a couple of times to demonstrate the new Legacy system to attendees when it was first released.  I wonder how many of the people in that picture are still with the company?   

It would have been neat to see how an Odyssey motor that could be stacked would have worked, and it's fun to look at older catalogs to see what manufacturers wanted to do at a certain time.  Thanks again for sharing!   

Marty,

That's neat Derek got an actual motor, certainly a unique piece of Lionel product development that never came.  At least the Veranda made it to production! I remember the ZW with moving handles! (Yard Boss?)  That was in the Lionel tent back then.  Didn't know they were called "Flying Fader".   

Keith L, thanks!  I remember Rich coming to the Fall 2007 York show to demonstrate Legacy, the system was not quite released yet and the new Legacy Big Boys were only about 2-3 weeks from arriving at dealers.  Rich did a good job demonstrating and answered the many questions us excited attendees had.  One of my favorite York shows, so much excitement it seemed. 

John, yes that engine was expensive even by today's standards!  But a great engine no doubt.  I liked those catalogs of 1998-1999 and what they offered. 

Rob

Hey all,

Bonus points to @MartyE for remembering that I did acquire one these about three years ago. Since then I have added to that group and I think I'm up to three Odyssey motors in various states of completion. My newest acquisition came over the summer when I was sent a prototype of a Pullmor motor that had integrated speed control built into the top. It's quite the marvel. I'll try and remember to grab some photos in the future to post.

The Odyssey was destine to be a motor that was used across the line. For multiple reasons, the project died on the vine. What did come out of the project was that Lionel discovered that they could get most of the benefits of the Odyssey motor with a standard can motor namely the speed control. I have played around with "Stacking" the motors and it really was a neat idea. Sadly the engineering / cost realities just crept in on this project and killed it.

Glad people still remember this project almost 24 years later.

Having worked my whole career in the computer storage industry, I have seen many ideas that were to costly, or not possible with the technology readily, that disappeared, only to come back as a similar idea 5 years or so later, when new technology allowed and/or mfg processes made the idea possible and at affordable cost.

This is very cool. I would think the next evolution for motors would be to go brushless. I see brushless motors every day on a larger scale for HVAC, and most of those are going to a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD). They would definitely need to protect the electronics from transit voltages. I just had a motor controller today that was damaged by a thunderstorm a couple of days ago.

I’m looking forward to the new Veranda hope it doesn’t get stuck on a boat too long.

@RailRide posted:

I find it odd that there haven't been further attempts to experiment with brushless motors on O Gauge locomotives...they are so common in the RC hobby that it's actually a bit of a challenge to find speed controllers (with reverse) that are still compatible with old-style brushed DC motors.

I don't find it odd at all.

There is really only two makers of control systems in O-gauge (maybe 1 1/2 now), and they have absolutely no incentive to go to the expense and time to redesign the motor control for brushless motors.  While I believe they'd be a superior motor, I'm sure the prevailing wisdom (tongue in cheek) at Lionel and MTH is that the motors they use and buy for a buck or two are good enough.  Add to that the control electronics are fully developed and in volume production, and it just doesn't make financial sense to change.

Last edited by gunrunnerjohn

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