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Hi Hammerlane:  This video is now playing on my YT Channel.  Check it out......

You may find this video helpful...      https://youtu.be/4M3dKSGGwdc

In this video we will be operating a LionChief Plus Baltimore & Ohio Steam Locomotive.  This is a 2-8-2 Mikado and it can be operated with a transformer, LionChief Plus Remote, Lionel Universal Remote & with Lionel’s Bluetooth® App.

Gary

Generally speaking: 

Legacy locomotives are full 1/4" scale representations of the real thing with separately added details. 

LionChief locomotives are usually selectively compressed (also referred to as traditional sized) or updated postwar locomotive with the details molded in to the shells.  A few are full 1/4" scale, but do not have the high level of detail of Legacy locomotives.

Rusty

Hammerlane posted:

Thank you for your reply. I understand how both systems operate. I want peoples opinion on rather or not the legacy system is worth the huge price difference when compared to LionChief 2.0?

I think GunRunnerJohn's opinion, posted above, says it all.

What do you like? 

What do you want to own?

What do you want to run?

What can you afford?

For me, Legacy is the best because of the finish, look and performance.  Yes.  It's worth the price difference.  To me.

Hammerlane posted:

Thank you for your reply. I understand how both systems operate. I want peoples opinion on rather or not the legacy system is worth the huge price difference when compared to LionChief 2.0?

Since none of us have seen LC+ 2.0 locomotives, the answer would have to be that I don't know.  I know I'll be buying a couple of the LC+ 2.0 Dockside switchers. 

A big difference is LC stuff is mostly semi-scale.  If you're into 1:48 full scale O-gauge locomotives and rolling stock, most of the LC stuff will be pretty small in comparison to the scale stuff.  I picked up the LC+ Camelback so I could intelligently talk about the LC+ product line, and a bonus was it was also scale sized.

Again, this is a question that only YOU can answer.  All the other opinions you see here are just that, one person's opinion.  I suspect you know the old saw about opinions...   Opinions are like...  well, you know the rest.

Rusty Traque posted:

Generally speaking: 

Legacy locomotives are full 1/4" scale representations of the real thing with separately added details. 

LionChief locomotives are usually selectively compressed (also referred to as traditional sized) or updated postwar locomotive with the details molded in to the shells.  A few are full 1/4" scale, but do not have the high level of detail of Legacy locomotives.

I think, among the LionChief engines that are scale-sized, are the GP7/9, GP-20, GP-38, RS-3, FT, NW-2 and GP-60. All diesels. None of the LionChief steamers are scale, other than the Camelbacks and the A5. 

Legacy engines have more features that make them capable of more complicated operations, have more detail, and have superior sounds. LionChief engines are simpler to operate, but have enough features to satisfy many operators. Also, a lot depends on the size of your pocketbook and how much time you have to spend operating your trains. As others have said, the best way to determine what's right for you is to compare them. That's easy to say, but not necessarily easy to do. If you can find someone who has both and will let you run them, that's great. Otherwise, unfortunately, it's expensive to compare, because you'll have to buy two engines. 

Nothing wrong with owning both kinds, of course. Lots of folks do. Run them depending on your mood, and depending on circumstances. Having engines for young people to operate, or for operating something under the Christmas tree where ease of operation is valued, or for quick, easy operating sessions, the LionChief line may be preferable. For more involved operation, there's Legacy.

Last edited by breezinup

Abut 10 years ago I semi-retired and got out my old trains. I set ups a layout and added a few engines-all legacy. Over the last 2 years I bought 3 lion chief engines and to me they were a revelation. It had this clever remote control that could ring a bell, sound a horn, and  play pre-recorded messages. Two of the engines were diesel and looked quite realistic to me. The third was the Mickey Mouse Christmas train. The beauty of this is that my 3 and 1/2 year old grand daughter who I bought this set for could operate the engine by herself. It was worth any price to see the sheer joy in her face as she operated the train, an operation made possible by Lion Chief.

I would recommend getting both-legacy and lion chief as each has its pluses.

JohnF

GRJ's analogy of Mercedes vs. Chevy is a good one, especially if one considers the total cost, not just the locomotive and system costs. As others pointed out, Legacy is only available in 1:48 scale engines which are, of course, more expensive. More to the point, so are the 1:48, more-detailed scale passenger and freight cars that match the engines, just like the parts and maintenance costs with a Mercedes are reportedly higher than the Chevy. You pay for performance upfront and on-going. 

LC+ and LC+2 comes in semi-scale and some scale-sized locos but appears to be generally geared to the simpler and lower-cost market relative to Legacy. They match nicely with traditional/O27/O31-sized rolling stock that are plentiful, less-detailed, and lower cost.

So relative total cost should enter into the discussion along with space. Legacy engines and rolling stock require larger curves and more space and more money.

Also, consider quantity. Will you be satisfied with 2 or 3 engines or will you become addicted and need 20?  Will one set of passenger cars be sufficient or will you get the bug and need six? 

If you have the space and budget, 1:48 scale with Legacy is the way to go.  If budget, space, or tech skills are limited, LC+ and its upgrade LC+2 seem like a better option.

Plain old LC is for entry-level toys like my youngest's Thomas set. Nothing wrong with it. In fact, as a 4 y/o, she loved it. 

raising4daughters posted:
Also, consider quantity. Will you be satisfied with 2 or 3 engines or will you become addicted and need 20?  Will one set of passenger cars be sufficient or will you get the bug and need six? 

Sadly, I couldn't stop at 20 or even 50. But at least I have close to half of them where I can actually see and enjoy them.

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gunrunnerjohn posted:
raising4daughters posted:
Also, consider quantity. Will you be satisfied with 2 or 3 engines or will you become addicted and need 20?  Will one set of passenger cars be sufficient or will you get the bug and need six? 

Sadly Happily, I couldn't stop at 20 or even 50. But at least I have close to half of them where I can actually see and enjoy them.

GRJ, I fixed it for you. 

Always tough to say if it's "worth it" to you.  I'm strictly into diesel engines and scale.  Buying a Legacy engine is worth it to me based on looks alone.  I hate those flat/stamped hand rails that Lionel continues to put on LC+ diesels.  IMO, hokey, lazy, and stupid in 2021.  While I own the Legacy system, I am not a demanding user.  I could get by with universal remote.  So I would always buy Legacy.

Thanks MikeH, can you tell me if the quality of the sound systems in the Legacys are better sounding than the LC+? Also do you know if the smoke systems are the same or similar as far as output goes? One of my favorite features is the smoke? Right now my collection is mainly Railking Imperials and I did pre-order a Camelback Legacy out of the lionel 2021 catalog. It will be my first Lionel engine.

Thanks, Brad

@B rad posted:

Thanks MikeH, can you tell me if the quality of the sound systems in the Legacys are better sounding than the LC+?

I can't.  I had one LC+ diesel (and I sold it for the aforementioned reason).

@B rad posted:

Also do you know if the smoke systems are the same or similar as far as output goes?

Sorry, I don't know the answer to that either.  I assume so but I don't know for sure.  In the past, since you're coming from RK Imperial, I'd say "prepare to be disappointed in the smoke output".  But Lionel has made improvements in that department.

Times are changing,..   so it depends.   For me I have mostly Lionchief and only a few Legacy.    The most recent purchases were a LC Peabody loco and a set of hoppers.   They look nice, operate good, and the grandkids enjoy the bright colors.   Also a new LC Southern Crescent 4-6-2 to pull those old Madison passenger cars since my original 70's 4-6-4 Crescent is noisy and has no sounds.   My latest were both the Lionel LC 2.0 Norfolk Southern SD80MAC's which are great and can also operate in Legacy mode along with my NS First Responders Legacy SD60 which was only about $50 more than the SD80's in LC.    Still it is all just about what I like, and ease of operation which the LC remotes (hand one to each of the grandkids) make easy.    Going forward any LionChief would definitely be the 2.0 versions.    Also to note one of the differences between LC and Legacy is the scale, or mostly near scale of LionChief.   

Great info Kevin1. Thanks. I have only had experience with Railking Imperial Ps3 and I thought the sounds were amazing. I've seen forums and YouTube videos stating Lionel is by far better with sounds so I'm looking forward to experiencing that. I have a lionchief set but it is Not a Plus or Plus 2.0 and will never get another one. That's why I'm trying to figure out more info on the LC+ and LC + 2.0 as it compares to MTH Imperial Railking models. I use the MTH DCS WIFI unit with my TIU now and have no plans of adding a legacy command system so thats why I was wondering if the legacy models are better than the LC+ models if you are only using them with the Bluetooth controls. The fact that the sounds are better is a plus for me. Still would like to know if the LC+ steamers smoke as well as the Legacy steamers. I know they may not be on par with MTH but would be nice to know if between the lionel legacy and LC+ models if they are different.

Brad

Yes. I have not seen a lc+/2.0, but i do see the level of detail and to me Legacy level detail justifies the step up in price. That’s not to say the nw2 or lionmaster locos etc don’t look really nice, but rs3 gp7, fa, and most of the diesels are lacking detail. With that said if I was going for a postwar layout, or it’s going to be operated by a younger kid (no tiny super fragile parts ), the lionchief plus is probably your best bet. I actually like the lionchief concept, as I don’t have a control system, but the price for lionchief is not low enough to tempt me to choose them over legacy. Now, if there was a great price on a lionchief plus/2.0 for a Maryland railroad on eBay, I might bite(e.g.I like the b&o nw2).

@B rad posted:

Wanted to ask on an old similar post now that's it's a year+ later. Is it worth buying a legacy engine knowing I'm only going to control it using the Bluetooth app? Are the sounds better on a legacy vs LC+ 2.0? Is smoke output better on a legacy? Just wondering if I do not have the legacy command system is it a waste to pay for a legacy model over a LC+ 2.0.

Brad

I think I could help answer your question - I have a mix of LionChief and Legacy and control them with the Universal Remote.

In terms of quality of sound, Legacy easily outmatches LionChief and LionChief Plus. LionChief Plus 2.0 is closer to Legacy sounds, and in some cases may be almost identical - my LC+2.0 Berkshire sounds just like Legacy Berkshires you can find videos of on YouTube. It also has four chuffs per revolution like Legacy (regular LionChief has only 1 chuff/revolution, LionChief Plus has 2, and there are similar differences for diesel RPM levels although I don't have any Plus/2.0 diesels).

However, Legacy locos can completely drown out LC sounds in terms of volume. I have both LC and Legacy running on my layout and I cannot hear the chuffing of my LC+2.0 engines (Berkshire and LionMaster Big Boy) over my Legacy engines if they are next to each other, or if the LC are on the far end of the layout. Something to bear in mind if you end up buying both.

Legacy is just more feature-rich in general, including sounds. You can manually quill the whistle, induce labored chuffing, etc if you are using a Legacy remote. With LC+2.0, the pitch(?) of the whistle will change depending on the speed of the loco, but that is mostly it. If you are not using a Legacy remote to control a legacy engine, then their whistle, bell, etc. will function the same way as LC+2.0 does (ie, whistle pitch changes according to speed). Another thing to keep in mind is that some (maybe all?) Legacy engines feature coal-filling and water-filling sound effects, or may have sounds tied to other engine-specific effects as well. Lionel's recent 2-10-4 Texas locos have specific hissing steam sounds to go with that engine's specific steam-chest effect. In the case of the Texas, this effect is played automatically when the engine first starts pulling and at a few other times if you are using Bluetooth - if you have the Legacy remote then you can induce this effect and sound on-command.

Crew Talk mostly follows the same vein as with the whistles - 2.0 has similar crew talk to Legacy, while LionChief Plus is a lighter version of it, and plain LionChief is more barebones, at least in my opinion.

LionChief Plus and LionChief Plus 2.0 both have fan-driven smoke, as does Legacy, which gives them good smoke output. I have smoke switched off on most of my engines though so the room doesn't turn into a cloud

So, you are controlling with the BlueTooth app. Should you buy Legacy or LionChief engines?

  • If all you want is a great whistle and a crisp bell but don't care about other sounds, you'll probably get the most bang for your buck with LionChief Plus 2.0 - the 2.0 version has the best sounds in the LionChief line. If you have no plans whatsoever to get a Legacy remote, then LC+2.0 will still be your best option. I have not been able to detect an audible difference between how my Legacy and LC+2.0 engines operate sounds using the Universal Remote.
  • If you think there is any chance you may upgrade to a Legacy remote in the future and you enjoy railroad sounds in general - squealing brakes, locomotive chuffing, etc. - consider Legacy. With a Legacy remote you get access to things like the manual quillable whistle and labored chuffing, but whether or not those are worth the extra $500 - $1000 is going to be entirely up to you. This video of an older L2a Mohawk I think does a good job of demonstrating labored chuffing, something I think (but am not sure) is available on all Legacy locos. I don't know if there's a diesel equivalent.



Hope this wall of text is at least somewhat useful to you!

Last edited by 0-Gauge CJ

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