Lionel E8 Pre-Production Photos

From Lionel's Facebook page:


Please help us, help Lionel get them correct!

We can argue that at some point, the New York Central E8s had their pilots switched out for standard EMD freight pilots, and I can even argue that I've seen a lot of them with many different horn configurations (Yes; I know that these pre-production units are derailed for Conrail and this is not the horn configuration for the NYC units), but please make the dynamic brake fan go away. 


How can we help?


Photos (6)
Original Post
Scratchbuilder1-48 posted:
CentralFan1976 posted:

I realize we "vote" with our money; so I already have...

I've preordered a set. 

That means I'm willing to pay for them, if corrected. 

how about the side grills ???????????????????????

How about 2 tiny can motors in a big long heavy engine dragging its dead twin along for the ride??


Here's what I'm worried about so far...

ACL E8As 544 / 545:

  • Vertical Farr Grilles
  • No dynamic brakes



BN E8As 9935 / 9940:

  • Vertical Farr grilles
  • No dynamic brakes
  • Dual steam generators (rear hatch)
  • #9935 has single headlight housing (#9940 has dual)
  • Exhaust spark arrestors



Conrail E8As 4020 / 4021:

  • Dual dynamic brake fans (Rebuilt pre-Conrail)
  • Exhaust muffler on rear hatch instead of steam generator exhaust (Rebuilt pre-Conrail w/ HEP)
  • HEP radiator housing / fan on rear hatch
  • Cab roof vent
  • Sinclair antenna
  • MU receptacle under nose headlight



EMD E8A Demonstrator 950:

  • There was no #950, it was #952
  • Demonstrators #810 & 811 were painted as DL&W, but lettered EMD
  • No dynamic brakes



L&N E8As 796 / 797:

  • Horizontal grilles
  • No dynamic brakes
  • Cab roof antenna

I don't think so since the Lionel web page specifies minimum O-36 curves.  On curves that tight, I think a fixed pilot would cause one derailment after another when coupled to anything with swinging couplers.  I'm a big fan of fixed pilots but I'm willing to accept this concession knowing it makes the models usable by the widest possible audience.  And no, I don't work for Lionel.

I pre-ordered a set of these today in PRR livery to replace my early-mid-2000s K-Line set.  I take to heart all of the concerns about proper details per prototype practice, and I wholly agree that for the price, Lionel should get the details right, but...then I remember where the hobby was 20, 30 years ago and how, back then, I would traded my car for models like these.

Best wishes,




Johnstown, PA


There's a light at the end of the tunnel. 

 First, the road numbers that Lionel chose for the NYC units have the correct side grilles.  4036 and 4037 were the first units delivered, and had horizontal grilles. Yay!!!!!

That's a big relief! 

Now we just need to work on the dynamic brake fan.

I'm not canceling my pre-order just yet, mostly because I'm not overly concerned about the pilot, because I have experience with installing P&D Hobby passenger pilots.



Photos (1)

From the PRR GP9 debacle, I have minimal faith in Lionel getting it somewhat right. With that said, I did preorder the Conrail  OCS set mainly for the cars.  It's would be monumental if Lionel even got the ex Erie e8 right that is comming with that set.

member:Golden Spike Club Charter Member

Eccentric Crank posted:

Can't tell, but has the pilot been fixed to fit the body and not be wider than it?

Been looking at the couple of photos in the OP's posting....

I'm not sure I'm seeing what you're claiming.

I see some pilot overhang to the shell, but only on the engineer's side.  And, frankly, with the lighting situation for these photos, there's too much shadow on the fireman's side of both engines at the pilot to judge whether there's any overhang to that side.

Further, what I also see in the second photo is that the front truck of the one engine is not perfectly aligned to the model.  That is to say, it appears canted to the engine-left, which of course will cause the pilot to be shifted showing in the first photo.  

I'm giving Lionel the benefit of the doubt here.  With only two photos, questionable lighting/positioning, etc., etc., blah, blah.....I'd say there's insufficient evidence of a pudgy pilot....or skinny this point.  Some of the other nits are worth picking, I suppose.   I mean, now is the time to put the oars in the oarlocks and pull....for what it's worth.

OTOH, good luck getting all the i's dotted and t's crossed to everyone's satisfaction.   Discussions like this lead to little wonder why someone like Mike Reagan would bail after awhile.  "Thankless" and "PITA" are a couple of job descriptor terms that come to mind in generating a new product of this sort......

I say, 'Wine a'll make you feel better!'

Matt Makens posted:

I'd have been in on the Lionel E units but the dummy unit ruined it. There's no option for another powered unit if I need one.

For the PRR runners here the Pennsy did not have E8 B-units.  If they needed a third engine, they normally added an E7 B-unit.  I'm not sure of their availability, but you could buy the early Lionel Legacy E7 powered B-unit and use it with your new E8s.  The issue is those B-units do not have sound.





Volunteers don't get paid, not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless!  Author Sherry Anderson

Uh, DK, I posted this thread,

because you were supposed to read it.  Before commenting.  But here, in part:

"I think the odd thing he noticed and that I noticed as well is not that the body looks too narrow, but that the body does not match the shape and size of the pilot.   I first I thought the pilot was too wide, but now this thread would indicate the body is too narrow.  Either way the body and the pilot do not match up.  You can see this in the photos.  Is it a big problem? No.  Is it noticeable?  Yes.  This is one of the reasons I did not fix the pilot."  

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