The entire point of the kinematic pilot is to close the gap between pilot and frame, giving the appearance of a fixed pilot but yet a pilot that will move around tight curves. The first issue of the kinematic pilot did just that. No gigantic gap, the pilot stayed in a fixed position unless around a tight curve. Look at the ES44AC below. Looks terrific.
Now look at their SD40-2 and the SD45. Notice the giant gap between the pilot and frame. This may state the obvious, but now there is no difference between an engine with a kinematic pilot and any other engine they do. Lionel has gone inexplicably backwards here. So what is the point?