Lionel Lion Chief Plus

Has anyone had a negative experience running  a Lionel LionChief Plus diesel for a long time ,say 1/2 hour without interruption? Our club puts up layouts at many venues and we are about to purchase a couple of the engines from Lionel. But would like to know if the Lion Chief Plus engine will stand the wear and tear.

Original Post

I have 4 LionChief Plus, locos on my layout. I feel LionChief Plus is a plus for any club layout. Each operator gets their own controller. My favorite feature is the speed control. You may find these YT videos helpful from my YT channel.          9401 YT Views     86 Comments       2463 YT Views     65 Comments        3028 YT Views     75 Comments       11,485 YT Views   145 Comments

They would be an excellent choice for a club layout, people that come to see the club's layout would get their own controller, this would get your visitors more involved.   Just purchase one and see how it goes. If you need more information, hit me up with an e-mail.

If you watch my YT Videos, and other YT Videos Creators, you will find no major issues.

Good Luck: Gary

I only have one LC Plus engine that has seen any significant run time at this point, but antidotal evidence says there shouldn't be any problem.  Build quality varies from model to model, but all that I have seen suggests they are built pretty well for the price. My LC+ NW2 was run non-stop at low speed for something like 14 hours a day for several days and shows no sign of wear or damage from doing so.  I expect higher speeds would put more wear on moving parts.  

Some folks have reported LC and LC+ engines being shipped with very little grease on the gears, so you may want to check that they are well lubricated before putting an engine into long-haul service.  


$ 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.” 



Keep your trains short and light. It will reduce wear and tear on the axles and gears. Stick to 2 to 3 passenger cars or 4 to 5 freight cars.

Frank Ventura



... Another dedicated member of the model railroad quality control department. whenever I see quality, I try to control it...


I have been running LC+ locos with 12 car plus caboose trains since they were released (3 years?), and no problems with the locos.   They can handle much more than that.  

BTW, discussed on another thread, the LC+ FT diesels also have magnetraction - an undocumented feature.   They pull like crazy and can handle much longer trains.   I am running one train now at 22 cars, and the FTs have zero problems, they don't seem to notice that they are pulling a train.   I have not yet tested my other LC+ locos with this longer train.

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

"Probably not a good idea:"

Based upon an N of 1?  I wouldn't consider that an adequate sample, to say the least.  I know there are a number of clubs that run LC and LC+ locos on their modular displays for civilians to run.  We haven't heard any major complaints. While the absence of evidence isn't necessarily evidence, the current absence of evidence is encouraging and certainly does not support your advice, in my view.  Why discourage people from using what the vast majority of people now consider a great product because of one person's unhappy experiences?  In science we require replication by other investigators to consider anything reasonably proven true.

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