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Strongly considering ordering one of these giants.   Please provide your expertise.   I'm building an 072 line so I have that covered.   For this kind of money, any suggestions on a solid place to pay less that the Lionel msrp website price of nearly 2500?   Is this the biggest steam Lionel has ever made?   or at least anytime remotely recent?   Does anyone else have something comparable?   Lastly I'm torn between the Black Bonney with red or the rio grande without color, thoughts?  

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I'm new so forgive please, but, they are listed on Lionels website right now for sale.   4 different models, one sold out, 3 still available to pre-order with delivery in November.  I figured someone here can tell me a more inexpensive spot to order.    BUT, I was mostly looking to gain knowledge from others if this is a good purchase.   I love the large size, or is that just hype?

As far as size is concerned, this is up there near the biggest but it's not quite the biggest.  The Big Boy gets done somewhat frequently and is a little larger, by Lionel's own specs (32" versus 31").  I'm sure other items like the PRR S-1, T-1, Challenger, Allegheny, maybe even the Cab Forwards, are in the same category with respect to size (30"+).

What makes this engine special is that it includes all three of Lionel's greatest-hits special effects (smoke coming out of the whistle, steam coming out of the cylinders, swinging bell).

If you like it, go for it.  If what you want is the biggest steam engine ever, I doubt this is it.  But that doesn't mean it's a bad engine and it doesn't even mean it's not a great engine.  It's its own thing.  It is a very large, hopefully highly-detailed, very tricked-out piece of model machinery.

+1 for the swinging bell.  I have it on a Lionel Legacy H10 (which apparently isn't actually an H10) and it's a very cool effect. 

Get what you think you'll like, and operate, if that's your thing.  That'll help you understand what you REALLY like (engine types, road names, etc.) and you can always sell what you don't want.  If you keep that engine in good shape, you'll probably be able to get 70-80% of your money back selling it (at least until Lionel comes out with Legacy v2 or another version of your engine with better features).

Oh, and bear in mind that these monster articulated engines look a little silly when going thru an O72 curve.  I don't really mind it, but it's a bit extreme when you first see it.

The 3000 class is a beast and a "game-changer" when it first came out. When it first came out in 2009 it was a big hit with the blow-down smoke, whistle steam, and swinging whistle. The detail is very accurate to historic photos and I dare say one of Lionel's best models. I was able to preorder one of these models through Nassau Hobby for an incredible early preorder price of $2,000. Since it has been about six months past the preorder deadline their prices have probably gone up.

It really depends on the person's taste. Over the years I have met/known people who love the idea of fantasy paint schemes, and those who just plain hate them. Personally, I am in the middle. On one hand, I want to stick to the roots and have locomotives that are made just the way they once were. On the other hand, I like the huge opportunity given by having what-if paint schemes, or an all-time favorite on a locomotive that never had it. For example, I reviewed a Lionel GS-2 in the Lark paint scheme and currently a Cab Forward with the daylight paint scheme. Both were real paint schemes but never on those locomotives. In the end, it is up to YOU on what you want. Everybody's money is the same color so don't let anybody tell you otherwise on what to do.

I understand, it is tough to swallow a big chunk of money that can pay for something else. Looking back ten to eleven years ago, no one thought the 3000 would be such a big hit, but now they are one of the hardest locomotives to find. With this new release, I can see the same thing happening, so I would try to get one now while they are still available. Who knows, it might be another ten years before Lionel even considers making another one.

I agree with Al, you might want to leave a few inches of space for such a beast of a locomotive to clear the corner.
The 2-10-10-2, I believe, isn't the largest engine lionel has made. The S1 is exactly 1 yard long for example, but the super santa fe type(as I like to call it) is still a massive engine.

As for which one to purchase, I'd personally go for the Blackbonnet but that's your choice

I think your best bet for finding one at a good price would be trainworld or charles ro.

When I was designing a layout  measured  the over-hang and "in-hang" of my larger engines.  My measurements were all from the end of the ties from GarGaves and Ross track.  And if I recall correctly the ties in both cases are 2 1/8" long.  So on O-72 my MTH Big boy has an over-hang of 2" & in-hang oh 7/16 ".

Of course we all know that no two manufactures O-72 or any other size track are necessarily the same  size  "curve."  Even garGrave vs Ross O-72 are slightly different.


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