Got my Wabash 21" passenger cars today. Here are some photos and a short video  I'm very impressed with all of the features except for one. 

Likes:

1) Packaging, no more wire ties and tissue paper sticking to the roof  

2) LED lighting, no more blinking and they stay on after the power is off

3) extendable spring couplers that lengthen around curves, make sure you oil and grease everything well, also make sure all of the trucks swing freely both directions, I had one that was hanging up but no moves freely  

4) weight, the cars are surprisingly heavy for plastic  

5) easy removal of the shell, 4 screws and its off

Dislike:

NO lighting in the Vista Domes, when the lights are turned out you can't tell that they are dome cars.

All in all I'm very pleased and looking forward to the station sounds diner next month. The last photo was of a solder joint that came loose. I repaired it and no other issues.

 

imageimageimageimageimageimage

 

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N&W 1218 posted:

 

...  I'm impressed with all of the features except for one. The Vista Dome cars are NOT lighted with LEDs. With the lights out you can't even tell that they are dome cars. Big disappointment. 

That is a HUGE disappointment.  I guess that'll be yet another customization project folks will need to tackle with these cars... perhaps the same time they add passengers to the interiors.    I'm not sure what I'd do if it were me.  Given that it's not just the "one" Vista dome car, but FOUR... I'd almost be inclined to return them to my dealer.

I'm expecting my Texas Special set to arrive tomorrow (Tuesday), and I think that set is supposed to have just one Vista Dome... so it won't be AS big of a deal.  But if I'm not absolutely thrilled with the set, the cars will be going back to Charlie Ro... and I'll purchase something else with the $$$.  Charlie is good in that way, as long as you're not abusing the privilege.  I'm really hoping to keep the set though, since I've waited so long for them.  I was originally hoping for the 18" aluminum version and was extremely disappointed when Lionel didn't include the Texas Special in the last run of aluminum 18" cars.  In 24 hours, I'll know where I stand.

David

WHAT A MESS! The Wabash was an all dome train and there is only one dome and incorrect at that! I believe Lionel just took those that ordered one. Time for Golden Gates to step up and show how it should be done. Why do modelers keep buying projects that are half *** done.

Stephen

nw2124 posted:

WHAT A MESS! The Wabash was an all dome train and there is only one dome and incorrect at that! I believe Lionel just took those that ordered one. Time for Golden Gates to step up and show how it should be done. Why do modelers keep buying projects that are half *** done.

Stephen

Or Atlas? This car looks similar to the CZ end dome.

a wabash dome

Off the top of my head, the three items that stand out as needing attention are the following:

1, Domes are incorrect, should be Budd type (rounded) vs, P-S (which the Bluebird did add later, but only one). Actually, maybe by mistake, the dome is a pretty good version of the P-S add on.

2, The observation car roof end is not correct. The end light should be raised and not recessed and the roof panels were very visible, not smooth like in the model.

3, Ride height seems even higher than other passenger cars, might be due to color scheme.

There are a few other items that should have been corrected, but those are minor.

1, The Blue window band is a little thin around the windows.

2, The Blue window band should have been continued all the way around the back of the observation car and the top blue band should have stopped right where the “boat tail” starts.

 

I think this leaves room for Golden Gate Depot to run a version of the Bluebird for the faithful. However... In my opinion nobody has really done, including the recent Atlas, a decent version of the Budd dome. Meaning the contours and the framing thickness, in a RTR model. If GGD cannot get this feature correct then I would not even bother making the set.

Since this piece (the dome) is removable, there might be a slight chance that Lionel could tool up a nice Budd dome and sell as an after-market part where we could make the switch on our own if we wanted. A quick message to Ryan (or Mike) might be a good starting point.

Based only on the pictures posted, the Blue Color does look to be about correct as are most of the windows.

Also, correct are the car names/numbers and the various shapes/sizes of fluting used on the roof, sides and skirts. To me, that is a very nice feature that has seemed to have been lost of many RTR models.

As with anything in O, nothing is perfect. But there is room for improvement for sure.

 

Charlie

 

 

Charlie posted:

Off the top of my head, the three items that stand out as needing attention are the following:

1, Domes are incorrect, should be Budd type (rounded) vs, P-S (which the Bluebird did add later, but only one). Actually, maybe by mistake, the dome is a pretty good version of the P-S add on.

2, The observation car roof end is not correct. The end light should be raised and not recessed and the roof panels were very visible, not smooth like in the model.

3, Ride height seems even higher than other passenger cars, might be due to color scheme.

 

Charlie

 

 

4, The dome on the observation is in the wrong location.

5, It may be just me, but it looks like the domes also fit poorly.

Rusty

Nice Set you have there!Do you think that maybe the Vista Domes from the old #2500 Series cars might be more Round?,like these other guys are talking about?To me,it would not matter,I would be proud to own the set as is.But I realize Lionel charges a lot of money for these cars,and you guys want them as close to the real thing as possible.Thanks for sharing!

Things that would increase cost to these passenger cars:

Lights in the domes

Fully detailed interiors

Specific domes for each road name

So if those were all "fixed" and the prices were then increased, people would then gripe about the price even more than they already do. I would invite you guys to compare the prices of the 21" cars to the aluminum cars.

To me, these are beautiful cars that are a great starting point for customization.

The lack of bright dome lighting is prototypical.  Though coach domes were generally not extra fare, the railroads had the good sense not to over-illuminate them.  Having ridden the MILW, GN and CB&Q domes, it is my recollection that there was theater type floor lighting for the same reasons.  Having just finished a project to modify a MTH Super Dome, I replicated that lighting effect by drilling holes in the floor of the dome, in the aisle adjacent to every other seat, to admit light from the illuminated area below.  With room lights dimmed or extinguished, the effect is quite realistic - there is a glow from the dome but no Klieg Lights.  Perhaps that compromise would work for you, too.

One of my favorite memories is of watching a huge, violent thunderstorm roll across the prairie at twilight from the single dome of the homely little "Aksarben Zephyr".  Such an experience would not have been possible with bright overhead lighting.

GENERAL NOTICE - Safety is of the first importance in the discharge of duty.  Obedience to the rules is essential to safety.  To enter or remain in the service is an assurance of willingness to obey the rules.

On the subject of lights being in the domes I would wonder are domes really lite in real life? Is not the purpose of the dome to let passengers look out? That would be difficult if the domes were lite especially at night. I have never ridden in a passenger car with a dome so I don't know. If anybody has please let me know. I do remember returning home on the 765 excursion out of Allentown, it was well past sunset when we arrived back in Allentown and I did notice there were no lights on in the domes on those cars that had them. I asked a friend as we were waiting for the bus to take us back to our car and he said if they were lit you could not see out. Makes sense to me.

JohnB

Rusty Traque posted:
TrainingDave posted:

 

Specific domes for each road name

 

As the dome itself is a separate piece, it costs just as much to do it right as it does to do it wrong.

Imagine if these domes show up on the UP excursion set?

Rusty

It is a correct Budd dome. 

So with that dome correctly tooled, Lionel would have to make another tool for the other domes used on all the other road names. Seems like a minor thing to me if it means these can be had at a smaller price.

Also, JohnB is right. Not many domes were brightly lit, if lit at all. Would defeat the purpose.

But this thread seems more about torches and pitchforks than anything else.

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TrainingDave posted:
Rusty Traque posted:
TrainingDave posted:

 

Specific domes for each road name

 

As the dome itself is a separate piece, it costs just as much to do it right as it does to do it wrong.

Imagine if these domes show up on the UP excursion set?

Rusty

It is a correct Budd dome. 

So with that dome correctly tooled, Lionel would have to make another tool for the other domes used on all the other road names. Seems like a minor thing to me if it means these can be had at a smaller price.

Also, JohnB is right. Not many domes were brightly lit, if lit at all. Would defeat the purpose.

But this thread seems more about torches and pitchforks than anything else.

Nope, Lionel's dome is not even correct to represent the dome pictured, which is an ex-D&RGW car.  The Rio Grande car has curved glass on the lower windows and Lionel's has flat glass.  Also notice the D&RGW's dome windows are angled forward slightly.

drgw1250

Lionel's dome is closest to the Burlington's "Silver Dome," which rebuilt from a coach and was the pattern for all following Budd domes.  The only reason it has flat glass was curved glass wasn't available due to wartime restrictions.

Burlington_Zephyrs_Vista_Dome

But in reality, Lionel's appears to be patterned from the Pullman Company's Santa Fe domes:

SF dome 501

Rusty

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Rocky Mountaineer posted:
N&W 1218 posted:

 ...  I'm impressed with all of the features except for one. The Vista Dome cars are NOT lighted with LEDs. With the lights out you can't even tell that they are dome cars. Big disappointment. 

That is a HUGE disappointment. 

I'm expecting my Texas Special set to arrive tomorrow (Tuesday), and I think that set is supposed to have just one Vista Dome... so it won't be AS big of a deal.  But if I'm not absolutely thrilled with the set, the cars will be going back to Charlie Ro... 

David

The real Texas Special didn't have any dome cars, so for running at night it's probably better that it's dark!   At other times, maybe you should run it without the dome!

TrainingDave posted:

So with that dome correctly tooled, Lionel would have to make another tool for the other domes used on all the other road names. Seems like a minor thing to me if it means these can be had at a smaller price.

Also, JohnB is right. Not many domes were brightly lit, if lit at all. Would defeat the purpose.

But this thread seems more about torches and pitchforks than anything else.

Boy, I'll say.  And how many people are ever going to notice this stuff? Personally, overall it looks like a beautiful set.

What can I say, real nice set.
Looks like your having fun.
The domes do look different than the real picture, but they still look good. 

Suggestion for the Vista dome lighting:
Maybe make a walkway on the floor/isle type lighting in the vista dome along the seats, maybe by drilling very small holes (1/64 or smaller) thru to allow the light from below to shine up.
Does anyone know what is being used in the Vista dome?

You need people sitting in the cars.
50pcs Model Seated People Sitting Figures Passengers w/ Poses Diorama Layout $10.13 shipping $2.04

RonH

Don't Junk it, Make it Work!

 

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mikey posted:

Atlas seemed to be able to light the domes on the Zephyr cars,how much can it cost,plus wrong end on observation.

Mikey

Atlas used a pair of chip LEDs on the top side of the light board to illuminate the dome. Its not a whole lot of light, but just enough to reflect off the windows and make it seem lit. Cant imagine it cost more than what it costs to buy 2 LEDs, but that would require making 2 boards.... one for domes and one for everything else.

Drilling holes in the floor of the dome would work, provided that you didnt drill them directly above the circuit board for the lights downstairs. I also bet the board would support an extra LED if you soldered some wires on in parallel to the other LEDs in the board.

 

"Of course we know its O-gauge or no gauge." -- Sheldon Cooper


It is a correct Budd dome. 

Nope, Lionel's dome is not even correct to represent the dome pictured, which is an ex-D&RGW car.  The Rio Grande car has curved glass on the lower windows and Lionel's has flat glass.  Also notice the D&RGW's dome windows are angled forward slightly.

drgw1250

The two cars shown above are Budd domes but they are not a common style of Budd dome. These were built for the C&O's Chessie train and had low domes so they could operate through tunnels particularly the one leading into DC Union Station. To my knowledge there were only six of these type domes made - 3 dome/coach/observations and 3 dome/drawing room/cabin cars all for The Chessie. When that train was cancelled the observations went to the Pere Marquette district of the C&O for a few years before sold to the D&RGW. The straight domes went to the B&O. These are unique cars and have only been made in HO brass.
Ken
 
kanawha posted:

It is a correct Budd dome. 

Nope, Lionel's dome is not even correct to represent the dome pictured, which is an ex-D&RGW car.  The Rio Grande car has curved glass on the lower windows and Lionel's has flat glass.  Also notice the D&RGW's dome windows are angled forward slightly.

drgw1250

The two cars shown above are Budd domes but they are not a common style of Budd dome. These were built for the C&O's Chessie train and had low domes so they could operate through tunnels particularly the one leading into DC Union Station. To my knowledge there were only six of these type domes made - 3 dome/coach/observations and 3 dome/drawing room/cabin cars all for The Chessie. When that train was cancelled the observations went to the Pere Marquette district of the C&O for a few years before sold to the D&RGW. The straight domes went to the B&O. These are unique cars and have only been made in HO brass.
Ken
 

I figured there was more history to the Rio Grande domes, but I didn't have access to my books at the time.

Thanks, Ken.

Rusty

So far, four different posters have suggested that domes were not lit up on real trains, and one of them actually rode a dome at night.  Do you guys still think that Lionel made a major mistake?

If you are trying to look out the window at night, interior lighting completely destroys the view.  On the other hand, folks outside can see what you are doing with your girlfriend.

bob2 posted:

So far, four different posters have suggested that domes were not lit up on real trains, and one of them actually rode a dome at night.  Do you guys still think that Lionel made a major mistake?

If you are trying to look out the window at night, interior lighting completely destroys the view.  On the other hand, folks outside can see what you are doing with your girlfriend.

OMG could you be a "dirty ole man?

bob2 posted:

So far, four different posters have suggested that domes were not lit up on real trains, and one of them actually rode a dome at night.  Do you guys still think that Lionel made a major mistake?

...

Bob,

Nobody is looking for the dome to be lit up like a Christmas tree.  Instead, having a pleasant subtle glow to the dome would have created an awesome effect rather than pure darkness.  That's all we're saying.  Undoubtedly, it's likely a cost-cutting move... just like the packaging of these cars.  They no longer come in their own individual product boxes.  Lionel has dispensed with the individual product box with interior foam liners.  See my "first look" thread on the Texas Special 21" cars.  Seems every penny is being squeezed out of the cost side of the equation.  Somebody is definitely on a mission! 

David

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