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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Last edited by N&W 1218
Original Post
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

The more I think about the dome lighting the more it grinds my gears. This is a special set, my Dad worked for the Wabash. I'm keeping it but I won't be buying the UP set to go behind the 8444. I'll be getting with cJack and he'll help me put lights where there are none! 

So in both of the pictures you posted of individual cars, the rear end of the dome isnt sitting flush on the roof... Forget the lights, whats up with that?

What a beautiful set. Adding a few lights to the dome area should be easy. Bummer about the domes vs. prototype.

Why not the Excursion UP cars? I just put my order in.

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!

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

Mikey

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.

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

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.

All domes from ANY MANUFACTURER are a pain in the arse!!!

  No ... seriously though all domes are hard too manufacture!NP Northcoast domes 005NP Northcoast domes 006

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aterry11 posted:

All domes from ANY MANUFACTURER are a pain in the arse!!!

  No ... seriously though all domes are hard too manufacture!NP Northcoast domes 005NP Northcoast domes 006

And yet Lionel cranked out a fairly decent representation of a Budd dome in the 1950's:

SilRng2

Rusty

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One of the forum sponsors, I think Custom O Decals, has very nice short LED strips. I used them to great success to light my Lionel 15" short domes. Perhaps they would work here as well.

 

 

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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Yes, the domes had very little light, remember at night that there were dim lit floor lights to make your way around. Nothing like sitting up there when your a kid at night and watching the stars...

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!

Last edited by breezinup
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

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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.


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

Is there a way to drop the body down lower over the trucks... the " high water flood " look is really bothersome. 

Last edited by J Daddy

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

J Daddy posted:

Is there a way to drop the body down lower over the trucks... the " high water flood " look is really bothersome. 

Not without significant changes to the truck bolsters. The stamped sheet metal bolster would have to be lowered and then the top of the third rail pickup would have to be insulated to keep it from shorting to the sheet metal frame of the car.

I really like the packaging change. The 4 Pack has Windows on both sides of the box. It took just a few minutes to get all of the cars out if the box and on the tracks. I don't need an individual box for each car. The injection molded snap top plastic cradles are perfect. Way better than all that styrofoam. 

Dome lighting or not, as many people have said, I'm very Happy with these cars. They look great traveling around my layout. Thanks Lionel for making the Bluebird a part of my collection! 

TrainingDave posted:
J Daddy posted:

Is there a way to drop the body down lower over the trucks... the " high water flood " look is really bothersome. 

Not without significant changes to the truck bolsters. The stamped sheet metal bolster would have to be lowered and then the top of the third rail pickup would have to be insulated to keep it from shorting to the sheet metal frame of the car.

That is a real bummer. I like the cars but they look like they are way too high off of the trucks.

Ever notice how hard it is to see outside when in your house at night, with the lights on? Turn the lights off and you can suddenly see outside! Amazing how that works.

Now, if we installed a lighting PCB in the vista dome it would have required screws to mount it to the roof of the vista. This would have made it visible from the side PLUS there would be wires running down to the car body (we haven't quite perfected wireless power yet, but its likely on the same container with Fastrack Expander Paste!).

Had we installed lighting in the dome, passengers would complain about the reflective glare and that they could not view the stars at night. Hence, no lights in the vista domes!

Thanks!

Mike

Last edited by Mikado
Mikado posted:

... Had we installed lighting in the dome, passengers would complain about the reflective glare and that they could not view the stars at night. Hence, no lights in the vista domes!

...

Passengers?  Complaining?  My set didn't come with any passengers, so I don't think we'll be hearing anybody complaining up there in those domes.  

Subtle floor lighting might have been a real cool effect.  Perhaps for V2.0  

David

Last edited by Rocky Mountaineer

Almost bought the Wabash set at the Allentown show today.  Pete Costa had a 6-car set on display in boxes.  Catl'g pics do NOT do these cars justice!   Very smart-looking appearance for this set.

Would have been quite the impulse buy, but then I'd need to find some motive power for it too.  One thing always leads to another.  So i excercised a little self control.   Perhaps another day.  

David

Last edited by Rocky Mountaineer

Personally, I would much prefer lighted domes primarily to spark memories of those magical and beautiful silver Lionel (and Flyer) passenger cars when we were kids.  Great memories too!

Would seem there have been several excellent suggestions for modifications when you are adding the much-needed passengers. Perhaps drilling the holes and maybe covering them with translucent tape would be the easiest and best? That would add the light from the floor and appear the most prototypical...

I'm asking this for a friend. How were these cars packed? Did the boxes come with bags? Were the 2 packs packed two to a box? Any info would be appreciated. Thank you.

Bill

NSBill posted:

I'm asking this for a friend. How were these cars packed? Did the boxes come with bags? Were the 2 packs packed two to a box?  ...

Bill, unless you're looking for something specific to the Wabash 21" set, take a look at my "first look" Texas Special thread from last week.  There are pics of the packaging there.

My Texas Special set came from Charlie Ro with an outer shipping carton that was created from the 4-pack's shipper, then extended a bit to hold the 2-pack product carton as well.  So everything arrived in one outer box, if you follow what I'm describing.  And I'm sure Charlie's crack shipping staff used the 2-pack's outer shipping carton for other product they were shipping.

Each car is wrapped in clear plastic, and then inserted into white PLASTIC liners -- not foam as with prior products.  All cars are visible through window cut-outs in their respective product cartons.  The 4-pack has window cut-outs on both sides of the product box:  2 in front, 2 in back.  The 2-pack only has window cut-outs in the front of the 2-pack product box.  The cars are not boxed individually anymore.

Hope that helps.

David

Last edited by Rocky Mountaineer
Rocky Mountaineer posted:
NSBill posted:

I'm asking this for a friend. How were these cars packed? Did the boxes come with bags? Were the 2 packs packed two to a box?  ...

Bill, unless you're looking for something specific to the Wabash 21" set, take a look at my "first look" Texas Special thread from last week.  There are pics of the packaging there.

My Texas Special set came from Charlie Ro with an outer shipping carton that was created from the 4-pack's shipper, then extended a bit to hold the 2-pack product carton as well.  So everything arrived in one outer box, if you follow what I'm describing.  And I'm sure Charlie's crack shipping staff used the 2-pack's outer shipping carton for other product they were shipping.

Each car is wrapped in clear plastic, and then inserted into white PLASTIC liners -- not foam as with prior products.  All cars are visible through window cut-outs in their respective product cartons.  The 4-pack has window cut-outs on both sides of the product box:  2 in front, 2 in back.  The 2-pack only has window cut-outs in the front of the 2-pack product box.  The cars are not boxed individually anymore.

Hope that helps.

David

Thank you for that info David. Were the boxes themselves in plastic bags. The friend I'm asking for is a bit of a stickler about the packaging. He thinks that Pete probably gave him the set you mentioned in a previous post, and it's missing the outer bags and shipping carton for the 2 pack and so now he's all worked up over it.

 

Bill

Bill, i do not recall the 4-pack or the 2-pack product boxes coming in bags.  If your friend is thinking back to the days when these sets came in a product box surrounded by a clear plastic bag with a piece of tape labeled "factory sealed", those days appear to be history.  

All the importers are cutting corners everywhere they can.  Last year, I purchased two "premium sets":  Lionel's N&W Pocahontas passenger set, and an MTH CSX freight set with loco and Gunderson cars.  Neither set came packaged inside a fancy "set box".  Just individual product boxes packaged inside a brown shipping carton. 

I see in another thread that MTH is due to ship the CSX Safety Train set in a couple of weeks, and I'm not expecting any set box for that set either.  We'll know pretty soon.

In the big picture, there are certainly worse things to "get worked up over".  So tell your friend to just enjoy the trains.  

David

Rocky Mountaineer posted:

Bill, i do not recall the 4-pack or the 2-pack product boxes coming in bags.  If your friend is thinking back to the days when these sets came in a product box surrounded by a clear plastic bag with a piece of tape labeled "factory sealed", those days appear to be history.  

All the importers are cutting corners everywhere they can.  Last year, I purchased two "premium sets":  Lionel's N&W Pocahontas passenger set, and an MTH CSX freight set with loco and Gunderson cars.  Neither set came packaged inside a fancy "set box".  Just individual product boxes packaged inside a brown shipping carton. 

I see in another thread that MTH is due to ship the CSX Safety Train set in a couple of weeks, and I'm not expecting any set box for that set either.  We'll know pretty soon.

In the big picture, there are certainly worse things to "get worked up over".  So tell your friend to just enjoy the trains.  

David

David thank you for replying back. He's always giving me a good laugh about how anal he can be with this stuff!

Bill

I'll just reiterate what seems to have been said.  The domes are definitely wrong for these cars.  (I rode this train many times, by the way.)  They are styled after Pullman Standard and not the Budd curved glass design.  The glass at the ends of the dome is also done differently between those two prototype manufacturers.  (Yes, one Pullman Standard dome was added later with smooth sides because they couldn't get another Budd built one fast enough.)  If the car has fluting, it should have the curved glass dome.  The look of the train, to my eye, is very dependent on having the correct domes.  And it is true that the Observation should be front of center.  There are a number of other nits and picks I suppose, and I didn't expect the quality of Golden Gate cars, and these are not at that price point, either.  But wrong domes and misplaced domes is certainly less than what I expected.

Chuck K.

Chuck K. posted:

... I didn't expect the quality of Golden Gate cars, and these are not at that price point, either.  ...

As many here should know by now, I'll be the first to take Lionel to task for their pricing structure.  But for the most part, the prices of their passenger cars remain "reasonable".   Now we can argue that ABS cars should be considerably lower than their aluminum predecessors.  But we're also paying for the new tooling, so the price-points of ABS are essentially picking up a shade below where prices of aluminum cars left off.  Over in my Texas Special "first look" thread, I calculated roughly $110/car for the new ABS cars -- not including the StationSounds diner which skewed the average price/car to $125.

As a point of comparison, I just received a GGD El Capitan 60' RPO car from Scott Mann today.  It must have been an unclaimed "left-over" from the first production run, since I had an RPO and an extra lounge car on standby.  Very handsome car, by the way.  But we're talking $279 for this gem.  So that's where prices are heading for finely detailed aluminum passenger cars today.

David

 

Last edited by Rocky Mountaineer

I contacted Lionel's customer service mainly about the incorrect domes and got the sort of reply I expected:

"We apologize this is not as expected.  We did check and this is how they are manufactured.  We are not remaking the roof or shell to correct this difference."

The person answering did not even understand the product well enough to realize that the dome is a separate part not requiring a new "roof" or "shell".

Interestingly, the K-Line California Zephyr cars did the iconic Budd dome rather well.  It's ironic that Lionel now has all the K-Line assets, but couldn't get the Blue Bird's dome right.

Chuck K.

Gosh folks, last I looked this topic is posted in "Hi-Rail, O27 and Traditional 3-Rail O Gauge" forum, not in any of the Scale forums.

I still think its a darn good looking set. Of course, I am more into  operating fun than minute details of any of these trains. I am one of the outliers who isn't into all the minutiae some are. Perhaps that discussion would be better left to the Scale Forums.

As long as the set is being enjoyed by the originator of this topic, then so be it. I for one would love to have a set like this in the 15" Class of passenger cars that would run on my layout.

To each their own.

I still have extra stock of all four offered road names in both the 4 car and 2 car sets, plus the Empire State add on 2 cars sets.... On sale on our website.

For that matter, I still have extra Hudson's and the Hudson passenger sets.

Thanks....... 

Regarding dome lighting, these were a daylight domeliner Chicago to St. Louis.  So don't worry about dome lighting and just make sure your room lighting is always on nice and bright to be prototypical.

Chuck K.

I have the 4 pack and 2 pack of the Wabash cars.  I purchased the Lionel e8 a while ago.  When, I put them together I notice that the blue color of the cars is not the same as the blue color of the engines. 

rboatertoo posted:

I have the 4 pack and 2 pack of the Wabash cars.  I purchased the Lionel e8 a while ago.  When, I put them together I notice that the blue color of the cars is not the same as the blue color of the engines. 

That's a big disappointment!    I wonder if folks who own the Legacy FM Trainmaster locomotive or F3 ABBA's (I think Lionel did F3's recently, yes?) will fare any better.  I only saw the passenger set briefly at the Allentown train show last weekend, and the cars had a very striking appearance to them.  I consider myself very, very lucky that the new Texas Special passenger cars match the SD70ACe locomotives that Lionel produced almost 5 years ago.

David

Last edited by Rocky Mountaineer
rboatertoo posted:

I have the 4 pack and 2 pack of the Wabash cars.  I purchased the Lionel e8 a while ago.  When, I put them together I notice that the blue color of the cars is not the same as the blue color of the engines. 

YOU HAVE TO BE Kidding me?!

 

Minion-Whaaat

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rboatertoo posted:

I have the 4 pack and 2 pack of the Wabash cars.  I purchased the Lionel e8 a while ago.  When, I put them together I notice that the blue color of the cars is not the same as the blue color of the engines. 

Doesn't surprise me as the locomotive models are probably manufactured in a completely different location/factory than the passenger cars.

Interestingly, the K-Line California Zephyr cars did the iconic Budd dome rather well. 

Interesting indeed.  I had the K-Line NP dome car here for a while, and found the dome undersize and toylike.  I use brass parts and make my own domes.

And while I too am dazzled by the realism demanded of toy train hobbyists, I am grateful for it, since I can now purchase almost anything i want in 3-rail and convert it to run on more or less realistic track easily.  Keep demanding scale models for your tinplate track!

This statement in Chuck K's post is incorrect

It's ironic that Lionel now has all the K-Line assets, but couldn't get the Blue Bird's dome right.

Lionel does not have any of the old K-Line tooling.

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.

There had to be some lighting, no one could walk up there and head down the stairs in a rocking, moving train without some lights. Seems all they wanted was a soft glow. 

There was lighting up in the dome.

What today would be called “task” lighting, for each row in a downward facing position. Probably (hopefully) very dim.

What I don’t know is if there was floor or stair lighting. My guess would be yes, but I don’t know for sure.

The lighting does not bother me, the shape of the domes, that would bother me more.

I should also add, the color is pretty close and the detail is very nice. Once populated with people, the domes will make a nice focal point.

Otherwise a nice set. I too would like to see these in 18 inch cars… and lowered.

 

Charlie

Last edited by Charlie
T4TT posted:

This statement in Chuck K's post is incorrect

It's ironic that Lionel now has all the K-Line assets, but couldn't get the Blue Bird's dome right.

Lionel does not have any of the old K-Line tooling.

I thought that Lionel didn't have any of it.

Bill

I'll stand corrected about whether Lionel kept K-Line tooling.  However, I will also say that Lionel didn't seem to inherit K-Line's acumen in building a reasonably accurate passenger car.

Chuck K.

Chuck K. posted:

I'll stand corrected about whether Lionel kept K-Line tooling.  However, I will also say that Lionel didn't seem to inherit K-Line's acumen in building a reasonably accurate passenger car.

Chuck K.

You're absolutely right about that! It's a crime that the old K-line tooling is still sitting unused.

Bill

NSBill posted:
Chuck K. posted:

I'll stand corrected about whether Lionel kept K-Line tooling.  However, I will also say that Lionel didn't seem to inherit K-Line's acumen in building a reasonably accurate passenger car.

Chuck K.

You're absolutely right about that! It's a crime that the old K-line tooling is still sitting unused.

Bill

How do you know that the K-Line tooling, especially for passenger cars, is "still sitting unused"?

Hot Water posted:
NSBill posted:
Chuck K. posted:

I'll stand corrected about whether Lionel kept K-Line tooling.  However, I will also say that Lionel didn't seem to inherit K-Line's acumen in building a reasonably accurate passenger car.

Chuck K.

You're absolutely right about that! It's a crime that the old K-line tooling is still sitting unused.

Bill

How do you know that the K-Line tooling, especially for passenger cars, is "still sitting unused"?

I was referring to scale passenger car tooling there. Last I heard Sanda Kan had it, and had no intentions of releasing it. So are you suggesting somebody is using the scale passenger car tooling? If so, who?

Bill

Wow, these are really poorly done, given that they are supposed to be scale, and thus prototypical.  Only the paint job looks something like Wabash.  I pre-ordered, trusting Lionel to get them right, but I am returning them.  Lesson learned.  I am pretty tolerant of errors and generic variations grom the prototype, but this is ridiculous.  I will wait for GGD to do them right.  Why couldn't Lionel just copy the K-line domes?  Those were much closer to the correct Budd dome.

I guess we know now, that these Lionel 21" cars are not intended to compete with the Atlas or GGD 21" cars, or even the old K-line 21" cars.  They are scale length fantasy toys.  A big step down from Lionel's own fairly correct 21" Texas Special cars from a few years ago (but those were really reboxed K-line aluminum cars).  I am very disappointed.

Last edited by Jtrain

There is a common thread running through most of the comments in this thread.  It would appear that Lionel doesn't care enough to get some of the most basic stuff right and then stiff-arms us when, having pre-ordered the pig-in-a-poke, we're stuck with serious defects in both design and execution.  How can they get so many things right and then mess up on something as basic as the shape of the dome in an all dome train?  It's not as though they haven't made a Budd dome before...

Having been deeply disappointed by my recently acquired Lionel "Olympian Hiawatha", I'm wondering if there is anyone out there anxious to part with a K-line 21" aluminum Milwaukee Road dining car in UP colors, No. 122, and any other of the cars in that series?

I predict that we will see a lot of these cars on the secondary market in the near future, where they will sell for about $50/car (or less).  They might be good for a repaint to something more correct, if the price is low enough.

I just returned a 4-car and 2-car set and cancelled a still pending order for the diner.  It's just too wrong with the domes.  I'll sell the E8 units I had previously purchased - oh well.  I could probably have tolerated most of the other faults in these cars (although somebody at Lionel should be embarrassed - but I suspect they aren't - and perhaps that's part of the problem).  In the "Lionel 2015 Signature Edition" catalog, page 3, "Of course you'll want some new scale rolling stock to run behind your engines, and we certainly have a lot of cars and paint schemes to choose from in this catalog."  They use the word "scale" and in subsequent paragraphs differentiate "traditional".  So what they are claiming in THIS catalog isn't exactly "toy" trains.  Page 76 says "...cars appropriate for each road" next to Blue Bird cars that, dome-wise, are represented correctly in the catalog.  Well, "appropriate" turned out to be a be a false claim.

Chuck K.  

Chuck K. posted:

I just returned a 4-car and 2-car set and cancelled a still pending order for the diner.  It's just too wrong with the domes.  I'll sell the E8 units I had previously purchased - oh well.  I could probably have tolerated most of the other faults in these cars (although somebody at Lionel should be embarrassed - but I suspect they aren't - and perhaps that's part of the problem).  In the "Lionel 2015 Signature Edition" catalog, page 3, "Of course you'll want some new scale rolling stock to run behind your engines, and we certainly have a lot of cars and paint schemes to choose from in this catalog."  They use the word "scale" and in subsequent paragraphs differentiate "traditional".  So what they are claiming in THIS catalog isn't exactly "toy" trains.  Page 76 says "...cars appropriate for each road" next to Blue Bird cars that, dome-wise, are represented correctly in the catalog.  Well, "appropriate" turned out to be a be a false claim.

Chuck K.  

Yes, I agree.  I returned the cars and got rid of the E8 AA too.  Too wrong to spend so much money on, or any money on, really.

3rd Rail is doing the E8, and you only need one A unit to be correct.  I will wait for GGD to do the cars.

Last edited by Jtrain
Jtrain posted:

I predict that we will see a lot of these cars on the secondary market in the near future, where they will sell for about $50/car (or less).  They might be good for a repaint to something more correct, if the price is low enough.

I suspect not.  For every one person dissatisfied with the cars, there are probably ten that don't mind the inconsistencies and will keep them for their visual appeal.

Rusty

Even if not exactly prototypical, these cars are really good looking!  And, very smooth runners!   I collect any and all Wabash and am very happy to have these.

 

 

 

Jtrain posted:

I predict that we will see a lot of these cars on the secondary market in the near future, where they will sell for about $50/car (or less).  ...

Gotta agree with Rusty Traque on this one.  $40-$50/car is more typical of the 15" aluminum passenger cars with passenger silhouettes instead of detailed interiors.  It'll be quite some time before we see cars like the Lionel 21-inchers down that low from their current $110-$125 price-point.

Having had my Texas Special cars on display for more than a week now, I can make the following observation:  For what I was looking to accomplish, they are nice.  Very nice, in fact.  Enough so that I will be keeping mine, and I look forward to the arrival of the StationSounds diner -- hopefully in 3 or 4 months.

Now having said that, it's also quite obvious that the Lionel 21" ABS cars come up considerably short in detailed finishing touches as compared to Atlas-O and of course, Sunset/GGD.  The more you compare, the more your mind is drawn to that conclusion.  It's not so much a case that the Lionel cars are bad... rather it's more of the reality that the Atlas-O and GGD cars are that good.

As with all things in life, we have decisions to make... both in terms of how much detail we want in our model trains, and also how many $$$ we're willing to spend.  If money were no object, it's quite apparent that GGD delivers a superior product (in aluminum), followed by Atlas-O (in ABS plastic) in a close second-place, and lastly Lionel (also now in ABS plastic) in a more distant and solid third-place.  However, GGD is now pushing almost $300 per car -- and even more for their specialty cars.  So an 8-car set will put you back $2,400 not including motive power.  Atlas-O street prices tend to be around $140/car (give or take a few bucks), so their 12-car CZ train will run about $1,680 (again not including motive power).  And lastly, Lionel's typical 7-car passenger set utilizing their new 21" ABS cars runs about $860 including the rather expensive StationSounds diner. 

So there you have it.  Want ultimate accuracy with the finest detail levels?  Get ready to dig deep and pay the piper for that privilege.  If you don't need -- or want -- to have the absolute finest in O-Gauge passenger car products, Lionel has a darn good offering that doesn't necessarily break the bank.  The choice is yours.

David

 

Rocky Mountaineer posted:
Jtrain posted:

I predict that we will see a lot of these cars on the secondary market in the near future, where they will sell for about $50/car (or less).  ...

Gotta agree with Rusty Traque on this one.  $40-$50/car is more typical of the 15" aluminum passenger cars with passenger silhouettes instead of detailed interiors.  It'll be quite some time before we see cars like the Lionel 21-inchers down that low from their current $110-$125 price-point.

Having had my Texas Special cars on display for more than a week now, I can make the following observation:  For what I was looking to accomplish, they are nice.  Very nice, in fact.  Enough so that I will be keeping mine, and I look forward to the arrival of the StationSounds diner -- hopefully in 3 or 4 months.

Now having said that, it's also quite obvious that the Lionel 21" ABS cars come up considerably short in detailed finishing touches as compared to Atlas-O and of course, Sunset/GGD.  The more you compare, the more your mind is drawn to that conclusion.  It's not so much a case that the Lionel cars are bad... rather it's more of the reality that the Atlas-O and GGD cars are that good.

As with all things in life, we have decisions to make... both in terms of how much detail we want in our model trains, and also how many $$$ we're willing to spend.  If money were no object, it's quite apparent that GGD delivers a superior product (in aluminum), followed by Atlas-O (in ABS plastic) in a close second-place, and lastly Lionel (also now in ABS plastic) in a more distant and solid third-place.  However, GGD is now pushing almost $300 per car -- and even more for their specialty cars.  So an 8-car set will put you back $2,400 not including motive power.  Atlas-O street prices tend to be around $140/car (give or take a few bucks), so their 12-car CZ train will run about $1,680 (again not including motive power).  And lastly, Lionel's typical 7-car passenger set utilizing their new 21" ABS cars runs about $860 including the rather expensive StationSounds diner. 

So there you have it.  Want ultimate accuracy with the finest detail levels?  Get ready to dig deep and pay the piper for that privilege.  If you don't need -- or want -- to have the absolute finest in O-Gauge passenger car products, Lionel has a darn good offering that doesn't necessarily break the bank.  The choice is yours.

David

 

You forgot the K-line 21" cars (if you can find them), which are aluminum, and quite a bit more accurate than the Lionel cars, at about the same price range.  They can still be found, if you look long enough.

 K-line made some of the road-specific details, not all, but some of them, including the primary distinctive ones, while keeping the price down.  Plus they are aluminum, a big plus.  Lionel seemed to want to make these cars as cheaply as possible, with virtually no effort to make them accurate, other than the length.  The Lionel cars are a distant fourth among the 21" cars, well behind GGD, Atlas, and K-line, in that order.

Last edited by Jtrain

I did take the car apart and there is openings in the ceiling to allow light in the dome.  The problem is that the there are to few light in the car, to illuminate the dome.  When I run the cars, I can't tell if the lights are on, unless I shut off the lights in the room.  It looks like there are a total of 3 light for the whole car.  

 

After waiting for a year for the cars, I'll keep them, but I cancelled my per orders for other road names and would be per ordering the Union Pacific like I planed. 

Between the domes, the color of the cars not matching the engines, lack of lights and passengers, the truck and sling shot couplers, I would send it back, but I don't want to wait to see if someone else will make the blue bird, let alone wait for it to be produced after being announced. 

Hey Jim:

While I agree with most of what you wrote, the one item i question is the Kinematic couplers. You called them "slingshot".

I think they are a great addition to the scale size cars, but I have to admit, I have only seen them on others cars, not my own.

What is the issue you have with them?

Charlie

I finally got my hands on them and overall I like them. Not knowing what they should look like helps me with these toys.

I was amazed at how long the lights took to go off! Seems like they take a bit to come on too.

GRJ, what's in these to have the LEDs stay on so long? Must be some big caps?

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